Church cancellations in East Texas due to COVID-19 precautions

Church cancellations in East Texas due to COVID-19 precautions
Some churches invite you to worship online this weekend to keep safe "social distance" to help stop the spread of COVID 19. (Source: PEXELS)

East Texas (KLTV) - Some East Texas churches say they want to heed the warning given by health officials regarding not meeting in large groups of people until the COVID-19 situation has resolved.

The general feeling expressed by these churches was expressed in a message from Marvin UMC in Tyler: “We deeply regret having to make this decision but we are taking these steps out of an abundance of caution. If social distancing works the way our health officials believe it will work, this will drastically decrease the spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus).”

Here are the churches that have alerted us so far that they will not be meeting this weekend and/or beyond.

Clarksville City Baptist Church in Gladewater has suspended all services and activities until April 5.

Bullard Church of Christ - suspending all services and activities until further notice.

Lighthouse Baptist Chapel in Frankston has canceled its services for Sunday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 18.

North Street Church of Christ in Nacogdoches has canceled its services for Sunday.

Woodland Hill Church of Christ in Longview has canceled the services for Sunday and the evening service for Wednesday, March 18.

Southside Baptist Church in Tyler will only have a 10 a.m. worship service.

First United Methodist Church in Longview has decided that all of its worship times will be the same Sunday. Sunday School has been canceled. The church will also be streaming its services on its Facebook page and website.

Fredonia Hill Baptist Church in Nacogdoches has canceled the services that were scheduled for Sunday.

Crossroads Church in Canton has canceled all services and Life Groups Sunday.

Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville has canceled all public gatherings for the next three weeks. The church will continue to broadcast an online worship service every Sunday morning at 10:15 a.m. through March 29. Morning worship services may be watched on Facebook or at cbcjax.net.

The Hideaway Lake Community Church has canceled services for Sunday. All regular activities for the week through Saturday, March 21, have been suspended as well.

Fellowship Bible Church in Longview will have an online service Sunday. There will be a small team at the church at 10:30 a.m. to conduct the online service. The church’s doors will be open to anyone who wants to join them.

Bullard Southern Baptist Church has canceled all gatherings and activities for the week of March 15 through 20.

Friendly Baptist Church in Tyler has decided to cancel all church activities, including Celebrate Recovery on Tuesday night, through Wednesday, March 18. Church leaders will continue to monitor the situation and let members know about future activities on Wednesday.

First United Methodist of Lufkin has canceled all in-person activities at the church for tomorrow (March 15). This includes Sunday School classes, youth activities, music practices, and both worship services. Their worship services will be Facebook Live only. The contemporary service is at 9 a.m. and the traditional service is at 11 a.m.

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Tyler has canceled all of the Bible study classes for tomorrow. The worship service will take place as normal at 10:30 a.m. However, people who are considered “at-risk” or are in close connection with someone who is “at-risk,” are urged to stay home and watch the service on the church’s live feed.

The weekly meal and all on-campus activities have been canceled for Wednesday, March 18. More details are available on the church’s Facebook page.

Daysping United Methodist Church has canceled all of its services for tomorrow (March 15). The church will be live streaming online at this link at 9:30 a.m.

Tyler Unity Center of Practical Christianity has canceled all of its services and classes for the next two weeks. There will be recorded inspirational messages and meditations on the Facebook page.

Christ Church Episcopal and Christ Church will both be having online services at 11 a.m. Sunday. Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler will be closed to the public on both campuses for the next two weeks. For more information, visit this link.

South Springs Baptist has canceled all church events through March 25. They will have services online at this link, and on the church’s Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays.

First Baptist Church Lufkin has decided to cancel its Sunday morning Bible study and worship services tomorrow (March 15) For those who desire, a live Facebook video streaming worship will be provided at 10:30 a.m.

Goodwill Church in Lufkin has canceled its Sunday services for March 15 and 12, but they will be offering a “virtual worship experience” on the church’s Facebook page.

Church of the Pines in Tyler will have no services Sunday.

St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Lufkin has canceled its services for the next two Sundays. The church’s bishop has asked its members to worship privately in their homes for the next two weeks. The church’s leadership suggested watching the live stream of the national cathedral or the cathedral in Houston this Sunday.

Grace Baptist Church has canceled its services for tomorrow (March 15).

Hawkins United Methodist Church will close March 15 and 22.

New Beginnings Baptist Church in Longview and Gilmer will combine all of their worship services into one online-only experience at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Their kids ministry team will be providing resources and discussion topics for families to discuss at home, and they will be hosting discussions on their Facebook page.

