Blog single photo

South Carolina church displaced by coronavirus moves Easter service to beat severe storms - Fox News

CLOVER, S.C. – Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

When Pastor Matt McGarity looked out at his Clover, South Carolina, congregation, he saw a view unlike anything he’d seen before. The familiar faces of his flock were blurred behind vehicle windshields, with the exception of a few children sticking their heads out of sunroofs. Some held onto dogs while others sat listening to the Easter service in their Sunday best — on a Saturday evening.

While many churches have made the decision to stream their Easter services online amid the coronavirus outbreak, Relevant Church chose to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection together, but with the proper distance. A severe weather forecast forced the church to move Sunday’s service up.

CORONAVIRUS IN THE US: STATE-BY-STATE BREAKDOWN

Gloved volunteers carefully distributed prepackaged communion packets to families who drove into the YMCA parking lot. An email sent beforehand asked the congregation to remain in their vehicles, insisting bathroom facilities wouldn’t be available.

A woman raises her hand during a drive-in Easter service held by the Relevant Church on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at the YMCA parking lot in Clover, S.C.

A woman raises her hand during a drive-in Easter service held by the Relevant Church on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at the YMCA parking lot in Clover, S.C. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

Cars were spaced apart to comply with CDC guidelines and McGarity’s message was broadcast to their radios on an FM frequency.

HOW TO WATCH EASTER SUNDAY SERVICES ONLINE

"Maybe this is the start of a small radio ministry,” the pastor joked as he took the stage.

People attend a drive-in Easter service held by the Relevant Church on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at the YMCA parking lot in Clover, S.C.

People attend a drive-in Easter service held by the Relevant Church on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at the YMCA parking lot in Clover, S.C. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

As the worship team led the parking lot in the hymn “Jesus Paid It All,” Kendra Husband stretched her arm toward the sky through a crack in the passenger side window. Yes, the experience was a bit different, but it didn't inhibit Husband’s ability to worship.

Two women hold pre-packaged communion inside a vehicle during a drive-in Easter service held by the Relevant Church on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at the YMCA parking lot in Clover, S.C.

Two women hold pre-packaged communion inside a vehicle during a drive-in Easter service held by the Relevant Church on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at the YMCA parking lot in Clover, S.C. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

She laughed when she realized the family who typically sits behind them in church was parked behind them.

“Instead of amen-ing or saying yes, we got to honk our horns, windshield wipers, hazards,” she said.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

While McGarity, who also serves as a chaplain in the Navy Reserves, preached from the New Testament, cars sporadically honked in agreement. He encouraged it from his unusual pulpit.

Pastor Matt McGarity preaches about Christ's resurrection, as member of the congregation in cars attend an Easter service in a YMCA parking lot in Clover, S.C.

Pastor Matt McGarity preaches about Christ's resurrection, as member of the congregation in cars attend an Easter service in a YMCA parking lot in Clover, S.C. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

“Let me hear some noise from this parking lot,” he told his congregation.

Kelly Hills said she is happy to see churches meeting the challenge of the virus and keeping congregations together.

Kensley Husband and Chelsea Locklear lead the congregation in

Kensley Husband and Chelsea Locklear lead the congregation in "Jesus Paid It All" during a drive-in Easter service held by the Relevant Church on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at the YMCA parking lot in Clover, S.C. (AP Photo/Sarah Blake Morgan)

“We felt tonight like we would any Easter morning. Joyful, expectant, hopeful,” she said.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP 

Nearly 300 people attended Relevant’s unorthodox Easter service, about 30 miles southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina.


Read More



footer
Top