Members of the First Baptist Church in Olive pride themselves on being a tight-knit community.
It didn't matter how they worshiped, just as long as they did it together.
Church members pulled into the church parking lot Sunday and never had to get out of their cars. The church came to them. ?
"All of us are a really tight-knit community and it was heavy on my heart when the churches had to close, church member Deana Quimby said. “I also believed in our community that we would always come together in some way.”
On Sunday, the First Baptist Church parking lot was full for the 11 a.m. service.
89-year-old church member Charles Poppy knows he is at a high risk of contracting COVID-19, but church in the parking lot was the only way he could attend in person.
"It was a great service. Very uplifting," Poppy said. “And I appreciate the effort that a lot of people have put into it.”
Senior Pastor George Brock said the idea was inspired by drive-thru restaurants. ?
"I began to think about fast food and their appeal was the lobby is closed, but the drive-thru is open,” Brock said. “I looked across the way and I saw a parking lot and thought ‘Drive-In Church.’”
Brock said they don't have the capability for online services. The church has a lot of elderly parishioners, so they wanted to take the situation seriously.
?"With those two thoughts in mind, of their health and knowing they wanted to stay engaged in worship, that's what spearheaded this," Brock said.
As parishioners prayed on pavement, Poppy couldn't help but shed a tear.
"For the times, it was very uplifting because there's a lot of people that are really hurting, and they don't know which way to turn,” Poppy said. “But all you have to do is just look up to God.”
Brock said they will continue holding services in the parking lot until the pandemic ends. ?