HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — One Huntsville church celebrates the class of 2020 from behind the wheel. On Saturday, St. John AME Church held a drive-by celebration for high school and college grads.
"Actually, I'm very happy that I'm graduating from high school and ready to go to college," says Huntsville High School grad, Jared Burns.
Burns, a soon-to-be Drake State Community & Technical College student, feels blessed. Burns will go to Drake State for welding.
"Oh, it's a blessing. It's a blessing. Like my church doing this for me, means a lot to me," says Huntsville High School grad Jabbar Haygood.
Haygood is headed to University of North Alabama. He'll be studying biology. He, like most seniors, wanted to walk the stage sooner than later.
However, the pandemic changed those plans. He's still grateful just like Alabama & AM University grad, and Business Marketing major, Ricardo Love. "I'm kind of liking getting all of the love that I'm getting right now, so I can get this love and then some later. So, however you want to plan it."
Kaitlyn McClung, another fellow AAMU grad and English major, is headed to the University of Alabama.
She says it's a season for everything. Now preparing for the next.
"Just take the time to breathe, meditate, pray. But also prepare for the next season because the world will keep moving," says McClung.
Another senior in attendance was Eddie Whitehead, Jr., a grad from Columbia High School.
The church also recognizes Chelsea Carter, Carmella Goree, Kennedy Harris, and Monique White who were not present.
Senior Pastor Maurice Wright says it's a challenge to meet the needs of the church now, but he's finding ways to get creative.
"Though the physical doors of the church remain close to in-person worship, we are still open to our family," says Wright.
Pastor Wright does not plan to reopen the church on Sunday. When the church does open, services will be held outside under a tent. He says the church is taking extra precaution after a member of the congregation tested positive for the Coronavirus.