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Friday is the deadline for small churches to apply for COVID-19 assistance from Shelby County

Shelby County has set aside $150,000 in CARES funding to support the technical assistance and set up at these small, faith-based organizations.
Credit: CBS
Churches will physically be empty on Easter Sunday as services go virtual during the pandemic.

UPDATE 12/15/2020 - Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, Shelby County Commission Chairman Eddie Jones, and County Commissioner Reginald Milton launched the “Our Faithful Comeback” grant fund to assist 170+ small, faith-based organizations set up a virtual option for congregation services. In addition to organizations receiving live-streaming equipment and set up, another 50 small faith-based organizations received a $1,500 reimbursement for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the program.

Faith-based organizations, including churches, synagogues, and mosques, with 100 or fewer active members are still eligible to apply for support until December 18, 2020. Qualified applicants may apply by visiting www.shelby.community and clicking the Our Faithful Comeback Grant button. Successful applicants can choose live-streaming equipment and setup or $1500 PPE reimbursement.

Shelby County Commission Chairman Eddie Jones: “Some residents in Shelby County rely on places of worship for their most critical needs, including food ministries, clothing ministries, and so much more. When places of worship cannot offer virtual services, there is a risk of not having a way to communicate with their members or community. Our Faithful Comeback ensures smaller faith-based organizations stay connected and safe to remain operational during this time.”

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris: “Faith-based organizations are where we go to nourish our faith. Also, our community depends on our churches, synagogues, and mosques to serve some of our most vulnerable populations. Several small faith-based organizations in Shelby County have halted in-person services to slow the spread of COVID-19, and have struggled to stay connected to their members. We hope this program puts these organizations in a position to re-connect with their members safely.”

Shelby County Commissioner Reginald Milton: “The impact of COVID-19 has affected many, including faith leaders. It has caused some places of worship to close indefinitely. Although some places have been able to re-create connection through virtual services, smaller places of worship often do not have the finances or know-how to support this. It is an honor to support a grant that will deliver to these organizations the means to connect with their communities.”

Pastor Leon Jones, Jr., The Dwelling Place Christian Church: “I am truly thankful to Shelby County for providing a grant for live-streaming equipment. I had a great experience working with Forever Ready Productions. They are professional and helpful. The process was quick and seamless; I picked up my equipment on Friday and was streaming on Sunday.”

Pastor Josh Germany, New Heights Memphis: “I want to thank Shelby County for this amazing program. The equipment provided through Our Faithful Comeback has transformed the experience of our congregation during this difficult time. This has been such a blessing to our church.”

Lady Beverly Ann Davis, St. Paul Douglass MBC: “Shelby County Government and ProductionOne have been a blessing to our ministry with this grant. I was amazed at how easy it was to set-up and operate the camera. Because of this grant, we have been able to connect with our members online via live-streaming.”

Early Treatment for COVID-19 An effective early treatment is available for persons who test positive and have the following risk factors: Anyone over age 12 with obesity, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, or whose immunity is compromised by disease or prescription treatments.

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10/20/2020 - Today, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and Shelby County Commission Chairman Eddie Jones and County Commissioner Reginald Milton announce the launch of the “Our Faithful Comeback”, a fund to help small, faith-based organizations with 100 or fewer active members set up a virtual option for congregation services. Again, churches, synagogues, and other small, faith-based organizations in Shelby County are eligible to receive technical assistance paid for by Shelby County to set up a virtual live-stream option for services.

Shelby County has set aside $150,000 in CARES funding to support the technical assistance and set up at these small, faith-based organizations. Qualified applicants may apply at covid19.shelbycountytn.gov and click the “Our Faithful Comeback Grant” link. At the link, organizations will have the option to choose between technical assistance, equipment, and installation for live-streaming of services OR $1,500 for reimbursement grant for personal protective equipment (PPE) purchases that were made necessary because of COVID-19. Organizations can apply while funds last.

Shelby County Commission Chairman Eddie Jones: “Some residents in Shelby County rely on places of worship for their most critical needs, including food ministries, clothing ministries, and so much more. When places of worship cannot offer virtual services, there is a risk of not having a way to communicate with their members or community. Our Faithful Comeback ensures smaller faith-based organizations stay connected and safe to remain operational during this time.”

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris: “Faith-based organizations are where we go to nourish our faith. In addition, our community depends on our churches, synagogues, and mosques to serve some of our most vulnerable populations. Several small faith-based organizations in Shelby County closed their doors to slow the spread of COVID and, as a result, they have struggled to stay connected to their members. We hope this program puts these organizations in a position to re-connect with their members safely.”

Shelby County Commissioner Reginald Milton: “The impact of COVID-19 has affected many, including faith leaders. It has caused some places of worship to close indefinitely. Although some places have been able to re-create connection through virtual services, smaller places of worship do not have the finances or know-how to support this. It is an honor to support a grant that will deliver to these organizations the means to connect with the communities.”

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