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SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2007
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Many local churches celebrating Easter at sunrise

By Melanie B. Smith
msmith@decaturdaily.com · 340-2468

A tradition firmly established in Christianity has believers rise early Easter morning to worship.

The inspiration for the sunrise gatherings, scholars say, is the early morning visit to Jesus’ tomb by women. Jesus appeared alive and told them, “Be not afraid, go tell,” according to Matthew.

At a variety of Easter sunrise services, worshippers will repeat the announcement from an angel at the tomb: “He is not here; for he is risen.”

These are among special services locally Sunday:

The 34th Community Easter Sunrise Service sponsored by the Committee on Church Cooperation will be at the Point Mallard Prayer Chapel at 7 a.m. The Rev. Ken Oldham, pastor of Sixth Avenue Church of God, will speak. Tommy Ray will sing.

Rock Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Mount Hope, will have a sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. The Mount Hope United Methodist, Hickory Grove Cumberland Presbyterian and Rock Springs Presbyterian churches will join for the service. Ministers and choirs from all of the churches will participate.

Calvary Assembly’s Easter show “The Blood Code” continues Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Westmeade Baptist Church will have a sunrise service at 6:15 a.m.

St. Stephen’s Primitive Baptist Church will have a sunrise service at 5:30 a.m., with St. James Cumberland Presbyterian and the Rev. Michael Jones as guests.

New Liberty Grove Church, Loosier, will have a sunrise service at 6 a.m. Call 685-3305.

A community sunrise service and breakfast will be at Trinity Baptist Church at 7 a.m.

A community sunrise service sponsored by the Athens Limestone Ministerial Alliance will be at Beasley Field at Athens State University at 6:30 a.m.

A sunrise service will be at Decatur Holy Church of Christ on Central Parkway Southwest at 6 a.m. Ron Rikard will speak. Call 751-1415.

Bell Primitive Baptist Church, 915 Finley Island Road, will have a sunrise service at 6 a.m. Call 340-1727 or 420-8183.

Central Park Baptist Church will have an Easter breakfast and egg hunt at 9 a.m. Easter worship will be outside under a tent at 10 a.m. Dress is casual.

Decatur First Bible Church will have an Easter concert at 6 p.m., presented by the church choir and orchestra.

“Then Came the Morning” program will be at Gum Springs Baptist Church at 11 a.m.

A community sunrise service will be at Hartselle Tabernacle at 6:17 a.m., led by the Rev. Alan Queen.

Grace Presbyterian Church, Madison, will have a joint sunrise service a 6:30 a.m. with St. Elizabeth Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

East End United Methodist Church will have a sunrise service at 6:26 a.m. followed by breakfast. An Easter play will be presented by youths at 9:30. Worship will be at 10:30.

East Lawrence Church of God will have a service at 8 a.m. with Bobby Newman of Oak Park Church of God speaking. Breakfast will be served afterward. Worship will be at 11 a.m., followed by an egg hunt.

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church will have a sunrise service at 6 a.m.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal, will have a Great Vigil and Holy Eucharist at 7 a.m.

A sunrise service will be at the home of Jerry Burns, 4882 Indian Hills Road, at 6:30 a.m. Participants should bring lawn chairs. Nathan Green will speak; music will be by the Stevie Long Family. The event is sponsored by Rural Grove and Grace Baptist churches in Hartselle. Call 355-6567.

Lindsay Lane Baptist Church, Athens, will present “Worthy Is the Lamb” Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

A sunrise service will be at 6:15 a.m. at the Alice Hitt residence, Lawrence County 214, Chalybeate. Chris Parker will speak. Breakfast will follow. Call 974-7297.

A sunrise service at Tanner United Methodist Church, 19607 Huntsville Brownsferry Road, will be at 6:30 a.m.

A Resurrection Sunday children’s presentation will be at King’s Memorial United Methodist Church at 9:30 a.m., followed by Holy Communion at 11.

Decatur Christian Church will have a sunrise service at 7 a.m. at its pavilion.

Clements Baptist Church will present “Worthy Is the Lamb” Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. Call 729-1328.

An Easter Vigil at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will be Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Annunciation of the Lord Catholic Church’s Easter Vigil will be Saturday at 8 p.m.

Fellowship Baptist Church will have an Easter revival starting Sunday at 6 p.m. and Monday through Friday at 7 p.m.

First Christian Church, Decatur, will have an Easter “Son Rise” service at 6:30 a.m.

Calvary Holiness Church, Alabama 36, Lacey’s Spring, will have breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by worship at 11 and lunch at noon. An egg hunt will be at 1 p.m.

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