Tyler churches close doors and open services online in response to shelter in place order

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The coronavirus is bringing new changes to everyday life, and that includes Sunday morning worship service.

After Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran ordered a shelter in place, limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people, congregations are having to find a new way to come together.

“There’s a human need for interaction. Face to face, skin to skin, shaking hands or hugging, whatever, interaction, and we’re putting that on hold,” said David Dykes, Senior Pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler.

Sunday morning service has now moved online. For larger congregations, church leaders are having to rethink normal service.

“The church isn’t a building, it’s really the people, and so we’ve been trying to see how we can gauge our people, administering without violating these physical separation precautions,” said Pastor Dykes.

It’s become a trend everywhere, churches wanting to connect with their congregation without seeing them face to face. Tuning in online is something Marvin United Methodist Church in Tyler is also doing.

“We try to use as much modern technology to reach our people and believe it or not some of our older members are getting connected,” said Gerry Giles, Executive Pastor, Marvin UMC.

As people adjust to a new life without movie theaters, sitting inside restaurants, or going to the gym to workout, leaders say it’s important for Sunday Service to remain constant.

“People are scared, people are worried they are going to get the virus, are going to lose their job. So, it’s important to have hope, it’s important to turn our hearts and our focus toward God,” said Pastor Giles.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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