Church services still aren’t the same but there is hope of return

The sanctuary may be empty, but the spirit is still flowing

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- One year into the pandemic and many churches have still not returned to traditional church service. Congregations, choirs, and church members are finding creative ways to worship.

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The sanctuary may be empty, but the spirit is still flowing at one local church. On Sunday, March 7, 2021, they held a special celebration, keeping the health and safety of the members in mind.

Some churches have moved online, but Beth-el Missionary Baptist Church in Starkville has moved outside.”

“We are definitely adjusting pretty well it’s definitely not like being inside the church, but as I said as long as we’re able to praise God we’ll be alright,” said church member Jeremy Clay.

“I do miss the sanctuary and I miss the congregation with the people so we pray a lot and try to do all the rules that they had for us to do so one day we can get into our sanctuary,” said church member Ethel Johnson.

“We’re excited about getting back in the sanctuary so we can fellowship with each other.. Being outside doing the car side has been a good way to adjust, but it’s nothing like being together in the sanctuary,” said church member Lashaundra Smith.

Even a special occasion like welcoming a new pastor came with changes.

“It’s nothing that I’m not used to. Of course, it’s been taking some time to get used to it with it not being the actual way that we usually do certain worship service,” said pastor Kendel Fisher.

Fisher delivered his first sermon to his new church family Sunday. He knew getting acquainted with his members with some restrictions still in place would be a challenge, but he plans to stay connected.

“I’m going to take time out on that day to call my members and you know talk to them and just introduce ourselves and just keep everybody up to date on certain things that are going on,” said Fisher.

Fisher says he is eager to lead his new church family and is hopeful to return indoors soon.

“I’ve heard some good news about it as far as the numbers decreasing and of course the governor lifting the mandate, but our main concern, of course, is we want our members to be safe so right now I don’t really have a specific date on when we’ll be back in but hopefully it will be soon,” said Fisher.

Fisher and the church family are looking to become acquainted soon and are looking for a bright future.