DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A metro Atlanta Pastor and his team have made the decision to require worshipers to show proof of full vaccination status before they are allowed to enter for worship service.
Reverend Dr. William Flippin Sr. is the pastor of The Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church and said it’s his way of stopping the spread and keeping his members safe.
"There are people who foolishly say they are covered under the blood. I believe in being covered under the blood but you also have good sense," Rev. William Flippin said.
Flippin is taking no chances as he opens his doors to allow in-person worship.
"We were extremely concerned about the elderly members that come to our church. We are concerned about everybody but particularly those. We didn’t want anyone to come on our campus and leave and say they became ill at our church," Flippin said.
That’s why the leader for over three decades decided worshippers must show proof of vaccinations.
The church went virtual in March of 2020 and then structured its reopening in phases.
"We have 200 people coming and they register. Our ushers have a computer at the door and they can see if you registered and you can come in. We provide temperature checks and there’s a one-time waiver you have to sign where you say you never got Covid at church," Flippin said.
Flippin also said this was a team decision after he created a Covid task force. "Every meeting we were looking at what Covid is doing in our neighborhood of the church and what’s covid doing around the country and the state."
Naturally not everyone in the congregation and community agrees with this decision.
"I got a nasty note and she said shame on you false prophet for turning people away who want to come to church," Flippin said.
Flippin said they even had to let a staff member go who refused to get vaccinated.
Flippin’s prayer is that more people get the vaccine to stay safe, "I am so hopeful that they follow the science. Not the politics. Not the theories or gossip."
Flippin said at least five other churches have reached out to him wanting to follow his lead.
The church has also organized Covid testing and vaccination fairs hoping to encourage those in the community to get vaccinated.
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.