Public places are shutting down one by one as coronavirus (COVID-19) fears arise, this includes dozens of churches in Bossier Parish.
For an undetermined number of weeks, many church leaders have decided to stream their services online.
“It’s an unprecedented time in the life of the church in our community,” said Pastor John Fream, Cypress Baptist Church in Benton.
Fream’s church joins a growing list of churches that have closed to hold services online. Pastor Fream said it’s what’s best for his congregation amid a highly contagious COVID-19.
“We want to do our part to try to help slow the spread,” said Fream. “We want to do whatever we can as a church to help our community and sometimes that means changing the way we meet. There’s no playbook for this. Everybody is just kinda going with it.”
Fream’s services can be watched on YouTube, Cypress Baptist Church’s website and Facebook page.
“What we want to try to do is leverage the technology that we have to be the best possible resource that we can, so we don’t want to give up on meeting together,” said Fream.
Fream says the power of social media has been such a powerful tool for his church.
“We’re seeing, between those three sites, almost 10,000 views a week. We have 2,000 people that come on normal Sundays. We’re pulling the map up and we have people watching us from Michigan, California, Washington, Maine, Alabama, Dallas,” said Fream. “I knew that social media was powerful. But wow, I did not realize it was this powerful. God’s word is not going to be restrained in any way.”
While social distancing is best for slowing the spread of COVID-19, in many ways the virus is bringing unity among people and bringing them closer to God.
“I think people are scared. They are really looking for comfort from the Lord,” said Fream. “If you remember what 9/11 was like, it woke everybody up spiritually for a while. I think that’s what is happening again.”