PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Due to COVID-19 rules, some church congregations got creative this Easter. Eyewitness News reporter Howard Monroe was in Eastwick where one church held a drive-up service in their parking lot.
Easter Sunday meant church pews all across the Delaware Valley were filled with the faithful celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But due to COVID rules, some congregations had to get creative. One church in Philadelphia’s Eastwick section held its Easter service in the parking lot.READ MORE: Fall Full-Capacity Concerts, Xfinity Live! Preparing To Reopen Has Philadelphia's Stadium District Buzzing With Energy
“Our Christ, Lord and Savior, he rose again so he’s risen and I’m glad to be here,” churchgoer Denise Johnson said.
Easter services like none ever before. The Grace Center Church in Eastwick held its service in the parking lot.
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#Easter church services are being held in the parking lot of The Grace Center in Eastwick. It’s one of the first in-person services they’ve held. The church launched on March 1, 2020, 2 weeks before the lockdowns @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/0Ba08c8ADP
— Howard Monroe (@HMonroeNews) April 4, 2021
“With so much going on in the world, this was very important for people to gather once again. While we’re not inside, the inside mission never stops,” Grace Center Church Lead Pastor Eric Simmons said.
Even the youngest of the faithful wore their Easter Sunday best — and the Easter bunny made an appearance as well.
“Being here to worship God, it’s like you woke up in the morning and see him again,” churchgoer Marisa Bowlers said.
The church launched on March 1, 2020, less than two weeks before the lockdowns. That forced all of their services out in the parking lot or online.
“We’ve been streaming online, doing everything online and just an opportunity to say let’s come out everybody come and out and so what we do,” Pastor Simmons said.
Services like these were not possible last Easter. We were less than a month into the pandemic and the entire area was under strict lockdown orders. So even though they had to be outdoors in 40-degree weather, they say any worship service is better than no worship service.MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate Race Raises Simmering Divisions Inside Party
“This is awesome. It’s so good to be back and see our church family. It’s amazing,” Johnson said.