9OYS Special Report: Churches during the pandemic

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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) Many places are closed or operating differently due to social distancing and stay home orders. That’s no different for houses of worship, places where people usually gather for fellowship and praise. Churches in the East are finding ways to share the spirit while slowing the spread of COVID-19.

From the thousands in the flock at Koinonia Christian Center in Greenville to the dozens at Corey’s Chapel in Winterville; church buildings may be vacant but the gospel is still going forth through technology. using platforms like Zoom, Facebook, and Instagram they are sharing services, bible studies, and ministries online.

With so many people hurting, sick, alone, and in need churches are still providing healing and comfort. Support for the church family and their neighbors isn’t stopping.

“The message of the bible and the Message of Jesus never changes. The truth was relevant yesterday is still relevant today and tomorrow regardless of the circumstances and the situation is. What we have done is we are speaking according to people’s needs which is what the bible says,” said Josh Newton, Campus Pastor, Wave Church Greenville

For some church families this pandemic as brought them closer together.

“So we’ve seen family time increase, we’ve has family game nights on Facebook and it’s been an opportunity for families to get back to more wise spending, for people to bring their daily devotions really into their homes more to have family worship,” said Bishop Rosie S. O’neal, Senior Pastor, Koinonia Christian Center Church

Pastors say this is a time for people to realign their focus and faith.

“And People have to hear that reassurance about what God is doing for the people to know that the same God that was doing things back then is the same God that will be doing it now,” said Jay Cotton, Pastor, Corey’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church

Faith leaders say it’s time to pray for health, safety, well-being for all, and the return of fellowship. They say there is no question the pandemic will leave a lasting impact on how we live and worship.

“I think it’s going to cause all leaders to not only go deeper in prayer, to ask the lords leading, but to sit down at the table and say now how can we position ourselves if this ever occurs again and how do we reach people in this interim who are afraid to begin to come out, how can we serve them,” said Bishop O’neal

As nonprofit organizations churches have also had to make changes when it comes to accepting donations. Many are now encouraging electronic giving, either by computer or phone.

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