Gautier church holds large outdoor parking lot worship service

Updated: May. 10, 2020 at 5:24 PM CDT
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GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Members of First Baptist Church of Gautier said they’re feeling refreshed after coming together for the first time since March.

The church welcomed members as they returned to church grounds for a socially distanced Mother’s Day service.

“Beautiful day the Lord has given us, beautiful sunny day, and we can gather here together," said member Tony DiCarlo.

The church’s staff sanitized 200 chairs on Friday to be set up on Sunday morning. The seats were spaced six feet apart with six feet between each row. Pastor David Aultman said he wanted to give people the option to practice their faith while staying safe during the pandemic.

“The purpose of this service is not to make a political statement. The purpose of this is to praise God and to remember the amazing ladies that we have in our midst," Aultman said.

The Mother’s Day service brought out families who stayed together in small groups while spaced out in the parking lot. Many were excited to see other familiar faces for the first time in weeks.

“I’m a big hugger, and so it’s been really hard for me not to be able to hug and to love on others," said member Melanie Pace.

Ushers, who wore masks and gloves, manned the hand sanitizer stations and contactless offering boxes. People said the calculated approach to safety lets them know that their physical and spiritual health is a priority.

“I was very confident that this would be set up the right way because I know our pastor. and I know how these people work together making things right to protect the congregation,” DiCarlo said.

First Baptist Church Gautier plans to hold future outdoor worship services until it is safe to congregate inside the church.

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