Drive In Church Service
As drive-in church services gain ground, many local governments are aiming to stop them, fearing vehicle-bound parishioners will spread coronavirus.

Many churches made waves this last weekend as they held Easter services despite stay-at-home recommendations straight from the CDC. Some churches opted instead to hold drive-in religious service, where parishioners park in the parking lot and listen to the Sunday service from the safety of their cars. Think of the now nearly extinct drive-in movies of old, but a whole lot more religious.

Police in Greenville, Mississippi took exception to one church’s drive-in service, and began issuing tickets to the believers, carbound and with the windows up. And now, in a new twist, the Justice Department is stepping in - in favor of the faithful.

Government Backs the Believers

The Trump Administration’s filings indicate that they believe that religious gatherings are specifically being targeted, and that secular activities are not receiving the same scrutiny. Attorney General Barr backed that filing up, making a statement that places of worship won’t be targeted. He said that the police ignored local restaurants and stores to continue with parking lot services, and that “The City appears to have thereby singled churches out.”

With local governments banning large gatherings (and rarely making exceptions for religious services), more and more churches have turned to drive-in worship to spread their message. 

Pastor Bob Kemp-Baird of the Disciples of Christ church in Daytona Beach, Florida, is one such church leader turning to drive-in to get his message out.

“Churches are trying to find any way they can to gather people together,”he says. “They’re really feeling from their congregants, ‘we want to come together to worship, but we recognize the health risks. So what do we do?”

Too Risky?

Even with the Trump DOJ throwing support behind church drive-ins, local police crackdowns threaten them just as they’re taking off. The Greenville mayor’s office issued a statement, saying that churches should go digital instead of hosting drive-ins. “Churches are strongly encouraged to hold services via Facebook Live, Zoom, Free Conference Call, and any and all other social media, streaming and telephonic platforms,” it read.

Local governments fear that the church gatherings will be easy prey for the coronavirus, apparently not having faith that parishioners will stay in their cars and keep the windows rolled up. And with so many churches dropping in-person service entirely and going digital for the time being, it seems that many in local government believe this is one “essential service” that can be fulfilled at home. 

Yet, with the Department of Justice stepping in, it seems drive-in churches can continue. At least, for now.

What do you think of drive-in churches? Are they a safe and viable alternative to in-person worship, or simply too risky in a deadly pandemic?

30 comments

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    Damn!!! The DanielGray-20 virus has even infiltrated this topic.

    Remaining healthy and alive as long as possible for me and my family is my goal, irrespective of any government policies and mandates. Is that too difficult to understand?

    🦁❤️

    1. Rev. Dennis's Avatar Rev. Dennis

      Lionheart, sometimes you crack me up.

      Not always as you and I don't see eye to eye on everything, but in this case...LOL

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        It’s okay to have differences of opinion. Love is all that matters. Thank you for your comment. 😇

        🦁❤️

    2. Brien's Avatar Brien

      Lionheart, I enjoy your posts. I truly wish you luck in your valiant attempt to "fix stupid". I have been trying for years to get the brain cell challenged people to at least try some common sense. I have even gone so far as to teach beginning common sense 101. I fear that up to this point I have failed. For myself, the theory that you cannot fix stupid is a fact. I do truly wish you luck in this matter. Peace to you friend. 😷

    3. Br'er George's Avatar Br'er George

      Brother LionHeart!

      Love ya bro! You're right about the health stuff but I'm down with Dan, not for the reasons he cites though.

      I don't think the gummint has any bidniss shutting down a church that came up with a way to have their services safely.

      Can you or can you not drive in your own car to a parking lot and park next to someone else who did the same thing?

      Then, while you both stay in your respective cars, you watch your pastor on a stage where the drive-in screen is through your respective windshields and holla hallelujah!

      What's unsafe to anybody?

      What's the problem?

      The government is doing maaaad overreach here and needs to get off of people's backs.

    4. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      And the biased Lionheart Derangement syndrome has just hit this thread.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        Welcome to this beautiful country of freedom and liberty with the right to express oneself freely. You can of course leave and go to a socialist country, if you don't like this one, where they will do your thinking for you and tell you "what" to think, and not "how" to think. You know Daniel....just like religion. You're used to that...right? Is that why my freethinking comments aggravate you so much?

