COVID-19 forces Lakewood Baptist Church to close Childcare Program

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PHENIX CITY, Ala (WRBL)- COVID-19 has forced one Phenix City Church to close the doors of their Childcare Program.

Lakewood Baptist Church shut down their Childcare Program, after 42 years of serving the community.

One teacher, and two children tested positive for the virus several weeks ago and worried parents yanked their kids from classes.

“We need 235 kids paying their tuition, and boy we can’t keep teachers healthy in here. Any time they are sick, or take a test, they’re out for a week waiting for returns to come. Student numbers are way down because of the reality of where we are at now,” said Pastor Melvin Hamilton.

With fewer than 100 children still attending, a tough decision had to be made.

“Lakewood is a great church, it’s a strong church. We are a numerically strong church. You know a $25,000 a week loss is greater than the total amount of our tithes and offering,” said Hamilton.

So, what’s next for the church and children?

“We’re going to expand into our Children’s Ministry Program. We’ve hired a full time professional family counselor. We are going to have a family counseling center there.  We are just going to do all sorts of things for the community to use that facility in a more positive way,” said Hamilton.      

Hamilton tells News 3 that as of now he does not see the Childcare Program returning.

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