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Allen Chapel AME Church in Fort Pierce implements 'drive-thru' outdoor church service

Churches making sure worship services are safe
Posted at 7:24 PM, Apr 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-05 20:40:12-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Churches on Sunday made adjustments to their services to allow members to worship safely.

Pastor Ned Childress with Allen Chapel AME Church in Fort Pierce led his congregation in an outside worship service.

The church remains closed, but Childress said his members can still safely worship in their cars.

"It's the way we've got to have church today because of the guidelines the government has set aside," Childress said. "And not only the government, but the Bishops of our church have also told us to follow the guidelines of the government."

People cracked their windows, some wearing masks while listening to Childress preach outside under a tent.

"My brothers and sisters, today is Palm Sunday," Childress said. "If it wasn't for the coronavirus, our church would be full of palms and people would be ready to serve God."

Preaching to a "drive-thru" congregation was a first for Childress. He's glad to see people are still sticking to their Sunday worship routines.

"Some people are having church outside but letting people get out of their cars," Childress said. "According to the leaders here in Fort Pierce, we are doing it the safest way."

Church members were glad they were still able to attend the Sunday service.

"I love it. I love it. I love it. It really inspires me," Jennette McClain Salter said. "At the last minute, I called my cousin here and she told me they were having it in the parking lot and I said, 'Thank God.'"

"Everybody's comfortable," another member said. "I told my aunt, 'It's like you go to the drive-in movies. It's drive-in church.'"

Childress plans to continue his outside services as long as possible, bracing for what he anticipates will be a full parking lot on Easter Sunday.

"With all this happening right now, I think we will have a record number of people on Easter," he said.