By Clint Parker
Woodfin – Another church has joined the ranks of other churches holding drive-in services during the COVID-19, but this one church has a unique history behind the property, making it come full circle, in a way, for use.
Newbridge Baptist Church held its first drive-in service on Sunday morning (April 26) with upwards of 80 vehicles or more in the church parking lot and a large field in front of the church. A large flatbed trailer like ones used to haul hay had been pulled in front of the church to be used as a platform where Pastor Clark Henderson and the church’s praise team use during the open-air service where a cool Spring breeze blew steadily during the entire meeting.
Taking the theme of “a new thing” from the Bible, Pastor Henderson said, “See folks, this is a new thing that God has started today,” he said of the drive-in church. “He has blessed us with even in…some of the hardest places like the desert, the wildness of Egypt even the rivers in Egypt and He can provide a new thing.” Well, the drive-in church may be new for Newbridge Baptist Church, but not for the church property as those who drove in that morning were about to find out.
After Henderson gave a few instructions about how attendees could respond to his message, he then invited longtime church member Ray Allman, whose family owned the property years ago, up to share some of the history of the church property.
Allman explained that his dad purchased the property back in 1940 and the use of the land while his family owned it, he then said the property was sold in 1948 to a developer which later was sold again and turned into a drive-in movie theater. So the property was now being used, once again, as another type of drive-in presentation center, this time for the Gospel.
After Allman finished, the church’s worship team took the stage leading occupants of the vehicles in songs of faith as a Woodfin Police Officer, who was asked to attend the meeting was parked down front near the trailer platform.
After the singing concluded, Henderson took the pulpit to deliver his message “For such as time as this” from the book of Ester as a man and a woman in the farthest end of the field from the stage threw a frisbee for a black dog. Henderson’s voice echoed off the sides of the apartment buildings across the road from the church as he delivered his message. He concluded his message a little more than a half-hour later and dismissed the service.