Local churches offer services leading up to Easter

With Easter just a few days away, Christians all over the world are busy preparing for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, which falls this year on March 31. Some celebrate all week, (Holy Week) from the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, to his last supper with the Apostles on Maundy Thursday, through somber services (Tenebrae) observing his trial and tragic death on the cross on Good Friday, and ending with the joyous celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Others prefer a more simple celebration and just have services on Easter Sunday, and some add secular events for children such as Easter Egg Hunts and activities with the Easter Bunny.

The following churches on the south side of Atlanta, including Fayette, Coweta and South Fulton counties, have announced their events surrounding this year’s Easter celebration.

Final Lenten Lunch

Fayetteville First United Methodist Church will offer its final Lenten Lunch, consisting of a light lunch and a short devotional message, from noon until 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 28. Lunches are prepared by the UMW circles and messages are offered by pastors, lay leaders and others. The lunch will be served in the Fellowship Hall and costs $2. FFUMC is across the street from the old courthouse in downtown Fayetteville.

Community Good Friday services

Peachtree City: The 32nd annual Good Friday Community Service will be held on March 29, at noon at Peachtree City United Methodist Church. The Service will feature The SevenLast words of Christ delivered by local pastors. Expect the service to last approximately 90 minutes. Come as you are. Feel free to arrive late or to leave early, as schedules dictate. Peachtree City United Methodist Church is at 225 Robinson Road.

Fayetteville: Several churches in the area will join together for a Good Friday service on March 29 in Fayetteville. Carriage Lane Presbyterian Church, Covenant Presbyterian Church, United Christian Fellowship and Redemption Fellowship will join together in observance of Good Friday. Redemption Fellowship in Fayetteville will host the service which will begin at 7 p.m. Friday evening.

The theme of the service will be “the Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ,” and each of the following local ministers will speak briefly on one word:

The Rev Dr. Douglas Griffith, first word from Luke 23:34; the Rev. Larry Elmore, second word from Luke 23:43; Pastor Frederick Downing, third word from John 19:26; Pastor Jamie Lambert, fourth word from Mark 15:34; Rev. Ian Toppin, fifth word from John 19:28; Pastor Horace Cutter, sixth word from John 19:30; and Pastor Stephan Cobbert, seventh word from Luke 23:46.

Cobbert, who is pastor of the host church, added, “Each of the pastors and I cordially invite the community to join with us at this first annual Good Friday Service.” This is the first time these particular churches have joined for a Good Friday service.

Redemption Fellowship is at 418 Ga. Highway 279 in Fayetteville. For more information, call the church office, 770-460-1220, or visit the website,www.redemptionfellowship.org.

Individual church celebrations and events

• All Saints Anglican Church in Peachtree City will have communion and a Maundy Thursday commemoration on Thursday, March 28, at 7 p.m. A prayer vigil will begin at 8:30 p.m. and will continue through 8:30 a.m. on Good Friday.

The Good Friday observance will be held at 7 p.m. on March 29.

Morning Prayer will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, followed by a Resurrection Egg Hunt/Family Picnic on the church grounds (Windgate Road and Peachtree Parkway) beginning at 11 a.m.

On Easter Sunday, March 31, a Holy Communion service will be held at 10:45 a.m.

All Saints Anglican Church is at 225 S. Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree City. For more information, call the church office, 770-486-5374.

• Brooks United Methodist Church will have a Holy Communion Maundy Thursday Service on March 28 at 7 p.m. and a Good Friday Service at 7 p.m. on March 29. The Brooks Community Sunrise Service at the cemetery will be at 7 a.m. with a community breakfast afterwards in the gym at Brooks UMC. The Easter services will follow at 9 a.m. (contemporary) and 11 a.m. (traditional).

• Carriage Lane Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City will have its Easter service Sunday at 11 a.m. The church is at 101 Carriage Lane.

• Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church will offer services each day of the Triduum, the three days leading up to Easter. Maundy Thursday, March 28, offers a service at 12:15 p.m. At the 7 p.m. service, COS will host First Presbyterian Church. Pastor Drew Elling will preach, and a combined choir from both churches will provide music.

On Good Friday, Pastor Fritz Wiese will speak at the Community Service at Peachtree City United Methodist Church at noon. The annual CrossWalk begins at 4 p.m. in the church parking lot. The group will process to picnic park, carrying crosses along cart paths, with a brief worship service at the destination. A Tenebrae, or Service of Darkness, begins at 8 p.m. Friday evening. It includes portions of “Requiem” by Birmingham composer K. Lee Scott. Sanctuary Choir will be accompanied by an instrumental ensemble, conducted by James C. Hagberg. After the Tenebrae, worshipers can participate in a round-the-clock prayer vigil featuring a prayer labyrinth with unique stations offering opportunities for meditation and personal prayer.

Easter Vigil takes place on Holy Saturday, from 7-8 p.m. The service will begin in the fellowship hall with music and the striking of new fire, then proceed to the Shepherd Window for Affirmation of Baptism, and finally conclude in the sanctuary, officially ushering in Easter.

