400+ attend concert in Sampson County church amid COVID-19 pandemic

North Carolina

DUNN, N.C. (WNCN) — Cars filled the Central Baptist Church parking lot in Dunn Saturday night.

More than 400 people were in attendance for a David Phelps concert. 

The church’s pastor Cameron Cloud said it’s critical the congregation is able to worship in person. The venue sits 1,400 but the church limited the number of tickets to allow for social distancing. 

Still, with rising COVID-19 case numbers, some call it reckless, but others in town don’t see it that way.

“If they can be in school, we can be in church and when you stopped me I said ‘hallelujah that’s what we need.’ The world needs some peace and if it takes a concert to get it then so be it,” said Shauna Mcleod, a Dunn resident.

“I think that as long as people are actually wearing their masks the whole time and staying 6 feet apart from one another I think there’s lower risk,” said Emily Rhoades, a Campbell University student.

Masks were mandatory for staff and volunteers but were only encouraged for attendees. Inside the venue every other row was roped off with two empty seats placed between each party.

It’s unclear if the church plans to hold similar events in the future or if they’ll ask attendees to take a COVID-19 test in the coming days.

There was no law enforcement response to the event.

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