SALUDA, S.C. — Some churches in Saluda are holding drive-in services to practice safe social distancing while still having a service.

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, Burton Campbell, the pastor at Emmanuel Church in Saluda, says they had to come up with something creative.

"Sunday we're going to be having our drive-in service at 9 and 11 am and we'll also be having it at 10 am at Pine Pleasant Baptist Church," said Campbell. "You can worship being in your car."

Folks will be able to sit in their car and listen to the service through their radio. The church will be using a low-powered FM transmitter.

"You'll have your own heating and air system, you can't complain about that," explained Campbell.

The church said they got the idea from Dr. Robert Shuller, an American evangelist. Campbell said at one point Dr. Shuller had converted a drive-in theater into a worship center.

"We're actually taking an idea from the 1960's and revamping it for the COVID-19 virus."

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The church had their first drive-in service and are expecting to do it here in the future.

The services will last around 30 minutes. It will include music and a sermon. They'll also be taking prayer requests through text messages. The bulletin they typically have on paper on Sundays will be available digitally through Facebook or email.

Cars will be able to park in front of the church and Campbell will be set up in the back of a truck to conduct the service.

"It's been a good time to get out of our four walls onto the street in front of our church and minister to those that normally wouldn't come to the indoor setting."

Campbell says he's the pastor for both churches and felt it was important to have a service like this.

"We are sort of partnering to do this to keep the church open during this time of uncertainty but at the same time staying well while we're worshiping."

"The greatest thing about worshiping is that it's a time to be together but at the same time remain six feet apart and it's important that we encourage each other because of fear and having a faith over fear through this pandemic and exercise our freedom to worship in a safe environment."

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