CURRENT POSTURE

The Governor's current Safer At Home Order expires Friday, December 11 at 5:00 PM unless it is rescinded, modified, or extended before that time.


  • Gatherings. Southside gathers for worship on Sundays in the Sanctuary and Online at 10:30 AM CT. At this time, Southside is gathering for one worship service only during the week.



  • Attending In Person. Learn if you are at increased risk of illness from COVID-19 and should take extra precautions by visiting this webpage from the CDC. Please do not attend in person if you or anyone in your household:


  • Have serious respiratory or cardiovascular conditions
  • Are considered immunocompromised
  • Have been in close contact with a confirmed/suspected case of COVID-19
  • Are experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat
  • Have had a fever in the last 48 hours
  • Have had a new loss of taste or smell
  • Have experienced vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours

Wait until your risk decreases before attending in person. If you are 65 years old and older and are not experiencing any conditions, be cautious with your decision to attend in person. Consider staying at home and participating in the service online. 


  • At-Home Preparation. Before you come to the building, you must do the following for yourself and everyone in your household:


  • Check your temperature. If your temperature is 100.4 F or greater (a fever), gather online.


  • Sanitize your hands with soap and/or sanitizer.


  •  Arrival & Parking. Plan to arrive early to allow for social distancing while entering the sanctuary. Park in the North Parking Lot on 9th St SE. *See Map


  • Masks. Southside strongly encourages and expects the use of appropriate masks or facial coverings for all attendees six years old and older. A small amount of disposable masks are available should you forget yours. Your Pastor and other participants in the service will lead in this effort by wearing masks or facial coverings when not speaking or singing from the platform. Please keep your mask on for the duration of the indoor service for the sake of those who are at high risk.


  • Entering the Building. Enter through the sanctuary doors directly across the parking lot under the steeple. Other doors to the building will remain locked. 


  • Handicap entrances are available for anyone in need. If possible, please call Southside (256) 353-8814 or Pastor Christopher (256) 274-1780 during the week so that we may prepare an entrance for your arrival. Otherwise, simply arrive and we will accommodate your needs. 


  • Pam Gray (or another familiar person) will meet you outside with a no-contact thermometer to check your forehead temperature. If your temperature registers 100.4 F or above, you have a fever and may not enter the building. If possible, please check your temperature at home before arriving.


  • Entering the Sanctuary. Two doors at the front of the building will be opened for you to enter. You may enter either door. If a line is forming, please keep six feet of distance between yourself and others while you wait to enter. 


  • Hand sanitizer stations are available to use as you enter. 


  • Greeters and Ushers will be stationed inside the Sanctuary to guide you to a seat with six feet of distance between you and others from a different household. *See Map.


  • Ideally, every family unit will sit on the end of a pew or at the center of a pew with easy access in and out. If you need special seating accommodations, we will accommodate for your needs. 


  • Restrooms & Water Fountains. As you enter the building into the vestibule of the Sanctuary, take note of Restrooms on each side for use if needed during the service. Water fountains will be temporarily disabled. If you have need for water, please let an Usher or Deacon know and we will provide a bottled water for you. 


  • Worship Service. The worship service will include readings of Scripture, prayer, congregational singing, ministry of music, and preaching to last approximately one hour. Words will be displayed on the screens at the front of the Sanctuary. 


  • Offering. Offering plates will not be passed throughout the congregation. Instead, place offerings in plates by the doors as you enter and exit the building. Thank you for your faithful support and generosity! You may also continue to give online at southsidebaptist.net and through the Realm desktop or mobile app. 


  • Bulletins. Printed bulletins will not be available at this time. Announcements will be displayed on the screens before and after the service and communicated through Realm (email) and on the website during the week. 


  • Children. Children will gather with the Church for all parts of the worship service except the sermon. See document “Southside Kids Reopen Plan” for details and child-specific ministry opportunities during the sermon. 


