BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - On Easter Sunday, WAVE 3 News checked back in with a church that drew statewide criticism for not closing doors during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You may remember Maryville Baptist Church and Pastor Dr. Jack Roberts.
It was this independent Baptist Church out of Bullitt County that was caught in criticism this time last year for continuing to gather to worship amidst state orders to stop, due to coronavirus spread concerns.
“It’s been a good year. I don’t have any regrets for what we did,” Pastor Roberts said.
Now entering his 53rd year of ministry, Pastor Roberts said looking back over the past year, his decision to not close church doors in the middle of a pandemic was not one made to stir controversy.
“We weren’t protesting the governor. We we’re just doing what we felt like God wanted us to do,” Roberts said.
This Easter, Pastor Roberts had a nearly packed congregation.
He said over the past year, the only time he saw a dip in attendance was last spring, right after the state sent in Kentucky State Police to cite license plates. Officers placed notices letting those who were in attendance know they had to quarantine because they attended the Sunday service in-person.
“Folks came back, we now have a sign on the door the door that asks for social distancing,” Roberts said.
WAVE 3 News observed hand sanitizer at every pew.
“Some folks today will come and wear their masks. Of course, anyone who wants to can. We do not require it. It is left up to the individual,” Roberts said.
Roberts told WAVE 3 News that the church only had one member die due to coronavirus.
With the rollout of COVID vaccines across the nation, Roberts said he won’t be getting one and believes most his congregation won’t either. He said that is a decision he believes that all Americans have the freedom to make.