The Coronavirus and the Church

This photo was originally posted on the Peace Chapel website:

Lydia Engel

Local Fair Grove churches have had to stop gathering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and have been forced to take other measures for their worship. As gathering for services would violate CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, the churches have been providing services elsewhere.


Most local churches are using the internet to reach their community. By uploading live or pre-recorded services to their websites, Youtube, or social media pages, the church has continued to move on past the issue of being unable to gather. Furthermore, Fair Grove First Baptist church has a prayer group on its Facebook page, while Peace Chapel takes prayer requests on its website. First Baptist has even taken it beyond the internet, explaining “We have had a drive in service where we used a low power FM transmitter to our parking lot, and we are talking with the Greene county health department to see if that is going to be permissible in the future.”


Providing food, making personal phone calls, checking in with other ministries in Springfield, and mowing elderly peoples’ lawns are just a few ways local churches have been helping the community during the Coronavirus pandemic. Brad McAtee, pastor of Peace Chapel, shared, “They said that it could take up to three weeks, but one of my goals is that (Convoy of Hope) would bring us a semi-truck load of things so that we can hand out supplies to the people in our community.” Peace Chapel also is continuing to support the Heart to Heart organization. “We support the local food bank and we’re in contact with some of the Springfield ministries to see how we might be able to help,” First Baptist stated. Many local churches are doing what they can for the Fair Grove community.

Despite the efforts the churches have provided, there are still many worries that come with the virus. A common worry is the separation from the church community. First Baptist explains, “The church is based on community, and since we’re not able to be together, one of the significant parts of our ministry has been sidetracked.” Another worry for churches is funding. Peace Chapel shares, “There’s the question of will people pay their tithes, will people not? It’s been our experience so far that people are still being faithful.” The church is also concerned for its members who don’t have the internet as a way to gain community, and the loneliness that could stem from that.

Avid church goer Marilyn Albers has found herself having to transition from attending services to watching them online. “So far I have missed attending church, but as time goes on I’m sure I’m going to miss it more and more,” she admitted, “It will be a great day when we can finally go to church together again!” Albers has been watching several church services, one of which called Life Church which is live on Sundays but can be watched later anytime. Despite the looming threat of COVID-19, she stays firm in her faith. “I intend to trust Him no matter what, for I believe He is the Almighty God of steadfast perfect love and the truth of that does not depend on my limited understanding,” Albers said, “In uncertain times like this, I lean on Him more than ever!”

Although there are several ways Fair Groves local churches are staying connected, people are eager to get back together again. “It’s hard for many people to believe that we’re not having church,” Pastor McAtee said, “When I talk to people they’re like, ‘I just can’t wait until we can come back together again. I miss the fellowship, I miss being in the services.’ That kind of thing.” Services online provide many people ways to stay connected to church during difficult times such as these. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that this is one of the indications that the scripture seems to point to the beginning of what some would deem the end of times,” First Baptist church shared, “How long that lasts, nobody knows. Could be hundreds and hundreds of years, but it’s something that’s been prophesied in scripture many thousands of years ago.” Fair Groves local churches have been pushing through the struggles of the pandemic and providing various tools online and off to help their community.