Easter Sunrise Services
McClain to preach at grandfather’s church
by W. Winston Skinner
Easter is a day of resurrection.
Christians celebrate the rising of their Savior, Jesus, from the grave on Easter. Sunrise services are held following a pattern set by the first Christians recorded in the New Testament. With the arrival of spring, new shades of green are appearing, and the egg – with the symbolism of unseen life hidden inside – seems to be everywhere.
For Todd McClain, Easter will have some extra meaning this year. McClain is pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, which meets in a historic church building on Luther Bailey Road near Senoia. He has been invited to preach for the sunrise service at Open Door Baptist in Senoia, a church started by his grandfather in September 1974.
The service at Open Door will start at 6:45 a.m.
“I consider it an honor to be asked to go back to the church where I was actually saved and the church my grandfather started,” McClain said. He has preached at Open Door before, including some times before the death of his grandfather, Henry Calhoun.
“After I got saved and after I was called to preach, he was really gracious about letting me preach there,” he remembered.
McClain said his call to preach was a clear, direct call from God. Having a grandfather who spent decades pastoring helped him know what a pastor’s life was like and how pastors do their work. “That background – it didn’t hurt,” he reflected.
Kathy Hudson, McClain’s mother, is thrilled that he will be preaching at Open Door early Sunday. She remembered that Calhoun started Open Door “up the road in a building which is now a house.”
For years, she spent Sundays listening to her father’s sermons at Open Door. Now she works alongside her son and his family at Mt. Moriah. “I am very proud of him. I know he walks the walk and he preaches the word – no beating around the bush,” Hudson said.
Friend Sherion Lefevers said she loves to hear McClain preach. “Such a blessing,” she said.
McClain said things are “going well” at Mt. Moriah. “It’s a struggle to build from the ground up as far as membership. I try not to make that my goal. My goal at Mt. Moriah is for the ones that are there to get closer to the Lord – and to do the service of the Lord,” he said.
As he prepares to retrace his grandfather’s steps on Easter, McClain said he wants to give people who hear him “a better foundation and a feel for what God wants out of His people.”
Other sunrise services scheduled in the area include:
• 6 a.m., Sunrise Service, Smith Chapel United Methodist Church. Easter program for children and youth to follow.
• 6 a.m., Sunrise Service, Victory Church International, Sharpsburg.
• 6:30 a.m., Son-rise Service, Allen-Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, Lone Oak. Pancake breakfast to follow.
• 7 a.m., Sunrise Service, Greenville Street Park. Sponsor: First United Methodist Church, Newnan.
• 7 a.m., Sunrise Service, First Christian Church, Newnan.
• 7 a.m., Sunrise Service, Royal Baptist Church. Country breakfast to follow.
• 7 a.m., Sunrise Service, Sunnyside Baptist Church. Breakfast to follow.
• 7 a.m., Sunrise Service at the Cross, Elim Baptist Church, Handy Road, 7 a.m. Flowering of the cross. Breakfast to follow.
• 7 a.m., Sunrise Service, hillside, Line Creek Baptist Church. “Three Who Were There,” short dramatic presentation. Breakfast to follow.
• 7 a.m., Son Rise Service, Calvary Baptist Church. Outdoors. “It will be outside ... but under the tabernacle. Brother Alan Kirk will be delivering the message,” said Bryan Calhoun, the church’s pastor.
• 7 a.m., First United Methodist Church, Grantville. “We will gather at the cross in front of the church,” Betty Jean Bowers said. Members will bring breakfast dishes to share after the service.
• 7 a.m., cemetery, Cokes Chapel United Methodist Church, Sharpsburg. Covered dish breakfast to follow.
• 7 a.m., Sunrise Worship, meditation garden, Senoia United Methodist Church.
• 7 a.m., Sunrise Service, Southview Cemetery, Moreland. Sponsored by Moreland United Methodist Church. Breakfast at the church will follow.
• 7 a.m., Sunrise Service, First United Methodist Church, Grantville. At cross in front of the church. Covered dish breakfast to follow.
• 7:30 a.m., Sunrise Service, Providence Baptist Church, Providence Church Road.
• 7:30 a.m., Sunrise Service, Luthersville United Methodist Church. Coffee, juice and sweets to follow.
• 7:30 a.m., Sunrise Service, New Hope Church, Wooster/Greenville. Breakfast to follow.
• 8 a.m., Easter Mass, St. George Catholic Church.
• 8 a.m., Sunrise Service, Bethlehem Baptist Church.
• 8 a.m., Early Easter Morning Service, Sharpsburg Baptist Church, 8 a.m. Breakfast to follow at 8:30 a.m.