Area churches celebrate Easter

by Jo Anne Embleton

CHEROKEE COUNTY – a Celebration of Christ’s resurrection will once again be observed with a sunrise Easter service at Love’s Lookout, beginning at approximately 6:45 a.m. Sunday, April 4.

The annual tradition – withheld last year due to a global pandemic – is sponsored by the Jacksonville Ministerial Alliance and will feature People’s Church pastor John Atkinson delivering the Paschal message, with music provided by the Lykins Family.

Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs to the site, located north of Jacksonville on U.S. Highway 69.

Meanwhile, a number of churches have planned Holy Week activities – including those on Holy Thursday, Good Friday Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday – throughout the county.

• First United Methodist Church in Rusk will hold its Maundy Thursday service at 6 p.m. April 1, at 255 S. Henderson St. The following day, on Good Friday, the Seven Last Words of Christ will be recited at 6 p.m. Friday, April 2.

• At Trinity Episcopal Church of Jacksonville, 1000 S. Jackson St., a Holy Thursday service – which include distribution of the Holy Eucharist and stripping of the altar – begins at 6 p.m.; Stations of the Cross will be recited at noon, Good Friday; a 10 a.m. Easter service will include Holy Eucharist and flowering of the cross.

• Jacksonville’s First United Methodist Church will celebrate Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services at 6 p.m. at the 1031 SE Loop 456 church. A 6 p.m. service will be held on Holy Saturday , while Easter services begin at 10:30 a.m.

• Bullard First United Methodist Church, at 204 S. Rather St., will host a 6 p.m. Good Friday worship service on April 2. On Easter Sunday, a 9 a.m. encounter will be followed by a 10 a.m. egg hunt and 11 a.m. traditional service with chancel choir and cantata

• Palestine’s Bethlehem Lutheran Church, at 1515 S. Loop 456, will conduct Holy Week services, beginning with a 7 p.m. Maundy Thursday service, a 7 p.m. Good Friday service and 10:15 p.m. Easter Sunday service.

• Holy Week activities at Jacksonville’s Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church include a 7 p.m. Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, washing of feet and transfer of the Blessed Sacrament; 3 p.m. Stations of the Cross and Passion (English), 6 p.m. live Via Cruces y Pasíon (Spanish) on Good Friday; 8 p.m. Easter vigil on Holy Saturday; and Easter Sunday liturgies at 9:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. The church is located at 1023 Corinth Rd. in Jacksonville.

• On Easter Sunday, Atoy Baptist Church, at 106 County Road 1210, will host a 10 a.m. church-wide breakfast and mini-egg hunt for children, with its regularly scheduled 10:30 a.m. Sunday School followed by an 11 a.m. Easter service.

• Dialville Methodist Church will host Easter Sunday services at 11 a.m. April 4. The church is located at Country 1611 in Dialville.

• Alto’s Calvary Tabernacle will host “Easter at Calvary,” 10 a.m. Sunday at the 372 E. San Antonio St. church.

• In Troup, First United Methodist Church will celebrate Easter Sunday with it’s “Christ is Risen!!!” service, at 11 a.m. The church is located at 202 E. Duval St.

• Peoples Church of Jacksonville will host an Egg-Streme Drive-Thru, at 10 a.m. on Holy Saturday. Kits with candy-filled eggs will be distributed, with the first 500 youths receiving a free ice cream coupon. The church is located at 14089 East U.S. Highway 79.