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Churches are adapting as COVID-19 cases increase

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MADISON (WKOW)-- At Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Madison, a group of singers along with Rev. Marcus Allen come together every Sunday for a church service to empty pews, but a live virtual audience.

"For me, it was difficult at first preaching to an empty church, and no one is here," Allen said. "I got a little discouraged, but then my mom got sick with COVID-19, and that just helps me understand that it was a serious thing."

Mt. Zion Baptist Church has gone virtual for services for the past four months.

"We had a plan in place," Allen said. "We were about to open up probably about the end of this month, but then we saw the spike in all the cases and stuff, so we're taking our time."

Mt. Zion Baptist Church is trying to raise $150,000 to pay their mortgage off. If you'd like to help donate during this time: https://bit.ly/2WdmSA3

As for High Point Church in Madison, they are holding one in-person Sunday service at 9 a.m. each week. Things look different as they are also adapting to the pandemic.

Ushers provided hand sanitizer at the door. In addition, almost everyone in attendance wore a mask to the service, though it is not required until Monday.

"When you are communicating personally with people, covering up this part of your face just destroys it," Pastor Nic Gibson said. "There's a lot of people that have trouble hearing, and that don't realize how much they rely on watching your face move."

Capacity at the church is now limited to 25 percent, but that number was too high to accommodate social distancing.

"It's six feet in all directions," Gibson said. "It's not just six feet on either side, it's six feet front and back so you lose two pews this way, and before you know it you are down to like 15 percent of your capacity."

Gibson said there have been some positive COVID-19 cases from members of High Point Church, but no COVID-19 related deaths, and that they have been able to contain the spread.

As protocols change daily, Gibson says all that really matters is, "Be kind to everybody because everybody is fighting a great battle."

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Karley Marotta

Weekend Sports Anchor

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