Ebenezer Baptist Church will hold its first outdoor worship service this weekend since the coronavirus pandemic began.
“While we recognize the importance of assembling as a congregation, we realize that the health and safety of our congregation is our greatest charge as faith leaders,” said the Rev. Thomas L. Walker. “We have been using FaceBook Live, YouTube and our church website, along with our television and radio broadcasts, as a way to continue delivering messages of hope to our congregation and the community.”
The service will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday. Worshippers will have an opportunity to worship in their vehicles or stand outside, while practicing social distancing. Worshippers are encouraged to wear face masks if they plan to stand outside.
The Rev. Timothy J. Walker will bring the message, and Minister TJ Walker will lead in worship music.
“These are challenging times, and the church continues to be that beacon of hope for so many people,” Thomas Walker said. “We want to continue serving the community in a responsible manner.
For the past two months, Ebenezer Baptist Church, along with other institutions of faith, have complied with Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order regarding the holding of large gatherings.
But in response to a federal lawsuit filed by a group of churches and religious officials, Judge James C. Dever III issued a temporary restraining order Saturday blocking enforcement of the restrictions affecting indoor religious services.
Cooper said earlier this week that he would not appeal that ruling and on Wednesday loosened many of the pandemic restrictions.
Thomas Walker said the church's worship services will still be provided on radio, television, FaceBook Live, YouTube and the church website for those who wish to continue worshipping remotely.
“We are hopeful that we will be able to return to our sanctuary on the first Sunday in June,” he said.