SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Restrictions on large gatherings threatened perhaps the most spiritual event of New Year’s Day this year.
But technology will help local African American churches hold their annual Emancipation Proclamation Service.
“Because it’s so important to the African American community, we could not afford to miss,” Rev. Chester Ellis said.
The annual Emancipation Worship Service will be presented Friday virtually but still spiritually and made available for all to appreciate.
“Finding this way to get it out virtually and having it on the websites of our churches and on WTOC is a godsend, because it helps us to still convey our message.”
The program celebrates the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation with sermon, in song, and through a special reading at the center of the event.
“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord 1863, all persons held as slaves in any state or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then henceforth and forever free.”
The 90-minute service will be posted on WTOC.com at 10:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day and streamed at that time on the websites of 97 African American churches in the area. But there will be no limit to how far the message goes this year.
“Because it’s online, we will reach more people. We are so happy to have WTOC as our partners because this year has been a challenge. We have been striving to see how we were going to do it and how we can do it safely.”