Arkansas Baptists celebrate Easter around the state

Easter is a time to celebrate and share the Good News of Jesus our risen Lord and Savior, and to let the world know just how much God loves us.  

Below are just a few examples of how churches celebrated Resurrection Sunday and the response they received.  

Viola First Baptist Church 

“God’s amazing grace must be shared now more than ever as we look around and see a very lost and confused world,” said Donell Russell, ministry assistant at Big Creek Baptist Association. 

This year at First Baptist Church in Viola, Russell said they expanded the Easter celebration to include their whole community.  

Children listen to an Easter story Saturday. A story was one of several family activities First Baptist Church in Viola held Easter weekend.

On the Saturday before Easter, they took their good news message to the local city park and invited the community and surrounding area, advertising the event as the “Easter Egg-stravaganza.” The day included many fun family activities and several different presentations.  

Their praise and worship team led a time of praise and worship from the bed of a flatbed trailer, an Easter story was read to the children in storyteller fashion, and pastor Craig Golden delivered a wonderful Easter message.  

A large cardboard cross was on display on which people could write prayer requests. They also had volunteers available to pray with people at this station. Many Gospel tracts were given out as well as 24 Bibles. They had 100 children registered and close to 300 people in attendance. That is something for a town with a population of about 360 people, Russell said.  

And the Easter Celebration did not end on Saturday at the park. 

As the sun rose on Easter Sunday morning, Golden brought the message “The Son Has Risen!”, followed by a fellowship breakfast, Sunday school, and an Easter message in song from the church choir along with another message by Golden.  

“After the days of canceled events due to Covid, it was wonderful to worship our risen Lord and Savior with our church family and the community,” Russell said. “People trickled in all morning and by the time of our 11 a.m. service the church was full and so were our hearts.”  

“We have already made plans for this to be an annual event as we continue to strive to take the message of Jesus beyond the walls of our church building,” she said.  

New Hope Church, Black Rock 

New Hope, which is part of the Black River Baptist Association, had one baptized and one join by faith statement on Easter Sunday. 

Cross Church 

Lead Worship Pastor David McKinney said there was a move of the Holy Spirit at Cross Church over the weekend. It started Friday night at their Good Friday service.  

Kim Johnson and Gena Harris volunteer during Crossroads New Baptist Church’s Easter events.

“We had over 3,000 people attend, and it was an incredible time of worship,” McKinney said.  

The best part, McKinney said, was that they baptized 74 people. Fifty-two of those were in their Español service.  

Across all their campuses and services Saturday and Sunday, more than 15,000 were in attendance. They also had more than 200 people that indicated on the invitation card that they gave their life to Christ, and more than 600 indicate they were first time guests.  

Harvest Baptist Church, Paragould 

Worship Pastor Charlton Cupp said they had a great response during Holy Week at Harvest.  

They held a remembrance/communion service on Wednesday and progressed through the seven statements of Jesus on the cross. Cupp said he had someone build a candle holder in the shape of a cross with seven candles. As each statement was addressed, they extinguished a candle.  

Pastor Laramie LeQuieu presented the Gospel before the congregation took communion, and two young men came to receive Christ.  

On Sunday, the church baptized four and had record attendance with more than 1,200 on campus for the day. 

Myron Baptist Church  

Pastor Ardell Polk said Myron Baptist Church located near Ash Flat had 169 in worship on Easter Sunday. Their highest attendance ever.  

Polk shared that the church averages about 70 in worship and is seeing an influx of young families with children. Myron Baptist is in a rural setting about 10 miles from any town of size.   

Don and Susan Hines help with cookie decorating Saturday, April 1, during Crossroads New Baptist Church’s Easter events.

“God is blessing us,” Polk said.  

Crossroads New Baptist Church, Little Rock 

On Saturday, April 1, Crossroads invited the surrounding community to an “Egg-cellent Easter Event” for children that included a puppet show, cookie decorating, games, and bunnies. Guests were then sent an invitation to Easter Sunday services. This event was a part of the One Day Serve Local emphasis of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.  

On Easter Sunday morning, the church hosted a sunrise service at Lake Norrell, a small lake located in Saline County, followed by a fellowship breakfast at the Lake Norrell Community Center.  

Crossroads then recorded 100 worshippers, their highest attendance in a number of years, in their regular Sunday service with two coming forward to request baptism at the end of the service.  

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