(LEX 18) — It's been two years since the pandemic started and churches are still seeing a decline in attendance.
According to senior pastor Richard Gaines, Sundays at Consolidated Baptist Church are getting back to normal.
"Week after week we've seen an increase in numbers," said Gaines.
Gaines said only about half of his pre-pandemic congregation have returned to church so far.
A trend that's been holding steady across the country, with a recent Gallup poll showing church attendance down 50% among adults.
Between COVID worries and people cutting down on non-essential driving to save on gas, Gaines said the view of in-person church attendance has certainly shifted.
"We've seen a mixture of young old that have returned and young and old that have not returned."
Lead pastor of Growth Point church Mario J. Radford believes virtual worship will be just as important for churches post 2020.
"I would love for people to come back in person. But... I'm 42 and what I needed at 22 I don't need at 42. And what we needed pre-pandemic we don't need now."
And though how people worship may have changed forever, Radford said the one thing that will never change is what is found behind church doors.
"As long as we are caring and touching people, there will always be a need," said Radford.