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Drive-in churches provide togetherness with distance
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Drive-in churches provide togetherness with distance

While many churches have taken to streaming their Sunday services online during the coronavirus pandemic, a couple of local churches have figured out how to physically gather together while still safely keeping their distance: Drive-in church.

Despite the cold, wet weather, Crossroad Worship Center held its worship service on Sunday at Blackwell Motors in Leadington, while Pleasant Hills Christian Church of Potosi met at the Starlite Drive-In Theater in Cadet.

Crossroad Pastor Dean Berry said his church does a livestream anyway, but he felt like his congregation needed something more during this time.

“I felt like people needed still to feel like they are coming together,” Berry said.

The church recently sold its building in Park Hills, so Berry initially thought they could hold service in the parking lot of their Lake Timberline location. But he wanted to find something that was a little more centrally located for both congregations.

Berry drove by Blackwell Motors in Leadington and decided to reach out to owner Kevin Blackwell about using his parking lot.

“A huge shout out to Kevin Blackwell,” Berry said. “I drove by and thought that thing would just be perfect.”

Crossroad will be meeting in Leadington again this Sunday at 11 a.m., when it’s supposed to be a little warmer.

“We’re just trying to have a place where people can still congregate and come together and worship,” Berry said. “The first one, it was cold, but it seemed powerful and went a lot better than I thought it was going to with the weather.”

Pleasant Hills pastor Trevor Kean initially just joked about having Sunday service at the Starlite Drive-In. But then it happened.

“We thought that by doing a drive-in, you could still provide a sense of togetherness while people were confined to their vehicles,” Kean said. “There wasn’t any personal interaction or contact that people would have with one another. So we could provide that togetherness at a distance and do it in a safe manner.”

Despite the snow, rain and cold, Kean said about 140 vehicles and 330 people were in attendance. And the feedback he’s gotten has been great.

“Everyone that was in attendance, reached out in one way or another,” Kean said, “through social media or through text just telling us, ‘great service. Thank you so much for offering this. It was great to get out, yet be safe in our vehicles and still be able to join together.’”

They plan to meet again at the drive-in this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Kean said they will continue to meet this way as long as the drive-in remains open and it’s still safe to do so.

Nikki Overfelt is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at noverfelt@dailyjournalonline.com.

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