Some local churches stick to virtual services for at least a month

Some local church leaders say they don’t plan to change much of what they are doing now after Gov. Greg Abbott said on Tuesday that churches are a core business during the COVID-19 crisis.

Over the past two weeks, church leaders have moved services entirely online to help keep their congregations safe. With services typically having hundreds of people in a tight space, church leaders knew they had to find another way.

“We had to cancel worship services in order to meet guidelines, but we are able to pray live streaming,” said Pastor Rick Sitton of First United Methodist Church in Bryan.

Sitton says if it weren’t for 21st century technology, it would be much more difficult for his congregation to feel the unity that a typical Sunday service brings.

“Coming together as a fellowship to support each other every week is important. too much. So we try to do it in different ways through social media, phone calls, emails, ”said Pastor Sitton.

Pastor Gordon Knight of Christ’s Way Baptist Church in Bryan says they’ll stick with the live broadcast as well.

“We have had about 600 views of our services and there have been many comments of ‘We pray for you’ and ‘We are so happy that you are doing this. So the positives are there, and I’m certainly glad people are calling and texting to let us know it’s making a difference, ”said Pastor Knight.

As Easter approaches, one of the church’s biggest celebrations, Pastor Knight says they plan to host a drive-thru to interact a bit more with his congregation.

“It’s definitely as a church, taking us outside the box and doing things differently,” said Pastor Knight.

The two pastors say their doors may be closed, but they can be reached on social media, email and phone.

A hotline has been set up for those seeking spiritual guidance. A chaplain can be reached free of charge from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week at 1-800-921-3287.

Perry A. Thomasson