KWTX | Royden Ogletree | June 8, 2020
Church leaders in Waco have been meeting regularly since the coronavirus shut down the entire state. After the shutdown was lifted the churches continued to meet to discuss when they should open their doors for people to attend in person again. On Sunday 30 churches opened their doors for the first time in months.
“We prayed and sought the Lord and felt that June 7th was good date that coincided with what the government was saying,” said Johnathan Pokluda, Pastor of Harris Creek Baptist Church. “And as they lifted restrictions, allowed us to be careful. To plan well. And to open our doors in unity.”
Churches had several different ways of opening. Some still haven’t opened their doors. At Highland Baptist Church in Waco, they are going with five services. With people to divided by last name, and with seats together in in groups of two, three or up to six. One service is dedicated solely to high risk members. Pastor Pokluda and Harris Creek Baptist Church called their re-opening, a soft re-opening. With members continuing to watch the service online in their established life groups.
“We opened our doors for first time guests and those that haven’t visited before or not in community,” said Pokluda. “People who are perusing membership with the church. I think given the resources that the Lord has provided for this time, that’s what we felt was the best strategy.”
Despite the restrictions people were happy be back worshiping in person.
“It was really special,” said Daniel Bucknam, who attends Highland.
“It was really special to see friends and reconnect with them. A huge part of going to church is just being in community with one another…really special and unique to get to see people and I’m proud of the churches in the city who are willing to take the necessary steps and precautions to make sure that church members can have those interactions with the community.”