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Tent Revival In New Ipswich Underway With New State Mask Requirements In Place

Josh Rogers | NHPR

A religious tent revival expected to draw hundreds of out-of-staters to New Ipswich over the next week got underway over the weekend. State and local officials raised public health alarms about the gathering, but the revival goers were inconspicuous in New Ipswich on Sunday.

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A road sign posted at the New Ipswich town line flashed the messages: “COVID RISK HIGH” and “MASK AND 6 FEET APART.”

But participants in Last Reformation Church revival, led by Danish evangelist Torben Sondergaard, appeared to be keeping to themselves as they gathered on land owned by Republican state Rep. Paul Somero.

The New Hampshire Department of Safety said it was unaware on any incidents related to the event.

Credit Josh Rogers | NHPR
Brian Teixieri owns a pizza shop in New Ipswich

Brian Teixieri, who owns a local pizza shop, said he’d been hoping the revival might bring a bump in business, but, “If anything it’s been kind of slow. And for what I gather, people have made it, the media have made it out of control.”

Late last week, a lawyer for the Last Reformation Church told the state it would make masks available for participants and nix plans to proselytize in nearby communities.

The revival was one reason Gov. Chris Sununu issued an order last week requiring people gathering on groups of more than 100 to wear masks.

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