Panhandle churches hold drive-in services during COVID-19 pandemic

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– The COVID-19 pandemic has forced churches to temporarily close their doors, so congregations are finding new ways to fellowship with one another.

First Baptist Church Bayou George’s Pastor, Jay Powell, said he saw the idea of a drive-in service and he thought it was a perfect way for his church to still gather in person.

“We couldn’t sustain not having services forever and so, how can we follow the rules and still have a service and this seemed to be the way to do it,” Powell said.

The service was a drive-in style and also had space for attendees to sit in chairs spaced out in the grass. First Baptist Bayou George Director of Children’s Ministry, Aaron Walker, said the church is just a building but it was special to be with the congregation today.

“The church family is what it’s all about so getting together and have that emotional support for each other in that it’s great,” Walker said.

Pastor Powell preached to his congregation and visitors who normally attend elsewhere on a trailer used as a stage.

“Our church as great as it is has been doing online services only, so this was a perfect chance to get out of the house and worship God,” service attendee Ken McVay said.

First Baptist Church Bayou George plans to continue drive in services through the pandemic. It hopes to have a transmitter by next week so attendees can listen to the service from their car radios.

In Gulf County churches have also been meeting in a drive-in fashion. Beach Baptist Church in Port St. Joe has held drive-in service.

Highland View Baptist Church, also in Port St. Joe is also holding drive in services. The following pictures are from Highland View Baptist.

Credit: Highland View Baptist Church
Credit: Highland View Baptist Church

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