Local churches prepare for possible power outages during services due to ERCOT switch

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — The upcoming switch from Southwest Power Pool to switch has become a big concern for churches who might lose power during their Sunday services.

“Our switchover time is 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning,” said Executive Pastor for Indiana Avenue Baptist Church, Tommy Martin. “That’s not the optimum time, but I’m sure they are doing the best they can.”

But many local churches aren’t deterred from hosting Sunday services, despite the risk for power loss. 

“We believe we are supposed to gather as the body of Christ and we intend to do that,” said Martin. 

At Indiana Avenue Baptist Church, they plan to move their service into their commons which has more windows in the event they lose power. They also have backup generators and portable lights, but they are going to cancel some small groups because they are normally held in rooms that have no windows. 

“The Covid crisis has taught us to be pretty flexible and rather than spend so much time whining about it, you just kind of have to figure it out and say ‘Okay’. You know, our desire is to preach God’s word and love on people,” said Martin.  

LP&L released a statement noting they had churches in mind when planning the switch: 

“There is never an ideal time to perform a planned outage, but it is necessary in this instance,” the statement said. “Understanding the needs of churches in southwest Lubbock on Sunday, we moved the schedule up by several hours in order to complete work before services begin.”

But Martin says even if the church goes dark it might actually bring a little light.

“I think it’ll be quite the experience if we really end up with no power. I think it’ll be a pretty exciting day actually, and sometimes you get things a little out of the ordinary and it can actually cause people to have a little more of a serious time with worship that sunday. So we are going to make the best of it,” said Martin. 

There is now a tool on LP&L’s website that can tell Lubbock residents what date and time window they’ll lose power. To do so, residents need to find the 8-digit meter number that begins with an ‘e’ on their bill.  

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