Churches cancel services keeping members' safety a priority - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Churches cancel services keeping members' safety a priority

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

The second most common time for people to go to church is on Wednesday night. But, the wintry weather is prompting many churches around the Mid-South to close their doors.

Whenever there is a chance of dangerous winter weather, Reverend Kenneth Whalum Jr. and other pastors must decide whether to cancel services. They say keeping their church members safe is a priority.

"As a pastor, I'm responsible as a shepherd. I'm responsible for every sheep, so that we have members who are driving from North Mississippi, from Arkansas," said Reverend Whalum, New Olivet Baptist Church.

Rev. Whalum canceled his Wednesday night bible study because he remembers how bad the weather got when it snowed at the same time last week.

"In fact, by the time we finished bible study, it was awful," he recalled. "I mean, the streets were treacherous and people were driving home in icy conditions."

Whalum says members who want to keep up with church activities can go to New Olivet's website for sermons, bible studies, prayer, and other activities.

"If I didn't cancel tonight, guess what? People would do their absolute best to be here," Whalum explained.

While canceling services could result in fewer offerings, Whalum says he doesn't mind. He feels that people who are really into their faith have other options if they want to give.

"Today you can pay your tithes and offerings online or go to the website and use PayPal," he said.

Reverend Whalum says his prayer now is that if the weather is bad, Mid-southerners will do their best to drive safely in it.

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