LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Dozens of churches across the state will be hosting drive-in or online Easter Sunday services this morning.
It's an adjustment Governor Beshear is in favor of, and will now be enforcing.
On Friday, he announced that under an executive order, state police will take down the license plates of cars at mass in-person gatherings this weekend.
That information will go to local health officials, who will then go to that person's house and order you them to self-quarantine for 14 days.
"I know people are focused on the license plate, but all I'm trying to do is say if you're making the decision to go to a mass gathering it shouldn't impact other people, right?" Beshear said in a press conference Saturday. "Your decision should stay with you, so if you're going to put yourself at risk for getting the coronavirus, if you feel it's that important, fine. Just self quarantine for 14 days so you can't spread it to other people. That keeps the decision with you."
Beshear said 99.8% of churches in the state have agreed to comply with the order.
"I'm just doing my best to save lives and there aren't easy answers," Beshear said. "We've worked for weeks to get to that 99.8 % number. It's other faith leaders that helped us get there. It's them calling each other. They deserve more credit than anybody else ever should."
Instead of hosting in-person services, many churches are going online and some are hosting drive-in services.
"You know, it's amazing," Cathedral of Christ the King Deacon Tim Weinmann said. "God's grace isn't bound by any building or space. We can still have people worshiping together even if we can't physically be together."
Pastor Richard Gaines at Consolidated Baptist Church is also meeting his congregation online.
"We're just grateful that we have been able to transition to virtual worship so we can remain connected to members and our community," Gaines said.
Gaines and Weinmann both agree that they are looking forward to seeing their congregations back in church when the coronavirus threat is gone.
The governor's order has received push back. He said he knows of seven mass gatherings that are still planned for the weekend.
In response to the executive order, Senator Rand Paul wrote on Twitter, "Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here."
Shepherdsville Police Chief Rick McCubbin tweeted on Saturday night, "No, none of my officers will be writing down license plate info from those attending church. It is not a police matter therefore we will not be injected in a matter in which we have no reason to be."
Chief McCubbin has since deleted the tweet.