ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – COVID-19 continuing to impact Abilene churches as they try to reopen.

Many have been forced to shut their doors again with the new spikes in coronavirus cases.

Now, with the decision to re-close, it’s creating a financial impact  on churches, and some are seeing a drop in the offerings.

As COVID-19 cases rise throughout the nation, local churches are deciding to close their doors and go online

Director of Communications for the Church of Heavenly Rest, Blaine Beyer, says closing the churches doors was saddening.

“It’s such a disconnect,” Beyer explains. “There’s not that in person chemistry anymore. . .there’s not that in person feel, and essentially it’s heart breaking.”

Many churches, like Beyer’s, are feeling the impact of not having their congregation together.

Gene McPeak with the United Methodist Church Elmwood West says, “any church will tell you, generally speaking, offerings start going down in the summer”

Many churches are also facing financial difficulties due to a lack of offerings during this pandemic.

“Giving is down across the board, I mean that’s just the way it is,” Gene says. “People tend to give more when they’re in person and then you have people who walk in, and we’re really not getting that.”

Despite the lack of in-person opportunities to donate, Pastor Larry Sullivan with Baker Heights Church of Christ says there are online options that churches have created.

“Most congregations in town, or at least the larger ones, have some kind of an online offering right now. Use those, utilize them,” Sullivan urges.

As churches continue to make budget cuts, they are eager to welcome the congregation back

Many local churches are now using online services to keep the congregation connected until they can gather again on a regular basis.

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