WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Despite a warning from Governor Bill Lee, the pastor of Global Vision Bible Church says he has no plans to stop holding service at his Mt. Juliet church.
Greg Locke, the founding pastor of the church said he is not trying to defy the governor, but wants to “give people help and healing and wholeness.”
“I’m not trying to be a jerk for Jesus, I’m just staying open,” Locke explained. “It’s not in our nature to just roll up shop, lock the doors and be like, ok we’ll see you in a few weeks.”
During a news conference last week, Governor Lee urged churches to move their services online.
“Churches that continue to meet and gather with elderly and putting groups of people in the same setting, quite frankly they’re risking peoples’ lives,” the governor said.
As many places of worship across the state became fully virtual, Pastor Locke posted a banner on his church building: “Yes we are having church !! Sunday @ 10:30”
Locke said, “I’m not trying to be a criminal. I’m trying to be a pastor. This is what pastors do. They love people. They don’t close their doors and walk away from the communtiy. They help them when they need help the most.”
According to Locke, there are masks and sanitation stations throughout the church and extra cleaning crews have been brought in.
Locke said he advised anyone who didn’t feel comfortable to stay home and watch the online service.
“If five people show up great. If 500 people show up great,” he said.
The pastor revealed he had about 250 people in attendance for service this past weekend, which is down from the usual 300 to 350; however, he explained people came all the way from Indiana and Kentucky to attend after hearing his church would remain open.