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Lubbock churches expect Easter celebrations to look more like pre-pandemic times

Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 9:12 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Last year, Easter was one of the first holidays impacted by COVID-19′s state and nationwide changes, but many Lubbock churches say services this Sunday will look more like pre-pandemic times, with some differences.

“Last year was really an interesting time for us because we had to completely learn how to do church all over again,” said Pastor Richard Rush at Calvary Baptist Church in South Lubbock.

Rush said even though more people have been joining the congregation over the past several months, he’s looking forward to having an in-person crowd for the Easter celebration. He says some rows will continue to be marked off this Sunday.

“The resurrection story because that’s what makes Christmas mean something. If there was no resurrection, that means Christmas was just the birthday of another baby.”

“We’ve seen our numbers going back up in our crowds. We see a lot of our senior adults, now that vaccines are happening.”

However, Rush says he knows that many people are still choosing to stream from home.

Over at Calvary Chapel in Central Lubbock, Pastor Ben Martinez says last year, they chose to shut down for Easter and although he’s grateful, he says this year will still feel different since only 60 percent of his members have returned to the physical worship room. He says there are many still streaming online.

“I think there’s still fear out there with the pandemic,” Pastor Martinez said.

“Church is about being in person and what we say at Calvary is we really understand if you are afraid, we respect that. If you want to stay home and watch, that’s great, but I’ve got to be honest with you... God made the church for us to be in person.”

Jimmy Lucero at The Worship Center’s South Lubbock Campus (there’s also a West Campus) says he’s been excited to watch more and more people come back to church over the past several months.

“That’s what we’ve missed. The family that you create when you’re here.”

Last year, it had a very successful drive-thru service with thousands of cars. This year, there will be no drive-thru. Jimmy says streaming is also very popular at his church, saying that out of the 700 seats at the South Campus, at least 200 remain open. He said those people are probably choosing to stream online.

“There are some that are still worried and taking the precautions and we are totally fine with that. So our online campus has really blown up,” Lucero said.

The state does not require churches to wear masks, but most many churches in Lubbock say they encourage it.

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