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A Pastor Who Took the Spiritual Virtual

Wed, 12/30/2020 - 08:42
The Rev. Tisha Williams during a drive-up event at the First Baptist Church in Bridgehampton.
Larry Williams

The Rev. Tisha Williams of the First Baptist Church of Bridgehampton would say her biggest accomplishment during Covid "was remaining relevant in a digital space with consistent worship."

Her recorded services average about 300 to 400 views a week on YouTube, and she also kept up to speed with her community through virtual Bible study. "Zoom has been fantastic, but there's nothing like seeing your people."

Since her congregants could not come to her, this summer she pulled off a "pastor pull-up" over the course of a Saturday and Sunday, in which she drove to them in neighborhoods from Riverhead to Southampton to the Shinnecock Reservation, Flanders, Southampton, and finally to the Bridgehampton church's parking lot. It was important for her to "be able to lay eyes on them," she said. Even with all the summer's happenings, partnering with Bridgehampton School to feed families with Fresh Direct and providing space to summer camps for pickup and drop-offs, Ms. Williams still found the time to write a book: "I See You, Sis: Inspirations From Heroic Women of the Bible Hidden in Plain Sight."

Most special to her was the baptism of two young women who joined the church before social distancing hit, and had waited six months to be baptized. Early in September, thinking about the ocean, Ms. Williams realized, "God has given us the most beautiful pool," and the two were baptized at the beach.


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