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This Easter Sunday, Hampton Roads churches are coming back to life

Several churches in Norfolk are safely coming back together to celebrate Easter, and a church leader is making the COVID-19 his mission this Easter Sunday.

NORFOLK, Va. — This Easter Sunday, churches across Hampton Roads are coming back to life.

In Norfolk, Calvary Revival Church’s Bishop Courtney McBath is preparing to hold one of the largest church services he’s held in 18 months. Last year, his church went virtual for Easter. This Easter Sunday will be much different.

“This feels like resurrection. This feels like Easter,” said McBath.

Still, it won't be the typical pre-pandemic Easter service held inside of his church.

Instead, it’s happening across the street from his church at the Military Circle Mall parking lot. That’s where they’ll celebrate Jesus’s resurrection drive-in style and spaced apart, following COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“Last Easter was a shock,” said McBath. “Last Easter felt like we just lived on Good Friday, the day Jesus died... like we never got up. But, now we see the sun starting to shine again, and life coming back and vaccinations taking place and people starting to feel a little bit more like there may be light at the end of this tunnel.”

While some are beginning to see the light, health officials are urging people not to let their guard down.

The Centers for Disease Control released new safety guidelines for Easter Sunday. Here’s what they recommend:

  • Celebrate outdoors
  • Spend it with those who live with you.
  • Wear masks and stay 6 ft. apart during outdoor egg hunts
  • Attend religious services virtually

Over at the Second Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk, Rev. Geoffrey Guns is planning an Easter Sunday unlike any other. This year, the focus is on helping his church community get vaccinated.

“Not only will we celebrate the resurrection, but we’ll also begin to celebrate the resurrection of normalcy,” said Guns.

After a spaced-out, indoor church service, Guns plans to hold a vaccine clinic down the hall. His church has transformed a large room into a space to hold a vaccine clinic.

Guns has partnered with the Hague Pharmacy to vaccinate his community. On Easter Sunday, his church will administer 1,900 vaccine doses.

“It’s about coming back to life,” said Guns. “What better way to come out of the malaise of the pandemic than to experience the freedom of getting the vaccine?”

Guns said vaccinating his community has become his greatest mission after 38 years as the church’s pastor.

You can pre-register for the Second Calvary Baptist Church’s vaccine clinic on Sunday by calling 757- 627-4130.