WHITE LAKE — At least one church is preparing to celebrate Easter in way it has never has before.
On Easter Sunday, Lake Church will hold its first sunrise service at its new location — White Lake Christian Camp and Retreat Center. With the lake as a backdrop, the service is one Pastor Cameron McGill is hoping will make a lasting spiritual impression.
“There’s something special about gathering together outside —” he commented, “—something about it that makes us think of what it was like when the disciples were asked, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, for He has risen’.”
The first of many such services to come, this year’s sunrise gathering will be brief, McGill said, since it is outside, but he hopes the experience will be one people cherish, and he hopes it will be so exactly because of the early time.
“Have your mind drawn back to the first Easter when the disciples showed up at the tomb early in the morning,” he remarked. “That early morning experience is ultimately what transformed Christ from being a martyr to being the Messiah.”
He added, “We certainly don’t want to pull anyone away from their church if they have a tradition, but if they don’t, we would love for this to be something people from around the county would come to — not only them, but people who spend their vacation over Easter at White Lake.”
Lake Church will have its normal 8:32 a.m. worship service at The Venue later in the morning.
Throughout the Easter season, many other events will be taking place. What follows is a listing of some next week in Bladen County.
— Tuesday — Guest speaker and overseer Lonnice Graham will speak at the Dublin Ministerial Alliance’s Passion Week service at St. James Fire Baptized Holiness Church in Elizabethtown at 7 p.m.
— Wednesday — Passion Week services continue at Dublin Highway Holiness Church in Dublin at 7 p.m., when Pastor Billie Thompson will lead.
— Full Gospel Church of Deliverance will host Maundy Thursday’s service for the Dublin Ministerial Alliance, at 7 p.m. Guest speaker will be the Rev. James McKinnon.
— Sandy Grove Baptist Church welcomes everyone to its night of worship and communion to remember Christ’s last supper with His disciples. The Maundy Thursday service will be held at 7 p.m.
— The youth of Greater McKoy’s Chapel in Dublin will lead a Good Friday service at 7 p.m.
— Passion Week services will be held at Rehobeth AME Zion, located at 475 Rehobeth Church Road in Clarkton, at 7 p.m. with guest speaker Pastor Gene McNeil of Christian Plain.
— Holy Week services will be held at New Zion Church at 7 p.m. with the sermon given by the Rev. Carl Smith.
— The 8th annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held at Jones Lake State Park at 11 a.m. The day’s events will include games, concessions, an egg hunt, and prizes. While the event is free to the public, pre-registration is required by calling 910-588-4550 or stopping by the Visitor Center by March 30. Registrants should arrive early for check-in on Saturday.
— Tar Heel Baptist Church will host an Easter egg hunt at 11 a.m. for babies through fifth grade. Lunch will be provided.
— Foundation Bible Church is encouraging people to “Rethink Easter.” It will host a high school and college service at 7 p.m. with evangelist Jon Reed. For more information, visit www.rethinkeaster.com.
— Sandy Grove Baptist Church will host a Spring Fest with Easter egg hunt from 3-5 p.m. All kids and adults are welcome for a time of games, coloring, food, and an egg hunt.
— Elizabethtown Church of God, located at 1767 N.C. 242 North in Elizabethtown, will host an Easter Egg Drop at 3 p.m. There will be Easter stories and games.
— A sunrise service will be held at Dublin Highway Holiness at 6 a.m., with guest speaker Ronald Newkirk.
— The Elizabethtown Church of God will hold a sunrise service at 7 a.m., followed by breakfast at 8 a.m., Sunday school at 9 a.m., and an Easter service at 10 a.m.
— Evangelist Jon Reed will be celebrating Resurrection Sunday with Foundation Bible Church. The church will hold three services Sunday — 8.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11 a.m. For more information, visit www.rethinkeaster.com.
— Sandy Grove Baptist Church will hold a sunrise service at 7 a.m., followed by an Easter breakfast at 8 .m. and Sunday school and worship at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. respectively.
— The annual Community Early Rise Service at Old Trinity Church will be held at 7 a.m., hosted by Trinity United Methodist Church. Old Trinity is located on E. Broad Street.
— Tar Heel Baptist Church will celebrate Easter at its two worship services, at 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. A breakfast will be offered at 8:30 a.m. and Sunday School will be held at 9:15 a.m. For information, go to www.TarHeelBaptistChurch.com.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.