DEKALB COUNTY, Ala.- Since July 16, 20 members of The Hill Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Collinsville have tested positive for COVID-19.
Three were hospitalized, but two have been released.
“It all happened so quick,” said pastor Rickie Williams.
Williams told WHNT News 19 Monday that they shut down the church when the pandemic first began and had services from the porch.
But once Gov. Kay Ivey amended her safer at home order, they reopened the sanctuary for services.
“July the 12th was our last service here and then some church members were running a fever and they got tested and they tested positive, so we shut the church down,” said Williams.
Williams said he and his wife both tested positive.
He’s been asymptomatic, while she was weak and light-headed.
Williams says he thought they were doing everything to keep congregation members safe.
“We used a lot of hand sanitizer. We sprayed everything down to the best of our ability and it still attacked us. We had some that had wore a mask on the inside, yes and we distanced. We were separated in there,” said Williams.
He said two young girls were baptized, so he does not regret having service that day.
“I regret that these folks have gotten sick. That bothers me and it bothers me that I tested positive, but when I look back at the Lord, what he has done for us, I can’t second guess him,” explained Williams.
His message to the public: “It can spread very easily, but I do want to encourage us. If the Lord brought you to it, he‘s going to bring us through it.”