For Christians around the world, Easter is the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
It’s a day often associated with colored eggs and the Easter Bunny, but it’s a holiday with deep religious meaning.
“The resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone of Christianity,” said preacher Jim Ramsey, who is now director of missions for the Central Baptist Association. “Christianity is centered on the fact Christ has risen. We believe it, we know it happened, and there were witnesses to it.”
Sunrise church services are planned throughout the community Sunday morning, including one conducted by Pioneer Community Church that will be held at 7 a.m. at Riverfront Park. Easter is typically one of the most crowded days at area churches.
“For a lot of people, Easter and Christmas are the only times they come to church,” said Ramsey.
While church auditoriums are expected to be packed Sunday, a recent survey of adults by Nashville-based LifeWay Research found nearly as many plan to avoid church as plan to go. The survey found just 2 percent more people plan to attend church on Easter than not attend.
The LifeWay survey also found those in the Midwest are the most likely to attend church on Easter with 46 percent saying they plan to attend. That figure edged the South with 44 percent planning to attend.
The Northeast had the lowest expected church attendance on Easter with just 33 percent likely to attend.
“Easter is the greatest celebration of the Christian faith,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “The crux of the gospel is not just that Jesus came to earth in human form, which we celebrate at Christmas, but that He lived a sinless life and was crucified in the place of mankind. God’s acceptance of this payment for sin is seen in Him raising Jesus from the dead. This is what makes Easter so significant.”