MONROE, LA (5/17/20)– After weeks of preaching to an empty congregation, Pastor Bill Dye of North Monroe Baptist Church, welcomed back his church members for the first Sunday since their doors closed months ago due to COVID-19.
“We’re so excited, I mean it’s been good to have virtual church, but nothing replaces real church because church is a family. It’s like you haven’t seen your family in two months,” said Bill Dye, Lead Pastor at North Monroe Baptist Church.
As families gather to worship, they made sure to leave room for Jesus and social distancing. Church officials say they are offering multiple services Saturday and Sunday so that the crowds will remain small and people can still worship while being safe.
“Eventually we will have a new normal. We don’t know if life will be like it was, but whatever its going to be, were gonna begin that process,” said Pastor Dye.
That process has already started. Pastor Bill says they are following safety guidelines like keeping doors open, greeters wearing masks, cleaning surfaces in between services, and counting people at the door.
“Well I think setting the example that you can do it and you can do it safely. I have friends that choose not to come this weekend, which I think is fine it’s their decision, but seeing that it is being done in a safe manner,” said Brian King, member at North Monroe Baptist Church.
Remembering the days where hugs and handshakes were welcomed, Dye says one thing they’re not doing is taking anything for granted
“But it’s also made us really appreciate things that were taken away from us and just being with people, being able to hug people and comfort people,” said Pastor Dye.
Though church may be a little unusual, Pastor Bill says it’s all worth it.
North Monroe Baptist Church has not opened it’s nursery or childcare operations due to safety precautions. However, if you would like to attend one of their services, services are Saturday at 6 pm and Sunday at 8:30 and 10 am.