  • Exiting the Sanctuary. At the conclusion of the worship service, you will be “sent out” again into the world to be a witness for Jesus in an orderly fashion. Ushers will guide each row to stand and exit, one row at a time, to exit through the same doors that were entered. In this way social distancing may be maintained. *See Map.


  • If you entered through a different door, you may exit through the same door you entered to accommodate your needs. 


  • Make use of hand sanitizer stations as you exit.


  •  Pastor Christopher. Pastor Christopher looks forward to welcoming you! He will keep a mask on, will not shake hands, and will stay six feet away to protect you and others he may interact with.


  • Other Notes.


  • The Sanctuary and one Children’s room will be open. The rest of the building remains closed and clean. 


  • Coffee will not be made or served. 


  • The building is cleaned and appropriate surfaces disinfected each week. 


  • If you test positive for COVID-19 after attending a worship service in person, please let Southside know as soon as possible. 


  • These plans may be improved each week. Any changes will be clearly communicated. 


  • Data. The following links direct to information & data sources for COVID-19.

Alabama Department of Public Health COVID Risk Indicator

Alabama Department of Public Health

Alabama Department of Public Health Table

Huntsville Hospital

CDC

Coronavirus.gov

Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATES
  • 1:14 PM - Thursday, November 5, 2020. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has issued an Amended Safer at Home order for the State of Alabama until Friday, December 11 at 5:00 PM. Documents are linked below. Southside's current posture remains updated above.

01 Safer at Home Order Final 11.4.2020.pdf

02 GKI 2020 Health Order Update Dec 11 Horizontal.pdf

03 GKI 2020 Health Order Update Dec 11 Vertical.pdf

04 GKI 2020 Health Order Update Dec 11 Stoplight.pdf

05 2020 11 05 19th Supplemental SOE COVID-19.pdf


  • 10:04 AM - Saturday, October 17, 2020. The current risk status for Morgan County "very high" is updated below as of October 16, 2020 by the Alabama Department of Public Health.


  • 6:33 PM - Saturday, October 10, 2020. Morgan County once again has a current risk status of "very high" according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.


  • 1:20 PM - Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has issued an Extended Safer at Home order for the State of Alabama until Sunday, November 8 at 5:00 PM. Documents are linked below.

01 Safer at Home Order Final 9.29.2020.pdf

02 2020 Health Order Update Nov 8 Horizontal-2.pdf

03 2020 Health Order Update Nov 8 Vertical-2.pdf

04 2020 Health Order Update Extended Nov 8 Stoplight.pdf

05 2020-09-30 18th Supplemental SOE COVID-19.pdf


  • 10:43 AM - Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Below are recent updates for the state of Alabama as of September 4 and September 8.


  • 11:57 AM - Thursday, August 27, 2020. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has issued an Extended Safer at Home order for the State of Alabama until Friday, October 2 at 5:00 PM. Documents are linked below. Southside's current posture remains updated above.

1 Safer at Home Order Final 8.27.20.pdf

2 GKI Health Order Update Extended to Oct 2 Horizontal.pdf

3 GKI Health Order Update Extended to Oct 2 Vertical.pdf

4 GKI Health Order Update Extended to Oct 2 Stoplight.pdf

5 17th Supplemental SOE COVID-19.pdf


  • 1:17 PM - Friday, August 21, 2020. Below is an update from the Alabama Department of Public Health as of August 21.



  • 2:17 PM - Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Below is an update from the Alabama Department of Public Health as of August 19.


  • 8:48 PM - Friday, August 14, 2020. Below is an update from the Alabama Department of Public Health as of August 14.


  • 9:32 AM - Thursday, August 13, 2020. Below is a Morgan County Weekly Update as of August 13.


  • 11:59 AM - Saturday, August 8, 2020. Below is Morgan County Weekly Update from August 5.


  • 1:46 PM - Wednesday, August 5, 2020. Below is Morgan County Weekly Update from July 31.


