KNOXVILLE (WATE) – President Trump declared Sunday a National Day of Prayer but many churches in the country, including our area, have decided to temporarily close their doors.
One Knoxville church, City Hills Church, decided to stay open so they can spread a message of hope and wisdom.
“Really just being open to share hope and life in the middle of this day of prayer. I think its great that the president’s declared this a national day of prayer. I think we need it more than ever before and I’m just praying for God to heal our land,” said Brandon Shanks, Pastor of City Hills Church.
Shanks says he wants to spread hope but is also demonstrating wisdom with practices, such as holding services with a smaller congregation.
“We’ve been taking extra measures. We’ve been doing a lot of very practical things like not passing an offering plate and not having reusable cups. All these are small things but make a huge difference,” Shanks said.
Members of City Hills say they chose not to operate in fear.
“We’re gonna use wisdom, we’re not gonna hide our heads in the sand. We know that science is real so we’re gonna use wisdom, we’re gonna take precautions. We’re doing social distancing, we’re spreading out, we’re having smaller services. But as we can, as long as we’re not putting people in danger, we just want to be together unified in our faith and just praying for our nation,” said Christina Davis, a member of the church.
“I just think that now is the time for the church, not just city hills, but the church to rise up and just really share hope. This is why we’re here. We’re called for such a time as this and in the middle of the darkness we can shine the light so bright and so that’s what we’re doing as the church Capital C, that’s what its all about,” said Shanks.
Church leaders say they understand this is an evolving situation and are taking things day-by-day. They have no immediate plans to close their doors.