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2 churches in Talladega going with drive-in services during pandemic (with photo gallery)

Stockdale Bapt Church - Radio service 3 tw.jpg

Pastor Kevin Jones of Stockdale Baptist Church in Talladega.

TALLADEGA -- As people enter into their second week of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, at least two local churches have hit upon an idea that will allow for continued fellowship and praise while continuing to maintain health guidelines.

They are hosting drive-in church services.

Stockdale Baptist Church Pastor Kevin Jones said he first got the idea from a pastor in another state. 

“At first, I was just going to set up a PA system, but I was concerned about road noise,” he said. “So I ordered an FM radio transmitter on Amazon.” 

Now parishioners can just pull into the church parking lot, tune their car radios to the selected frequency, and they will be able to hear as close to a regular service as possible under the circumstances. 

Jones said he was going to conduct a test run Wednesday before holding a full drive-in service on Sunday. Pastor Joel Davis of Westside Baptist Church will be hosting a similar service Sunday, starting at 6:30 p.m.

“We’re not innovators here,” Jones said. “Other churches around the country did it first. In fact, the transmitters were all out of stock at first. We actually got this one in one day early, so we’re going to do the test run Wednesday, just to work the bugs out and get everything ready for Sunday.”

Staying in contact is important, Jones said. 

“We’ve been doing services online, but not everyone has the internet, and some people don’t even have computers at home,” he said. “This gives people a chance to meet with their minister and ‘stay apart together,’ obeying the guidelines. And we will be enforcing keeping the cars 10 feet apart. If it works, we’re looking at doing this until we can meet in the sanctuary again.”

In a press release, Westside officials made a similar statement, referring to the Sunday evening service as “an incredible night of worshipping together while maintaining a safe social distance by sitting inside our automobiles, tuning in.”

Stockdale Baptist Church is at 3673 Stockdale Road and can be reached by phone at 256-362-5040.

Westside Baptist Church is at 67700 Alabama Highway 77 and can be reached at 205-441-7724.