Detroit pastor defends decision to hold Sunday services

DETROIT – As more and more restrictions go into effect around the country telling people to stay home, some churches still go on with Sunday services.

One of them is Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple where Bishop Charles Ellis III defends the decision. He said church doors must stay open.

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Ellis said church is a vital place of comfort for many, one that can’t be taken away by closing the doors.

“Let’s be clear, the church has always been a beacon of hope," Ellis said. “It’s always been that city that sits up on a hill, even in the midst of despair. Those lights have to be on.”

Sunday services will go on with some restrictions -- no touching or hand holding and no congregating in groups. Hand sanitizer will be readily available and worshippers must sit at least five seats apart.

For other gathering places, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer left no room for discussion. She has signed an executive order closing non-essential personal care services including hair, nail, tanning, massage, spa, tattoo, body art and piercing services, and similar services.

Whitmer has banned gatherings of more than 50 people in a single indoor space. However, religious houses of worship are exempt from being penalized if they violate that number.

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