Thousands of people gather at one Lowcountry venue for outdoor Easter church service

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HANAHAN, S.C. (WCBD) – For the past year, New Covenant Church of God has switched between in-person and virtual services.

“I get to look at the faces of people that I loved and served for 25 years and i get to see them in person and know that they are okay,” says Marc Campbell, Lead Pastor at the church.

Campbell says gathering outdoors was the safest option as more of people are vaccinated.

“Almost 70% of them have already been vaccinated and so we feel much more comfortable now having a bigger group,” he says.

Hanahan city officials say they offered the Hanahan amphitheater as the location since it can hold thousands of people and it’s outside.

“With just safety measures outdoor is best so being able to offer it so people can gather safely and still get back to their normal life for their mental health their emotional health and all those other pieces that are really important,” Mayor Christie Rainwater of Hanahan.

Watching the community come together to enjoy the service, food, and Easter egg hunt is what officials say is the light at the end of the tunnel.

“Last year on Easter, I think we were all hunkered down wondering if there really was victory, but we stand here today and we are seeing victory in our daily lives,” Mayor Rainwater says.

Some say they are most grateful to finally celebrate with family in person.

“This is what community means, for people to come together from all different places, different churches, people who have not been to church and now they are all worshipping and loving each other, together,” says Annette Glover, Community Outreach Director at New Covenant Church of God.

Hanahan city officials say they are encouraging other organizations to rent the Hanahan amphitheater so they can safely host events.

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