Marvin United Methodist Church will cancel all programming and worship events through the remainder of the month of March. They have a livestream on Facebook at 11 a.m. CST on Sunday, and they stream on their website: marvinumc.com.

Grace Community Church will have no services this weekend, and the student ministry’s OVERDRIVE activities are canceled, as well as all other activities for the next seven days. You can stream the worship service at 9:30 and 11:00 from the Web-site and the App. The GCC website (gcc.org) will have a button on the front page that you can’t miss. Just click on it and you will be given the directions on how to stream. You Can also stream from the APP by going to the bottom of the screen and clicking live stream. Text “GCCAPP” to 77977 on your mobile devices to access the Grace App.

Christ Episcopal Church in Tyler will be closed to the public on both campuses for the next two weeks, per Fr. David Luckenbach.

First Christian Church in Tyler is urging everyone to STAY HOME this Sunday. We ask you to TUNE IN, but not SIT IN on our Sunday services. While gathering at FCC is canceled, both service will still be broadcast in an abbreviated form, at 9:30 am. Meet us back here to watch. You can also tune in via YouTube by using this link -- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3y9jWeYuadeKdUEPj37tfw. This situation is still evolving as we email and post, but we expect March 15 and March 22 to follow a similar pattern.

From Bishop Joseph Strickland regarding all the parishes in the Diocese of Tyler:

As we continue to monitor the situation and follow best practices regarding the prevention of the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and recognizing that this is a dynamic and evolving situation, I am announcing the following measures which are intended to limit the possibility of local transmission of the disease and keep our parishioners and the wider East Texas community healthy.

These measures are effective immediately and are to be communicated to the faithful by the pastors of the diocese. The continuation or modification of these measures will be announced on April 1.1. All non-liturgical events and public gatherings on parish or diocesan property are to be postponed or canceled. This includes faith formation and religious education classes, parish meetings, retreats, conferences, and other public events.2. At this time, the celebration of Mass should continue according to normal parish schedules. The temporary liturgical regulations announced on March 10 remain in effect. The faithful who attend Mass should consider putting additional distance between themselves and other parishioners.3.

The following categories of persons are granted a dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation. Those who do not attend Sunday Mass should, if possible, devote some time to prayer and make a spiritual communion.a. The faithful in the high-risk category due to current illness, age (60+), or suffering from a chronic health condition (like high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer, or diabetes), or compromised immune system.b. The faithful who care for the above persons, those who live with them, and those who are in regular contact with them.c. The faithful who, for a just cause, may feel uncomfortable in large groups or in close contact with others.4. The faithful in the high-risk category due to current illness, age (60+), or suffering from a chronic health condition (like high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer, or diabetes), or compromised immune system, are asked to remain at home.

This also applies to those who have traveled to affected areas.5. Parishes are asked to observe heightened sanitization and hygiene standards at this time.a. Please remove hymnals, missalettes, prayer cards, and other items from the pews. These commonly handled items can serve to inadvertently transmit viruses from one person to the next.b. Please continue to take measures to ensure that common surfaces (pews, door handles, restrooms, etc.) are regularly disinfected.c. Holy water fonts and stoups are to be emptied.d. Ushers and those who assist with the collection may consider using latex gloves.I believe these are appropriate precautions that will help safeguard the health of those we serve. They are also consistent with actions being taken by civil authorities and other groups in our area.

Tyland Baptist Church is suspending all church services and activities until March 29, 2020.

Bethel Bible Church: ONLY ONLINE for Worship Services on Sunday, March 15 (9 AM and 10:30 AM) at ALL five Bethel Campuses. No Worship gathering or Bible Studies at campuses this Sunday (March 15). Spread the word and watch online on Sunday at bethelbible.com/sermons!

Camille Acres Baptist Church: Camille Acres Baptist Church of Longview is canceling all services for the next two weeks. At this time they plan to resume Sunday March 29.

Emerald Bay Community Church: Emerald Bay Community Church in Bullard will not hold worship services for an undetermined period of time. All scheduled church activities, including all Bible study groups, choir rehearsals, VBS planning meetings, and funerals, are postponed.

Cross Brand Cowboy Church: Cross Brand Cowboy Church in Tyler is currently closing for the next two weeks. They will not be having Wednesday night services and Sunday services. Instead we will be doing online services instead.

Adonai Yemaleh Zoht Messianic Jewish Synagogue: Public gatherings have been suspended. Services will be handled through the ‘Zoom’ app. If anyone wants to join, send an email to ayztyler@suddenlink.net or contact us through our website at www.ayzmessianic.org.

If you’d like your church added to this list, please send an email to news@kltv.com.

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