  • 12:03 PM - Wednesday, July 29, 2020. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has issued an Amended Safer at Home order for the State of Alabama, extending the duration of this order through Monday, August 31 at 5:00 PM. Documents are linked below. Southside's current posture remains updated above.

01 Safer at Home Order Final 7.29.20.pdf

02 Health Order Update Aug 31 Horizontal.pdf

03 Health Order Update Aug 31 Vertical.pdf

04 Health Order Update Aug 31 Stoplight.pdf

05 2020-07-29 15th Supplemental SOE COVID-19.pdf


  • 5:16 PM - Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Current Morgan County data and hospital specific information is linked below. Southside's current posture remains updated above.

MCIDTF Update.pdf

HH_COVID-19_Statistics.pdf


  • 11:09 AM - Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The Governor has issued an amended Safer at Home order for the State of Alabama to require the wearing of masks effective July 16 at 5:00 PM. Documents are linked below. "Each person shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times when within six feet of a person from another household in any of the following places: an indoor space open to the general public, a vehicle operated by a transportation service, or an outdoor public space where ten or more people are gathered. But this facial-covering requirement is subject to the following exceptions." Exceptions are listed in the order. One exception is: "Any person who cannot wear a facial covering because he or she is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, though wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged." While this statewide order is in effect (until July 31, 5:00 PM) it replaces all local mask rules. Southside Baptist Church's current posture is listed above. Christians willingly lead the way in obeying our leaders and loving others well. In doing so, we are witnesses of Christ to the world!

01 Safer at Home Order Mask Amendment 7.15.2020 FINAL.pdf

02 Coronavirus Mask Order FAQ.0720na.pdf

03 Health Order Update Ends July 31 Mask Requirement Horizontal FNL.pdf

04 Health Order Update Ends July 31 Mask Requirement Vertical FNL.pdf

05 Health Order Update Ends July 31 Stoplight No Crop FNL.pdf

06 07-15 14th Supplemental SOE COVID-19.pdf


  • 12:36 PM - Monday, July 13, 2020. Effective at 5:00 PM on Monday, July 13, a Mask Ordinance goes into effect for the city of Decatur. This ordinance remains in effect until authorities determine public health conditions in the County warrant discontinuation of or change in this order. A PDF copy is linked below and requires all persons to wear face coverings in prescribed public places within the City Corporate Limits. "Places of worship may use their own discretion regarding face covering requirements. However, face coverings are strongly encouraged for congregations during worship services, especially while singing or speaking together. Face coverings are also recommended for situations within places of worship where people from different households are unable to or unlikely to maintain a distance of six (6) feet from each other." Southside's Current Posture remains updated above.

Ordinance20-4419A_Masks_20200710.pdf


  • 2:51 PM - Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Below, an article posted today with five lessons learned by a pastor in Mobile, AL. In his words: "This has been extremely challenging as a pastor and leader, and I hope I can share my experience with others who might learn from our mistakes dealing with COVID-19...it has been heartbreaking to watch those I love and lead suffering intensely."

FIRST-PERSON: Five lessons I learned from a COVID-19 spike at our church.pdf


  • 12:48 PM - Wednesday, July 1, 2020. An update from the Morgan County Infectious Disease Task Force is below.


  • 1:11 PM - Tuesday, June 30, 2020. The "Safer at Home" health order has been extended for Alabama by the Governor until 5:00 PM on July 31, 2020. Southside Baptist Church's Current Posture toward COVID-19 is updated above. Guidelines for Places of Worship encourage people 65 or older and others especially at risk to watch or participate in services of worship remotely. Vulnerable individuals are urged to minimize travel outside of the home. Links to relevant documents are below. Southside Baptist Church remains committed to loving God and neighbors. Gather and worship with Southside ONLINE at 10:30 AM each Sunday! Continue to pray and ask God how you may take part in advancing the Gospel through the unique opportunities afforded during this time!

