HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey issued a “safer apart order,” Wednesday, which includes the lifting of mask requirement starting this Friday. One Huntsville church leader said he too, felt the strain of being a leader forced to make a tough decision on his own church’s mask policy.
“Like a political leader, I think a faith leader is in the same kind of trying to do the same kind of juggling act,” First Baptist Church Huntsville Lead Pastor Travis Collins said.
Collins said his team’s goal is to do what was best for the entire church family. The solution came to be adding two additional services.
“I know that there are some who are tired of the masks, then there are some that say, ‘I’m just not ready to come unless I feel safe.’ So we’re trying to accommodate the varying principles and preferences when it comes to masks,” Collins said.
The two early services at 8:15 will be mask-required. Then, two 10:30 services that are mask-preferred. Collins will lead all of them. The final 10:30 contemporary service will have a video message to take some of the strain off.
“Until the last couple of days I’ve been a little bit anxious about it but now that I think we’ve gotten the logistics worked out, I’m actually excited what might come from this,” he said.
He said he’ll be busy running back and forth to the Sanctuary to the Chapel and Life Center, but one verse came to mind as the team discussed the options for masking after April 9th.
“Paul said, ‘I become all things to all people so that I might win some,’ so that is the ideal,” Collins said.
One other change in addition to the new services is singing will be allowed for the first time in over a year for those who have their masks on.
“We’ve looked at the data and frankly it’s not conclusive, but the experts do agree that masks do mitigate the risk of singing, so we’re going to say ‘if you have a mask on, you can sing,'” Collins said. “Faith is not just taught and believed, but its felt and sung.”
Collins added all precautions will remain in-place, including social distancing and extra sanitation routines.
The services will launch Sunday, April 11th. For more information on their COVID-19 precautions, click here.