NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – It has been over a month since Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered the stay-at-home policy. Since then, churches haven’t had public services. So, a local group of people wanted to show their support for their pastor on Wednesday.
Cars filled in the parking lot of the Niles Wellness Center. Many of them had balloons, signs and car window paint. Everyone wanted to express how much they missed Pastor Douglas Brown and his wife, Sue Brown.
“Because of this, he hasn’t been able to see them and he’s expressed to me, personally and publicly on our videos, how much that’s devastating him not to be able to see people, just to be able to physically look at them,” said event organizer Michael Cline.
Knowing this, a few people from the Apostolic Pentecostal Church gave Cline an idea. Get a large group of cars to go by Pastor Brown’s house to show they miss him.
“We want him and his wife to know, assuredly, when this is over, how much they’re loved, they’re missed, they’re respected and how much we care about them,” Cline said.
It was a complete surprise to Pastor Brown as cars turned the corner down Garland Drive, beeping their horns, waving and flashing their signs.
“Well, it was hard for me to hold back the tears. They’re a great group of people. I love them and of course, you can see, they love me,” Pastor Brown said.
It was the first time he had seen many of his congregation. With a little help from his wife, he was able to enjoy the outpouring of support.
“I was afraid he might go out to the church so I told him we might have some surprise visitors,” Sue said.
Now, Pastor Brown is ready to be able to see everyone again.
“They’re seeing me with live stream but I’m not seeing them,” Pastor Brown said. “It will be great when we’re able to get back together. Hopefully, that will be real soon.”