Connie and Colin McConnell test drove the first drive-in sermon at First Baptist Church on Sunday, July 19. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Alberni Valley church holds ‘drive-in’ service

Pastor Bill Cottrill said he missed having personal contact with his parishioners


An Alberni Valley church discovered a unique way to bring together the congregation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The First Baptist Church in Cherry Creek decided to hold a “drive-in” service on Sunday, July 19 with the sermon and music coming through a radio station.

Pastor Bill Cottrill had previously been holding his sermons on YouTube, but said he missed having that personal contact with his parishioners.

RELATED: COVID-19: B.C. church services resume with public health limits

RELATED: Vancouver Island churches embrace technology to cope with pandemic

On Sunday, everyone was directed to a parking spot outside of the church where they could see what was happening. Music was played by Bob Hudson, hymns were led by Henry Schade and the sermon was spoken by Cottrill.

Cottrill said the sermon was everything he had hoped it would be, and more.

“I have been behind a camera for four months and this personal contact was greatly appreciated, even if it was at a social distance,” he said. “We will be doing this every Sunday until we are allowed to have indoor services. We are blessed to have so much property that it enables us to hold our services outdoors.”

Dave Levasseur also gave his electronic talent to make sure everything went off without a hitch.

If you would like to attend the services, they begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday and everyone is welcome. The First Baptist Church is on Cherry Creek Road in the former Cherry Creek School.

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Henry Schade leads the congregation in the hymns while Bob Hudson adds his musical talent. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Henry Schade leads the congregation in the hymns while Bob Hudson adds his musical talent. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Pastor Bill Cottrill gives his sermon on Sunday, July 19. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

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