This Week on American Black Journal:
This week, “American Black Journal” continues its Black Church in Detroit series, in partnership with the Ecumenical Theological Seminary and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, with a look at how churches have adopted new ways to worship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From providing online and outdoor services to offering electronic giving methods and making food deliveries to those in need, Detroit’s Black churches have re-examined and re-imagined their ministries and outreach over the past two years of the pandemic. Although online worship has become the norm for many folks, and it may stay that way, a safe return to in-person services is on the horizon some local pastors say.
Host Stephen Henderson sits down with Bishop Charles Ellis III of Greater Grace Temple, Rev. Dr. Steve Bland, Jr. of Liberty Temple Baptist Church, and Pastor Semmeal Thomas of City Covenant Church to talk about the changes to their worship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pastors share their thoughts about the ability to reach more people through virtual sermons, a safe return to in-person services and the role of technology in church worship as they look to the future.
When several of Detroit’s Black churches shuttered their doors temporarily two years ago, many church leaders likely didn’t think the changes they’d make would become permanent. While some local churches have plans to return to their former operations, other churches say they’ll never return to the way they operated prior to the pandemic.
“American Black Journal” producer AJ Walker meets with Rev. Cindy Rudolph, of Oak Grove AME Church in Detroit, to learn more about how the church reacted and adapted new ways of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rudolph talks about having to quickly adapt to remote services, online tithing and increased community outreach, all in the midst of her first few months as the church’s new senior pastor.
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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.