MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Chestnut Ridge Church did not have in-person Easter services last year. Amid the original COVID lockdowns, the church was forced to handle one of its busiest days of the year virtually. However, it was able to hold services in person in 2021, albeit with some restrictions still in place.
Since it was allowed to have in-person services again, the 2,000-seat megachurch had been holding two morning services each Sunday; for Easter, it added a third service. The church operated at 25% capacity, roughly 500 people, spacing everyone out between the two levels of the church.
“We just want to make it a really good experience for everyone,” said executive pastor Bruce Lane. “Part of that is making sure people feel safe, and we haven’t had any problems with that at all.”
People who wanted to go to the church to celebrate Easter had to preregister to secure a spot in the service. Lane said that all three services were sold out, but there was also a virtual option to those that could not find a spot or felt more comfortably celebrating from a distance.