In response to stay at home orders because of COVID-19, churches are finding creative ways to adapt to social distancing to meet individual spiritual needs in a time of crisis. Mainly, churches have held livestream masses and praise and worship services. One pastor in Pineville, LA, has found another unique way to bring his congregation together while maintaining social distancing.
On a cloudy Easter Sunday, the Rev. Joshua Joy Dara Sr. spoke in his microphone to a crowd of parked cars for a “Drive-In Resurrection Day Service” at Zion Hill Church Family.
Precautions were in place as staff members wore masks and gloves, and everyone remained in their cars for the service. Despite the limitations, the message of unity overcame the crowd as cars honked in acknowledgment as the pastor preached and arms were outstretched in praise.
As another precaution and a way to engage other members not able to attend, the church broadcast Dara on the radio. The Zion Hill Church Family Facebook page said, “once parked, please set your radio to KMXH 93.9 FM” to hear the 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11 a.m. services.
“The reason we did all of this is because Jesus is real,” Dara said to the crowd.
Dara, also a husband and a father, started Joy Dara Ministries in 2000. Even with the fear the coronavirus brings, Dara was passionate about the message he was speaking and instilled hope. Along with the drive-in, Dara offered a number with pastors standing by for one-on-one spiritual counseling.
Though nontraditional for normal Easter services, efforts such as Dara’s and other churches are welcomed to bring the church’s message to their members.
Dara said, “I pray God will protect you… You don’t need to be afraid. You don’t need to panic. God has your back.”