RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Serving the community and providing outreach to those in need is a common practice for churches in communities across North Carolina. In some towns, they serve as a primary social outlet and help maintain a sense of normal life.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of that has changed.
With Easter coming up on Sunday, area churches are preparing for Easter services that won't be in-person. Churches like Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh have started volunteer opportunities to offer help to those in need during the pandemic. Providence has seen a surge in interaction during its online services since the pandemic began. In a time of uncertainty, church leaders say their "virtual attendance" is high.
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Providence Senior Pastor Brian Frost said he's dealt with fear and anxieties brought on the pandemic by looking to God, a personal source of encouragement.
"I spend time in prayer, " Providence Pastor Brian Frost said. "I spend time in His word. I spend time on the phone with people who can help encourage me in the same way I would seek to help encourage somebody else."
Some offerings are just moving to the digital front. Services are live-streamed and archived for on-demand viewing. On its website, the church is providing outlets for people who want to help those suffering. Prayer requests can be submitted online or by calling a number.
"What's been so encouraging to me is that the number of people who have volunteered to help somebody in need has actually far outpaced those who have signed up saying that they actually have a need," Frost said.
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Providence will stream its Easter service on ABC11.com Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
Raleigh Church maintains mission of serving community during COVID-19 pandemic