01 2020-06-30 Safer at Home Order.pdf

02 Health Order Update Ends July-31 Horizontal Info Sheet FNL.pdf

03 Health Order Update Ends July 31 Vertical Info Sheet FNL.pdf

04 Health Order Update Ends July 31 Stoplight No Crop FNL.pdf

05 2020-06-30 12th Supplemental SOE COVID-19.pdf

06 Guidelines for Places of Worship.pdf


  • 5:05 PM - Friday, June 12, 2020. The link below provides an update on COVID-19 in Morgan County.

https://www.morgancoema.com/news/2020/6/11/61120-covid-19-cases-continue-to-increase-in-morgan-county?fbclid=IwAR34w2loYe49mvTeZ3At4Y0cyG2sN8-jbIMKPi4hmWLPBQahSRZfC5lYbYI


  • 9:23 AM - Monday, June 8, 2020. Beginning Wednesday, June 10, the Church Office will be operated on-site Monday - Thursday, 9 AM - 3 PM to receive phone calls, offerings, mail and deliveries. The building will remain closed with the exception of administrative and maintenance volunteers who follow the recommended hygiene practices and guidelines to keep the building clean. Calls will be forwarded outside of these hours to be answered or returned. To make a delivery or pick-up, stop by the 8th Ave entrance and ring the bell!


  • 5:25 PM - Thursday, June 4, 2020. Follow this link for an update on COVID-19 cases in Morgan County.

https://www.morgancoema.com/news/2020/6/4/covid-19-cases-spike-in-morgan-county?fbclid=IwAR1AORa3krKiUHzjfzl_nz_3l5THx7eDmuTmkbU_ythwOW2wCAShk_D_Uz0


  • 11:01 AM - Tuesday, May 26, 2020. See attached letter from Pastor Christopher detailing a look at the beginning of 2020, present considerations and preparations for Southside's future!

2020-05-26 T Letter to Southside 2.pdf

SUMMARY:

  • Southside continues to gather online for worship on Sundays, 10:30 AM CDT southsidebaptist.net, Facebook, YouTube. Services are archived on the website Video Archive for later viewing during the week.
  • The Church Office remains OPEN! Ministers and staff continue to work remotely and at times, on-site. The building remains closed with the exceptions of administrative/maintenance personnel until regathering begins. This policy enables the facility to remain clean and sanitized and the church to efficiently steward associated ministry dollars. Calls are forwarded and will be answered or returned. Call ahead to drop-off an offering or make an appointment (256) 353-8814. Pastor Christopher may be reached directly at (256) 274-1780. A minister or staff member is available to speak with you as work continues on administrative upgrades, planning, pastoral care and the ministry of God’s Word during this season.
  • The details, date and pace of regathering for worship in the sanctuary will be prayerfully determined by how our community responds to the COVID-19 virus over the next 2-3 weeks, as businesses begin reopening and people are out and about. When returning, Southside will follow the 2020 Focus of Large Group Gatherings first, then adding back Small Groups, Ministry and Mission activities. Details will be communicated at the appropriate time. Southside continues to learn, adapt, persevere and pray.
  • The Church is encouraged to continue faithfully supporting Gospel advancement through Southside's Ministry Funding Plan (Budget) by voluntarily and generously giving tithes and offerings online, by mailing gifts to the church, or by calling ahead to drop off an offering.


  • 2:57 PM - Thursday, May 21, 2020. Southside Baptist Church has not ceased to gather but continues to gather for congregational worship, but only online at this time. A date has not been set for regathering in the sanctuary, although that day is eagerly anticipated! The beginnings of a phased plan for return will be published next week to communicate careful and prayerful expectations. Southside will be among the group of churches making a later, rather than earlier return. Nevertheless, engagement in online worship is increasing, the church continues to financially support Gospel advancement through tithes and offerings, and evidence of Christian community abounds as Southside lives out her identity as a people of faith in God in the midst of difficult circumstances. Know that the church office continues to operate remotely and at times on site, even while the building remains closed and kept clean. If you have a ministry need or desire to bring an offering, please call the church at (256) 353-8814 or Pastor Christopher at (256) 274-1780.

