How Houston-area places of worship are responding to coronavirus

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With the fast spread of the coronavirus, many places of worship are changing their plans around the Houston area.

Some religious leaders are planning to hold services online-only out of an abundance of caution.

Here are what some places of worship are doing in response to the coronavirus.

  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan mandir will stream its assemblies for the first time ever, and encourages members to stay home.
  • The Vineyard Church has decided to not have Sunday service and released an official statement, saying: In response to growing national and local concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, after prayerful consideration and in consultation with medical professionals and governmental officials, we believe it is best to cancel Sunday morning services for March 15. In lieu of worshiping as a church, we invite you to take time this weekend to pray for wisdom for our country, healing for the sick, and guidance for how our church best lives out our mission "to be a community of God's extravagant love where people are drawn into a thriving relationship with Jesus." We will keep you posted regarding future plans in response to COVID-19 developments.
  • Windsor Village United Methodist Church will continue its scheduled services Saturday and Sunday.
  • Sugar Creek Baptist Church decided to cancel Sunday services, but will stream online at 9:30, 11:00 and 12:35 (En Espanol).
  • The Fountain of Praise will continue with regularly scheduled service on Sunday, they encourage all feeling sick to stay home.
  • Bay Area Fellowship Church says instead of being one church meeting across six locations, it will stream all services this weekend on http://churchunlimited.com/online, Facebook, and YouTube.
  • The Village Church made a post saying it will continue to monitor the dynamic situation and adhere to recommendations. A team is in place to closely monitor the situation and they encourage visitors to visit their website for commonly-asked questions.
  • Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church began suspending regular activities and closing the church campus on March 13. The church's pastor M.D. Cosby told congregants it is using precaution after a member returned from a cruise vacation. The member is in self-quarantine Its Sunday service can be viewed on its website, the Streaming Faith website, and on Facebook.
  • The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston recommends each parish maintain regular Mass schedules for those who wish to attend. But if someone is in the high risk category for the virus, they should stay home. It's also working to compile a list of parishes who can currently live stream Sunday masses. To read the full plans, including what's being done for other planned gatherings and events, visit this page.
  • Congregation Beth Yeshurun posted an update regarding changes due to COVID-19. It posted saying B'nai Mitzvah services will continue Friday nights and Saturday mornings. For the upcoming Shabbat on March 14, there will be no J.B. Greenfield Chapel or Museum Minyan Service. However, Beth Yeshurun is working to live stream both Chapel and Museum Minyan Services, beginning the following Shabbat on March 21. You can also find live stream services on this page.
  • Read Beth Yeshurun's full response to COVID-19 changes here.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted on Twitter it has decided to temporarily suspend public gatherings of church members worldwide until further notice.
  • Ecclesia Houston will hold intimate gatherings on Sunday, March 15 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. at its Westside and Downtown campuses. Kids spaces will not be staffed or open. If you are not feeling well, you are urged to watch the service online. Ecclesia is also working on alternative gatherings, such as house churches. The church created a special page to discuss its response to COVID-19.
  • Houston's First Baptist Church has also adjusted its schedule. On Sunday, March 15, services will be held online only at 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Worship services and Life Bible Studies will not take place on campuses that day.
  • The Islamic Society of Greater Houston is also taking steps to minimize large gatherings, deciding to cancel all Jum'uah prayer services. Instead, worshipers are asked to pray the regular duhr prayer at home. To read more about the postponed programs, lectures and weekend classes, click the society's latest statement.
  • Lakewood Church canceled public services for Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15. Services will be streamed on the church's Facebook page, YouTube and online at LakewoodChurch.com.
  • First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston will not be holding in-person services at neither its Museum District nor Thoreau campuses and is suspending gatherings of more than 25 people, including worship and religious education. Services will be recorded and available to watch at firstuu.org.
  • Woodlands Church posted an update explaining that services will be streamed at the following times this weekend: Saturday: 6 p.m., Sunday: 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m., Monday - Friday: 10 a.m., 7 p.m. The church has asked worshipers not to come to the campuses. Instead, watch the services online. Along with the service, there will be a live chat to get questions answered.


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