Churches in East adjust to large group restrictions during pandemic

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - Church leaders in the East are having to adjust to the new norm of not having in-person services due to coronavirus restrictions.

And while some churches are live streaming services online, others are doing things a little bit differently.

With Easter approaching, people will have to get used to this new way of going to church.

Brad Smith is the pastor at The Memorial Church in Greenville. He said even though he’s preaching to an empty room, it makes it better knowing he's reaching more than just church members.

“It has not been an easy transition. Simply because we are used to having people sit in the pews. So it’s very difficult to preach to people in an empty sanctuary,” said Pastor Smith.

Donnie L. Phillips Sr. is the pastor at Oak Grove Christian Church. They are also altering the schedule.

“We may even have to go to three services a Sunday or even have service on Saturday but we will do what it takes to get the word of god out,” Pastor Donnie said.

Pastor Donnie said he doesn’t like preaching to a bare wall and the church will do whatever they can, within the state restrictions, to get the word of God out to the community.

That being said, they are rotating groups of ten, out on Sundays, in order to still preach to a group of people.

“We have to get the word out that Christ is still Christ and that this virus that we are kind of in the midst of is more or less a ploy of the devil,” Pastor Donnie said.

Both church leaders said they will continue these policies as long as they need, and reevaluate at the end of the stay at home order.

For now, services at most churches continue to be online.

Some churches are even practicing drive-in services. Governor Cooper said the drive-in style church service is okay, as long as they abide by local and state health departments' guidance by remaining in cars and avoiding contact with one another.