Church at center of COVID- 19 controversy responds

Local News

DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (WEHT) — Eyewitness News has received a response from the church believed to be the one Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear called out for being a source of the spread of COVID-19.

The attorneys for the Star of Bethlehem Church in Dawson Springs sent an email to Eyewitness News disputing the Hopkins County Health Department information the governor read in his news conference Wednesday, April 1.

Eyewitness News previously reported that Beshear said even after March 11 when he requested churches not hold services, a Dawson Springs church, which he never identified, held a revival on March 15 and 16.

At that time, Beshear said Hopkins County has a total of 24 cases and two deaths with a link to that revival, with additional cases in Muhlenberg, Clark and Warren Counties related to it as well.

In Friday’s email, the attorneys for Star of Bethlehem says the church did have a revival scheduled for March 15 through the 17. It says on March 12, Hopkins County Judge Executive Jack Whitfield Jr. stated he did not consider Hopkins County in a state of emergency due to the lack of cases.

The Star of Bethlehem claims a majority of churches in the Commonwealth held services on Sunday, March 15th – however, Eyewitness News reported many churches did cancel after the Governor’s March 11th request.

The attorneys say when dine in restaurants, schools and colleges were ordered to close on March 16, the church canceled the services on the 17 and beyond.

On March 19th, Beshear issued an order closing social gatherings including churches. The church says it had been closed for three days at that time and continued to follow the order.

Attorneys for Star of Bethlehem say church members never encouraged sick members to attend services, and it has cooperated with the Hopkins County Health Department.

They say the church has been subjected to unjust criticism and harrassment, and members have suffered great losses.

Eyewitness News will continue to follow this story.

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(This story was originally published on April 3, 2020)

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