Porterfield Church Hosts Drive-In Worship Services

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This is one of three stories featured in GUMF's Faith & Money Summer 2020 newsletter, which shares how three of our partners in ministry (Porterfield Church in Albany, Cascade UMC in Atlanta, and Midway UMC in Alpharetta) are offering hope and encouragement to their communities during the pandemic. 

Before Porterfield Church in Albany reopened with new social distancing guidelines in place, Senior Pastor Rev. Robert Greene wanted to find a safe way for its members to worship together. The Church decided to host drive-in worship services every Sunday (weather permitting) in June as an alternative.

“We have a very talented, tech-savvy staff who took the idea and ran with it,” Greene said. “This experience has been a spotlight on the giftedness that God has already given us to bring about the encouragement and blessing that worshipping God brings.”

Before hosting its first live drive-in service, Porterfield Church rented a stage and risers for their singers and musical equipment, purchased an economical FM transmitter, and found an unused radio frequency.

“Our streaming service is portable. As long as we had Wi-Fi, we were able to produce the service as if we were inside,” Greene noted.

Each week, parking volunteers directed over 50 cars filled with families to a large grassy area that was perfect for socially distanced viewing of the drive-in service. Instead of handouts, Porterfield Church emailed the worship bulletin in advance so people could read the song lyrics on their phones. Posted signs instructed people to tune in to FM 105.1. Thanks to outdoor speakers, people could also listen to the worship service with their windows rolled down.

“They have really enjoyed it. They honk their horns instead of saying Amen,” Greene said. “Even though it wasn’t the same as bumping into each other in the sanctuary or hallways, it has been an encouragement for our church family to see each other again.”

Porterfield Church closed out its final drive-in worship service on June 28 with a special celebration. Members were invited to take tethered hot air balloon rides and order lunch from food trucks, while practicing social distancing.