Phase 2 of the Governors plan to reopen NC is set to begin on Friday, May 22 at 5:00pm.

In this new order, he did not give specific guidelines to places of worship. I believe this was due to the injunction or restraining order placed on his last order by a federal judge on Saturday, May 16. However, in this new “Safe At Home,” Phase 2, indoor Mass Gatherings are still limited to 10 people, and outdoor gatherings to 25 people. In Phase 1, worship gatherings were not included in the Mass Gathering limits outdoors. I believe this to be the case for Phase 2. Cooper cautioned churches about gathering indoors too quickly and to use extreme caution if doing so. 


Here are a couple of links to documents that may be helpful. 

FAQ Phase 2


Guidelines for places of worship 


On Saturday, May 16, 2020, a federal judge signed a two-week restraining order on the Governors Order to limit indoor worship gatherings. Some churches returned to indoor worship on Sunday, May 17. Here is a quote from the Governor.

“We don’t want indoor meetings to become hotspots for the virus and our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting together inside for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of COVID-19,” the statement says. “While our office disagrees with the decision, we will not appeal, but instead urge houses of worship and their leaders to voluntarily follow public health guidance to keep their members safe.” – Governor Roy Cooper

“You Can Count on us Cleveland County,” is for local businesses and organizations to support each other in reopening Cleveland County safely. 

Sign your church or business up here! 


Here is a statement, some great articles and tips for guiding these suggestions. Also, check out this helpful document on Phase One of the Governors Plan. 


The GCCBA recognizes that each church is autonomous in unique communities and contexts. Everyone has not responded the same to this crisis nor will everyone begin to reopen or gather the same. We do ask that you keep a spirit of love and grace with one another. Work together as communities, and show the love of Christ to your community and the world. Please do not pass judgement on how another handles this crisis or gathering in person. We pray that everyone will pray and ask the Holy Spirit for direction and guidance for the best time and precaution practice for your congregation and community. Doing all that you can to show how much you care and love each other, and the community. Keeping others in mind first. 

‘“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. ‘ 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 

Here’s a  great article that shares more of these thoughts. 



  1. It is ok to not return to in person gatherings immediately. If Drive-In Services and digital worship and Bible study gatherings are keeping your church connected, keep doing them. 
  2. Think smaller to begin with. Smaller groups will be allowed to gather first. The size of gathering groups will slowly increase.
  3. Keep CDC guidelines in mind. The other guidelines outside of the size of recommended gathering size probably will not change much. We will still be asked to wear masks, and keep physically distant from one another.
  4. Begin to gather proper cleaning supplies. Don’t over stock, but have proper cleaning supplies on hand. It may mean cleaning between multiple services.
  5. Prepare to continue online services for those in high risk categories.
  6. Consider working with other churches in your area on a possible plan to reopen together. 
  7. Keep an eye on the COVID-19 Case Count in NC and how it relates to the Phases of Reopening. Click HERE for NCDHHS Website. 


24 Questions Your Church Should Ask

Gathering Again: Timely Tips

Reopening Check List

What Your Church Must Know Before Reopening

Guidance For Re-Starting In Person Gatherings

Road Map to Reopening