EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- What a difference a year makes! When Easter Sunday rolled around last year, the COVID-19 pandemic was only just beginning locally and churches were left scrambling to find ways to celebrate Easter safely.
With in-person services largely out of the question due to crowd size and social distancing restrictions, many local churches instead opted for drive-in services in parking lots at Eastland Mall in Evansville or Showplace Cinemas in Newburgh.
As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to rise and as people begin to feel more comfortable going out, some Evansville churches like Rhythm Church and Bethel Church opted to have in-person services Sunday for Easter.
Rhythm Church pastor Caleb Clark says there’s something particular about being Christian that lends itself to in-person worship, adding he prefers in-person over the drive-in services they opted for last year.
Bethel Church pastor Prince Samuel says it’s great to be back in church, seeing other people, even if they’re behind a mask. However, Samuel says the process of returning to in-person services hasn’t been smooth. Samuel notes that while they started returning to in-person services after several months of drive-in services, they had to return to the parking lot last Fall after an uptick in cases.
But as COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue, churches are hopeful they won’t have to return to the parking lots again.
(This story was originally published on April 4, 2021)