Easter gets CSRA residents hopping back into the pews

Published: Apr. 4, 2021 at 11:57 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - At First Baptist Church in North Augusta, the message coming from inside was one of hope this Easter.

“There was a big focus on unity today, and that we belong together. It was a very good message,” said Shari Hooper, one churchgoer.

As people gathered outside, they say they felt the weight of last year slowly lifting.

“Out of all the weeks since March of last year, this felt the most normal,” she said. “And even just taking photos outside the Easter cross, there’s something familiar and comfortable about that.”

Lets face it, Jesus didn’t have the last supper virtually, so many churches say they were in uncharted territory the past year.

“You can’t call anybody and say, ‘Hey tell me about the last time you were pastoring a church in a pandemic,’” said Wesley Weatherford, a pastor at Oasis Church at Hephzibah.

He says people at his church were ready to get back to spending Easter together.

“There’s just been this burst of energy and passion in people since they’ve been able to come back together and worship,” said Pastor Wesley.

They say their online program is here to stay, and they’ve even gotten a few members from the whole thing.

“We literally have people that attend our church online from other states and they’re in online small groups,” he said.

They say getting creative last year was a bit of a learning curve, but nothing beats being able to see everyone in person this holiday.

“It’s been a challenge, but I still would not give up being back together,” he said.

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