A local church made national news this week following an event fueled by fear and misplaced concern.
Noel Alexander was a long time member and worker for Pine Hill Baptist Church in Leesville, LA. He served in committees, he served by keeping the churches financial records.
Then Noel Alexander got sick.
At 79, he became one of the latest victims of the Corona virus. With that much devotion and time given to his church there seems to be no question about where his earthly funeral and home-going celebrations would occur.
Except those things didn't happen.
The events were scheduled through the funeral home, discussions were held with Pastor Tri Evans, everything seemed to be running smoothly. The visitation and funeral were both scheduled to be held in the church's large living center, however just before visitation began, Sharyn Terrell, Noel Alexander’s wife received a call from church officials and was told the events would not occur at the church.
The reason given was the pandemic, that the space would need extensive cleaning, that it was a risk for others at the service.
Pastor Evans was not in attendance as his wife had given birth to twins the day before and church officials took it upon themselves to stop the event. Discussions with the funeral home resulted in the visitation being held there and the funeral became a graveside service.
For multiplying the emotions of the grieving family the church will apologize, but this is something the family will remember for the rest of their lives. In a traumatic, heartbreaking, life changing event, their church let fear overtake them. Fear that apparently doesn't exist on Sunday morning when they have church, or when other funerals have occurred since March. This is not the way churches behave.