Skip to Main Content

Find COVID-19 Information and Resources
Commitment to Accessibility

Guidance for Gathering Together in Houses of Worship

Tennessee is stronger because of our citizens and communities of faith. When faith leaders determine it is time to begin gathering in person again, faith communities should recognize that meeting in person should be different from meeting in person before the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is likely that certain changes to in-person gatherings should remain in place until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.  Governor Lee hopes that all Tennesseans will continue to make responsible choices to protect themselves and their neighbors from COVID-19.

Here are some guidelines for your faith community as you determine when and how to offer in-person gatherings:

Access Full Guidance for Gathering Together in Houses of Worship (English) 

Gathering Together in Houses of Worship (Spanish)

Gathering Together in Houses of Worship (Arabic) 

“Government is not the answer to some of our greatest problems. The government’s purpose is to protect life, liberty, and freedom. We the people are the ones to address our greatest problems.”
Governor Bill Lee - Inaugural Address, January 2019 

The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was created in 2019, as part of the inaugural legislative agenda of Governor Bill Lee. This office brings together faith communities, nonprofits, business leaders, state and local governments to recognize and implement best practices in our shared goal to make life better for every Tennessean. 

Governor Lee launched this initiative with an awareness that government is not the answer to our problems and with the recognition that faith communities are called to feed the hungry, visit the sick and imprisoned, care for our neighbors and provide healing to those who are suffering. His mission is to bring these faithful, compassionate people together with state and local governments, find new ways to solve some of our toughest issues and leverage opportunities that contribute to the flourishing of Tennessee communities. 


Our Mission

In this season of economic, cultural and social vigor across our nation, communities of faith and goodwill are working alongside state government to extend the reach of opportunities to every Tennessean. 

This office will collaborate with faith-based and community initiatives across the state, facilitate connections and build bridges that leverage effective solutions as we work to build a stronger Tennessee for all.

Across the state, thousands of nonprofit and faith-based organizations have eagerly stepped in to answer the call to serve their fellow Tennesseans. The desire to serve their neighbor promotes hope and healing and provides invaluable aid to our communities. The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives supports their efforts by:

  • Connecting: The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives convenes, connects, and collaborates with key stakeholders from faith communities, nonprofits, business, government, academia, and philanthropy to advance best practices and complementary approaches that build robust, resilient communities. 
  • Encouraging: The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives promotes the value of service and volunteerism, effective philanthropy, cross-sector partnerships, and innovative practices to drive community solutions. 
  • Accelerating: The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives strategically strengthens promising programs, scales proven models, and provides tools and support in alignment with state priorities. 

For more information visit

Dave Worland

Meet Dave Worland

Dave Worland was appointed Executive Director of The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives by Governor Bill Lee in 2019. Mr. Worland’s career demonstrates his faith in action and highlights his last 30 years leading local, national and international nonprofits that are dedicated to doing good in our communities. A gifted visionary, he has made his mark by bringing people of faith and goodwill together to build initiatives that promote hope and healing in the lives of people right here in Tennessee and across the world.

Dave and his wife, Sally, have been married for 35 years and live in Chattanooga, TN with their four children and seven grandchildren. Dave is an Elder and small group study co-leader at his longtime church, Rock Creek Fellowship. On the weekends, he can be found working in his woodshop, calling a square dance for a local school, family gatherings or community centers, or helping his wife at the rustic resort, day camp and venue that she and her parents started over forty years ago. 




Contact Us

Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue N., 22nd floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243

Bevelle Puffer
Communications Director
c: 615-571-0116

Matthew Grove
Project and Policy Coordinator
c. 615-487-4897