What will Easter look like for churches amid pandemic?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With Easter approaching this weekend, and the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting Houston, Baptist leaders met Wednesday to discuss how worshippers should celebrate.

The President of the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner and a handful of other pastors in the area talked about Easter Sunday services and reminded everyone to stay home.

"There is no group of leaders that people will listen to more than the pastors and the faith-based leaders," Turner said.

WATCH: Church leaders encourage worshippers to celebrate virtually
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Houston area pastors gather to encourage worshippers to celebrate Easter virtually



This comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott deemed church an essential service in the state.

Abbott says worshipping in person is okay, but only if it adheres to social distancing guidelines and there are less than 10 people.

Despite this order, many services are going virtual this year because church leaders want to ensure everyone stays as healthy as possible.

"I want to thank you for doing it, not out of fear, but to protect the health of your members, the people in our community and the people in our city," Turner said during the news conference. "We're moving in the right direction, but we're not at the peak of the coronavirus yet. If we stay at home, have our worship services online, on Facebook, we will keep our members and family safe and keep our city safe."

The Holy Trinity Church in Houston will hold its annual Easter sunrise service on Zoom and Facebook Live.

Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen announced big plans for a taped Easter service that will air exclusively on ABC13.

The service will include a message from Tyler Perry, and performances from Kanye West and Mariah Carey.

The Lakewood Church service will air at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 12 on ABC13.

Turner also talked about the impact COVID-19 has on African Americans. He said out of the 11 people who died from the virus in the city of Houston, seven of them were African American.

"In order to protect those that are in our vulnerable communities, it's important to stay away from large crowds and to engage in social distancing," Turner said.



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