Churches make changes as they prepare to reopen

Expect changes when your church goes back to in-person services.

“I think what has happened has really turned our faith upside down,” St. Paul AME Church Pastor Jeffrey Dove said.

Reverend Dove said he does not know when his church will open back up, but he’s already making plans for when it does.

“So, it challenges us as faith leaders to be creative on how we worship God and give God honor,” Reverend Dove said.

Every other pew in his church will be blocked off.

Members will also fill balcony seating that’s not normally used.

“We’re also going to create a new greeter’s team that would greet people coming into the church with hand sanitizer,” Reverend Dove said.

Members are also stepping up to help out.

“A couple of members donated hand sanitizer machines for the church and so I think people of faith are really exercising their faith in a really special way,” Reverend Dove said. “Initially, we thought we were going to lose money or income, but actually we’ve exceeded that.”

FOX 35 News stopped in at The Father’s House Church in Lake County.

When members go back to church, they’ll have to sign up online for a service.

“We don’t want to turn people away,” The Father’s House Church Pastor Tim Travis said. “We don’t want people to get on campus and say, ‘No, you can’t come in the church building.’ We would never want to do that.”

The Father’s House will hold its first in-person service May 31.

Registration online begins next week so the church can learn more about who will be showing up.

“We’re going to add a third and a fourth service if we need to to accommodate on Saturday night or more on Sundays,” Pastor Travis said. “So, we will accommodate everybody that wants to come back.”

The churches FOX 35 News spoke with say they will not require members to wear a mask during service, but they can if they’d like to.