Standing on a flatbed stage this morning under the awning of Freewill Baptist Church, Crosby Bruns said to the crowd, gathered in their cars in the parking lot, that church isn’t a building; it’s the people who worship together.
"We are the church," Bruns said. "We know that we need each other. You need me and I need you."
Along with live streaming, many churches around the United States have been conducting drive-in services. With today being Mother’s Day, the staff of Freewill Baptist Church, 802 E. 16th St., thought it would be a special day to hold their first drive-in service.
"We’re extremely excited right now because we haven’t been actually physically together in two months," Charlotte Brooks, administrative assistant and wife of senior pastor Zane Brooks, said before the start of the service.
Parking attendants directed traffic into the church parking lot. Church goers were encouraged to stay in their vehicles. Associate Pastor Jason Bruns, let the church borrow a flatbed from the oil business he owns. Singing into microphones, Charlotte Brooks and Crosby Bruns sang gospel songs with Nick Layton, who also played guitar. Senior Pastor Zane Brooks preached from the flatbed stage.
"This is a first for me," he told the crowd.
The church had purchased a transmitter so people in their vehicles could listen to the church service through their car radios at 89.3 FM. The service continued to be live streamed on Facebook.
Names were drawn to give gift sacks to mothers in their cars. Flowers were delivered to all mothers as well.
Pastor Brooks read 2nd Timothy 1:5 from the Bible. The passage referred to the young man, Timothy, having the faith that was also in his grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice.
Brooks also cited Acts 16:1, saying Timothy was of "mixed race" with a Greek father and Jewish mother.
"Some looked down on that," Brooks said. "This is a story of overcoming obstacles as a single mother in Jewish culture at that time."
Brooks also mentioned Susanna Wesley, a mother of 19 children in late 17th and early 18th century England, who influenced her sons - John Wesley, who founded Methodism, and Charles Wesley, who composed more than 6,500 hymns. They in turn influenced British politician William Wilberforce, who led the movement to abolish slavery in Great Britain.
"I still believe women rule the world," Brooks said. "You can change this town called Wellington."
Charlotte Brooks said she didn’t know if the church would have a drive-in service next Sunday. It all depends on the weather. Freewill Baptist Church plans to begin holding services in the building again on June 7.