01 Safer-at-Home-Order-FINAL-5.21.2020.pdf

02 GKI-0040-2020-Health-Order-Update-May-22-3ftx2ft-Stoplight-No-Crop.pdf

03 GKI-0040-2020-Health-Order-Update-May-22-DFT3-Horizontal-Info-Sheet-003.pdf

04 GKI-0040-2020-Health-Order-Update-May-22-DFT3-Vertical-Info-Sheet-002.pdf


  • 11:35 AM - Friday, May 8, 2020. The linked documents below reflect an amendment as of Friday, May 8 to Alabama's "Safer at Home" order. A document with Guidelines for Places of Worship is included. This order remains in effect until 5:00 PM on Friday, May 22, 2020. In accord with these recommended health protocols and in consideration of Southside's congregation, Southside Baptist Church will continue to operate the Church Office remotely and gather together for worship online while extensive preparations are made for a return to worship gatherings in the Sanctuary. A timeframe will be communicated in the coming weeks. May we all continue to pray without ceasing, give generously, gather online and be witnesses for Jesus! Pastor Christopher may be reached at 256-274-1780.

1. Safer at Home Order.pdf

2. Guidelines for Places of Worship.pdf

3. Proceeding with Caution.pdf

4. Amended Safer at Home.pdf


  • 11:33 AM - Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Governor Ivey has issued a "Safer at Home" order beginning at 5:00 PM on Thursday, April 30 to expire at 5:00 PM on Friday, May 15. The Governor assigned a team to find a consensus from pastors and medical professionals across the state pertaining to houses of worship. That team shared a consensus that in order to protect the most vulnerable, it is wise and safer to follow the guidelines from the White House and CDC concerning large, in-person gatherings. These must proceed gradually and in a measured fashion that will not inadvertently facilitate an outbreak. Alabama does not currently meet all the criteria for Phase One of reopening according to these guidelines. Southside Baptist Church will continue to worship online and operate the church office remotely. As the data improves and the state moves forward into the recommended phases, a detailed plan and policies will be communicated in plenty of time to allow for the return of corporate worship in the sanctuary. Let us continue to pray for a decline in new cases of this disease, for progress in effective treatments, and guidance for leaders so that we might return safely and quickly with an even greater passion and resolve to live as witnesses for Jesus! May we not neglect to live as such witnesses even now!

0. Safer-At-Home-Order-Signed-4.28.20.pdf

1. GKI-0040-2020-Health-Order-Update-Info-Sheet.pdf

https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/


  • 8:16 PM - Thursday, April 16, 2020. The White House released guidelines this evening for reopening the United States economy using a three-phased approach. It is important to note that state governors will implement these guidelines at their discretion, statewide or county-by-county. This proposal sets forth certain criteria (such as a downward trajectory of symptoms and cases in a 14 day period) to be met by a state or region to proceed to a phased opening. Specific guidelines for Alabama are expected soon from Governor Ivey's office.

In the White Houses' proposal, places of worship are considered "large venues" and may meet under strict (phase one), moderate (phase two) and limited (phase three) physical distancing protocols. Telework is encouraged to continue in phases one and two. Vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place in both phases one and two.

Vulnerable individuals are defined as "elderly" and "Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy." 

The White House guidelines may be read at the link below. This should give a sense of the kind of decisions that will be made on a state and local level in the coming months. Southside will continue to operate as outlined previously through Thursday, April 30. Extensions and adjustments to this timeframe are possible, and likely. Let us continue to pray for the Lord's wisdom for all leaders in these reopening decisions.

