Local News

April 16, 2014

Church plans parade to celebrate Easter

As many churches in the area prepare for their Easter sunrise service on Sunday, one Dalton church is preparing for something a little different.

Cleveland Heights Baptist Church will have an Easter parade bringing the message of Easter — that Jesus died for everyone’s sins and then rose again — to those who attend.

“He lives,” Barbara Whitmore, who is planning the event for the church, said. “He is a living God.”

The parade will begin after Sunday school class dismisses, around 10:45 a.m. Those in attendance will walk around the church singing the well-known gospel hymn “He Lives” while carrying banners and posters. A bell will be rung. The congregation will enter the church praising and worshipping God through song. Those who are unable to walk will be invited to sit and sing. Worship service will begin following the parade.

The church does not have a sunrise service, as many churches traditionally do on Easter. The service symbolizes that Jesus is no longer in the tomb, that he rose again.

Whitmore said members at Cleveland Heights wanted to keep the focus on that message, but in a different way.

“There is no sunrise service here so we wanted something different we could all do,” she said. “We’re real excited. ... We’re hoping they get the real meaning of Easter.”

The parade and activities are a collaboration of the Sunday school classes.

“I’m excited to see what it’s all about,” said Sunday school superintendent Brian Whitmore, Barbara’s son. “Maybe it will be something we continue. No matter what we do, we bring glory to the Lord. We want to draw attention to the Lord and death and resurrection. We celebrate what he did all year, but this time of year we try to bring extra attention to it.”

It’s often hard to find a program that caters to the needs of all age groups within the church, but Brian and Barbara Whitmore believe the parade will do just that.

“I think it’s something the whole church can get involved in,” Brian Whitmore said. “That’s what we like to see.”

After the service, sweet treats with a spiritual message attached will be handed out, and family photos will be taken for the church’s album.

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