Pastor Miriam Beecher will preach at the four Easter morning services, at 8:30, 9:45, 10:50 and 11 a.m. GraceFlock contemporary band will lead the 10:45 service. Festival worship in the sanctuary features Sanctuary Choir, the COS Brass, Joyful Noise Ringers, and the COS Flute Choir.

For more information, call 770-487-8717. The church is at the intersection of Peachtree Parkway and Ga. Hwy. 54.

• Church of the Good Shepherd-Baptist will have an Easter Sunday service at 11 a.m. when the children will present their annual Children’s Easter Program. The children will recite their Easter speeches, sing, and play instruments. The Church of the Good Shepherd worships in the theater of the former Association of Black Cardiologists building in South Fulton County at 5255 Hunter Rd.

• Church of the Holy Cross in Fayetteville, a Spirit-filled, sacramental/liturgical/evangelical congregation, will have its Easter Celebration at 10:30 a.m. on March 31. Father Paul Massey is pastor. For more information and directions, go to www.holycrosschurch.wordpress.com

• The Episcopal Church of the Nativity will observe the Great Vigil of Easter at 6 a.m. on Easter Sunday. The Easter worship service will be at 10 a.m. with a children’s Easter Egg Hunt in the garden at 11:30 a.m. Nativity is at 130 Antioch Rd., Fayetteville. For information, call 770-460-6390. The Rev. Rita Henault is rector.

• Fayette Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville will hold a Maundy Thursday service March 28 which will include a fellowship supper at 5:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall and a full communion service in the sanctuary at 6:30 p.m. Visitors eat free but reservations should be made for planning purposes. Call the church, 770-461-7147 or email church@fayettepcusa.org.

On Easter Sunday, March 31,worship with communion will be held at both 8:30and 11 a.m. A special children’s choir will sing for the Resurrection Sunday service. Fayette Presbyterian is at 791 Forest Ave. (Ga. Hwy. 92 N.), Fayetteville. Visit the website,http://www.fayettepcusa.org/.

• Fayetteville First United Methodist Church will observe Maundy Thursday, March 28, with a worship service and communion in the sanctuary at 7 p.m. The Good Friday service on March 29 will be at 7 p.m. and will feature the combined choirs and orchestra presenting Lenten Canticles. On Easter Sunday services are at 8:30, 9:45, and 11 a.m. all in the sanctuary. The church is on downtown Fayetteville across from the old Fayette County Courthouse.

• First Presbyterian Church of Peachtree City will have one of its new interim ministers, the Rev. Joan Gray, presiding over the Easter Celebration Service to be held at the church on Easter Sunday, March 31, at 11 a.m. The service will be preceded by an Easter Brunch served between 10 and 10:45 a.m. Childcare (5 years and under) will be provided. For information call the church office, 770 487-7757. Peachtree City Presbyterian is on Willowbend Rd. just off Ga. Hwy. 54 in Peachtree City.

• Heritage Christian Academy, a ministry of Heritage Christian Church, will sponsor “Hoppin’ Down the Bunny Trail” on Saturday, March 30 at 11 a.m. Children ages up to 10 years old are invited to attend. Areas for “hunting” will be divided by age levels. Children should bring an Easter basket or plastic bag for collecting the eggs. There will also be an area for children with special needs.

Heritage Christian Academy is at 2130 Redwine Rd., Fayetteville. For more information, visit the church’s website, www.heritagechristian.org or visit their Facebook page.

Heritage Christian Church will have its Easter Services on Sunday, March 31 at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Childcare is provided at the 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. Children, ages kindergarten through sixth grade, will enjoy the magic and storytelling of Barry Mitchell during both worship hours.

Mitchell is a motivational speaker and humorist using magic, storytelling, and lots of audience interaction to deliver encouragement. Heritage Christian Church is on Redwine Road in Fayetteville at the corner of Bernhard and Redwine Road. Visitwww.heritagechristian.org or the church’s Facebook page for more information.

• Hopewell United Methodist Church in Tyrone will hold Maundy Thursday services on March 28, at 7 p.m. On Easter Sunday, March 31, services will be held at 8:30 and 11 a.m. The church is at 351 Jenkins Rd., Tyrone, directly across from Sandy Creek High School. For more information, contact the church office, 770-306-7537.

• Inman United Methodist Church, 151 Hills Bridge Road, Fayetteville, will host a Holy Thursday Communion Service on March 28 at 7 p.m. An Easter Sunrise Service will be held in the church cemetery beginning at 7:30 a.m. on March 31. The United Methodist Men will serve breakfast in the church fellowship hall following the Sunrise Service. Regular services will be held in the sanctuary at 8:45 and 11 a.m. The community is invited to attend. For additional information, contact the church office, 770-461-2123.

• Members of Liberty Baptist Church, on Ga. Hwy. 314 in north Fayette County, will offer an encore presentation of their drama, “Remember the Cross,” Friday evening, March 29, at 7p.m. For those desiring a Good Friday experience, this presentation is a living drama of the life of Jesus from his triumphal entry into Jerusalem to his resurrection from the tomb. The drama is presented with a combination of music, drama, and special effects. No tickets or reservations are required. The church isat 1077 Ga. Hwy 314, Fayetteville. For more information, call 770-461-5644.

