SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Praise Temple Missionary Baptist Church held Sunday service in their parking lot to practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. Bishop L. Lawrence Brandon preached his sermon to members in and around their cars from in front of the church building.
He says the main message he wanted the congregation and others to know is that they’re choosing Christ over coronavirus and spreading faith instead of fear.
“We’re known as a church without walls anyway by our service to the community, but especially today,” said Bishop Brandon, “They can roll down their windows, and listen to the Word. Listen to the worship and watch us as we’re out front. All of us are practicing social distancing.”
COVID-19 had been spreading rapidly through the state. Governor Edwards stated in a press briefing that Louisiana has had the fastest growing rate of confirmed cases in the world. Still, at Praise Temple you could find people worshipping with gloves and masks.
“It’s part of my weekend routine to come to church on Sunday, and I think that dispite everything that’s going on that we should still take advantage of anytime we have an opportunity to praise the Lord,” said Tia Mitchell, a member of the church.
It’s not typical to be outside of the sanctuary for church but for Shelita Thompson, who is also a member, she says even in the slight difference people still need to get a message from pastor. She sat in her car listening to the sermon with her Bible open in the passenger seat.
“And just like Bishop was preaching, this Word here. It says, ‘Fear not, for I am with thee. Do not be dismayed, for I am thy God.’ He’s our God,” she says.
In the midst of having faith, members also understand the importance of keeping their distance from neighbors. Lisa Bolten is also a member who came to worship in the parking lot.
“Even though we need to come out and worship it’s still important that we follow directions of the state and the governor. That we do stay away from eachother you know, but we can still do this and be outside and still, you know, worship God.”