Churches hold drive-in services as way to connect

  • Megan Broome/The Clayton Tribune.Peyton Fisher, left, Heidi Gardner and Jalyn Fisher collect offerings as churchgoers of Clayton First United Methodist Church leave following the first drive-in church service held on Ministry Mountain on Sunday.
    Megan Broome/The Clayton Tribune.Peyton Fisher, left, Heidi Gardner and Jalyn Fisher collect offerings as churchgoers of Clayton First United Methodist Church leave following the first drive-in church service held on Ministry Mountain on Sunday.
Body

CLAYTON— Honk if you love Jesus. 

During these trying times, some churches are finding new ways for congregations to come 

together and worship while also social distancing. 

And drive-in church is one way some churches are doing that. 

This past Sunday, Clayton First United Methodist Church tried out drive-in church as an “interim 

worship” service to start slowly transitioning back to a pattern of worshipping in person every 

Sunday. 

“It was a great way for us to get back together but still be very prudent with virus concerns,” said Rev. Zack Martin. 

Around 40 cars loaded with families and dogs parked on Ministry Mountain, in every other parking space, and tuned in to station 90.1 FM to hear Martin preach about John 14:1-14. 

Martin said that there is “something spiritually sustaining about gathering in community” that online services cannot replace.

“I think it was very successful,” Martin said about the first Sunday trying out drive-in church. 

The message was one of encouragement and every “amen” was followed by the beeps of car 

horns and churchgoers inspired by scripture. 

Randy Scott, director of the Children’s Ministry, said to churchgoers in the children’s moment presentation that it’s great “to be with you together even though we are apart.” 

“The way we gather keeps changing but the message has not,” Scott attested. “The word of God 

stays the same,” she said. 

Martin said that drive-in church will go to at least the end of June, and that he will re-evaluate in mid-June to decide on procedures moving forward. 

He said that the church building is currently closed to the public and when it does open back up for in-person worship, many safety precautions like spacing out seating arrangements will be implemented. 

Martin said that the plan is for Boat Church to start on Memorial Day as per usual. It is held on Lake Rabun and goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. 

The wide-open space will allow worshippers to adhere to social distancing requirements, Martin said. 

He said that the boat house will be closed when Boat Church starts, and instead families will socially distance along the shoreline during the service.