Northeast Fresno church adding outdoor service under tent

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hundreds of people came together under a large white tent for Sunday service at Peoples Church in northeast Fresno.

It wasn't the church's first outdoor gathering and they say it won't be their last.

"We have no intention of that tent going anywhere right now," says Exec. Pastor Brad Liebe. "So it's not only used for Sunday morning at nine, but our student ministries on Wednesday night, our college ministries, women's ministries, a lot of different ministries use that tent as well."

Peoples Church has been holding online services for months because of COVID-19.

But recently, church leaders decided it was time to give their congregants the option to gather together in person.

"We aren't created to be in a hole by ourselves," Liebe said. "I think it's extremely important for people to be able to have interactions."

So the tent went up, and people like David Davila says they're grateful to be back.

"We are all socially distancing, but we're able to engage, see people, and have that fellowship that God wanted us to have during this time," he said.

Masks are encouraged but not required.

Temperatures aren't checked but there is plenty of hand sanitizer available, and Liebe says they've eliminated any points of physical contact during the service, which starts at 9 a.m. every Sunday.

"The tent is very important for us," Liebe said. "Opportunities like this are very, very important to us, and frankly, we're hoping and praying the city and the county and state officials will kind of get their minds around this and see the value and the importance as well of people being together."
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