COVID-19 Response  by Pastor Mark
March 16
 
ALL CHURCH SERVICES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED FOR AN UNDETERMINED PERIOD OF TIME
 
As Shepherd of Bible Baptist Church, I have made the decision to cancel all services for an undetermined period of time. My reasons are as follows:
 
1. The counsel of the deacons. I consider the deacons of our church my advisors. When I ask them their thoughts on a decision of this magnitude I must weigh their thoughts carefully. Outside of seeking the leading of the Lord, their counsel was the biggest reason for the decision.
 
2.  A document from our local health officials recommending no gatherings of more than 50 people.
 
3. The recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta recommending no gatherings of more than 50 people.
 
4. A statement from President Trump within the last hour recommending no gatherings of more than 10 people.
 
5. An article from Newt Gingrich I read yesterday. He is now in Italy and stated in the article that we must take very aggressive action NOW in order to avoid what is happening in Italy.
 
You may wonder what changed since our church services yesterday. The answer is all of the above coupled with the announcement from our governor that all restaurants close down as of the end of today. Also, I was operating under the assumption yesterday that gatherings of 250 or more were problematic as opposed to gatherings of 100 plus which is our normal Sunday morning attendance. As you know, the number has changed from 1000 to 25o  to 50 and now to 10.  I believe at this point continuing to have services against the recommendations of our health officials and our President would be very unwise.
 
A verse I quoted yesterday from II Timothy 1:7 is still very applicable. God truly has not given us a spirit of fear. This decision was not made out of fear as I frankly am not afraid of the virus. The decision was strictly a decision of wisdom and vigilance. You, like myself may not like the decision and that is totally understandable; however, I respectfully ask that you accept the decision with an understanding heart. 
 
Finally, a plan is underway to live stream our main worship service at the normal time of 10:15. I hope that you will go online to our facebook page, beginning this coming Sunday, March 22. More details will be given by the end of this week.