WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Warner Temple AME Zion is one of many churches who announced they would be live streaming services Sunday, amid Executive Order from Gov. Roy Cooper that gatherings of 100-plus people would not be permitted.
A lot of churches already stream their regular services, but to stare straight into a camera, with no audience and try to touch hundreds with a message feels a little odd.
Of course, there is a closeness about attending service in person that one just doesn’t get sitting at home watching the live-stream.
“You connect and connections really matter.," said Pastor Clifford Barnett. “Getting to feel each others pain and share each others joys as well as their sorrows, you can’t do that by way of the internet.”
Pastor Barnett’s message Sunday was about resiliency. He said Wilmington has shown great toughness over the years after dealing with Hurricane Florence, barring down during Hurricane Dorian and now trying to brace for the possible impact of COVID-19.
Barnett said there are still ways any congregation will be able to meet and gain that closeness as long as they are smart about hygiene and safety.
“What really keeps people involved in faith-based groups is that connection in small groups,” said Barnett. “Even though I couldn’t get to my big group i could get to my small group, I know six or seven people that know me and that’s how you can continue to grow.”