Christian Chronicle

Going virtual again: Churches return online as COVID-19 cases surge

Record number of coronavirus infections prompt leaders to rethink in-person assemblies.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

Amid a nationwide surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, many Churches of Christ that had resumed in-person assemblies have moved worship back online, a Christian Chronicle survey found.

It’s the latest twist in congregations’ nine-month battle to curtail the spread of a virus that has infected more than 15.4 million and caused nearly 290,000 deaths in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

“We have stopped meeting, started back, stopped again, started back and now will stop once more probably at least until the first of the year, depending on how the COVID-19 numbers look,” said Bill Denton, preaching minister for the Rodenberg Church of Christ in Biloxi, Miss. 

He cited a record number of cases in that Southern state.

Front page of the January 2021 edition of The Christian Chronicle

Similarly, the Childress Church of Christ — a thriving congregation in a Texas cattle and cotton-farming hub, halfway between Amarillo and Wichita Falls — has gone virtual again.

“The COVID numbers in our area have spiked,” minister Trey Morgan said. “Our little rural hospital is struggling to keep up.”

According to The Associated Press, U.S. coronavirus deaths have soared to more than 2,200 per day, matching the peak reached in April. Cases per day have eclipsed more than 200,000 on average for the first time, with the crisis expected to worsen as a result of large gatherings at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, AP reports.

Read the full story.

This story appears in the January edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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