Social distancing during COVID-19: Tennessee church offers drive-in church service

Around the South

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Health officials have asked for social distancing as a way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and because of that, churches have had to find new ways to offer services.

Keith Nix, pastor of The Lift Church in Sevierville, knew of a church in Asheville, North Carolina that had been offering drive-in church services for several years, and he thought it was a great way to practice social distancing while attending church in person.

“The church wants to be part of stopping this virus, through prayer and through this season through social distancing, as difficult as that is for all of us. We want to do that and hopefully get everyone listening to continue to lift up our leaders in prayer,” Nix said.

Nix asked the Dollar General store employees if they were okay with the outdoor service in the parking lot, as long as the attendees didn’t park directly in front of the store.

The church also shares a parking lot with a few other stores, but because of the coronavirus, they were closed.

The Lift Church service was also streamed on the internet, but Nix knew that people would still attend the drive-in service.

“Hopefully, the body of Christ and the world is reminded that the church is not a building. It’s not made of brick and mortar. It’s people who have Christ in their heart and want to make it known in their generation,” Nix said.

Instead of getting up on their feet, people honked their horns in praise.

The sermon and music could easily be heard from the comfort of one’s vehicle.

On top of staying in the cars, the vehicles were parked with one space in between, just in case someone sneezed with their windows down.

Families who attended normal services at The Lift Church said the drive-in service was just as good as the indoor version, if not better.

“Oh it was great. It went really well. The kids enjoyed it too. They enjoyed the cars honking the horns and everything,” Brad Harjani, a church member, said.

“We had a honking good time,” Autumn Harjani said.

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