JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Celebration Church welcomed its members back to the building on Sunday morning for its first in-person service in more than five months.
March 7 was the last service before the church shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. It has been producing online services that families can watch from their homes. Pastor John Wyatt said they have built several production studios around the building.
“We’ve been producing church from home,” Wyatt said. “Our goal is to make it a great experience for people to be the pastor of their families.”
Wyatt said sanitation stations are available, staff and volunteers get temperature checks, increased cleaning measures are in place and areas in the sanctuary are roped off for social distancing.
“Everything is different coming back in,” Wyatt said. “We’re not going back to the way things were. We have to rethink the way we do everything.”
As the congregation entered Sunday, there were smiles underneath their masks and social distancing was practiced.
“Coming together as a family and being able to celebrate Jesus and God and see how far we’ve come from not being able to go to church and now coming to church,” said church member Courtney Rowe, who told News4Jax online services aren’t the same for her.
Her mother led a prayer to offer hope as students and teachers go back to school.
“We’re very excited to be back in the building and worshiping with the rest of our church and being able to bless the families as they prepare to go back to school,” said church member Entrice Rowe.
Celebration Church is asking its members to wash their hands, socially distance themselves from others and not touch their faces. While it’s not required to wear a mask, the church is encouraging everyone to do so.
In April, News4Jax partnered with Celebration Church to bring viewers a special Easter service.