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DeKalb County church pastor says 20 church members test positive for coronavirus

At Providence (The Hill) Missionary Baptist Church in Collinsville, the doors of the church have been closed since July 16.

Posted: Jul 28, 2020 9:31 PM

Another coronavirus outbreak connected to a church in North Alabama. 

This time in DeKalb County. 

The pastor said he, his wife and about 20 other members tested positive for coronavirus. 

Here at Providence (The Hill) Missionary Baptist Church in Collinsville, the doors of the church have remained closed since July 16. 

The pastor said he thought they did everything they could to keep the congregation safe.

"It was heartbreaking, it breaks my heart," said Rickie Williams, Pastor of Providence (The Hill) Missionary Baptist Church. 

The Rev. Williams was willing to meet in person. New CDC guidelines say that’s OK because he tested positive more than 10 days ago and is asymptomatic. But we stuck to a virtual interview.

In it, he said a church member felt sick during a service on July 15 and tested positive for coronavirus the next day. 

That's when Williams closed the church doors. But he said about 20 church members then tested positive. 

"I don't really know where it come from. I don't know if it came through our church or if it came through some other place," said Williams.

Williams said when the church was open, it used hand sanitizer, told parishioners to wear masks and stay socially distanced during services. 

Now, all services are online. 

"We tried to do everything we could to keep this out of our church. We truly just don't understand it, but the Lord will see us through," said Williams.

Williams says right now they are looking into different options to clean the church. He said he will not have service at the church until he has tested negative and even then, for the first service he will most likely be standing out on the porch to deliver his message.

"We need the church. We need the Lord. We need fellowship. I truly am looking forward to getting back into church but I want to be smart. I want to be safe about it," said Williams. 

Of those 20 who tested positive, Williams says three had to be hospitalized.

As of Tuesday night, two are out of the hospital and one is still in the hospital but Williams said their condition is improving.

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