MADISON, Ala. - There's no doubt that you've heard a lot of closings and cancelations this week due to COVID-19 concerns. Now large churches, like Asbury Church in Madison, are closing their doors and moving service to online.
All the teams are on the bench, concerts have been canceled until further notice. Now churches are starting to close their doors. It's all on the advice of the government, asking people to stay away from large crowds.
"During the plagues in other times, when everyone was running out, the church was running in. And this, in an interesting way, is our way to run in," said Pastor Tommy Gray
Signs on the doors to Asbury Church make it clear, from the parking lot to the rows inside, no mass gathering will happen as the state and country issue state-of-emergencies.
"We believe this is the best way to love our community," said Pastor Gray.
Prior to closing the doors, Pastor Gray and his team were sure to take every sanitary step they could, until it was clear that keeping 500 plus people in one room could bring unnecessary suffering for some.
"Really our concern was for the most vulnerable in our community," said Gray. "Also our concern for the healthcare system. We are hearing that's one of the major issues. It could be overwhelmed."
Pastor Gray realizes after the week we've been through, faith is needed, so they plan to stream services on their website.
"We want to say to our church, this is not a time for fear," said Gray. "There is great hope in our faith. This is not a time for panic. We believe we are taking appropriate steps along the way."
Federal and state health officials say people should avoid large crowds to help stop the spread of COVID-19.