COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Churches all around the Chattahoochee Valley celebrated Easter - both virtual and in person this year.
“It’s so good to see the people that we saw this morning, and see the people here. It’s a sign that Jesus fulfills his promises. Because a year ago at this time, this wasn’t a reality,” said Derrick Shields, pastor of Christ Community Church.
It’s a day of hope and renewal, church members said - especially with the opportunity to worship and celebrate together in person.
“COVID has brought so many pains, but the joy that Jesus brought in the pain is what we celebrate,” said Florence Tons James, Christ Community Church member.
Some churches, including St. Mary’s Road United Methodist Church, started the holiday at dawn with an Easter sunrise service.
“When they said last year at the Road, Oh what will we do? Here we are boldly stepping into another Easter,” said Reverend Adrian Burgess, pastor of St. Mary’s Road UMC.
COVID-19 protocols were in place at both St Mary’s and Christ Community Church - and even though Easter looked different that way, people were still grateful.
“We know that for our congregation, people felt more comfortable worshipping outdoors. So we thought we would continue the tradition of the sunrise service, but have it outdoors,” said Burgess.
Pastor Derrick Shields of Christ Community church said the difference one year has made on his church is large.
“Looking back then, it was a bit kind of like hopeless, but on Easter Sunday, we just get hope from our Savior,” said Shields.
Church members emphasized the importance of in person fellowship on important days like Easter Sunday.
“We need the community, and we need the love of each other. And I just feel very blessed to be here to share in it,” said Andrea Payne, church member of St. Mary’s Road UMC.
Right now, St. Mary’s Road United Methodist Church is mainly virtual - and Christ Community Church has limited in person services.