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Triangular churches brace for Easter crowds as NC COVID cases plummet

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RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — With COVID-19 cases declining across North Carolina, a number of churches are preparing for larger crowds in anticipation of Easter Sunday next weekend.

It has been three years since some have personally attended an Easter service. April 2019 was the last time many people attended a real Easter service, according to Assistant Minister for Students Brain Lockamy of New Hope Baptist Church.

“When COVID first emerged, the numbers went down quickly. People were just afraid of being insecure and uncertain,” Lockamy said.

The launch of online ministries was a great feature for some, but difficult for those used to sitting in the pews. It made the experience different.

“It made it really difficult to reach families whose kids are already burned out from online school,” Lockamy said.

Now that the state is seeing a drop in COVID numbers and hospitalizations, church leaders said they are optimistic about the crowds returning.

“It kind of feels like with vaccinations and when things settle down a bit, it feels closer to normal,” said Pastor Ken Hester of the Crossroads Fellowship.

Though some may still be reluctant to return and continue using online services, Hester said it’s not the same as in person.

“You will personally experience something different. We can all see the Final Four, we can all see the Masters, we can all do that and we’re like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing’ to see that, but being there is a whole different experience,” he said.

Easter Sunday is a day of hope, they say. And just like other churches in the triangle, they are already making preparations for more visitors.

“We added extra chairs. We’ve made sure we have diverse people in places and volunteers who are ready and excited,” said Hester.

For more information about New Hope Baptist Church Easter service click here.

Information about the Sunday Easter service Crossroads Fellowship click here.

https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/wake-county-news/triangle-churches-prepare-for-extra-crowds-for-easter-as-covid-cases-decline-in-nc/ Triangular churches brace for Easter crowds as NC COVID cases plummet

DUSTIN JONES

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