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home : religion : inspirational reflections August 9, 2022

4/7/2020 7:45:00 PM
South Gastonia Church Of God Has Drive-In Easter Services
Plus: Live-streaming on Facebook as well
Ziya and Laiya Powell wave their palm branches.(Photos Courtesy Bill Ward Photography)
Ziya and Laiya Powell
wave their palm branches.

(Photos Courtesy Bill Ward Photography)
Dr. Bobby Gilley exhorts his audience during the Palm Sunday services at the South Gastonia Church of God.

Dr. Bobby Gilley exhorts his audience
during the Palm Sunday services
at the South Gastonia Church of God.

+ view more photos
Chris and Chesnee White took their
dog, Maxa-million, to church.

“The Pain and Power of Passion Week”––
at the church. It will be live-streamed from
the sanctuary, Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. nightly. 

Thomas Lark
Staff Writer

GASTONIA - Like many churches, South Gastonia Church of God is continuing its alternative services.

That’s the recent word from congregation member Bill Ward of Stanley. On Palm Sunday, Ward, a noted photographer, shared photographs with The Herald, showing South Gastonia Church of God’s drive-in service and distribution of palm branches.

And the church’s senior pastor, Dr. Bobby Gilley, told us more Tuesday, citing the drive-in and Internet-based services available. Gilley said the church’s members are excited about Holy Week, and they’re persevering through state-mandated virus-related precautions and restrictions.

“We’ve been packed full, the last two Sundays,” he revealed, adding of Palm Sunday’s palm branches, “We do that every year. It reminds folks of what Jesus did for them during Passion Week.”

Gilley said the church would have two drive-in services this Easter Sunday. He will preach at the 9 a.m. service, and his assistant, Rev. Adrian Franklin, will preach at the 11 a.m. service.

“He helps us with all these things,” said Gilley. “He’s my right-hand man.”

And he added that Easter Sunday evening at 6 p.m., another service will be live-streamed on Facebook.

“We’re abiding by the government’s laws,” Gilley observed, citing the restrictions and extolling such electronic alternatives.

A member of the church for 17 years before becoming its pastor in 1993, Gilley also talked about the Bible sanctuary class that he leads. This is held on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Under said restrictions, the class is being live-streamed on Facebook. As well, the church’s Sunday School teachers are having Bible classes for both Sunday School and on Wednesday evenings on Zoom (an Internet-based video conference service).

Plus, as the pastor continued, there is a weeklong ongoing revival––“The Pain and Power of Passion Week”––at the church. It will be live-streamed from the sanctuary, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. nightly.

Gilley noted that these are stressful times. But it’s never the time to give up on God.

“Certainly,” he said, “our faith in God has always brought people through every dilemma and every pandemic and even world wars. When we call on God, He comes through. Christians have always called on the Lord, and He has always been there for us.”

Reading the Scriptures, praying and singing can help people alleviate their burdens, he added.

“Cast all your cares before Him,” he said. “We have a Saviour we can call on. Be sure to pray! We pray at every service for everybody affected by this pandemic. We ask for blessings on our president, our public officials and our medical personnel.”

Gilley also cited the first verse of Psalm 57:

Be merciful unto me, O God! Be merciful unto me; for my soul trusteth in Thee. Yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge until these calamities be overpast.”

And he cited the first verse of Psalm 46:

God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Ward said he was very glad to be a member of the church.

“While my family and I have been blessed to be involved with great congregations in the past and tremendously blessed with great pastors, South Gastonia Church of God is a family of believers who support and encourage each other in so many ways. They have come together to get all of us through this crisis without missing a beat. The whole team has almost seamlessly transitioned to online services, classes and prayer through Zoom and kept us all as much together as possible in this situation. I’m honored to serve under and with them and to call them family as well.”

To learn more about these and other events happening at or broadcast from South Gastonia Church of God, call the church office at (704) 867-1731 or see the Website at

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