Keeping Easter celebrations in S.C. churches during unprecedented times

Churches preparing for Easter services amidst COVID-19

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The governor’s 'Home or Work’ order has raised questions about what businesses are considered essential, and one Myrtle Beach pastor says the church is essential.

Pastor James Neece has been leading Ignite Church for five years and is grateful Gov. Henry McMaster is allowing Easter services to continue.

For many churches, this resurrection service will be unlike the others because of the COVID-19 threat, with some churches focusing more on ways to help flatten the curve. Neese said the order created some confusion about what churches could do for services and he’s happy Easter will be happening across our area.

“Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity. We feel a commitment to God’s word and one another to provide as many avenues as we can for people to enjoy the celebration at home or live," Neece said.

Ignite Church is offering online streaming of the resurrection service to accommodate for members staying home while also keeping the church doors open for those attending the live service. The church has taken steps to ensure those coming inside the church are safe, including providing hand sanitizer to attendees and keeping seating six feet apart.

Neece said 60% of his congregation was already staying home, self quarantining and watching the online streaming service. And for the 40% coming inside the church, he’ll be there to welcome them, with the safety guidelines in place.

Members of the congregation are considering a service in a parking lot near the beach and the church may hold Sunrise service. They’ll provide updates about the services and safety measures on their Facebook page.

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