”We teach people to be solemn and quiet in church. You also gotta get out and celebrate – it’s a great victory.”
Minister of First Baptist Church of Kilgore, the Rev. Glenn Young was happy to look out over the controlled chaos in Driller Park Saturday morning. There wasn’t anything solemn or quiet about it, not with hundreds of gleeful children stampeding across the grass as parents cheered them on in their search for Easter eggs.
Six local churches partnered for this year’s Resurrection Celebration Festival spread throughout Harris Street Park, culminating in two helicopter egg drops over the Driller Park outfield.
“It’s a great community event,” Young said, one that creates a special outreach opportunity: “As a church, not just our church but the churches in the community, it’s important people know what Easter is about and the resurrection of Christ. Today, it’s also important to have fun with the kids and celebrate life.
“It’s something worth celebrating.”
The celebration ranged across the park facilities as visitors sampled snowcones, played in a bounce house, got their faces painted and had the opportunity to chat with church volunteers about salvation. Smaller egg hunts welcomed younger and special needs children ahead of the older age group’s sprint at Driller.
Participating churches included Grace Baptist, First Baptist Church of Kilgore, Victory Road Baptist Church, Living Word Church, Pirtle United Methodist Church and Mt. Calvary Baptist Church.
“It’s an opportunity to present the Gospel, just get families out to enjoy the weekend,” said participant Michael Tucker.
“It’s awesome, brother,” volunteer Don Fey agreed. “Lots of people. Love it.”
Co-organizer Rory Dukes was grateful for the community supporter that helped make the event a reality – especially when it came to building a stockpile of more than 40,000 brightly-colored plastic eggs.
“Walmart without even being asked to do anything gave us 20,000 eggs,” he said.
Scott Brown, lead pastor of Grace Baptist Church, offered the morning’s invitation at Driller Park, emphasizing the joy of salvation in Christ amid the joy of the day, one marked by perfect spring weather.
“All we want to do is basically bring other churches together to be able to share the love of Christ with our community,” he said. “It’s just about our churches coming together at a critical time in our society to bring about unity within our community.
“I think it just shows the love of Christ to people, letting people know that the body of Christ is not splintered, that we want to work together to let others know and to have a personal relationship with Him.”