Beckley church reopens with special service for senior citizens

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — After an uncertain and isolating two months, seniors citizens were welcomed back inside Beckley Praise Church with a special service.

For the congregation at Beckley Praise Church, Sunday, May 17, 2020 was their first time back in church in months.

Congregant, Lois Pittman, said she felt overwhelmed with emotion walking through the church doors.

“I’m really glad to be here,” said Pittman. “I miss it so much, and this is what I get to look forward to because I don’t get to do anything else. That’s my life is coming to church.”

Pastor Paul Chapman is starting to gradually transition back to a regular schedule of services, after months of delivering sermons on Facebook live due to COVID-19.

“It feels really good to be able to start the reopening process of the building, the church has been doing live Facebook posts throughout this whole pandemic, but it feels really good to be able to start seeing people back in the building,” said Chapman.

The Facebook live streams helped congregants like, Donald Powers, to get through the shut down and keep their faith.

“We still got the word, we still got to hear our praise team worship and everything.. and that was a blessing but today is a real blessing,” said Powers.

They reopened with a special service for people 60-years-old and older on Sunday — others could watch on Facebook live. Next Sunday’s service is for people 59-years-old and younger.

Chapman’s wife, Cecelia Chapman, said, “Its kind of difficult with the size of our congregation to limit to every other pew so we may be doing the alternating thing for a few weeks. We’re just going to have to see how things go this week and next week.”

Chapman said he hopes to have the whole congregation back together by the end of the month. During the service he prayed for “our city and our county.”

While the threat of the virus is not over, for these people… being back inside the church shows them there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“You see those skies out there, they’re beautiful,” said Powers. “Its warm and we’re getting to go to church. Praise God!”

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