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West Virginia among few states offering exemptions under Stay at Home order for Church services

BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) Ahead of a possible surge in Coronavirus cases, leaders continue to pressure West Virginians to follow social distancing guidelines under the Stay at Home order.

But is there a potential blind spot in that order, one that is allowing dozens of people to congregate where they worship?

Across the U.S., West Virginia is just one of a dozen states allowing worship services to continue after a Florida pastor was arrested last week for allowing thousands of people to show up at Church.

In Raleigh County, at least one Church is continuing to draw crowds as late as this past Sunday; their actions fully within the law.

Randy Woods, a pastor in Kentucky, also lives in a state where Church gatherings are exempt. But that did not stop him from moving his services online.

"The Bible tells us to live by faith not fear. But we're also supposed to use sound judgement about things that are going on. I wouldn't second guess any other Church, but we have to do our part too."

When Woods did make the move online, he was surprised by the new following. His normal audience of 70 to 80 turned to 2,000.

"The message is still getting out and that's our purpose. That's what we're called to do...spread the good news and use the technology God has given us to get the message out."

Under the Governor's Stay at Home order in West Virginia, houses of worship are listed as an essential service.

Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

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