ARIZONA CITY – Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, people have been encouraged to follow social distancing and to stay at home.
Churches have had to find a way to accommodate these measures every week while still holding services, which has led to many drive-in services in the parking lot and live streaming on social media.
With Easter Sunday around the corner, Arizona City churches have made adjustment to their typically scheduled services.
For more information visit:
Central Lutheran Church - www.centrallutheranaz.org
Evangelical Methodist Church
Heaven's View Baptist Church - www.heavensviewbaptist.com
Golden Harvest Cowboy Church - azcitycowboychurch.com
Pastor Darrell Roe at Heaven’s View Baptist began holding a drive-in church two weeks ago which he really enjoys because it allows people to get out of the house while still maintaining a safe space from others by being inside their vehicle.
“They can still come together and wave to one another, they can roll down their windows and talk to one another without exposing anybody with the potential hazard,” Roe said.
The parking lot is set up with a sound system that allows people to hear the service when their windows are down, but as temperatures are starting to climb, the church has also begun to broadcast the service on the local radio station of 99.1 FM.
“If it gets too hot in their car they can turn their air conditioning on and listen to it on the radio,” Roe said. “It’s been great. People seem to be very appreciative of the opportunity to still come together. We’re trying to make it as normal as possible.”
Roe added that there’s still congregational singing as music sheets are handed out so people can sing along in their vehicles.
“We have an opportunity now that we never had before through this time we’re trying to seek out different things,” Roe said. “We done live streaming on YouTube for years, we’re still doing it from the parking lot.”
Senior Pastor Chet Kwait at the Evangelical Methodist Church has taken up live streaming his sermons on Facebook. The sermons are recorded and are also available for viewing afterwards on the church’s Facebook page and website.
“We’ve had a pretty positive response to that and it’s able to go further than just locally,” Kwait said. “We’ve got people from different parts around the country that are now able to watch and see that.”
Kwait moved to Arizona from Washington and still has a following from up north. He also has family in Pennsylvania who are able watch his sermons online.
He added that the current situation has been an adjustment for him of not having a congregation physically present.
“It’s been a little bit of a challenge because you tend to depend upon the response and feedback from people as far as facial expressions and their body language and sometimes even their words because sometimes they’ll respond and give you a positive thing,” he said. “You don’t have that and it takes a little getting used to.”
Golden Harvest Cowboy Church and has been serving the community since January of 2013,
"We have enjoyed over seven years of ministry and development, and have grown alongside the community to this day. we are a nondenominational 501-c3 non profit corporation, said Pastor Dennis Callahan. "Over the past several years we have so blessed to have received the opportunities God has provided to be able to assist many families and friends in times of need."
Pastor Thom Stephens' recorded sermons for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter can be found on Central Lutheran Church's website. The church has locations in Arizona City and Casa Grande.