A North Carolina pastor has decided to get creative with his services so he can still provide support for community members all while avoiding coronavirus.
Pastor Will Breedlove of the Harriet Baptist Church in Henderson, North Carolina has been using a drive-in theater to lead his Sunday services. For the past two Sundays, many have gathered in their cars at Raleigh Road Outdoor Theater to hear his sermons and honk in praise.
It all started when Breedlove approached Mike Frank, the owner of the theater, offering to pay to use the space for his services. Frank, who didn't feel comfortable accepting money from the church, instead allowed Breedlove to rebuild the stage in front of the screen in exchange for its use.
"I just wanted to be able to gather and keep people safe," Breedlove told the News & Observer.
Attendance for the services is capped at 50 worshippers, and Breedlove has added a second service on Sundays to accommodate the high demand.
They're taking extra precautions to ensure safe congregating, including advising attendees to park in every other spot and use their radios to listen in rather than rolling the windows down.
The service has gotten a resounding approval from congregators.
Stephanie Gupton, who attended a service with her husband, said to the paper, "It's very hard to be Southern Baptist and not be hugging. But we're following the rules."
Another attendee, Jackie Hoyle, says, "It builds me back up. And it gives me the strength to go forward."