COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Easter is tomorrow and for many churches across the Tennessee Valley, plans are in place to hold church and worship services indoors.
For many, tomorrow will be their first in-person service since last year.
It’s been a long year for Bethel Colbert Missionary Baptist Church.
These pews have been empty for a long time, since moving to online, with the congregation watching from home to help with social distancing. They even got creative and tried parking lot services.
But this Sunday, Easter Sunday, the doors of the church will open.
“Honestly, it’s just time. The last time we were in this place together as a church family was March 15th, 2020,” said Pastor Wesley Thompson.
Pastor Thompson said there are many safety protocols in place.
For starters, there will be two different services. Those who show up will be spaced out.
• They will spray pews between services
• Bibles have been removed from pews
He also said many of his congregants have been vaccinated, which is another reason they are confident in opening.
“It’s going to be a huge difference. To hear an amen. To hear a “preach pastor,” it’s going to feel good,” said Thompson.
Joy, pain, and even loss. These are some of the things the church has endured since they shut their doors.
“It’s going to be joyful to be in here, but at the same time, sorrowful, in a sense because not just from COVID we’ve lost a lot of members, but in this past year we’ve lost nearly a dozen members,” said Thompson.
Holy Week is even more special to them this year.
“ Being able to come here to celebrate resurrection which symbolizes hope. That symbolizes renewal. This is just going to do something to our spirits and our emotions and our lives that’s just going to that will literally prove to us that no matter how much darkness you find yourself in with your hope, strength, and faith in the Lord, light will eventually come,” said Thompson.
And they want to do it in church.
Face masks are also required. Pastor Thompson said they will continue to enforce wearing masks after the mandate ends as well.
The congregation will also have the option to live stream the Easter service.