As Easter weekend approaches, many families are preparing for their second episode of the pandemic. While hundreds of thousands of people are vaccinated and will be able to gather to celebrate, many are not yet. This has caused churches to close their doors and transition to virtual services over the past year. But are there any virtual churches in Tarrant County, Texas?The answer is yes.
Reverend Tatum leads the New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth and said that the church will continue with the online services it has been providing for the past 52 weeks. Yearby is the executive director of Tarrant Churches Together, a non-profit organization based in Forth Worth that brings together churches and religious organizations from across the county to serve the community. COVID-19 has forced churches to transition to virtual services, but larger churches that were already broadcasting their services online were better able to make the transition. Smaller churches needed more help, however. Gallup published a study that shows that the number of church members, in general, is lower than it has been in almost a decade. Yearby said that these numbers don't correlate with the number of people who rely on their faith, especially during the pandemic.
She said that the churches in her organization can offer services that are more specifically tailored to certain topics and age groups, in addition to expanding them when they can offer them online. It's a change that she believes will last even after the pandemic. Pastor Tatum said that his church strengthened its outreach ministry over the past year. They have been working to meet the practical needs of marginalized people in their community. He said that the pandemic highlighted what it means to be a church and that virtual services make worship feel one step closer than usual in these abnormal times. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley is urging churches to return to online-only services and has asked the governor for a meeting to discuss their concerns.
He also confirmed that The Hope Church was born at God's perfect time. In a year of high mortality rates, accommodation in the place to stay, social distancing, virtual religious services, business and school closures, layoffs and licenses, millions of unemployed people, protests over racial injustices and riots that spread across the country, Abbott's GA-32 reopening order requires businesses to require their customers to wear masks if the “trauma service area of which Tarrant County is part” reaches high hospitalizations. The answer is yes: there are virtual churches in Tarrant County, Texas. Reverend Tatum leads one such church and Yearby is an executive director of an organization that brings together churches from across the county. The pandemic has forced churches to transition to virtual services but larger churches were better able to make this transition than smaller ones. Yearby believes this change will last even after the pandemic.