McGregor Baptist Church celebrates with in-person candle lighting services

Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
(Credit: WINK News)

Each family has its traditions during the holiday season. One of those traditions is going to church on Christmas Eve for many.

This year, COVID-19 did not stop hundreds from going to services in person. The McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers held two services Friday.

Churchgoers say the lighting of the candle symbolizes Jesus Christ being born and being the light of the world. Candles lit on Christmas Eve at Mcgregor Baptist Church are a symbolic reminder of the holiday season.

“Christmas Eve gives us one more really great opportunity to share the message of Jesus, which is really why we’re here,” said Mcgregor Baptist Church Pastor Russell Howard.

People were happy to be at the Christmas Eve church service in person this year.

“This is kind of like our Christmas eve tradition is we always go to McGregor. This is the church I grew up in,” said Sarah Kelly.

Karla Kluch said, “I’m here with my family, with my kids and grandparents, and we’re just here to celebrate on Jesus’s birthday.” And to share the reason behind the season with young ones. “That’s why God put me here is to share my faith with them and show him what really Jesus does in our lives and come here and celebrate his birthday and give them the opportunity to, you know, see it,” said Klutch.

Church on Christmas Eve is a family tradition for many.

Pastor Howard said, “people who I remember being at the service when they were toddlers come back now.”

“He was like the pastor I grew up with, and he’s, it was great to like, still see him here,” said Kelly.

All to bring in the most important holiday of them all, Christmas day, when Jesus Christ was born.

“It is, in fact, the most defining event in history,” said Pastor Howard.

McGregor Baptist Church has been open since 1958. The crowd was a mix of long-time members and newcomers.

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