Local portable churches push through challenges presented by COVID-19

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HOUSTON- It’s become more popular over the past several years for churches that are starting out to meet in schools and movie theaters. They are often called portable churches.

While most all churches have made changes due to COVID-19, not having a permanent place proved to add on to the challenge.

“We got real comfortable, but then COVID-19 hit and we just had to switch up our game plan,” said Vaughn Walwyn, the lead pastor of Fellowship Houston.

Like a lot of pastors, Walwyn has been delivering online sermons through COVID-19, but as it came time to move back to in person services, he faced even more logistical challenges as they cannot access the school they usually meet in.

“There’s a lot of churches that meet in schools, so for us, it was the same thing, we had to make a decision what were we going to do and then we couldn’t get into any building. I’m on text threads, email groups and just seeing all the struggles that people are having in trying to figure out how to make this thing happen,” explained Walwyn.

Fellowship Houston decided to sign a lease at a nearby event venue and are set to have church in person this weekend for the first time in months.

Scott Niemeier, pastor of HighPoint Church in Friendswood is in a similar situation, but they have decided to wait on the school where they were meeting to open back up.

“We did look around for some other places that we might be able to meet, we kind of knocked on some doors, but nothing really opened up for us,” said Niemeier.

On the bright side, he says their online presence has helped grow the church during this time.

As for Pastor Walwyn, he says he’s excited to see everyone this weekend and to continue to spread the message of hope.

“That’s what church is it is just about bringing hope to the community, bringing hope to people that even in the midst of COVID-19 in the midst of all these struggles we are dealing with, protests and things like that, God is still in the middle of it and we are still here to help the community know that life is good,” said Walwyn.

Fellowship Houston’s first service back is this Sunday, June 7 at 10:00 a.m.. They will be meeting at The Gardens event venue and will have masks for folks who need one.


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