COLLEYVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Like everything else during the coronavirus pandemic, popular Christmas Eve services in North Texas looked different on Thursday evening.

“We thought that was really great that we were able to still do it safely and celebrate with our church family this year,” said Leah Webb, a member of Bear Valley Community Church.

Church leaders opted to hold services outside this year to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It was a difficult situation,” said Pastor Lee Johnson. “We wanted to have it inside, but we just thought it would be too dangerous.”

Bear Valley Community Church outdoor Christmas Eve service (Caroline Vandergriff – CBS 11)

The church has been hosting people in-person on Sundays, but the crowd size is small and everyone takes precautions, Pastor Johnson said.

“On Sunday mornings, we don’t sing because the breath coming out and everything, so it was nice to be outdoors here so we could sing today,” he said.

Families were able to sing together, grateful for some semblance of tradition in 2020.

“This Christmas has been so different,” said Julia Baumaan, who brought her family to the service. “Cancelled all of our travel plans and cancelled our family coming to see us. So to have this outside service, we were just so glad.”

Even if people can’t gather the way they have in years past, there’s one thing COVID-19 can’t change – the message of hope on Christmas.

“We’ll be glad when this year is over, but God is with us,” the pastor told the crowd. “And our world is falling apart, but God is with us. And when God is with us, we have everything.”

Bear Valley Community Church wasn’t the only church in the Metroplex that held an outdoor Christmas Eve service to accommodate crowds.

Others required reservations for in-person services or just streamed everything online.


Caroline Vandergriff