456756096-White-House-guidelines-for-reopening-economy.pdf


  • 7:00 PM - Friday, April 3, 2020. On-campus gatherings are suspended through Thursday, April 30 at 5:00 PM and the Church Office will work remotely through that time. Extensions and adjustments to this timeframe are possible. A Stay at Home order has been implemented statewide for Alabama. That order may be read at the link below. Please consider giving securely online during this month by visiting Giving & Generosity or via the Realm mobile app. This will enable workers and volunteers who receive, process and deposit tithes and offerings to abide by the purpose of the Stay at Home order. Online giving will process your gift, assign it to the correct account and return a receipt to you. Worship services and teachings will be streamed and archived online under the Live Stream tab, on Facebook and YouTube. The Church Office phone is being forwarded to Pastor Christopher's cell phone (256) 274-1780. Please continue to share prayer requests, ministry needs, and make use of Realm for communicating with one another. Let us continue to pray for God's mercy, provision and a speedy end of this pandemic.

Final-Statewide-Order-4.3.2020.pdf


  • 9:03 PM - Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Southside will continue to suspend on-campus gatherings through Thursday, April 30 in support of the 30-day social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of the virus. The virus peak is anticipated during this window. The Church Office will continue to work remotely. Extensions and adjustments to this timeframe are possible. Worship services and teachings will be streamed and archived online under the Live Stream tab, on Facebook and YouTube. The Church Office phone is being forwarded to Pastor Christopher's cell phone (256) 274-1780. Please continue to share prayer requests or ministry needs, and make use of Realm for communicating with one another. Tithes & Offerings may be given online under the Giving & Generosity tab, via Realm online or the mobile app, or mailed to the church. Mail will be collected and deposits made. Most of all, continue to pray for God's mercy and the end of this pandemic.

03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf


  • 7:53 PM - Sunday, March 29, 2020. Reports indicate the federal government is extending social distancing guidelines through Thursday, April 30.

03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf


  • 8:58 PM - Friday, March 27, 2020. The Alabama State Health Officer has issued an order suspending certain public gatherings due to risk of infection by COVID-19 until 5:00 PM on Friday, April 17. While places of worship are not listed as being suspended, gatherings of 10 or more are suspended unless six feet of distance can be maintained. Given the intent of the order, it is prudent for Southside to honor its guidance by continuing to suspend all on-campus gatherings until April 17. Online gatherings will continue and the Church Office will be operated from home. Southside joins in praying that these actions will contribute to the end of this pandemic. Extensions and adjustments to this timeframe are possible. Pastor Christopher may still be reached at (256) 274-1780 or via Realm.

Amended-Statewide-Social-Distancing-SHO-Order-3.27.2020-FINAL.pdf


  • 1:27 PM - Monday, March 23, 2020. The Church Office will be closed through the end of March in order to keep the building sanitized and further reduce the spread of germs and virus. Extensions or adjustments to this timeframe are possible. All church members are asked not to come inside the building while the office is closed. Calls to the church will be forwarded and responded to appropriately. Arrangements will be made to pick up mail. Your church staff and ministers will continue to be reachable by Realm, email and cell phone, especially if you have ministry needs or questions. Reach Pastor Christopher at (256) 274-1780.


  • 11:22 AM - Saturday, March 21, 2020. Southside will worship together Online this Sunday, March 22 at 10:30 AM. Visit the live stream tab on this website to connect. The Church Office is keeping regular hours this week with some flexibility. Tithes & Offerings may be given securely online (visit the Generosity tab on this website) or mailed to the church (709 9th St SE, Decatur, AL 35601).


  • 10:23 AM - Monday, March 16, 2020. No meetings will occur at Southside through Wednesday, April 1. Extensions or adjustments to this timeframe are possible. Gatherings will be facilitated digitally. Church Office hours will be communicated soon. What can you do? - Continue to gather (online), continue to give, continue to pray and continue loving your neighbors as yourself. A more detailed statement is forthcoming.


  • 12:28 PM - Saturday, March 14, 2020. Southside will proceed with all scheduled gatherings for Sunday, March 15. Use good judgment. If you are sick, have weak health, or prefer to stay away from gatherings as a precaution due to age or other factors, please stay home with Southside's blessing. The worship service will be streamed at 10:30 AM on this website and on Facebook Live.

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