LAFAYETTE, La. — The Lafayette Consolidated Government is asking Governor John Bel Edwards to allow churches to reopen immediately.

Mayor-President Josh Guillory joined Attorney General Jeff Landry’s request to allow more people to worship in one place under certain guidelines.

Many of those proposed are already followed at the South College Church of Christ in Lafayette.

Currently, its Wednesday Bible studies are on Zoom, and Sunday worship is limited 10 people or less. Preacher Michael Green sanitizes every surface between two services and makes sure sanitizer is at the door. Most precautions he understands but limiting all worship to ten people he does not.

“Especially when you consider the fact that there are so many other businesses that aren’t saddled by those kinds of restrictions,” remarked Green.

This preacher’s opinion is one echoed by Lafayette’s leader Josh Guillory, “If we can find ways to safely reopen our stores and businesses, we ought to be able to safely reopen our churches.”

Thursday Guillory announced his full backing of the attorney general’s request from last week that governor amends his stay-at-home order to loosen restrictions on church attendance while also giving a long list of best practices for each to follow.

“The recent guidance enabling outdoor worship is a good step, but it only seems reasonable to allow our citizens to attend services in their chosen place of worship in a safe, responsible, socially distanced environment,” Guillory admitted.

“I believe that church is essential,” said Green comparing Church to other activities deemed essential by the state government.

“When you go to the grocery store, you go to Lowe’s there are a lot of more than 10 people moving around through those places. People are a lot closer together than even 25, 30 people in this room if they were spread out,” Green noted surrounded by empty pews.

While both men say they won’t defy the governor’s orders, they both say they disagree with them.

Guillory argued, “Look our pastors are smart. Our parishioners are smart.”

Green hopes if his fellow faith leaders can be entrusted to protect the soul, they can also be entrusted to protect the body.

“There is a value to the encouragement and the admonition you get from being together, Green said. “That’s why we were commanded not to forsake that practice but to come together and to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.”