Local churches make plans to return to in-person services

Updated: Jun. 13, 2021 at 11:14 PM EDT
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LINCOLNTON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Though many of our local churches are back to having services in person, some have pumped the brakes for a while to make sure their congregations stay healthy. Now, many are having to make the call on if it’s time to get the congregation back into pews.

It’s been 15 months since cars pulled up to Mulberry CME Church, and 15 months since the sound of a choir echoed through the halls. Though the doors there remain locked, Pastor Larry Fryer says the pandemic has opened a new pathway to celebrate God.

“It has been a learning experience as well as a spiritual one,” said Fryer of Mulberry CME Church.

Services for his congregation have been held virtually, livestreamed from his home in Augusta.

“I would say a lot of my members are older. I do have a few young adults and children, but most of them are older,” he said. “And of course we were very much concerned about their safety and their health.”

He says the health of his congregation has been his number one priority, but admits it’s been hard. He’s only been able to meet with most of them after an emergency, like a death in the family.

“That’s why I think some are ready to go back in because they want to be able to fellowship, hug, kiss, talk. But I think that’s one of the things I really miss,” said Fryer.

It’s why they’re now making plans to get people back into the pews, but with some restrictions in place. Fryer says they will check temperatures at the door and follow CDC recommendations for masks.

“We still have to be careful, because we don’t want anyone to get sick and ... [the pandemic] is not going away totally.”

Though the pandemic has created unusual circumstances, where even our religious leaders have found themselves working from home, he says it’s time to start a new chapter.

Fryer tells us he hopes to get his congregation back to in-person services in August.

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