Ark. pastor concerned over church list released by the ADH

Ark. pastor concerned over church list released by the ADH
Arkansas Department of Health

BEEBE, Ark. (KAIT) - A White County pastor shared concerns over a list released by the Arkansas Department of Health Friday evening.

The ADH released a list of churches that had documented COVID-19 exposure.

Rich Price is a pastor at Gracepoint Church in Beebe, Ark. He said he heard about the list when someone out of town recognized the church's former name, First United Pentecostal Church.

"Honestly, it was panic. You think at first, you wonder what your church is going to respond to it. You hope they don't hear that that way. They wonder if you haven't told them something. You also wonder how that's going to affect anybody else in the area," Price said.

Due to that difference in name, he didn't think the list actually came from the Arkansas Department of Health.

“I’m thinking that we may have just been sabotaged or scammed or what,” he said. “They are just picking up names out of the hat, looks like to me.”

Price usually has 150 people attend his church. During the pandemic, that number is now down to about 100.

Still, he said that list brought his congregation more questions.

“I would feel like if the Department of Health would put our name down on a piece of paper,” Price said. “Just simply reaching out to the pastor and confirming that eases the pain of us seeing it and hearing it.”

Price told Region 8 News he heard about Central Baptist Church reporting similar circumstances, saying it comforted him.

He said he tried to reach out to the Department of Health, but by the time he heard, their office was already closed.

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