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Easter Sunrise Service April 20 on the Square


By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

  Hundreds in Henry County’s faith community are expected to gather in McDonough to continue a long-standing Easter tradition.

  A Community Easter Sunrise Worship Service is set for April 20 at 7 a.m., on the McDonough Square. The service will feature several churches in the area, said the Rev. Darris Baker, senior pastor of McDonough First United Methodist Church.

  “Various religious leaders of our community will lead ecumenical worship as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ,” said Baker.

  Additional McDonough churches scheduled to participate are Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, McDonough Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church of McDonough, Tabernacle of Praise Church International and St. Luke Lutheran Church.

  Baker said the service typically brings about 500-700 people to the Square to begin their observance of the religious holiday.

  “I think the anticipation of celebration brings people out,” he said. There’s a season of lent that precedes Easter Sunday, and Resurrection Day is our opportunity to celebrate the sacrifice of Christ.”

  The Rev. Charles Kuykendall of First Baptist Church of McDonough will lead musical worship as part of the service, said the church’s Senior Pastor, Charles Thomas. Thomas said the sunrise gathering has been an Easter staple in McDonough for more than 30 years, and seems to bring larger crowds to the Square each year.

  “I think it’s a great opportunity to tear down denominational walls and just bring Christ followers together to celebrate the Resurrection, without the encumbrances of ‘Baptist’ or ‘Presbyterian’ or whatever,” said Thomas. “Christ rose at dawn on Easter Sunday, so it’s just fitting to bring everyone together in celebration, and to recognize the importance of what this day means.

  The service will also include a scripture reading, hymns, congregational singing, and musical performances by Alton Thomas and The Singing Four Stars, as well as an Easter quartet.

  A love offering will be taken during the service to benefit Helping in His Name Food Pantry, and breakfast will follow the event in the fellowship hall at McDonough First United Methodist.

  In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held in the sanctuary of McDonough First Baptist Church. For more information, call McDonough First United Methodist Church at 770-957-4150.



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