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Lynn Haven United Methodist Church reopens campus after hurricane and pandemic

Published: Jun. 21, 2020 at 8:50 PM CDT
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LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Sunday morning church members opened the doors to the Minnesota Avenue location of Lynn Haven United Methodist Church for the first time since before Hurricane Michael.

“We feel like we’ve been on this journey for the last year and a half and we’re finally getting to where God wants us to be,” said Executive Pastor Terry Tatum. “It’ll almost bring you to tears, it’s a great day.”

In the meantime, the church has met in parking lots or at local schools and more recently meeting virtually because of the coronavirus.

To help keep members safe church leaders are holding special services for the elderly and at-risk, encouraging social distancing and wearing masks, as well as keeping the collection plate by the door and taking prepackaged communion.

“We just want to keep everybody safe. While we want to be a community and we want to worship, we don’t want anybody getting sick here,” said volunteer Jennifer Adams.

Church leaders said they’re still holding virtual services for those who can’t make it and will adjust schedules if needed.

“What we’re going to do is we’re going to evaluate every Monday what happened the weekend previous,” said Tatum. “Our services will be at 8, 9:30, and 11 for the foreseeable future.”

After a hurricane and now a pandemic, church officials said it’s not where or how they worship, but who they worship with.

“Over the last 18 to 20 months we’ve learned a church is more than a building,” Tatum added. “Even though we’re here and very thankful for this building, this is like a family reunion. It’s just great to be with our brothers and sisters again.”

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