Local congregations join 30,000 churches in National Back to Church Sunday

National Back to Church Sunday, part of an initiative to invite America back to church, will be held Sept. 20 and churches in Brevard County are part of the movement.

First Christian Church of Cocoa Beach will add a second service to accommodate everyone. The church will hold a service at 9 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m.

For Back to Church Sunday, First Christian will have a special service that features friendly people, good music and a great message from the Bible.

"I am super excited to be the new pastor to a church that has been a part of the Cocoa Beach community since 1959. A church that even has a history that includes attendance by Mercury Astronauts," Lead Pastor Troy Stanley said. "I am looking forward to meeting those that God will bring to church and become part of our church family."  

National Back to Church Sunday (www.backtochurch.com) is an initiative that is "Inviting America Back to Church." It seeks to reach the "un-churched" and "de-churched" — people who have never attended church, or who once attended church but do not anymore — and invite them to return on a special Sunday.

At the Church of Viera, Pastor Trevor Hislop says that the church will not do anything relating to the promotion because of fortunate circumstances. 

"We are blessed in that we're already filling up the services we do have and the seats we do have available," Hislop said. 

Hislop noted that over Labor Day weekend last year, the church attracted 2,148 patrons. For this year’s Labor Day weekend, 670 attended the church.

St. John the Evangelist Church in Viera reopened on the week of May 29-30 following closure because of COVID-19, Father John Antony said. Since reopening, the church there has taken precautions relative to the pandemic.

"We've blocked off every other pew in the church and then ask the people to wear masks and keep the social distancing," Antony said. "Our church is capable of accommodating 1,000. Right now, we can only accommodate about one-third."

Back to Church Sunday has an interactive Facebook page (www.facebook.com/backtochurch) and a roster of participating churches on the Back to Church website at BacktoChurch.com/find_a_church.

At First Christian Church Cocoa Beach, participants will be asked to wear masks and practice social distancing. 

First Christian, is an Independent Christian church located at 470 S. Brevard Ave. in Cocoa Beach.

For more information on First Christian, go to www.firstcccb.org or call 904-309-2028.

Chris Bonanno contributed to this report.