Easter Sunrise Services Attract Hundreds of Montgomery Residents


By Amanda Wade

Clouds and chilly temperatures did not keep people away from Frazer United Methodist's sunrise service, and many say the early morning outdoor worship is a way to reflect on the holiday. 

More than 500 people came together in a field at Blount Cultural Park in Montgomery as the sun rose. Pastors at Frazer United Methodist say it is the only sunrise service they hold each year, "It's the same way as in the scriptures when the disciples and Mary showed up early that morning to an empty tomb, so it's an opportunity for us to to walk in their footsteps," says Frazer Teaching Pastor, Patrick Quinn.
Some service goers, like Tisha Rhodes, say the sunrise service provides a different atmosphere for worship, "A lot of times when you're in the church building the experience is very specific, but when you're out like this, it feels so natural and so warm, so welcoming. Whether you are actually a part of a specific church, this is the bigger family of God."
Some say Easter sunrise services remind them that religious freedom is something not everyone has, "I think too that we remember that we're free to do this. You know, there's many people that are not going to be able to go to a sunrise service or any church service to celebrate, you know, that Jesus rose for them, so we are very glad to have that freedom too," says Brenda Taylor.
The pastor says they have held a sunrise service at Blount Cultural Park for nearly six years, but this is the first time the service was held in a different field and not at the ampitheatre due to flooding issues. 
Church volunteers say the sunrise service usually brings between 600 and 700 people together to worship, but they think the clouds and temperatures kept about 33% of people away this year.