Joint Statement of Bethlehem and Salem Baptist Churches
The Bethlehem Baptist and Salem Baptist Churches are heeding the best information of public health officials, the Commonwealth’s governor and our best judgment in suspending church services for this coming weekend and until it is deemed safe and appropriate for corporate worship to resume.
While we have relied upon government sources, our decision to temporarily suspend service is made independent of them and their good intentions. As shepherds of flocks of faith, we are duty-bound and morally responsible to make prudent, faithful and informed decisions with respect to those in our spiritual charge. Our highest priority is to provide for the flock of Christ in both good and challenging moments. This moment in Montgomery County and our nation is singular in modern history.
While cancelling formal corporate worship, we are encouraging those in our charge to maintain family and secret devotion actively and faithfully. Praying, serving others, and providing for family and neighbor should and always have been hallmarks of the followers of Christ. Doing the gospel at moments like these becomes a tool of evangelism. Even in crisis, God opens new ways by which we might demonstrate his eternal love and example of Jesus Christ.
We are making this joint announcement to demonstrate the community of faith’s fidelity to the larger congregation of Christ that transcends individual churches and denominations. In tough times, we are standing together! One Lord. One faith. One baptism. And now one people.
Stay safe. We shall remain in prayer and contact, and soon we shall gather to give thanks unto God who we know shall give victory in and over all things.
Pastor Charles W. Quann, Bethlehem Baptist ChurchPastor Marshall Mitchell, Salem Baptist Church