Louisiana Pastor Tim Deason Criticized After He Called Out Church Members by Name for Skipping In-Person Services Even Though State is Fighting Coronavirus

Pastor Tim Deason of Sugartown United Pentecostal Church in Louisiana with his wife. | Facebook/Sugartown United Pentecostal Church

A Louisiana pastor is drawing criticism online for calling out his members by name during his sermon Sunday for skipping in-person church services despite ongoing fears about the new coronavirus.

Pastor Tim Deason of Sugartown United Pentecostal Church in Sugartown, Louisiana, told his congregants Sunday that he doesn’t mind if people go on vacations. He just doesn’t want them staying at home when he’s busy trying to get them to Heaven.

“You need church, you need church. Why do I get up here sometimes fussing and complaining? I’m trying to get you to Heaven — hallelujah. I’m gonna talk a little bit about that. I guess the Lord just knew you was gonna be here this morning,” Deason said from his pulpit.

“I want people to go on vacation, I do. But I don’t just want folks to stay home. If you’re not teaching your family faithfulness, you’re not exhibiting more of that attributes of God,” he said.

Deason’s rebuke of his members comes as a recent study shows that a majority of Americans, with the exception of white evangelicals, won’t be attending in-person church services during the coronavirus pandemic even if restrictions are lifted.

The study from the American Enterprise Institute showed that 64% of Americans felt “somewhat uncomfortable” or “very uncomfortable” attending in-person worship.

“We’re seeing among lay people a significant amount of discomfort in going back to formal in-person religious practices,” Daniel Cox, a research fellow at AEI who led the study, told America Magazine. “People are equivocating and uncertain about whether they feel comfortable attending.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair