Will Richmond churches reopen this weekend?

Posted at 11:55 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 08:41:14-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- President Donald Trump announced Friday that he would enforce the reopening of places of worship, classifying them as "essential."

The move comes after months of churches being closed and having online services. Reverend Kenny Callaghan of Metropolitan Community Church in Richmond is one of them.

"We have been having worship services, virtual worship services via Facebook live and we've been doing a lot of Zoom connects," Callaghan said. "We had our last in person worship on March 15th."

Trump called on governors to open all places of worship this weekend, adding that if state governors chose to keep places of worship closed, he would "override them."

But Church leaders themselves say that opening this weekend is not the right thing to do.

"We are not willing to put people at risk simply because of what the President thinks is right because it is clearly is not right, certainly at this time," Callaghan said.

Meanwhile New Life Outreach Church in Chesterfield has been having drive-in services since the lockdown began.

Leaders at the church told CBS 6 that they too will hold off on opening their church doors Memorial Day weekend, while continuing to listen to local health leaders.

"We have a lot of vulnerable people and we want to make sure that they are safe when they come here," Callaghan added.

In the meantime Callaghan and his church will keep streaming services online.

"We are riding the virtual wave and are so grateful to be able to do so," Callaghan said.