Valley churches move Easter services online to prevent spread of COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was a different sight on Good Friday.

Car after car waited in line as People's Church held a drive-thru communion, an effort to encourage social distancing.

It's just one of the many ways places of worship are now getting creative.

With Easter Sunday approaching, pastors like Brad Liebe say they're getting ready for a different view.

Instead of thousands of people filling their congregation, their church will remain empty as services will move online.

Several churches will move their Easter services to the web amid the pandemic.

RELATED: Coronavirus: List of Central CA churches holding Easter services online

Liebe, as well as other church leaders, say the transition has taken weeks of work as church staff has called thousands of members to make them aware of the changes.

"Our congregate staff has made over 9000 phone calls in the last two and a half weeks," says Liebe.

Along with calls, churches have held several food pick-ups to help families in times of need.

Pastor Jim Franklin of Cornerstone Church says they plan to have another drive-thru pick one to help over 1000 families on Saturday.

But as drive-thru services become more popular, county officials say they could also be a risk to your safety.

"The problem with drive-in events is that you see multiple houses in one car, people at risk are in one car," says Dr. Simon Paul.

Church leaders say despite the changes, they're hoping their new online way of celebrating the holiday will not only keep families together during times of isolation.

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