MEMPHIS, Tennessee —
A pastor at a Mid-South megachurch is now in required quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. In an email sent Wednesday for transparency to members, news came that Hope Church Senior Associate Pastor Eli Morris had tested positive for coronavirus.
If you've ever walked through the doors of 8500 Walnut Grove, church members will tell you you will indeed find hope there.
Hope Church held Wednesday Bible study services on Facebook. Their pastors were giving their members relationship tips on how to deal with social distancing.
A message from Senior Pastors Rufus Smith and Eli Morris appeared on their website some time back announcing that beginning March 21st and 22nd, all Hope Church Services will move online.
"Our worship hours will begin 100% online -- virtual and digital -- so join us for live worship," said Hope's Senior Pastor Rufus Smith.
So, the planned Bible study came after Hope Church sent this email to their congregation today that Senior Associate Pastor Eli Morris has coronavirus.
"What doesn't change is our availability and commitment to being available to serve you," said Hope's Senior Associate Pastor Eli Morris.
Pastor Morris is under quarantine. In the email sent to church members, a statement from Pastor Morris affectionately called Pastor Eli reads, "On Thursday March 19, we were informed that a person Patty (his wife) had come in contact with had tested positive for the coronavirus. On Friday, March 20, we were tested and Sunday afternoon, March 22, I was informed that I tested positive for the coronavirus. Awaiting results of Patty's test. We are both okay with mild symptoms, not hospitalized and we will be under required quarantine until early April. We very much appreciate your prayers and we urge you all to be safe and wise during this time of confusion. Under His mercy, Eli and Patty."
In the meantime, Senior Pastor Rufus and Pastor Eli are encouraging themselves and everyone else to stay safe and practice social distancing.
"There will be times when it's hard not to panic or become frantic but remember that's why we need each other. JESUS followers who are trusting in GOD the father can and will have a calming effect," said Pastor Morris.
Pastor Smith, staff members and others who came in contact with Pastor Eli are under self-quarantine. Our prayers go out to the Hope family.