Crossroads New Baptist Church members on Sunday, April 2, experienced a Passover Seder, a dinner traditionally celebrated by people of the Jewish faith during Passover.
The meal consists of rituals, liturgy and food meant to represent parts of the Exodus story where the people of Israel were led from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.
The dinner was led by Timothy and Annelle King inside the church’s fellowship hall. The husband and wife are Southern Baptists and members at Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock.
Timothy developed an interest in the deeply Jewish parts of the Bible in the 1980’s while studying at Liberty University in Virginia.
“There was a lot I didn’t understand. So, I started digging,” said Timothy, who has also spent time studying in Israel. “Years and years later, my wife and I decided we were going to try to do a Passover Seder on our own.”
The two started practicing and wrote their version of a Haggadah, a prayer book that is used during the Jewish festival of Passover.
“We were just trying to document the process for our own use and then we started inviting people,” Timothy said, noting they had more than 70 guests at their home for one Seder dinner. He described it as a local church ministry. Recently, Timothy said he’s been getting more and more calls to lead Seder dinners at churches as a growing number of Gentile Christians are desiring to observe Passover.
About two weeks prior to the dinner at Crossroads New Baptist Church, Timothy said he and his wife led a Seder dinner at Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro.
“We believe that God is opening the eyes of modern Christians because he is preparing us for the marriage supper of the Lamb,” Timothy said. “I believe he is opening our eyes and preparing us for what is coming. Even in the Bible … it says this is to be upon all generations. It never was kicked out. It never was nullified. The Jewishness of the Bible never was removed in the New Testament.”
Timothy is seeing more people returning to the Jewishness and feasts and festivals of the Bible.
“I am just glad to be a small part of it,” he said. “It’s really important to me. This is probably the most important feast or festival of the whole year, according to the scripture. If you are going to do one thing, you want to do a Passover Seder.”