FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Trinity English Lutheran Church hosted its Easter service at Parkview Field Sunday morning.
“We had church in a baseball stadium!” said Gary Erdos, the senior pastor at Trinity English Lutheran Church. “What a great, spectacularly beautiful day.”
The service drew in a crowd of about 1,100 people. According to Erdos, Trinity English Luthern’s church, can only hold 900 people at full capacity.
This was the first time Erdos had to opportunity to deliver a service in front of live people in over a year.
“I think everybody last year was just stunned,” said Erdos. “This year we’ve traveled through pandemic and isolation and people losing their jobs and people dying and families being in grief. So now this sense that maybe the world is transitioning into something new, and it’s something closer to what we used to know but something also just really great.”
The plan for Sunday’s service was set in motion in December.
“They live stream every Sunday, but they haven’t had in person yet so for a whole calendar year… and so they have the idea of just coming here using the ballpark, that was fabulous,” said Holly Rainey, the special events manager at Parkview Field. “We love that idea we’ve used the ballpark over these years for so much more than baseball.”
Both Erdos and Rainey said Parkview seemed like a good fit for the service because of the field’s close proximity to the church and the ability to have people sit socially distanced.
“We still took care of making sure that this venue was open but safe,” said Rainey. “So a lot of our seats are zip tied and everyone was given a ticket with a seat assignment, even though there was no charge to get in.”
The service also included several activities for kids such as an Easter egg hunt, a petting zoo, and art projects.
All collections from the service will be donated to the Community Harvest Food Bank, who has been a long time partner of the church.
“They do this phenomenal work by helping feed our whole community when they’re in need and when they’re hungry,” said Erdos.
The next event hosted at Parkview Field will be a high school doubleheader baseball game on Wednesday, April 7.