• 61°

Revival blamed for county’s COVID spike

Over a six-day period, the positive cases of COVID-19 in Charlotte County have skyrocketed, jumping by 39 new cases from Thursday, Oct. 1 to Tuesday, Oct. 5. Many in the community speculate the spread is linked to a four-day church revival event.

Emmanuel Bible Church, located at 401 Southern Drive in Keysville, held a revival with two sessions each day from Sept. 20 through Sept. 23.

Emergency Coordinator David Martin with the Piedmont Health District said they were unable to confirm if the increase in cases were due to this event and gave the reasoning of patient confidentiality.

On Monday morning, Oct. 5, an inquiry by phone and email was made to Emmanuel Bible Church pastor Todd Childers. As of press time on Tuesday, neither had been returned; however, a statement was published on the church’s Facebook page on Monday at 9:30 p.m.

A portion of the post read, “It is public knowledge that many that attended revival services the week of 9/20 – 9/23 became sick with COVID, including the pastor. However, some in the community are asking, ‘Why did we feel the need to hold revival services?’ To those that love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts, this is a silly question. But let it also be known that there were many precautions taken to hold these, and every indoor service since the last few Virginia Executive Orders allowed churches to meet indoors. All the church’s surfaces were wiped down before every service, and disinfectant sprays were released, two separate air purification units ran multiple hours every day, required COVID signage was posted in the entrance and throughout the church, hand sanitizer was available on the table in the foyer, and masks were purchased and available in the foyer for anyone that needed or wanted one. No one was discouraged from wearing a mask and announcements were made prior to our services that everyone should do what makes them feel safe.”

Prior to the week of September 20 Charlotte County positive COVID-19 cases were on the decline according to the Piedmont Health District and the Virginia Department of Health Coronaviruses Database.

COVID-19 cases in the county now total 146. The 39 new cases in less than a week make up  nearly 27% of Charlotte County’s total cases since the pandemic began in March.

 

Entire Facebook Post from Emmanuel Bible Church

 

Public Service Announcement:

It is public knowledge that many that attended revival services the week of 9/20 – 9/23 became sick with COVID, including the pastor. However, some in the community are asking, “Why did we feel the need to hold revival services?”  To those that love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts, this is a silly question. But let it also be known that there were many precautions taken to hold these, and every indoor service, since the last few Virginia Executive Orders allowed churches to meet indoors. All the church’s surfaces were wiped down before every service, disinfectant sprays were released, two separate air purification units ran multiple hours every day, required COVID signage was posted in the entrance and throughout the church, hand sanitizer was available on the table in the foyer, and masks were purchased and available in the foyer for anyone that needed or wanted one. No one was discouraged from wearing a mask and announcements were made prior to our services that everyone should do what makes them feel safe. The church attendance never exceeded the 50% of our occupancy maximum for our sanctuary. In fact, several people attended our services from our parking lot, as we broadcasted the services using our AM radio transmitter. With all that said, and after personally speaking with several MDs, (one COVID epidemiologist with the VDH), it was said, “It’s not a matter of if we get it, but when,” as no one can safeguard 100% against a virus.

Timeline of events: As soon as the pastor learned of several within the church feeling sick, including himself, the pastor was the first to go and get tested for everything. Praying it wasn’t COVID. However, as soon as flu and strep were ruled out, the church was made aware that it “could be” COVID and messages were sent out to all we had phone numbers for those that attended. Once he was notified of being COVID positive (9/26/20, 7:20 p.m.) the church was updated and everyone recommended to be quarantined. Remember, the pastor was doing all this while running 103+ fever, along with all the other symptoms, yet crying out to the Lord for mercy and healing upon everyone.

So, “Why did we feel the need to hold Revival?” We know that Bible tells us that those that are not of God, not born-again, simply cannot understand the yearning we have in our spirits to experience a fresh anointing from the Holy Spirit of God (John 8:47; Rom.8:7-8; 1 Cor. 2:14; 1 John 4:5-6) However, we should be reminded of the great outpouring of the Spirit of God during several evening services, where we experienced revived hearts toward the Holy One, our Lord and King Jesus. For those that came “hungry and thirsty for righteousness, we were filled and satisfied” by Him (Matt.5:6). Even after speaking to many that have been sick, it has been said that it was one of the best revivals ever experienced at EBC. We are praying earnestly for everyone to be healed and restored, but also that the enemy of God to be silenced from trying to diminish how God revived our hearts during revival. Do not allow any negative comments to take away from our faith in God. He will finish what He started.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:3-6 (NKJV)