Coronavirus resources for churches, media

Coronavirus resources for churches, media

Please visit our Coronavirus Resource page at, updated on July 21, 2020.

Media: For assistance, please contact Director of Communications Tim Jones at

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization identified COVID-19 as a pandemic.

  • On March 18, Bishop Dindy Taylor mandated that all Holston Conference church buildings be closed to the public. Large-group meetings (including worship) are suspended.
  • On April 3, she included drive-in or drive-through worship in the not-safe category.
  • On April 4, she granted temporary permission to Holston churches for online communion using specific guidelines.
  • On April 22, Bishop Taylor announced that the Holston Annual Conference meeting (previously scheduled June 7-10 in Lake Junaluska, N.C.) is rescheduled as an online session on June 27.
  • On April 28, Bishop Taylor announced that Holston church buildings would remain closed as a group until further notice, even though some state and local governments are relaxing stay-at-home orders.
  • On April 30, directors of Holston's five camps announced the summer camp season is canceled.
  • On May 13, plans for online versions of Annual Conference (June 27) and Clergy Session (June 8) were announced.
  • On June 1, Bishop Taylor's task force released a plan for resuming in-person worship and other activities. The plan was updated on June 23.
  • In July, virus cases surged in many parts of Holston Conference, forcing district superintendents to temporarily suspend in-person worship in some counties.
  • On Aug. 10, Bishop Taylor permitted outdoor worship for those churches meeting safety guidelines.
Holston Conference includes 853 United Methodist congregations in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and North Georgia.

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