Columbia pastor hosts church at his house refuses to close doors during pandemic

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COLUMBIA, Ky. (WBKO) -- Despite the governor's order to close in-person church services, one small church in Adair County still has its doors open.

"If I'm the last person standing, then so be it ... I'm not going anywhere," he said in a recent church service.

Pastor Zack Nielsen says following those orders is against his first amendment right.

"I understand from the outside in, it might look like we're rebelling and being reckless, but really we're just standing on what we believe, and really that's the Word of God," said Nielsen.

From outside Indianapolis, Nielsen opened Launch Out Revival Center of Columbia in January at his own home, so attendance fluctuates from anywhere to two to a dozen people a service. Therefore, it's considered small.

"I've always believed the Bible is what it says it is, says what it says it's gonna do. If God tells me to jump, I say how high?" explained Nielsen.

The church planter says he is not fearful because he believes God will protect him and fellow worshipers at his home.

"I believe that if 100 people show up here that no harm is going to come to anybody. I believe a rival will break out. We believe Jesus is going to protect us. I've been called an idiot, I've been called a moron I've been called a lot of things by a lot of people."

Meanwhile, he calls the order unjust due to the fact that it calls liquor stores essential businesses.

"They're leaving places that sell alcohol open but they're closing churches down, and Kentucky wasn't even legal for us to sell alcohol for many years."

Adair County does not have any COVID 19 cases at this time, but they are currently under a local state of emergency to prepare.

"I'm not discounting what it's doing in areas of the world- Italy is a travesty right now, but we have to believe in the protection of God," said Nielsen.

He stands firm in his beliefs and says he won't budge on closing the doors to his home for anyone.

"If it ever did become illegal no I would not be able to stop doing this I would just have to face the consequences of my actions... If 100 people showed up to answer your question, I would let them be here. Because I believe that if they're hungry for Jesus who am I to tell them to go home."

The small church meets twice a week -- on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Nielsen says he won't force anyone to practice social distancing while worshipping, but they are welcome to do so.

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