By Jason A. Smith
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
“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