Pandemic fears impact Easter church services

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S in March of 2020, most church services came to a halt.

Folks turned to online services or used parking lots to still be included in worship.

Now, a year later in the pandemic, holding in-person Easter services is a growing concern.

Let the church say Amen, it’s the message Dr. Stanley K. McCrary of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church preaches to his congregation.

However, most of his audience is outside.

” We still continue our parking lot services for members who can leave their home but they may have a little slight temp or not 100% sure to come inside the sanctuary. It has caused churches to move out of their comfort zones, to really go out into the community,” said Pastor McCrary.

Pews were once filled, but due to coronavirus, several church members park outside and listen to the service through this speaker, like Bertha Baker.

” People are scared to go back in and mingle and stuff. The speaker is good though, they should have it even when people go back to the church,” said Baker.

With Easter two weeks away, board members created a safety protocol so the congregation can return indoors for Sunday worship.

” We got the measuring tape and we measured. We were happy to discover that if every other pew is used that is six feet vertical. Because of the length of our pews we can put three individual single people on a pew, of course, families can sit together,” said McCrary.

” I think people are feeling more comfortable again now since the vaccine has been released to people. I think we’ll have more people inside the church this year,” said Deacon Henry Dismuke.

McCrary says it’s not about the number of folks in the sanctuary, it’s all about delivering a good message.

” We can fill up the sanctuary here, social distance observed, and transition members to the fellowship hall where they will see are able to see and be apart of the service,” said McCrary.

Most churches will continue to hold weekly online services.

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