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Pastor Tommy Shelley joins onstage for the sing-a-long hymn with the congregation in their vehicles.

Churches getting creative giving Sunday service to congregations

By Annie Rigby

On Sunday, March 22, the doors to local churches were closed for all services. Loris First Presbyterian Church (LFPC) and Loris First Baptist Church (FBC) streamlined their services through technology.

Ron Barron, youth pastor at LFPC, used Facebook Live to provide the church’s youth with encouragement messages and prayer to continue to serve the Lord. He wants the youth to know that he is available through live broadcasts. His messages are focused on the youth and to not be afraid.  He quotes the Bible while he generally walks around the soccer/football fields.

The Upward Sports Program has been cancelled for the season. They will sign for fall sports in August.

Many Christian parishioners and pastors have modified the way they worship without a congregation filling the pews in Loris churches. With advanced technical capabilities through the internet, android, IPhone and computers and  the pastors are capable of reaching out to their congregations for Sunday morning worship services to provide the service messages to their parishioners to provide  worshiping, singing and praying through the net.

Crossway The Journey Church announced on social media asking the congregation to meet in the parking lot of the church on Sunday, March 22, at 9 a.m. for church service.  Pastor Tommy Shelley posted to Facebook, “Drive up Worship, park your vehicle facing the building and to remain in their vehicle as he begins the service with a prayer and hymns.”  He said, “Everyone is invited to attend our services on Sunday;” he continued, “Church is not a building, it is the people,” The congregation gathered dressed and ready for church services as they parked their cars, Shelley using the speakers system to give his Sunday service message.  There were 45 cars in the church parking area.

Anita Younger, a member of Crossway, wrote on the Facebook page “I am so grateful for live-streams from our church.” She continued, “It means so much.  Thank God for all pastors and churches who know this is such a crucial time to reach out to the world around.”  She said, “Praying the love of God will reach a soul, in Jesus name, Amen.”

For Wednesday evening services they announce, “Drive in prayer meeting and devotion on Wednesday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m.” said Shelley, “I cannot wait to see everyone there.”

Everyone is learning to change their normal activities that include church services, with a simple rectangular portable cell phone where all great things are possible, whether they streamline live or post a recorded message to the congregation on Facebook or Instagram. LFPC uses their recording cameras set in the sanctuary to provide a lesson in the Bible, they provide copies of the DVD to shut-ins and those who are unable to make it to church services on Sunday mornings.

With the virus affecting and infecting people throughout the United States of America, South Carolina has not yet peaked with the virus. Keeping a safe distance of six feet between other individuals, the governor executing an order of no more than three people may gather together  which now is considered a misdemeanor and to prevent spreading the virus, churches have found a way to continue to reach their congregation through music and worship.

Many of the local churches have a website and a Facebook page to visit for information on the services they provide on Sunday morning, Sunday evening and each Wednesday.  Crossway’s message Sunday was King James Version, Exodus 23:25, “And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”

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