SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL.KMSS) – Pastors in Shreveport are preparing for the large crowd that traditionally comes with Easter Sunday, after a year of virtual services due to COVID-19 restrictions.
At one local church, Morning Star Baptist Missionary Church, Easter will be the first time it has welcomed congregants inside its sanctuary since the 2020 March pandemic shut down, and a number of safety precautions have been put in place there, as well as in other churches opening their doors for the faithful.
It was only a few weeks on the first Sunday in March – March 7th – that local churches were given the green light to operate at 100% capacity.
So now, local pastors are gearing up for the biggest celebration of the year.
Bishop Lawrence Brandon, pastor of Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral, as well as Dr. Theron Jackson, pastor of Morning are looking forward to seeing worshipers in person on Sunday, the holiest day of the year in the Christian calendar.
“Well we are certainly excited about it, each and every year were excited about Resurrection Sunday, Brandon said.
Jackson, who remains cautious about the spread of the coronavirus until more people in the community receive both vaccination, is making an exception to the church’s virtual policy on Sunday, but will take steps to keep the congregation safe.
In the Sundays that follow Easter, Morning Star will go back to virtual, but will monitor how this week’s services work out to plan future services when circumstances are more favorable.
But for this week, because, Easter is “the ultimate day we celebrate,” Jackson said the church wanted to try to bring the faithful together, “even though it’s got to be in a limited way.”
The church will hold three services Sunday, at 6 a.m., 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., but worshippers at each service in the 1,000-capacity sanctuary will be limited to 200, and masks will be required, and social distancing will be observed. People who will attend the services inside the church were required to register by Thursday, so the church could control the number of inside worshipers.
As with all Morningstar Services since the beginning of the pandemic, Easter Services also will be broadcast live on Morningstar’s Webpage, Facebook page and YouTube, and recordings of those services will be accessible through those sites afterwards.
At Praise Temple, Brandon said CDC guidelines will be implemented during services and as a safety measure, additional services will be added on Sunday, and one service will be held outside in the church’s parking lot.
“We have the necessary precautions in place, of course, hand sanitizer, sanitizing the place, after each worshiping experience,” Brandon said.
Both pastors said it’s important to give people hope during the pandemic, as we carefully approach some sense of normalcy.
“I think we’ve experienced a season of separation so this is kind of a reunion and that’s what feels good about it,” Jackson said.
“Ushers and team members of the church will be there to assist to maker sure people have a happy and safe worship”,” Brandon said.
For more information from either church, click on links below:
Morning Star Baptist Church Click here
Praise Temple Click Here