By Associated Press - Sunday, April 4, 2021

DETROIT (AP) - A historic Detroit church reopened its doors Easter Sunday for in-person services for the first time in over a year, a move that comes amid a statewide COVID-19 surge.

Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, which was closed last Easter for the first time in its more than 100-year history, limited worshippers and required masks Sunday. Christians worldwide marked a second Easter Sunday marked by pandemic precautions.

“We believe that the church should be a part of the resurrection of our society, and an effort to return to a sense of normalcy,” the Rev. Charles Christian Adams told The Detroit Free Press. “We know that other sectors of society are doing it. Restaurants have reopened, they’re letting people in to athletic events, the malls are open, and all of those people are laying it all on the line to get society going again. And we feel that the church should not sit on the sidelines, and wait until all is well to reopen… People need the church.”

Hartford was hit hard by the pandemic. At least 14 congregants died from COVID-19.

Michigan’s number of new COVID-19 cases topped 8,400 Saturday for the highest daily total since early December, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. Michigan doesn’t report new COVID-19 data on Sundays.

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