Televangelist Reverend Robert H. Schuller began the Garden Grove Community Church in 1955, at a drive-in movie theater. A revival of this idea will take place on Easter Sunday in Colusa County.
“You don’t have to have a building, you just have to have His people,” said Pastor Marty Decker, of Grimes Community Church, who is planning to broadcast his sermon with the aid of an FM transmitter on Sunday.
Other churches in the county are planning similar drive-in worship for Easter, with some still working out the details to make it possible.
Williams Community Church, Williams Parkside Methodist, and Williams Neighborhood Church are working together, scouting for the perfect parking lot.
In the past, holy week would be observed with procession of children with palm fronds on Palm Sunday, a Thursday passover meal, a Good Friday service with people taking turns carrying a wooden cross.
“This is a special time,” said Jason McMullan, pastor of the Williams Community Church. “This is the most important time in our Christian Calendar – even more than Christmas.”
Stonyford Community Church traditionally holds Easter service in the grandstands of the rodeo grounds.
“Even though we could spread out far enough there this year, there is no way to stop people from sharing handrails and passing germs on surfaces,” said Pastor Daniel Reagan. “That’s why we elected to do a drive-in service.”
The sunrise service is scheduled for 6:30 AM at the Stonyford Rodeo Grounds. Along with an FM transmitter, loudspeakers will amplify the musical instruments of Regan and his son as they lead worship from the flatbed of a truck.
Extra precautions will be taken to make sure that people have no reason to leave their vehicles.
Decker said he has enlisted the help of a congregant who will usher the vehicles along Highway 45 and place sheet music on the windshields so the motorists can participate.
Regan said that along with an announcement, there will be signs asking people to remain in their vehicles. He also said he will be keeping the service to a hour or less as the public bathrooms will remain locked.
“We are excited about the Easter Service,” said Reagan. “The church building is empty but our hearts certainly aren’t.”
McMullan said in lieu of an egg hunt, he intends to put bags with candy-filled eggs on the vehicles of attendees that indicate they have children. ■