Drive-In and worship: Church plans service without leaving car

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GRAYSON, Ky. (KT) – The members of Wilson Creek Missionary Baptist Church will be attending a service Sunday morning without getting out of the car.


Wilson Creek, affectionately called “The Creek” by members, will be having a Drive-In service on the bottomland beside the country church in Carter County.


Joed Rice, the pastor of the church, said a member shared with him the idea that David’s Fork Baptist Church in Lexington set in motion last week where members pulled onto the parking lot and the pastor preached from a makeshift stage.


The idea is catching on apparently.


Olive Baptist Church in Hardin County will be having a Drive-In worship service on March 29 at 10:30 a.m. (CST). They have acquired a FM broadcast transmitter and will have people stay in their cars.  The musicians will lead worship from the porch of the church and Pastor Todd Dodson will preach. 


“I hated the thoughts of having to shut down the church,” Rice said. “We have some folks who are not tech savvy, they’re not on Facebook and most of them don’t text. For me to livestream, I’d be leaving them out.”


Rice said after thinking about it, the common denominator among members was they come to church in a vehicle. “Nobody rides a horse,” he said.


It’s not unusual for the church to use the bottomland behind the church for activities. Rice said they have hayrides and bonfires in the fall that attract people from all over. They've had picnics with inflatables, too. It's a well-used part of the property and now it will be part of the Sunday service.


Wilson Creek held services last Sunday and again Wednesday in the church, but Rice didn’t feel comfortable with continuing since he does have an older congregation that could be compromised by the coronavirus.


“We were hoping things would get better,” he said.


The Drive-In service will start at 1 p.m. because it will be a little warmer than a morning start. The forecast is for 50 degrees and sunny. Rice said the membership is excited about trying something different and he expects a good turnout.


“Everybody thought it was a grand idea,” he said. “We may be doing Easter Sunday outside.”


Rice said he has a member who is an evangelist  and he had the speakers, amplifiers and microphones needed for the service. They will pull a flatbed trailer onto the field and set up shop to preach the gospel. One member is trying to get an FM transmitter so those attending could listen via a radio signal, in case the weather turns chilly.


“We are looking forward to it,” Rice said. “Our folks are pumped.”


Rice said his church has a Facebook page but most of the membership doesn’t have smartphones and are not online. “Not because they’re dumb or anything, they just don’t care about that stuff," he said. "We still have a list of 12 to 15 people that we call (the landline).


“I wanted to make sure everybody has a shot at worship, and the building does mean something. It’s a visible reminder to the community. There’s something about gathering together literally that makes a difference.”


An offering will be taken car to car but proper social distancing will be observed, Rice said.

Rice is proud of his church, where he has pastored since 2009. They send 25 to 30 on an annual mission trip to Montana and are active in the Greenup Association, he said.


“It’s a good church,” he said. “Wilson Creek, pound for pound, is as good as any in the association.”




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