OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - HIS Church hosted its first in-person service in nearly eight weeks this weekend, and church leaders are now starting a campaign that accuses Gov. Andy Beshear of overstepping his authority during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Brian Gibson, pastor of HIS Church Owensboro, told 14 News that it felt great to have everyone back on Sunday, but now he says the church is launching an online campaign called “Peaceably Gather” to reopen churches nationwide.
“What Peaceably Gather is all about is that we believe that the governor of Kentucky, and not just the governor of Kentucky, but governors all over this nation, have overstepped their constitutional bounds and they’re infringing upon Americans’ religious freedoms," Gibson said.
Gibson says the church took precautionary measures against COVID-19 during the service like providing hand sanitizer, spacing out seating in groups of three or six, as well as having an attendant clean up after people when they use the bathroom. However, Gibson says they did not take people’s temperatures.
“We feel like a temperature check is a borderline violation of the HIPAA law,” Gibson said. "We’re not medical professionals. We’re ministers of the gospel. Also, we know that some of the people that could be asymptomatic with (COVID-19), they don’t show a temperature.”
Gibson told 14 News that face masks were worn by ushers and volunteers, but it was optional for churchgoers to wear them.
Gibson says church leaders have asked those with underlying health conditions to watch from home. They are continuing to stream services online, while people can also listen from their car in the parking lot.