Some Suncoast churches host drive in services as the state begins to reopen

Drive In Church

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - One of the biggest losses in this time of social distancing is the shared time of praise and worship in church.

Most congregations have shifted to on-line and virtual services, but now as the state’s phased opening plan moves toward re-opening lots more businesses, some churches are meeting again but in a different way.

Churchgoers at Grace Community Church worshiped this Sunday without leaving their cars.

“I think it’s a great way for our church to be able to gather together,” said Brandon Corsey.

He drove up to the church with his family for praise and worship, and to hear the word, without having to enter the sanctuary.

“What makes it so special is that we can enjoy the community aspect of it, we’re not necessarily sitting next to each other in a pew or in chairs but we’re still operating as a community but still in the respect of the guidelines that we need to follow right now,” he said.

The way it works is each car can tune it at a designated radio station, which Corsey says it feels like a drive in movie.

Church of Hope also doing drive in services as it looks towards having in house services with limited numbers in the coming days. Some catholic churches will be opening their doors, but with limited capacity at 25%. But for now, Grace Community Church’s Lead Pastor Dr. Chip Bennett says they need to stay in their lane.

“We don’t anticipate coming back into live services until we can adequately take care of all of the children,” Bennett told ABC7. “That’s a decision that we made, I have no problem of other people making decisions, we just feel like people coming in with masks and having to sit away from each other, and trying to control their kids, the experience might not be like it was before.”

They will be back in the parking lot next Sunday with two services at 9 a.m. and at 11 a.m.

Copyright 2020 WWSB. All rights reserved.