North Alabama churches start holding in-person services again

Church leaders are taking steps to keep people safe, like setting up hand sanitizing stations and checking people's temperatures before they go inside.

Posted: May 17, 2020 3:51 PM
Updated: May 18, 2020 8:11 AM

For the first time in nearly two months, churches across North Alabama are starting to hold in-person services.

Church leaders are taking steps to keep people safe, like setting up hand sanitizing stations and checking people's temperatures before they go inside.

"These last two months have been really challenging having to do all of that through social media and technology. There's nothing like the family of God coming back together," said pastor, Brad Sheats.

"A lot of people are glad to see each other who haven't seen each other in a long time," said pastor, Milan Dekich.

For pastors across North Alabama, it's been difficult not being able to physically see their congregation. While technology has kept them connected, they say it just doesn't compare to worshiping together.

"The church is a family and it's like you haven't seen your family for a month," said Dekich.

Church leaders were forced to make changes due to coronavirus.

"We have an area designated for special social distancing if you just want to come in the door, sit down and leave," said Dekich.

"We're taking people's temperatures when they come in and all of our ushers and greeters have masks on," said Sheats.

Sheats is a pastor at Life Church in Hartselle. His church is wiping down seats in between services and separating people as much as they can.

"We have aisles where we aren't allowing people to sit to kind of spread them out," said Sheats.

Churchgoer, Grant Mckelvey, says he feels comfortable coming back to Fairview Church of God.

"It's just so much more uplifting than it is at home," said Mckelvey.

Church leaders say they hope people use their own judgment to decide whether to attend an in-person service.

"We're all assessing our risk," said Mckelvey.

"Some people have pre-existing conditions. Some people may be more prone to an at-risk immune system. You know yourself, you know your family," said Sheats.

Many church leaders say they do not require people to wear masks but are recommending it.

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