Surviving Easter Sunday Services With Empty Pews Because of Coronavirus

Many churches holding services online or other alternative methods

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Reverend Roy Brackins of Grace Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Forest Hill is not used to an empty sanctuary on Sundays.

"It's been challenging yet it's been rewarding," Brackins said.

Rev. Roy Brackins, pastor of Grace Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Forest Hill, TX

On any given Sunday, and especially Easter, his pews are filled.  So, he's determined to still deliver his resurrection sermon to his congregation safely. 

He said the shelter in place ordinances on what churches can and can't do have been hard to understand.

"Confusing is a minimal word,” Brackins said. “It has been overwhelmingly confusing."

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price gave some clarification.

"There are no church services or gatherings,” Price said. “That means online or you can do parking lot where people can pull up and have their cars six feet apart."

So that's what Brackins is going to do.

"I'll be preaching on the outside, under a tent, if the weather is permitting and people will be in their automobiles,” Brackins said. “They will not leave their automobiles.”

He added, “People really have a need to feel connected to one another."

Brackins knows when people aren't in the pews offerings can be down.  But he said they aren't focusing on the finances.

"Our faith goes beyond our finances,” Brackins said. “We know the work that God has established. He will not allow it to suffer any loss."

But he knows some churches may have more of an issue surviving these tough financial times. That’s why he said he is joining with other pastors to pool their resources to help smaller churches survive through this.

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