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Tampa church turns to drive-in service as concerns over COVID-19 spread

New Beginnings Christian Church members were encouraged to attend the weekly drive-in service to help ease anxieties over the coronavirus.

TAMPA, Fla. — Churches and religious centers around the area have canceled services or moved them online to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

But one church over in Tampa is using their unique setup to keep visitors separate and safe.

Every Sunday for the past 48 years, the New Beginnings Christian Church has offered a drive-in service.

“There are a lot of people here that I see are normally insiders," said church member Trisha Shirey.

The grass lot in front of New Beginnings Christian Church was full, with more cars than usual this morning.

After coronavirus precautions and cases rose last week, the staff decided to utilize their unique service to help protect the more vulnerable members of their congregation.

Knowing that some members of their congregation may have been "a little bit afraid" or "anxious about big service opportunities" the church encouraged members to attend the drive-in service.

“For my age and their age, right now it doesn’t seem like it’s that big a deal. It’s really more of a worry that they can carry it to a lot of the older folks. Cause I mean we have a lot of older folks who attend as well," said Shirey as she held her young son Michael. 

“It’s awesome. I mean if you are sick, which I’m not fortunately, you know it allows you to come here. And if you want to come in your pajamas, no one is going to care!" exclaimed church member Thomas Jones.

The church not only practiced good precautions, Kiefer also preached about it.

“I think that would be the epitome of arrogance and selfishness, to only think of myself. ‘You know what, I am just going to do what I want to do. I’m just going to go touch and do all these other things. I know there are mandates from Washington, and elders of the church have said this. But I am just going to do what I want to do.’ I want to tell you, I believe that’s irresponsible. And I think that puts our neighbors unnecessarily at risk," preached Kiefer.

The church plans to continue encouraging visitors to attend the 8:30 drive-in sermon next week.

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