Northeast Florida churches get creative for Easter Sunday services

Gov. Ron DeSantis is letting churches decide if they will hold traditional services this Easter Sunday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis is letting churches decide if they will hold traditional services this Easter Sunday.

However, many churches in Northeast Florida told News4Jax they will not open their churches. Instead, they will stream Easter service online.

“Your finest hour will never be your favorite hour and I really believe that this is really going to be our finest hour,” said Tim Staier, Lead Pastor at Elevate Life Church.

For several weeks, many churches have been streaming their services only online in an effort to follow social distancing guidelines and stop the spread of coronavirus.

“The mantra for a lot of weeks now has been we’re all in this together,” said Father Tom Willis, Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.

At University Church, lead Pastor Frank Ciresi, said they will also stream Easter Service online. On Good Friday, they are holding a drive-thru communion.

"We’re still connected just not in the way that we’re used to,” said Ciresi.

In addition to streaming Easter service, other churches are bringing people together at a safe social distance. University Boulevard Church of the Nazarene will hold a drive-in sunrise service at 7 a.m. in the church parking lot with everyone asked to stay in their own cars. The church’s 11 a.m. service will also be streamed.

Callahan First Baptist Church in Nassau County is also holding a drive-in service for people to worship in their cars.

“Even though we’re separated by metal and windows and whatnot, they’ll still get the sense of community just be being in the same area and the same experience at the same time,” explained Mike Ricks, Callahan Baptist Church.

Their drive-in Easter service will be held on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. in the Northeast Florida Fair parking lot to accommodate hundreds of worshipers.

Celebration Church will be sharing their Resurrection Sunday service with News4Jax, and it will air at 9 a.m. on Channel 4.

Celebration is a local church with a main campus in Jacksonville and several other campuses in surrounding areas. For more information about the church, visit celebration.org.

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