5:29 p.m. ET, May 22, 2020
Southern Baptist Convention "pleased" with Trump's call to open places of worship
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, speaks to members of the Southern Baptist Convention, in St. Louis, on June 14, 2016.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) supports President Trump’s call to open places of worship around the country as soon as this weekend, SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Dr. Ronnie Floyd told CNN in an email.
“I was pleased to hear President Trump affirm his stand for religious freedom and that churches are essential to the fabric of America,” Dr. Floyd said. “With pastors, church leaders, and church members adhering to proper social distancing practices, our churches should be permitted to open as soon as possible while doing so in a safe and responsible manner.”
More on this
: Trump announced today that his administration is issuing guidance deeming places of worship "essential"
during the coronavirus pandemic, calling on governors to reopen religious institutions for services.
Trump threatened to "override" governors if their states did not follow the new federal recommendations, but it was unclear what authority the President was referring to. The recommendations are voluntary.