Washington Heights Baptist Church

News & Events

Details of Reopening

Published May 20, 2020 Categories News Events Children Students Adult Bible Fellowships Men Women Sports Missions Seniors


Reopening Corporate Worship Services at Washington Heights

We want to thank everyone who has been so patient and supportive while observing the stay at home order. From Zoom meetings and video services to creative ways of staying connected while respecting social distancing, the members and friends of Washington Heights have, once again, proved that nothing can break up the forever family of God’s church.

Now, it is time to begin a careful return to corporate worship. The leadership team and church staff have worked hard to develop a plan that will gradually open our facility and services while offering necessary protection for our people. The objective of Phase 1 is limited return to corporate worship beginning May 24.


We are anxious for the time when we can all join together in praise, fellowship, and training. At the same time, we understand that many of our people face a wide range of risk factors and comfort levels. We understand that good people have very different views and expectations about the impact and management of this pandemic. Some encourage a return to normal services with full activities as soon as possible. Others believe we should continue quarantine until the threat of the pandemic is largely eliminated. We know that no plan will please everybody or be able to account for every variable. We ask every member and guest to carefully evaluate their own health, circumstances and level of risk before choosing to attend public worship.


In recent weeks, several studies have suggested public singing may significantly increase the spread of the corona virus within a group. But how can we worship without singing? We love to sing! We love to praise God in songs, hymns and spiritual songs! This issue has created a wide range of responses. Some churches are not singing at all. Other churches are open to unrestricted choir and congregational praise. Until we are able to learn more about the impact of singing on virus spread, Washington Heights will take a conservative approach and most of our services will be without corporate singing. However, for those who wish to participate in corporate singing we will offer a specific time when singing can be done in a manner designed to limit the impact of virus spread.


Our plan is outlined below. Each person must assess their own level of risk and comfort and then choose an appropriate level of participation. Christ calls his church to love one another with grace and unity. We know the members and friends of Washington Heights will display kindness and patient understanding as we carefully work to restore our full range of church ministry.

PHASE 1 – May 24, 2020

Three distinct Worship Services will be available at three different times and in three different locations to provide appropriate social distancing and precautions for all guests.

Service 1:   8:00-9:00 am
  • This service features prayer, sharing and bible teaching with NO singing.
  • Location: Central Park in the Children’s Department.
  • Parking: Front Parking Lot Only (unless directed by staff for overflow)
  • Enter and exit at Children’s Department, Door #1

This service is not recommended for children

Service 2:   9:00-10:00 am
  • This service is intended for everyone and features prayer, sharing and bible teaching with NO singing.
  • Location: Worship Center
  • Parking: Back Parking Lot Only
  • Enter through Community Life Center, Door #4.

Children will remain with families throughout the service

Service 3:   10:30-11:30 am
  • This service will feature prayer, and bible teaching.
  • An optional time of public singing in worship will be offered at the end of this service. Worshippers who choose not to sing will be released before the singing begins.
  • Location: Activity Center
  • Parking: Back Parking Lot Only
  • Enter through Community Life Center, Door #4.

Children will remain with families throughout the service


  • ABFs will choose a new time/day to meet via Zoom. It is not possible for ABF members to be at the church facility and at home participating in a Zoom meeting at the same time.
  • The building remains closed for groups and other activities.
  • Online services will continue for those who are unable to attend a Worship Service.
  • All Worship Service locations will have padded seating.

Phase 2:      Expand worship, open Christian education with small groups and restore some children’s programs beginning on or about July 12.

Phase 3:      Fully restore normal worship services and most church activities with some children’s programs but maintain precautions, distancing and restrictions as necessary beginning as soon as possible, in the fall.



  1. In accordance with health guidelines, everyone is advised to observe general health warnings and signs will be posted throughout the facility.
  2. If you answer YES to any of the following questions, we ask that you stay at home and not risk exposure to others. In the past 14 days, have you traveled outside the country or been with anyone who has? Have you come into close contact with a person infected with COVID-19? Do you have the following symptoms? Cough, temperature (100° or higher), shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  3. The Governor recommends use of face coverings when in public. Face coverings are not required for anyone in the church building. A limited number of masks are available at the church for those who wish one but do not have their own.
  4. Anyone who is identified at risk or with an underlying health concern should carefully consider not attending public worship.
  5. Doors to all necessary locations will be propped open.
  6. Traffic flow will be directed to minimize contact between occupied spaces.
  7. Hand Sanitizer is available at strategic locations.
  8. Announcements and information will be distributed electronically or with public signs.
  9. Offerings will be received as usual using offering boxes, bank payments or online giving.
  10. Seating will be arranged to allow social distancing. Families may group chairs or sit closer together, if desired.
  11. Greeters will welcome without physical contact. Smiles are always in style. Members and guests are encouraged to respect one another and use non-contact greetings at all times.
  12. No coffee or snacks will be provided at the church. Members and guests may bring personal beverages in appropriate travel cups with lids.
  13. Everyone is encouraged to use bathrooms at home before arriving. Services will last one hour or less and church bathrooms are intended for emergency use only. Please be aware, it will not be possible to thoroughly clean each bathroom between services.
Join us this Sunday for worship – 9:00am and 10:30am