• McDonough Road Baptist Church will have its annual Easter Sunrise service this Sunday, March 31, at 7 a.m. on the front parking lot. Pastor David L. Chancey will bring a short message. A light breakfast will follow. Bible study is at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. The children’s ministry will offer a special Easter Sunday “Children’s Church” for children in kindergarten-fifth grade. The service will feature worship activities and a message geared just for children. The service begins at 10:55 a.m. Call 770-460-5423 for more information.

• New Hope Baptist Church will have Good Friday services with communion at the north and south campus locations on March 29. Both services are at 7 p.m.

Easter Sunday services are at 8 and 10:55 a.m. at the north campus, 551 New Hope Rd., Fayetteville, and 9:15 at the south campus, 1563 S. Joel Cowan Parkway, Senoia. For more information, call 770-461-4337.

• Peachtree City United Methodist Church will celebrate Maundy Thursday with a communion service at 7 p.m. The church will host a community Good Friday service March 29 at noon. On Easter Sunday, identical services will be held at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Childcare will be available at 9:30 and 11 a.m. for birth to pre-K. The church is at 225 Robinson Rd., Peachtree City. for information, call 770-487-6499. or visit www.ptcumc.org.

• Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Ga. Hwy. 314 in Fayetteville, Justin Kollmeyer, pastor, will have Maundy Thursday Holy Communion Service at 7 p.m. on March 28, Good Friday “Tenebrae” Service at 8 p.m. on March 29, and on Easter Sunday there will be an outdoor Sunrise Service in the “Peace Chapel” on the church property at 7:30 a.m., a Contemporary Festival Service at 9:15 a.m., an Easter Egg Hunt for all children, members and guests, at 10:50 a.m., and a Traditional Festival Service at 11:15 a.m.

• St. Andrew’s in the Pines Episcopal Church, 316 North Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree City, announces the following schedule of services for Holy Week:

On Wednesday, March 27, Holy Eucharist Rite I will be at noon, Holy Eucharist Rite I will be at 6 p.m., and Holy Eucharist Rite II will be at 6:30 p.m. followed by a pot luck dinner,

On Maundy Thursday, March 28, Holy Eucharist Rite II (stripping of the altar) will be at 7 p.m.,

A Good Friday Service will be held at noon on March 29.

On Holy Saturday, no services will be held but members will have a quiet workday on the parish grounds and within the nave beginning at 9 a.m.

On Easter Sunday, services will be at8 and 10 a.m., with an Easter Egg Hunt to follow the 10 a.m. service. St. Andrew’s is at 316 Peachtree Parkway North in Peachtree City. For more information, call the church office, 770-487-8415.

• Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in East Coweta County will have the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28.

A Scriptural Rosary will be said at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 29 and the Good Friday worship service at noon will feature the Seven Last Words of Christ.

At 3 p.m., Scriptural Stations of the Cross will be read with Cokes Chapel UMC, and the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion will be at 7 p.m.

Easter Vigil Mass will be celebrated at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation.

On Easter Sunday, Children’s Masses will be celebrated at 9 and 10:30 a.m., with another Mass to follow at noon. A nursery will be available at the 9 a.m. Mass.

Saint Mary Magdalene is at 3 Village Rd., off Ga. Hwy. 154 and Ebenezer Church Rd. near the central Library. For information, call 770-253-1888 or visit www.smmcatholic.org.

• St. Paul Lutheran Church in Peachtree City will continue its Holy Week observation with a Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m. March 28.

On Good Friday, March 29, there will be two services, one at noon and another at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, an Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 2-10 years, and their parents, will be held from 10 a.m. until noon. One hunt will be for children 2-4 years old and another for children 5-10 years old. There also will be food, activities, resurrection eggs and a bounce house.

On Easter Sunday. an Easter Sunrise Service is planned for 7 a.m., outside, weather permitting. An Easter Breakfast will be held at 8:15 and a Combined Easter Festival Service will be held at 10 a.m.

St. Paul Lutheran is at 700 Ardenlee Parkway, just off Ga. Hwy 74, in Peachtree City.

• The Summit Church (Presbyterian), will have a Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m. on March 28.

Easter Sunrise Service will be at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast following at the IHOP Restaurant in Fayetteville at 8:30 a.m.

Easter worship and communion service at the church will be at 11 a.m. The Summit is at 1373 Ga. Hwy. 92 S., Fayetteville. For information, call 770-460-3335 or visit TheSummitPC.net

• The Holy Week worship schedule for Word of God Lutheran (NALC and LCMC) in Peachtree City will include a Maundy Thursday Holy Communion service at 7 p.m.. with special music by the choir and stripping of the altar at the conclusion of the service. On March 29, a Good Friday worship service will be held at 7 p.m. with the traditional liturgy of prayer and commitment. Easter morning worship services will be at 8:15 and 11 a.m., with Holy Communion and special music. A nursery will be provided.

Word of God is at 303 Kelly Drive, Suite 10, Peachtree City.