’Let Us Worship’ concert draws huge crowd in Ladson
LADSON, S.C. (WCSC) - Prayer, worship and protest. That was the theme of the “Let Us Worship” concert held at the Exchange Park in Ladson on Monday.
The movement is spearheaded by California-based worship leader Sean Feucht who started a series of "Let Us Worship” concerts around the country since the pandemic began.
During the concert, Feucht said the South Carolina event was concert number 42, and it drew hundreds of people despite the governor’s executive order barring gatherings of more than 250. According to Feucht’s website, the concerts are part worship and part protest.
He says shutting down churches and prohibiting things like singing during services is an infringement on religious freedom.
“And then the governor [Gavin Newsom] released legislation that we couldn’t sing anymore, and I said, ‘that’s it’,” Feucht told the crowd. “Out of all times that we should be worshipping, it’s right now.”
However, health experts are concerned about the number of people showing up to these concerts and what it could mean for public health.
The same event in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday drew thousands of people, many of whom did not engage in social distancing or wear facemasks. The Nashville Metro Public Health Department is now investigating that event.
The Ladson gathering was not branded as a maskless event. In fact, signs were erected asking people to maintain social distance and wear a mask. Several local churches sponsored the event.
One of the sponsors is Ron Hamilton who says they have taken precautions.
“We have plenty of room, so people can move around. They can certainly keep the six-foot distance. We have sterilizing stations all over the place,” Hamilton said. “We have plenty of room here. It’s going to be a great night.”
Despite the amount of room and the outdoor atmosphere, the majority of people attending were not wearing masks and not properly social distracting. However, personal protective equipment was readily available.
“We saw masks. We saw sanitizer everything you need to protect yourself,” said Karen Evans. She attended the concert with Sandy O’Callaghan.
“It is up to each individual person. As Americans, we do not feel like anybody should make you do [anything]. It’s a free country,” Sandy O’Callaghan. “I choose to wear it. She [Evans] chooses to wear it, but it’s up to them.”
O’Callaghan says she has had to stay home from church because of underlying medical conditions but says it is inappropriate for the government to restrict church gatherings.
“I personally believe the government should not shutdown the churches,” O’Callaghan said. “I believe it’s up to the individual. If people feel like going and they take precaution, then it’s fine.”
Evans says the pandemic has forced her to adapt her religious routines as well.
“It’s kept us live streaming. I have gotten a lot more savvy on being able to live stream the church service, so that’s exciting,” Evans said.
Hamilton says, despite the risks, the concert series is filling a need in the community.
“These concerts are drawing thousands of people around the country,” Hamilton said. “People want to express their thanks to God, their hope in God. They need that. They need to express hope.”
The concert series is expected to end in a massive gathering in Washington D.C. on Oct. 25.
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