CINCINNATI — Many churches kept their doors closed Sunday morning as the threat of coronavirus continues, but several in the Tri-State found creative ways to spread their Easter message to the faithful.
The Delhi Christian Center offered a drive-up Easter service on Sunday so their members could participate from the comfort and safety of their cars.
“I’ve been here 28 years and this is the first time we have ever had church outside,” worshipper Ben Lane said.
Rebecca Hill, co-pastor at Delhi Christian Center, said this was the most creative way they could bring their congregation together while keeping them apart amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve got all the procedures in place to make sure we comply with the state of Ohio. We want to do everything to keep our people safe but we also want to celebrate resurrection Sunday with our church family. ”
They weren’t the only church with a drive-in message.
In Northern Kentucky, the First Baptist Church of Cold Spring had their pastor and musicians praise from the flatbed of a semi in the church parking lot.
Other churches like Crossroads held virtual services online.
Pastor Eric Sundrup at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel is using pictures of his parishioners to fill the pews.
The chapel is closed today but Sundrup says he felt the call to do something special to keep his flock in mind.
“To be in a quiet chapel, kind of in the dark. Every time I've put a picture up, I could remember the people I was praying for and think about that,” Sundrup said.
While this was an unusual Easter Sunday, it could be the new normal for many churches across the Tri-State.
“It’s kind of forced us quickly as a church into that new world and we have seen the church grow tremendously already.”
Solid Rock Church in Monroe held its Easter service inside after receiving criticism for continuing to hold in-person gatherings. Church leaders said in a letter on their website that they are complying with Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine's order, and that the building is big enough for social distancing. They encouraged their older members to stay home and watch services online.