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Easter, April Fools' Day coincide
Resurrection Trail2
Lacy Garrison photo Members of First Baptist Church in downtown McMinnville gathered Saturday morning to begin their first Road to Resurrection tour. Jason Fry, who portrays Jesus, reenacts Christs entry into Jerusalem while welcomed by crowds waving palm branches before his arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection.

If you’re a frequent Facebook checker, then you’ve noticed posts acknowledging Sunday is April Fools’ Day and Easter, or what some Christians refer to as Resurrection Sunday.

Memes and religious jokes referencing Jesus as the original prankster can be either funny, or offensive, depending on your sense of humor.

Regardless of April Fools’ Day, local preachers have planned special sermons and events focusing on the hope found in Jesus’ resurrection. For Christians, the resurrection is about Jesus of Nazareth, the son of God, who was crucified but arose from the grave, and by these two feats, freed believers from their sins as well as promising everlasting life with Him in heaven.

For pulpit minister Richard O’Connor, he will be finishing up his three-part series entitled “It is Finished – A Case from the Resurrection of Christ” at Westwood Church of Christ. He expects around 600 in attendance as Easter Sunday is historically high in attendance.

“To me, the resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity,” explained O’Connor. “It’s the rock of our faith.”

First United Methodist Church held an entire Holy Week of services from March 25 leading up to Sunday, along with helping sponsor an Easter egg hunt at the Civic Center on Saturday. Rev. Tommy Vann, senior pastor, described his plans for Sunday’s services.

The sunrise service will be held at Pepper Branch Park at 6 a.m. with a lesson over the question “What would it be like to discover Jesus’ empty tomb?” followed by breakfast at the church building and two additional services.

“We are going to examine ‘I am’ sayings found in the Gospel of John,” explained Rev. Vann. “Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ and we’re going to explore how we can see resurrection in our own lives. It’s a different way of living and we will see how Jesus has changed our lives even if we can’t always explain it.”

On Saturday, First Baptist Church held a Road to Resurrection walk-through tour beginning with the entry into Jerusalem and ending when Jesus was resurrected. Tammy Trembley, director of childhood ministries at the church, said a special interactive Easter service will also take place with a band and choir leading worship.

“Last year, we had over 600 in attendance,” said Trembley. “Pastor Dr. Jeff L. Owens will be presenting a lesson called ‘God Still Rolls Away the Stones.’”