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Mid-South churches share reopening plans, some plan to open Sunday

Citadel of Deliverance Church of God in Christ Bishop Linwood Dillard is going to wait a little longer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —

As of right now, churches across the country can operate with a capacity limit of 25 percent. 

Last Friday, President Donald Trump said all churches can reopen as of last weekend, but any states including Tennessee and Mississippi have already deemed them essential and some have opened its doors.

Bishop Linwood Dillard of Citadel of Deliverance, Church of God in Christ says his church has had to take unconventional measures to reach their congregation and he says the traditional way of church may not ever look the same.  

“We’ve had to spend a lot of time discovering how we can maintain our level of service to those we’ve been called to,” Bishop Dillard explained. 

This Sunday, May 31, there are some COGIC pastors who will have in-person service on Pentecost Sunday.  Bishop Dillard says he isn’t one of them. 

“We have not set a date as of yet as to when the reopening will take place, again we’re just really monitoring the information and the data,” Bishop Dillard said.


Bishop Dillard wants to see how the Memorial Day Holiday impacted Covid-29 cases in Shelby County.  In the meantime, he’s reaching his 2000 members virtually though social media and other creative ways. 

“We’ve been doing what we call Membership Wellness Checks where we have a group of members who are calling and checking on our members especially those who may not have access to social media,” Bishop Dillard said. 

Across town in Raleigh, Bishop Kendall Anderson at Homeland COGIC has been having services with 10 members for the past few weeks. Sunday, he will increase his sanctuary to 25 members in masks, seated throughout the church. 

It’s something Bishop Dillard says his church will eventually get to but, for now, he is keeping the health of his members his top priority.

When he does reopen this is how services will operate. 

“Our thinking is to add a number of services to the normal time so right now we have two services an 8 and 11. There’s a potential there will be three or four services in a Sunday,” Bishop Dillard said. 

Other churches have started their reopening plans.  Bellevue Baptist in Cordova will resume in person services June 6 at 5:00 pm. 

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