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Churches and support groups go digital during 'social distancing' and coronavirus

While many people are avoiding human contact due to fears of coronavirus, several churches and support groups are going digital to help those in need.

ATLANTA — As a longtime amateur filmmaker, the Rev. Joseph McBrayer of Oak Grove United Methodist Church feels right at home when he logs on.

Since fears of the coronavirus have caused his church to shut down in-person services, he’s gone online.

“On YouTube and Facebook, it’ll go live so people are interacting with that feed,” said McBrayer. “There’s something about watching it online together.”

Wednesday night dinner is a big deal at the Dekalb County church.

Every week, nearly 300 people of all ages come there to congregate. Now, church leaders are calling members who are in vulnerable populations, checking on them.

“Just pick up the phone and call somebody. Text messaging is nice, but actually call them,” McBrayer said.

It’s one of many churches and support groups going virtual while most people are avoiding contact. 

Knowing that a routine is a key to recovery, the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse will be holding online recovery meetings starting Thursday.

“People are ready to listen. Ready to talk. Ready to be of service. And you can talk about COVID-19 or anything that’s on your heart,” said Jeff Breedlove through a social media video.

“Stay safe, stay strong, we love you, and remember that recovery is real,” he said.

When the Philadelphia Missionary of God Church in southeast Atlanta, closed their physical doors, their pastor opened his virtual doors.

“They can call. They can be anonymous if they want to,” said Pastor Jason Paggett, who offered up personal prayers through Facebook. “God just kind of put it on my heart.”

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