WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Church go-ers have seen their Sunday service thrown for a loop during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that’s not stopping one local church from continuing its weekly tradition of communion.
“It was interesting because although we were in separate cars, we also felt like we were together,” First Christian Church member Nick Gipson said.
Coronavirus has changed the way we live our daily lives, but senior pastor Mark Bender and the rest of First Christian aren’t going to let that stop them from having new type of service.
“When they arrived they were handed an order of worship and communion and on that order of worship was a number to call into and that way they could listen to the service from the comfort of their car and the safety of their car,” Bender said.
Members of the church are thankful for this safe and creative move by First Christian.
“All the ministers, you know, Josh and Claire and Mark, they’ve just, they’ve thought outside the box to keep us together and it’s working,” Gipson said.
Even separated by cars, they could still feel the power of this service.
“It was a little surreal to be able to stand here and still be in community with one another at the church, even though it was in the parking lot and we were separated by windshields, but I’m glad we could be together with one another,” Bender said.
“This is kind of bringing the 8:30 a.m. people together, well 8:45 a.m., with the 10:45 a.m., so it kind of helped bring even that part of our church together,” Gipson said.
A positive for this church during a pandemic, moments Bender will take with him even after this unprecedented time.
“I think there were two things: one, was at the beginning when we asked them if they could hear, to honk, and there were so many loud horn honks, that was a good response,” Bender said. “The second, of course, was when we gathered at the table and joined our voices together in what we believe and affirmed that. It felt like church.”
A perfect morning for this church family, making it feel as normal as possible during such an abnormal time.
They also go live on Facebook for the 10:45 a.m. service, but Bender plans to keep doing the drive-in communion service as long as it’s safe.