Christ The Lord is Risen!

By Linda Elissalde
Christ The Lord is Risen! Christians across the world gather to welcome the fantastic news that Jesus Christ lives. In magnificent cathedrals, in suburban churches, in small hamlet frames, in refuge tents, all are united to celebrate this wonderful Easter event. However, there can be no better spot to rejoice than on Bolivar Peninsula Beach at the annual SON-RISE SERVICE.

The Faggard and Millender families created this special welcome to Easter morning 30 years ago. It grew from a small gathering to a huge crowd who arrive in golf carts or bring lawn chairs to watch the sun rise over white capped Crystal Beach waves. This year a full moon remained to join the sun in its glory. Three wooden crosses were silhouetted against the sky. Made of cypress from McKinney Texas and set up by Kevin Kavanagh, they provided a perfect backdrop.

Against this backdrop, Pastor Kaye Sims welcomed the ever growing group of worshipers. Craig Lang had orchestrated the setup of a new sound system which augmented the entire service. Steve Collazo gave the opening prayer. Linda and Frank Hodges led everyone in “Amazing Grace.” Janet Leigh and Vicky Mouton provided their always popular, “Ain’t No Grave”, and Mark Ivey’s melodious voice enchanted all with his original composition – “The End Of The Story”. Led by Millie Coffee, the youth glowingly performed, “Shackles”. Unity choir’s renditions of “Celebrate Jesus” and “My Sweet Lord” were enjoyed by the crowd spread out over beach and dunes.

Tamia Cooper, Susan Shafer, and Millie Coffee touched hearts with “When He Was On The Cross”. Then Tamia Cooper and choir had all clapping their hands to “O Happy Day”. Pastor Valerie Hudson delivered a most moving Easter message. “People Get Ready” with world renowned drummer Michael Feighan and Millie Coffee was the closing musical number. (By the way, Michael’s talented and beautiful daughter, Tatiana, displayed her skill with those drum sticks.) The high school seniors’ scholarship offering totaled over $8,000 this year. Dennis Allen presented the closing prayer. Golf carts, trucks, cars, and folk carrying lawn chairs left rejoicing in the uplifting message they received at the Easter Service.
This SON-RISE presentation certainly honored Easter’s true meaning. “Christ The Lord Is Risen. Alleluia! Alleluia!”



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