The weather didn’t exactly cooperate the last time Live Oak Church of God outdoor service was scheduled. But plans are underway for yet another special outdoor service.
This special service will not be the norm. On Resurrection Sunday, or Easter as it is commonly called, most people are accustomed to going to the house of worship in their finest attire.
This Sunday will be one of the biggest church attendance days of the year. Resurrection Sunday celebrates Christ’s victory over death and mankind’s hope for eternal life.
As part of their outreach ministry, Bishop Israel Aaron Cowart, senior pastor, and members of Live Oak Church of God in Hinesville will take their Resurrection Sunday service to the streets. As they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, they will leave the comforts of their beautiful sanctuary and go outside to the people.
“We want to celebrate the risen savior outside on this Resurrection Sunday,” said Tiffany King, youth department volunteer at Live Oak Church. “We are taking church to the people.”
The special outreach service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Liberty County Recreation Department football field.
“The whole community is invited,” King said. “The choir will sing, we will have praise dancing, and Bishop Cowart will bring the message.
“We will also have refreshments after the service,” she continued. “People can bring their lawn chairs. They don’t have to dress up; they can wear their jeans.”
In addition to Live Oak’s outdoor Resurrection Sunday service, many other churches in Liberty County will hold special services during Holy Week, which is the last week of the Lenten season. Lent began on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18. Palm Sunday was celebrated in many churches this past Sunday with Stacy Florists providing palms to churches in the community.
First United Methodist Church in Hinesville will have a Holy Thursday service at 7 p.m., with music, anthems and Holy Communion. On Good Friday, the church will host a dramatic presentation, “Stations of the Cross,” at 7 p.m.
First Zion Baptist Church in Riceboro will celebrate its annual Maundy Thursday service with communion. Trinity Missionary Baptist Temple in Hinesville also will have a communion service at 7 p.m. Friday.
Several churches and associations will come together to have Good Friday services and present the seven last sayings of Christ on the cross. This service has become one of the most popular during Holy Week. Some churches will have Good Friday service beginning at 11:30 a.m. and noon, while others will have services later that evening.
The seven last sayings Jesus spoke on the cross are: “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34); “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43); “Woman, behold thy son … Behold thy mother” (John 19:26-27); “My God my God why hast thou forsaken me” (Mark 15:34); “I thirst” (John 19:28); “It is finished” (John 19:30); and “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Beach Hill Baptist Church in Midway was one of the first churches in Liberty County to hold the seven last sayings, starting in 1999, Beach Hill sponsor Laucenia Frasier said.
The First District of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, under the leadership of the Rev. Sanford Anderson of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Richmond Hill, will have the seven last sayings at 11:30 a.m. Friday. Moderators and vice moderators from Liberty County and surrounding counties will serve as the speakers.
Doris Barrett said the Progressive Missionary Baptist Association of Liberty County will host the seven last sayings, with the deacons of the association serving as the speakers, at Historic First African Baptist Church in Riceboro. Good Shepherd Missionary Baptist Church in Allenhurst will have the seven last sayings at noon Friday, and Pleasant Hill Holiness Church in Walthourville will have Good Friday service at 7 p.m.
The Liberty County Homeless Coalition will host its annual Good Friday Walk for Shelter to help raise awareness and funds and help support the homeless. The 4.5-mile walk will begin at noon at Victory Assembly of God, 612 Gen. Stewart Way in Hinesville, and will culminate at the church.
Early Sunday, churches will meet again for sunrise services, normally held at 5:30 or 6 a.m., to celebrate that Jesus is risen.
“At Connection Church in Hinesville, we will have two special services, one at 9:30 a.m. and the other at 10:45 a.m.,” said Heather Byler of the church. “We will have a special drama, music, and dance. Our children’s church will do a special walk-through of the Easter story during both services.”
For additional information about the Live Oak Church Resurrection Sunday service, you may call Candle Johnson, pastor’s assistant, at 912-876-8769, or Tiffany King at 912-271-2008.