Celebrating what local Christians say is the most important holiday of the year is a week-long affair for many churches in Scotland County.
Easter-themed services are already underway in some area churches and will begin soon in most others ahead of Easter Sunday, on March 31.
“The Easter season is really at the core of the Christian faith,” said Pastor Scott Blue of Grace Baptist Church in Laurinburg. “It’s the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and for Christians a celebration of what is not only the most significant event in their history but the most significant event in the history of the world.”
Grace Baptist Church is presenting its yearly dinner theater show themed “Take Me Back: An Album of Musical Memories” this week, with doors opening tonight and Saturday at 6 p.m. The show will be presented again on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Blue’s church will begin a special Easter Sunday service at 10:45 a.m. on March 31.
“For Christians, even though we have a special celebration of the resurrection on Easter, we really celebrate the resurrection every Sunday and we should celebrate it every day.”
Because Easter services often attract non-regulars to the church, Blue said that he looks at holiday celebrations, like Easter, as an opportunity to “engage others in our worship services” with the hope that they will come to experience a conversion.
At New Hope Baptist Church the centerpiece of the Easter festivities will be a program of contemporary music called “I Will Rise.” With pieces written by youth-friendly artists like Chris Tomlin, church member Pat King has the expectation that young adults and school aged children will be reached.
“It’s a very important holiday because of what we are celebrating, and it is important to reach the youth,” King said.
Presented on March 24 at 10:15 a.m. and again at 3 p.m. the program will be performed by the New Hope Baptist Church Choir.
And while the music will have a contemporary flair, there will be something for everyone interested in “sharing in the true meaning of our Lord’s crucifixion, death and resurrection,” King added.
For those with an Easter sweet tooth, Wagram Church of God’s Women’s Ministry will be selling holiday decorated chocolate peanut butter and chocolate coconut Easter eggs for $5 per egg. Call 369-2579 to order.
A special Easter dinner theater show will be presented by Spring Hill Baptist Church starting tonight at 7 p.m. and continuing on 7 p.m. Saturday at 6 p.m. on Sunday. All proceeds will benefit the youth fund. For tickets contact 318-3734 or the church office at 369-2335. Titled “Easter in Cricket County” the show will tell the story of a community coming to understand the true meaning of Easter.
There will also be a special Palm Sunday parade beginning at 11 a.m. as party of the Holy Week services of Gibson United Methodist Church. Gibson United’s services will continue on Easter Sunday with a sunrise service at Pinecrest Cemetary.
Holy Week 2013 Services and Events
March 24 - Palm Sunday
First Baptist Church will present an Easter music program called “So High the Price” during regular morning worship. The church’s sanctuary choir and its children’s choir will be accompanied by a fourteen piece orchestra. A brass quintet and string ensemble will also be featured.
Bright Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church’s trustees will present a special program at 4 p.m. featuring Rev. Lamon Johnson of Rockingham. Michael Fairley will emcee the event.
A special “Praise of Thanks” program will be presented at Cool Spring United Methodist Church at 4 p.m. Sponsored by the Knights of Pythias and the Court of Calanthe, the program will feature special music from the Cool Spring Male Choir and two other praise teams.
Community Holy Week services will be held daily at noon at the downtown Storytelling and Arts Center of the Southeast. Services will be presented by First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church and Scotland County Ministry Fellowship, respectively.
St. John UMC near Gibson will hold a service at 7 p.m. The service is based on a 12th century late night service of darkness based on the events of Christ’s arrest and crucifixion. Readings of the passion story will be accompanied by music.
March 31 - Easter Day
Franklin Chapel AME Zion Church will present Family and Friends Day 2013 starting with Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. and concluding with morning worship at 11 a.m. with dinner to follow. The theme of the special celebration will be “Faith, Family and Resurrection” and Rev. Otis T. McMillan will serve as guest speaker.
A special community sunrise service will be held lakeside at Camp Monroe at 7 a.m. Breakfast will be hosted by Sneads Grove United Methodist Church and Old Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church.
The House of Prayer for All People in Gibson will feature Evangelist Linda C. George of Harrisburg, NC during their Easter worship service starting at 11:30 a.m.