        🦁♥️

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          Yes Lionheart, welcome to this big beautiful country where politicians cant violate your rights or the federal laws of the Country and the US DOJ is supporting the protestors, much to the shock and dismay of people like you

          1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

            No shock and dismay from me. We the people can rightfully assemble and speak our truth unlike socialist countries where you can be imprisoned, or shot. Freedom of speech, and freedom to think your own thoughts without upsetting a mythical deity that wants to violate your rights to think is wonderful, I can assure you.

            🦁❤️

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              And you have yet to prove that God is mythical. So keep on with your religion bashing, it tells far more about you then anything else could.

              1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

                I am more than happy for you, or your god, to prove he/she is real and disprove my thoughts, and I'll come and happily join you both. Are you understanding that statement Daniel? Wouldn't you like that Daniel? Wouldn't your god like that? If the answer is a resounding Yes from you both, step up to the plate and do it. If you want to shy away from somehow doing it, ask your god to do it, if he/she is capable. Or isn't your deity as omnipotent as you think? I'm sat at home looking at the screen waiting for one of you to prove its reality. Please prove me wrong!!! I'm waiting for one of you. If I don't hear from one of you in the next 24 hours I'll just continue as before under the assumption only one of you is real.

                🦁♥️

                1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                  And why would anyone want a God who has to pop in and out o prove to people like you that they exist. Its called faith. I have faith that my God exists just like you have faith that no God exists. Problem is if you are correct then all I have done is good works and harmed nobody. On the other hand if I am correct when you sand before him for judgement, I really dont think "opppps my bad" is somehow gonna cut it

                  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

                    Pop in and out? When did he last pop in, if ever? Once every hundred years would be nice if he could manage it, once every 1000 years is less acceptable but it would be nice.

                    The difference between you and me is that I choose to do good works because I want to, whereas you are only doing good works because your god told you to, with the threat that if you don’t you’re going to Hell, or as a minimum, be told you are a naughty boy. Gods, if they exist, love blackmail..

                    🦁❤️

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Sorry but the US Department of Justice says you CANT shut down church's and if any state Gov has tried they have to change their laws toot sweet or face a federal felony charge

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-sessions-addresses-recent-criticisms-zero-tolerance-church-leaders

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-restrictions-cant-disfavor-churches-justice-department-says-11586903463

    https://time.com/5820997/justice-department-church-1st-amendment/

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/justice-department-defends-mississippi-drive-church-service-n1183761

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/14/politics/justice-department-backs-mississippi-church/index.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/mississippi-church-drive-in-justice-department/2020/04/14/05ef4f0e-7e70-11ea-9040-68981f488eed_story.html

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/14/william-barr-coronavirus-churches-186334

    So get it through your heads, you CANNOT shut down a church. If they decide to stop themselves then thats within the law. But for a LEO TO DO THIS OR HAVE ANY PART IN DOING THIS WILL COST THEM THEIR BADGES!!!!!

    Game Over. Discussion shut down

    1. Rev. Dennis's Avatar Rev. Dennis

      Once again I see Daniel that you misdirect your anger. The state did not issue the order in the Mississippi case the local Mayor and City Council did, in fact the state order said that church services could be held as long as CDC and state health department guidelines for safety are followed.

      "LOCAL governments fear that the church gatherings will be easy prey for the coronavirus"

      Also, maybe you, preachers and congregants should read Gods word as God himself outlines this in several areas of the Bible.

      Reading, learning, educating yourself. It does the soul, body and mind good.

      Try some incense or maybe a nicely scented candle while you read the bible, study law and contemplate on issues and direct your thoughts to those who erred on this (I have and continue to do this with the offending "authority" who violates the law).

      By the way, who is LEO?

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Law Enforcement Officer. And sorry I was using the Mississippi instance as an example. If you are not sure what that means look it up. And the US DOJ has just recently ruled that NO state nor county nor city can ban people from going to church. Sorry to bust your bubble

        1. Rev. Dennis's Avatar Rev. Dennis

          I am glad you clarified what LEO is. I do wish the police would learn the laws and rules they are meant to enforce. No need to yell about it on a board but politely informing the commissioners and above that there peace officers are breaking the law is all you need do and usually it will clear up. It might take a reminder or two (a visit from one of my friends doesn't hurt either) for it to sink in.

