Joel Hinds, Aaron Good, Scott Williamson, David Cox (in back), and Dennis Walton leading the worship. (photo credit: Amy Hinds)An estimated 300 to 400 people attended the socially distanced Easter service on April 12. (photo credit: Aaron Good)Jerry Tooley preaching from the makeshift stage in the parking lot of Jasper Engines. (photo credit: Amy Hinds)A view from the parking lot as Willow Springs gathered to celebrate Easter Sunday 2020. (photo credit: Freda Carr)

Socially Distant, yet Spiritually in Sync

In a year unlike any other, churches in Willow Springs stood empty on Easter Sunday. Undaunted, Christians would not allow the day to pass without a gathering designed to provide an opportunity for fellowship and worship while maintaining a safe distance among the participants. 
Instead of separate services in all the churches in town, an estimated 300 to 400 people gathered in the parking lot of Jasper Engines on the morning of April 12 to participate in a unified Easter service from their vehicles. Volunteers wandered the parking lot to make sure everyone stayed separated throughout the service. At the entrances to the parking lot, organizers set up stations to provide communion elements for participants who had not brought their own. 
Many area pastors lent their voices to the service. Joel Hinds of First Baptist and Aaron Good from Westside Family Life Center led the music. Doug Collins from Blue Buck offered the opening prayer. David Cox from Trinity Baptist prayed over the communion. Jerry Tooley from Little Zion gave the sermon. Dennis Walton from Crossway Fellowship offered the closing prayer, and Joel Hinds gave a final benediction to the crowd to complete the service. 
Scott Williamson of First General Baptist and David Lovan from Westside were also present to participate. All the pastors were on a stage, so worshippers could both see and hear them. To ensure the service was audible, it was broadcast on an FM radio station.  
“It is absolutely exhilarating to be here celebrating with other people...It’s like a rally meets an old-fashioned worship service and drive-in movie,” said one attendee. 
Freda Carr called the service a “holy moment in time”. Honks were honking and lights flashing throughout the service as Willow celebrated Resurrection Sunday.

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793
417-252-2123

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