Easter people come together in Worship

Image: The ministers participating with the Italy Ministerial Alliance gather before the Sunrise Service Easter morning.

The ministers participating with the Italy Ministerial Alliance gather before the Sunrise Service Easter morning. (Anne Sutherland)

“We are Easter people!” said Pastor Bill Morgan from Family Fellowship Church. Committed people of Italy representing different churches came together Sunday to celebrate the Easter morning at sunrise—beautiful, moving and quite untraditional.

A moving sunrise service was held early on Easter morning at the new Pavillion downtown. The Italy Ministerial Alliance hosted the event and has for many years. Pastor Preston Dixon, from Mt. Giliead Baptist Church, welcomed the people and opened the serviced with prayer. Brother Joseph Barrett, from Central Baptist Church, read The Word from Luke 24:1-7, “Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”

Pastore Leah Hidde-Gregory, pastor of First United Methodist Church, gave the call to worship. Followed by the Family Fellowship Praise Band. Pastor George W. Morgan, Sr. gave a beautiful prayer for the community.

The Family Fellowship Praise Band sang, Here I Am to Worship.

You stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You, hope of a life spent with you
Here I am to worship, Here I am to bow down, Here I am to say that You’re my God
You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me.
King of all days, oh, so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above, humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love’s sake became poor. Here I am to worship, Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You’re my God. You’re altogether lovely
All together worthy, altogether wonderful to me

Pastor Algua Ray Isaac, Union Missionary Baptist Church, spoke on forgiveness. Our Lord, hung upon the cross and asked our Father in Heaven to forgive the ones that put him there, “For they know not what they do.” Pastor Isaac spoke of us forgiving our neighbors and family for that is what Christ taught us to do, even as he hung in so much pain. The Old Rugged Cross was spoken by Pastor Isaac. The scripture Luke 23:34 explains the whole scene.

Pastor Bill Morgan sang It is Finished. He spoke about the Italy Ministerial Alliance and how it has served the community for so many years. “We have expanded the food pantry program to serve 180 families. Over 66,000 lbs of food was given in 2012. Pastor Leah has a dedicated group of volunteers that reach out to Milford, Avalon and Italy.” He mentioned also besides preparation and prayer, money helps the program succeed. If anyone wants to donate time or talents to the IMA, Central Baptist Church or any pastor in town would be happy to help you.

Pastor Dixon was excited about the day and said, “This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” He also invited all attendees to the kitchen of Mt. Gilead Missionary Baptist Church for a full Easter breakfast afterwards.