Churches prepare for Easter

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By Denise DuBois

Resurrection Sunday happens to fall on April Fool’s Day this year and one Phenix City pastor is taking advantage of the day to preach a sermon that tells what would happen if the resurrection of Christ was an April Fool’s prank that never happened.

“What if the resurrection didn’t happen?” asked Pastor Ray Cummings, pastor at Golden Acres Baptist Church. Cummings said his sermon will center on what we as believers would not have if Jesus had not risen from the dead. “But He did,” he said. “It is real, so we have more hope than anybody.”

This year’s Easter service for Golden Acres Baptist Church will be held at the Phenix City Amphitheater for the first time ever. There will be one, combined service beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

“We’ve always had multiple services,” Cummings said. “This will allow us be in one venue to worship a risen Savior. It’s one time we ought to all be together. When the first people saw the risen Savior, they saw Him outside. It will be neat to be out there when the sun is coming up.”

Church volunteers will be on site beginning at 8 a.m. ET to help with parking and driving shuttles from the parking garage on Whitewater Avenue to the amphitheater. Guest parking will be at the Russell County Courthouse. The service will last a little longer than an hour.

Pastor Steve Williamson at Crawford Baptist Church in Crawford is also taking advantage of the special day by getting his church out of the building and passing out invitations to the church’s “Glorious Day” service. The church is opening for the service its Family Life Center that seats 500 people so they can accommodate more guests.

“We live in the Bible Belt, but more and more people are unchurched. It’s amazing that we can celebrate the power of Christ in us. The fact that we have this power in us to get us through the day and through life – that’s what makes it such an amazing day. Everyone is open to that special day: even those who never attend church will come on Easter. It’s one of those times God’s spirit permeates out. It’s why so many churches find a special way to reach out. I hope when they come, we can give them the answer they’re searching for. I know what the answer is – it’s Christ and His power,” Williamson said.

Crawford Baptist Church will host its service at 11 a.m. ET. Sunday School will begin at 10 a.m. Nursery will be provided and there is plenty of parking, Williamson added.

Crawford Baptist Church is located at 4503 U.S. Hwy. 80 W., Crawford Ala.

Epworth United Methodist Church will be having their first-ever Easter Sunrise Service. Pastor Grant Parker will be giving the sermon. This early service will be in the church parking lot. Breakfast refreshments will be provided afterwards by the Men’s and Women’s ministries in the fellowship hall.  The church invites the community to come out and invite their friends, family and neighbors. Service begins at 7 a.m. and the church is located at 3763 Highway 431 North, Phenix City.

Lakeview Memory Gardens will also have an Easter Sunrise Service with special musical guest Living Water and The Ward Family. Ricky Ward will be giving the sermon and refreshments will be served. Bring lawn chairs for seating. The service will be at 7 a.m. at 3800 U.S. 431, Phenix City.

Rodnita Simmons contributed to this article.