The South District Church of the Nazarene has canceled its annual Kid’s Camp after more than 80 people caught COVID-19 from the church’s STX Youth Camp for teenagers held July 5-9.
District Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey T. Johnson announced the church’s South Texas District Kids Ministry was canceling its annual summer camp scheduled for July 19-23. In a Facebook post on July 15, the superintendent reported the number of cases had risen over six consecutive days, and included several campers who were vaccinated and still came down with the COVID virus.
“The ripple effect of this spread has made it difficult for many of our churches. Some pastors were not able to preach this past Sunday and are now quarantined. Many churches have contacted us to let us know they are having difficulty getting sponsors to attend Kid’s camp because of positive tests or exposure to those with COVID,” the superintendent wrote.
“As much as we believe in the great value of Kid’s Camp, we do not want to see a similar situation happen next week that will negatively impact our churches and families,” he continued.
Johnson noted, “This is heartbreaking for so many of us. Our camps provide a place for God to do amazing things in the lives of every child and adult who attends. May the Lord help us to speak His love and truth into their lives in other ways in this season.”
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KBTX-TV reported the church district covers a wide area of Texas, including Bryan.
Pastor Lonnie Green at the Church of The Nazarene in Bryan told the television station they had ten teens and one counselor go to the camp during that week. Green said more than half have tested positive for COVID-19 since returning home.
In an email to CBN News Tuesday, Green said when those teens returned from camp, prior to knowing that they were COVID-positive, they attended one of the church’s teen functions and went on to infect at least two others among the teen group who did not attend camp.
Bryan is the county seat of Brazos County which reported 32 cases of COVID-19 among county residents on Monday, according to The Eagle.
The newspaper reported it was the highest number of active cases in the county since June 17 when 203 cases were listed as active by health officials.
CBN News has also reached out to the South Texas District Church of the Nazarene for an update on current cases and a comment, but we have not heard back. We’ll update the story when we do.