McDonough Square to feature annual Easter Sunrise Service

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

An Easter tradition in Henry County is set to continue in downtown McDonough, when the local faith community gathers to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

McDonough First UMC Senior Minister Rick Maeser will introduce the Community Easter Sunrise Service and give the Benediction. Photo by Seth Jackson

A Community Easter Sunrise Worship Service is set for April 5 at 7 a.m., on the McDonough Square. The service will feature several churches in the area including Shiloh Baptist Church and McDonough Presbyterian Church, said McDonough First United Methodist Church Senior Minister Rick Maeser.

This year will mark Maeser’s first Easter sunrise service in McDonough, which has been a tradition locally for more than 30 years. He says he is “excited” about the service, which typically brings 500-700 people to the Square to begin their observance of Easter.

“I’ve enjoyed outdoor sunrise services at churches I’ve served for the last 18 years,” says Maeser. “They’re always meaningful for the followers of Christ. I feel honored and privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of an Easter sunrise service involving the pastors and people of area churches. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to join with brothers and sisters in Christ from all denominations.”

McDonough Presbyterian Church Pastor Olin McBride will bring the message for the service, and the Rev. Charles Kuykendall from First Baptist Church of McDonough will lead the music for the third straight year. Kuykendall says the sunrise service represents a chance for Christians to come together with “the single purpose of celebration and praise and gratitude for what God has done through Jesus.”

“It is an opportunity for the community, in all denominations, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” he says. “I feel blessed to have the freedom to gather in a public place to celebrate this amazing holiday.”

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. Maeser adds that membership at his church is not required for attendees to take part in the breakfast.

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.