WILKES-BARRE — More than 800 people gathered at Meyers High School on Sunday to hear the Christian message at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s Community Easter Celebration.
Because of the large number of church-goers for of the last three Easter gatherings, the church appealed to the Wilkes-Barre Area School District for help.
Pastor Mike Brewster said the church could not provide accommodations for the throngs attending each Easter service. He said he thanked the district and the school board for being “gracious enough” to allow the church to use the district’s facilities.
“We never want to turn people away,” Brewster said.
The last two Easter services were held at the GAR High School, he said, which is “right in the neighborhood.” Due to some work being done there, the venue was moved to Meyers for Sunday’s gathering.
People attend because they want to hear the Christian message and because of the church’s “hospitality,” he said. Brewster said the event included a breakfast where members could enjoy “fellowship,” a special Easter service highlighting Bible verses 3:16 which are the “numbers of hope,” a special musical program put on by the members, activities for the children and more.
“This is a community event,” he said adding he feels it has a significant “impact” on the members, the community and anyone who decides to attend.
Sylvia Jones, Alisha Trout and Surana Moss worked as the “Greeters of Mt. Zion,” welcoming everyone who came in the front door.
Jones said the church members performed an active “outreach” to the community to encourage attendance. They called individuals on the telephone, advertised in the local media, passed invitations around and used old-fashioned word-of-mouth to bring in people of all ages.
“We believe it is important to realize the Lord loves us all,” Jones said. “Not just segments of the community.”
She said she feels the event helps “bring the community closer together in a positive way.”
Funds raised at the event will be used for future Easter events, according to the church program. Eventually the church hopes to establish a scholarship fund that will support “programs and services that are helping to improve overall community well-being.”