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Pioneer Easter Drive-In Service Held With Radio Frequency

By: Rebecca Miller

During this worldwide pandemic, everything has to be run through the strainer of “does it fit the guidelines of social distancing, sheltering in place and being essential?” During the week before Easter, which was April 12, 2020, a number of conversations and some quick action on the part of Pioneer Mayor Ed Kidston, a Village Council member, two pastors and their wives, the police department and an I.T. guy brought about an Easter Church Service for area residents to attend.

In a phone interview, Pastor Gene McBride of Pioneer Church of the Nazarene shared the sequence of events. “The idea initially started when my wife, Marianne, was talking with Connie Salisbury who is on the village council.

Connie mentioned it to the mayor and he jumped on it, advancing the idea into action. Mayor Kidston brought the flatbed tractor trailer and the sound equipment that let us broadcast it on radio so people could leave their windows closed,” McBride shared.

The service was held on Easter morning at 11 a.m. in the west parking lot at Crommer Park, with Police Chief Tim Livengood and another officer present to help organize the parking and leaving of each vehicle.

Everyone was told ahead of time some specifics which included: 1. No carpooling! Everyone had to be from the same household, 2. They had to stay in their vehicles (with the info to flash their lights and turn on windshield wipers if they had an emergency of any kind in the car and needed help) and 3. They had to keep their windows up.

They were also parked far enough apart by the police. The service was purposely kept to only one half hour.

McBride shared that he heard of a pastor in Union County who wanted to hold a service like this and was not allowed as they were unable to come up with the radio receiving equipment that would have let people hear with their windows closed. “We were all about the safety of the people,” he said.

“We want to adhere to the guidance we are being given. We observed everything we were told and were still able to be a blessing and have a gathering.  That was the mayor’s goal and he went above and beyond to make sure we could do it with all the right equipment.  The fact that it could all come together so quickly confirmed to me that it was something we should do.”

Anthony Burnett, who works for the village, did the technical set up and put a Cross up on the platform for them. For the service, Pastor Christian Taylor and his wife Nadia were seated together on one end of the rig and Pastor McBride on the other end.

Pastor Taylor of Pioneer United Methodist church and his wife Nadia, who teaches music at the Fayette Opera House during normal times, were the only others who took the “stage” with Pastor McBride. Nadia sang two hymns, unaccompanied, while the two pastors split the speaking time.

McBride opened the service with a welcome and prayer followed by Mrs. Taylor singing the well known hymn “The Old Rugged Cross” to start the first half of the service. The first fifteen minutes were focused on Good Friday and the homily shared by Pastor McBride was based on Isaiah 53:3-6 and verses 10-11a.

Nadia then sang an Easter hymn, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today,” and her husband,  spoke on the Hope that comes from the Resurrection of Christ, from Luke 24:30-35 which is the account of Jesus walking with the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Pastor Taylor then gave the benediction and the three of them waved to those in attendance as they pulled away and headed to their homes. “We couldn’t shake hands,” McBride said with a chuckle, “so we waved and smiled at them all as they drove away.”


The hope was that everyone got the message that “God knows how to redeem suffering,” McBride said in the interview. “That has been the guiding thought to help me process what everyone is experiencing through this.”

“I do not blame God for this virus, but we are seeing that God is redeeming this time of suffering. Holy Week is about that! It is more poignant this year with what we are globally facing with this virus. As people are going through hard times right now, everything is affected by the pandemic.”

“Grieving alone when loved ones die, not being allowed to be with family in the hospital, and other life situations are compounded by isolation. There is an extended impact of this pandemic. We must remember that good things are also coming out of this and …God does know how to redeem suffering.”

Rebecca can be reached at


The post Pioneer Easter Drive-In Service Held With Radio Frequency appeared first on The Village Reporter.

Source: The Village Reporter

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