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Lexington church hopes to have first in-person service in more than a year

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:50 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington church hopes to have its first in-person service in more than a year.

Consolidated Baptist Church is focused on keeping people safe when in-person services resume this Sunday.

Like other churches, Consolidated has wrestled with the idea of when to open doors. The church has held virtual services for more than a year.

Pastor Richard Gaines says reaction has been mixed among the congregation. Some members are eager to return whereas others are choosing to remain home.

Other churches in the area have decided to cancel in-person services due to rising COVID-19 cases. Gaines says Consolidated has put protocols in place and is hoping for the best.

“We’ve been monitoring this all the way through, in touch with the governor’s office and other clergy around town, and this country to get the complete picture,” Gaines said. “We’ve made the decision that now would be a good time. But, at the same time, we are not pushing aside the science.”

Gaines says he’s gotten his shots. He also encourages others to do the same.

“In the life of Consolidated, we’ve laid a number of people to rest, middle-aged and older who succumbed to the virus,” Gaines said.

A man of faith, Gaines is looking forward to seeing people this weekend. The church will hold two in-person services this Sunday. To attend, people must register. Everyone, including those vaccinated, must wear a mask.

Pastor Gaines says each service will make room for up to 300 people, that’s about a third of the church’s capacity.

Gaines says the church is prepared to cancel in-person services if necessary.

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