While most churches have spent the last 6-8 weeks holding services online, including Easter, a group of local churches has sought out a way to reconstitute corporate worship by any safe means.
To that end, hundreds of cars filled the parking lot at the Williamson County Ag Center Sunday evening for a drive-in worship service sponsored by over 20 area churches and approved by local and state governments.
While some government leaders have discouraged drive-in church services, on Sunday in Tennessee, the state’s governor attended a drive-in service – and even delivered a word of inspiration from Scripture.
Gov. Bill Lee attended a multi-church “Beyond Our Walls” worship service Sunday evening at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park, where members from more than 15 churches throughout the area drove their cars to a large parking lot to pray, sing and listen to various speakers. Way-FM (88.7), a local Christian station, broadcast the event.
The event benefited One Generation Away, an organization that distributes food to families in Middle Tennessee.
“Thank you for everything that every one of you are doing,” Lee told attendees from the stage. “Thank you for doing your part to stay apart. Thank you for loving your neighbors as yourself. Thank you for serving in food banks. Thank you for serving in non-profits, and thank you for serving in your neighborhood.
“… Thank you for praying. Thank you for praying for me and for [Tennessee First Lady] Maria [Lee]. Thank you for praying for leaders all across this state. Thank you for praying for those who are sick. Thank you for praying for the families of those that have lost loved ones. … And thank you for having hope. In this world we’ll have many troubles, but we know where our hope comes from, and He has overcome the world,” Lee said, referencing John 16:33 and sparking the sound of countless horns honking Christian Headlines reports.
Lee also thanked doctors, nurses and first responders.
“Thank you for putting your lives on the line,” Lee said.
One goal of the event was to bring together the body of Christ. Hundreds of cars filled the parking lot, honking their honks as a replacement for the typical “amen” or hand clap. Christian musical artists Nicole C Mullen and Francesca Battistelli also sang.
“We live in a world that is politically, socially, and spiritually charged,” the event’s Facebook page said. “It seems that no matter what you do, say, or think, half of the world is angry at you and aggressive toward you.
“The church has to navigate the raging waters of staying open, or not, for public meetings. We want to be good citizens in the immediate crisis, while simultaneously not wanting to contribute to the long-term infringement upon our cherished religious freedom.
“In light of these challenges, we and 15+ other churches have agreed to participate in a safe, sensible, public, multi-church, drive-in prayer and worship service. … We welcome anyone to join us who is of a willing, peaceful, and prayerful attitude.”
The service did not break any laws. It also followed COVID-19 guidelines, according to event organizers.
“People will stay in their cars and thereby adhere to social distancing suggestions,” the Facebook pages said. “We have the approval of local, state, and national governmental leaders.”