President Trump demands places of worship reopen; Mississippi church granted court injunction for in-person service

President Trump demands places of worship reopen; Mississippi church granted court injunction for in

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. (WMC) - President Donald Trump wants churches to reopen this weekend.

“Today I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues and mosques, as essential places that provide essential services,” said Trump during a Friday press conference.

As the country reopens, the White House is weighing in on what to do with faith-based facilities.

The President says he will override any state that does not deem churches essential and allow them to reopen.

Tennessee and Mississippi Governors have already said churches can reopen.

The President’s announcement came just before a late Friday ruling from the Fifth Circuit of Appeals in Mississippi granting a temporary injunction for the First Pentecostal Church of Holly Springs to hold in-person church services.

Investigators say the church was intentionally set on fire Wednesday morning.

The church was in a court battle with the City of Holly Springs over an executive order not allowing churches to meet in person.

With the court ruling, the church’s lead counsel Stephen Crampton says the church will meet in-person Sunday at an alternate location.

“So the future looks bright for this lawsuit when we go back and I’m hopeful the city will reconsider it’s frankly unconstitutional restrictions on churches here,” said Crampton.

Places of worship all over the Mid-South are making decisions about how to conduct services.

Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova will resume in-person services June 6.

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis resumed public masses last weekend on May 16.

Bishop Brandon Porter of the Greater Community Temple Church of God in Christ plans to reopen his church at the end of the month.

“Before President Trump made any statement we had already planned to open up on the fifth Sunday which is Pentecost Sunday which is a very important time in Christendom, the birthing of the church,” said Porter.

Friday the CDC released guidance for places of worship saying, religious institutions should provide soap and hand sanitizer, encourage the use of cloth masks and clean their facilities daily.

Last week a group of 18 Memphis faith leaders released a one minute long public service announcement encouraging social distancing.

Each house of worship making their own call about when it's safe to come back.

Porter says his church will continue virtual services, but for those who wish to worship in-person they will have temperature checks at the door and they will not exceed 25% occupancy

“We’re not treating this lightly by any means,” said Porter. “If we going back to worship, make sure the protocols are in place to ensure the safety of the people.”

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