In a move that more resembled communist China than a free America, a local church held their Easter service in secret this year. Buxton News was invited to observe the service as a testament to the congregants’ dedication to their beliefs. What Buxton News observed could be a model for other churches to follow.

By using both subterfuge and concealment, the church was able to gather without being detected by government officials. With the aid of nearby property owners, remote parking, and staggered arrivals, the attendees were able to avoid the appearance of a mass gathering.

Many in attendance were wearing face masks, some of which were provided by the church, others which were brought from home. A portion of the church’s pews were closed off with ribbon and congregants kept a respectful distance from each other throughout the service.

A greeting or sign of welcome was shared not by shaking hands or hugging, but by placing one’s left hand over his heart while waving with his right. When it came time to break bread, each family was observed to have brought their own loaf.

Through all of this, the voices sang in what may have been a greater voice than in other times. It looked as if the adversarial environment and the threat of interruption made their faith stronger.

When the service had ended, observers conducted congregants out in small groups. The last to leave were still singing as their time came to depart.