TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Local churches are taking their own safety precautions against the coronavirus. Still wanting to participate in prayer, some are having to alter their ways of worship.

After the fourth positive case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Tyler, many public places are closing their doors, and for those who continued with Sunday worship, the service was modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“Facing your Fears” was the message parishioners at Green Acres Baptist Church heard Sunday morning.

“We’re here but we’re going to be different today. You’ve heard of a touch-less car wash…well this is going to be a touch-less worship service,” said Pastor David Dykes, Senior Pastor at Green Acres.

Addressing a half filled sanctuary, Pastor Dykes preached about the importance of keeping faith while the pandemic of the coronavirus spreads throughout the US.

“We feel it part of our duty as a church, as Christians is to exhibit a sense of peace that God provides within reason,” explained Ken Warren, Senior Associate Pastor at Green Acres.

Green Acres took precautions to reduce the risk of an illness spreading by cancelling all Sunday Morning bible study classes, placing the collection basket at the foot of the doors instead of passing it, and instead of shacking hands, a simple wave did the job.

“But, to still give people who really want a place to come and find some surety, find some confidence and find some peace, a place where they can do that,” said Warren.

The large choir was reduced to a few powerful voices. Inside a large sanctuary, church leaders at Green Acres, felt there was plenty of space for everyone to feel safe, and they’re not the only ones feeling this way.

“In the midst of practicing our social distancing the CDC recommends that we have six feet between each other,” said Brian Lightner, Senior Pastor at St. James CME Church.

Down the road at St. James CME church, Reverend Brian Lightner preached a similar message, focusing on anxiety.

“As Christians we have the right to have anxious thoughts and to understand that fear but it is to know that we can also cast our burdens on the Lord and he will sustain us,” said Rev. Lightner.

Inside St. James, it was a normal service, with the exception of no hugging or shaking hands.

Catholic churches making an announcement the day before the first confirmed coronavirus case in East Texas, notifying the public that changes would also be coming to it’s service.

“Things like not receiving the chalice, the blood of Christ at our liturgies, we’ve taken our holy water out of our holy water sinks, things that we are used to doing but just out of precaution that we’ve changed,” said Father Hank Lanik, with the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.

Several churches in East Texas opted for online services, instead of meeting in person.

Large parish’s like First Christian Church and Marvin Untied Methodist, temporarily closing it’s doors, urging people to stay home.

All church leaders encouraging the public that if you feel sick to not come to attend church services that are available.

For a full list of service changes: CLICK HERE