While religious sermons have long been readily accessible via radio or television, Elsberry area churches are using modern technology lately to reach out to their congregations during this time of social isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

As Christians around the world began what is known as Holy Week, many people in the area were able to hear their clergy speak on Palm Sunday.

Pastor Floyd Gudde

Pastor Floyd Gudde of Elsberry United Methodist Church stands in front of the empty pews of his church to preach a sermon live on Facebook to his congregation. 

For instance this past week in our area Bro. Stephen McLane, New Hope Baptist Church; Abby Hall, Smith Chapel Methodist Church; and Pastor Floyd Gudde, Elsberry United Methodist Church all took to Facebook for their weekly sermon.  At Star Hope Baptist Church, Bro. Roger Briggs stood in the library of the church and preached to over 30 families sitting in their vehicles listening over a low power transmitter on a local station.  

Pastor Allen Lockard from God’s House of Ministry held a telephone conference with his members while he preached.  These are just a few of the examples from the Community on Sunday.

Other churches are also reaching out to their congregations just in different ways. Elsberry First Baptist Church Primary Teaching Pastor, Sam Byers, and two staff members at FBC divide up their membership list and call everyone sometime during the week to check on them,  take prayer requests and pray with them.  FBC also has been offering virtual prayer meetings, live hymn sings, and a Q&A with a pastor through Facebook.  

Many area churches are also using their One-Call system to reach out to members, including (but not limited to), Elsberry First Christian Church and Star Hope Baptist Church.  Sacred Heart Catholic Church has referred their parishioners to the St. Louis Archdiocese live stream on Facebook or a live stream from Sacred Heart in Troy and Immaculate Conception in Old Monroe.

Lockard added this thought to all to help  deal with this trial in life, “God is amazing. God has allowed this virus, what evil meant for bad.  God will make something good.  Certainly a wake up call for our nations.”