          It tickles me pink that the DOJ ruled on something which is so clear in the Constitution. Currently I have seen no instance of this happening at the state level in the Executive Orders. The states (and their subordinate lower levels of government) can limit the number of people in a building for the pandemic based on health guidelines outlined by the CDC and state health departments for the requirement of "social distancing". This coincides with the powers based on applicable codes for safety much like fire codes limit the number of occupants of any building, including religious ones.

          I also wish that "religious leaders" would also follow God's word (which they are not) in regards to this. Most of these incidents could be avoided if these leaders and "people of faith" would study the faith they so loudly proclaim to have. Note: most incidents have been with "Christian" faiths so far but I am sure that there are other faiths involved as well and I can look into these instances if you point them out to me.

          Stay well my brother and I am sure we will chat again.

          God bless.

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    I am ok with this. The church has taken the steps necessary to minimize exposure. I actually support responsible activities.

  1. William Waugh's Avatar William Waugh

    Just another example of complete idiocy on the part of organized religion. The government doesnt want to take over your church d-mb-ss. If our elected officials are offending thee by responsible actions to contain this INTERNATIONAL---WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC, then pls feel free to vote your choice in the next election. In the meantime, lift your vision beyond local inconveniences and focus on safty and recovery. ........We have been given an opportunity to go forth from this pandemic and change the world as we knew it. Already, after social cooperation around the world, people are jamming their negative agendas down everyones neck. People are chomping at the bit to throw gas on the flames of hatred. This should have been a wake up call to beat our swords into plowshares and turn guns into seeds. Perhaps {God.} did not send a strong enough virus to change the hearts of men! What does it take, to change a man? .......does anyone else see this? The sources of evil are quite plain to see when they apparently just cant wait to get back to business as usual. Watch this closely and see what I mean.

    1. Rev. Dennis's Avatar Rev. Dennis

      Evil is truly everywhere (including organized religion) but there is more goodness in the world than evil and it lays in the hearts of all God's children. It is our job to enlighten those who scream loudest as well as those who choose the wrong path. Both are unhappy from the confusion caused by the very evil they believe they are fighting. This confusion infects their soul and then they too become part of the evil by spreading falsehoods and theories which lead the masses into violating why we are here.

  1. the People's Project 5's Avatar the People's Project 5

    Beats the alternative.

  1. Vern Dee Wall's Avatar Vern Dee Wall

    RIGHT ON! At last the feds stand up for law and order!

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    The compromise should be that they keep a parking space vacant between cars...and once again, Daniel Gray, please note the federal government has the authority to preclude in-church services in this national emergency...and also once again, please explain why "believers" need a building to "practice" their faith...Peace...Tom B

    1. Rev. Dennis's Avatar Rev. Dennis

      God's word:

      24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man

    2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      LEO (Law Enforcement Officer)Please note the DOJ says they dont.

  1. Rev. Edward J Csapo's Avatar Rev. Edward J Csapo

    Good day all,

    To be safe, is to not harm another. Would we harm other if we are sick and in our cars ? Do we know what we are dealing with ? Services can take a break as we all need a rest from he world, and all the circumventing real issues in our own life. Faith is but a stepping stone to transcend this world its not the answer to all things.

    Rev. Edward J Csapo

    1. Rev. Dennis's Avatar Rev. Dennis

      I have a feeling after looking into many of the cases and speaking with people that they have been indoctrinated in only one way of worshiping God. They are vain in this belief as they don't study their religion and his word in depth. In some instances it is brought on by the devil disguised as a preacher based on greed and lust for money and power over their congregants. The congregants have been fooled into believing this lust is faith.

      1. Mnstr Timothy Blackwood's Avatar Mnstr Timothy Blackwood

        Good point. I occasionally check to see what certain others are commenting on (no names, no acronyms, no spit), and to see that the Omega Men, yes plural, do truly Love one another still. Give each, and all, the time of day while you still can. The tide is high... keep it up.

  1. Alexander Clarke's Avatar Alexander Clarke

    I think that the concept of a drive-in church service is great. Alas, where I live all the drive-in theaters are long gone.

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    They need to HERD. More that gets this virus the less there are who will spread it. Even Trump has said that people need to HERD. Try TWiV series start with # 581.

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