Governor Reeves urges pastors not to hold in-person services during shelter-in-place

Gov. Reeves asking churches to cancel Easter Services

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Governor Tate Reeves is still getting questions about enforcement of his shelter-in-place order and some of those questions are centered around churches wanting to continue services.

One Natchez bishop held a Palm Sunday service despite Governor Tate Reeve’s executive order. But again Wednesday, Reeves reiterated what he’s been saying during previous briefings.

“This is not the time to hold in person services and fill our churches,” said Reeves.

Governor Reeves received questions about Bishop Stanley Searcy’s service and invited him to Wednesday’s briefing. Searcy says locally, he received significant push back.

“Some of my local officials called me and said if you have services, we’re gonna lock you up," noted Searcy. "But that’s when I kind of planted my feet. I felt like my Constitutional rights were being violated.”

Governor Reeves doesn’t think pastors should be arrested but said he can do this...

“I can ask him as a fellow Christian to take this extra step to protect the community,” explained Reeves.

“I’m here to do whatever you ask me to do," noted Searcy. "I’d be willing to cancel my service on Easter Sunday to give you that time till April 20th that we can get our people and plateau this thing because we don’t want to see anymore Mississippians die.”

Governor Reeves sending this message to other pastors in the state.

“We believe that churches are essential operations in our state," said Reeves. "But we also believe that we need to make wise choices and wise decisions and we don’t need to be gathering in groups of more than ten people just because the seriousness of this particular virus and how contagious it can be.”

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