Pastors prepare for packed houses on Easter

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

The pews will be packed, worshipers will be dressed in their finest and pastors have been preparing for weeks.

All will be in preparation for what is sometimes referred to as the Super Bowl of Sunday worship — Easter.

Clovis pastor Larry Tittle said while the Easter sermon is important, he is reluctant to compare it to the Super Bowl.

“It (Easter sermon) carries with it a lot more significance (than other sermons),” Tittle said, “not that the other 51 sermons of the year aren’t important.”

Tittle, pastor of 21st Street Church of Christ, said the sermon is significant only because church attendance rises on Easter.

“There will be a lot more people,” he said, “and that impacts my preparation.”

Clovis resident Candace Beers said Easter Sunday is a special day for her.

“I don’t regularly attend church throughout the year,” she said, “but on Easter you can guarantee the flowers will be beautiful and the sermon will be stirring.”

Tittle said he hopes to stir his congregation with more music and a special emphasis on the Lord’s Supper.

“I’m excited about this service,” he said. “Hopefully it will be both motivational and challenging.”

Central Baptist Church is pulling out the props to motivate the congregation.

After Sunday’s sermon, members of the congregation will be asked to write down things for which they wish to be forgiven on slips of paper, according to Central Baptist pastor Alan McAlister. The slips will be nailed to the two large crosses to illustrate the reality of what Christ accomplished through the Crucifixion, he said.
“We will be emphasizing the power of the cross,” McAlister said.

According to Euella Webb, who serves as secretary for McAlister, 1,200 people are expected to attend the Easter service.

“We normally have around 800 people on Sunday morning,” Webb said, “and we are expecting 400 more this Sunday.”

The CNJ is compiling a list of Easter Church services. To be included, contact CNJ Staff Writer Tonya Fennell at 763-6991 or e-mail at: