Churches observe Holy Week with services and community outreach

South DeKalb congregations will join Christians everywhere in celebration of the risen Christ at Easter Services on April 1.

Sonrise, Sunrise and Resurrection services will lure thousands to venues like Stone Mountain Park for the 74th annual Easter Sunrise Service at the top of the mountain, and to sanctuaries, large and small, starting before dawn on April 1.

The services, including these below, will culminate Holy Week, which begins on March 25 with Palm Sunday commemorating Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey to palm-waving throngs.

Members of Greenforest Community Baptist Church’s drama and music ministries will re-enact Palm Sunday for worshippers arriving for the church’s 6:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services.

Dr. Walter Richardson, senior pastor of Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church in Miami, Fla., will speak at both services. Over 25 years at Sweet Home, Richardson has grown the congregation from 50 members to 4,000 today.

He serves as adjunct professor of religion at St. Thomas University and senior chaplain for the Miami-Dade Police Department. He is author of "Going Through Samaria" and "Think on These Things."

Worshippers arriving for Palm Sunday service will be greeted by members dressed in period garb waving palm leaves and flags. There will also be donkeys and lambs,  and an actor will play the role of Jesus.

The Rev. Emory Berry, the church’s pastor, said a full Southern breakfast will be served after the first service at 8:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center. 

On Resurrection Sunday, April 1, Berry will preach at a 6:30 a.m. Sonrise Service and the 10:45 a.m. worship  service. At 9:30 a.m., Greenforest Academy students from first to sixth grades will perform an Easter production that includes a re-enactment.    

The church is at 3250 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. For more information, visit www.greenforest.org.

FAPC Easter Services will be live streamed 

Worshippers at First Afrikan Presbyterian Church in Lithonia will celebrate Resurrection Sunday at services at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sermons are streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/First-Afrikan-Church-167700410029761.

The church is at 5197 Salem Road. For more information, visit firstafrikanchurch.org

Easter at the Ray

"The Black Messiah," an original work by Ray of Hope Christian Church’s  Parable Players, will take place at 10 a.m. March 25 in the church’s Main Sanctuary.

The dramatic production poses the question, “Why did Christ die for us?” and places Christ right next to us in the 21st century.   

On April 1, The Ray’s “Christ Has Risen” Easter Services take place at 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. in its main sanctuary.

After the 7:30 a.m. service, members will break the Lenten fast with a breakfast in the church’s Family Life Center.

The church is at 2778 Snapfinger Road in Decatur. For more information, visit www.rayofhope.org.

Greater Piney Grove

Foot washing, a dramatic production and the seven last words preached by Atlanta University Center students are all on tap at Greater Piney Grove Baptist Church this Lenten and Easter season.

Members will wash each others' feet at a March 29 Maundy Foot Washing and Community Service, starting at 7 p.m.

On March 30 at 7 p.m., the church's drama ministry will stage "The Day That Changed Everything," written and directed by Vanessa Morgan, in the Frank Jones Memorial Chapel.

On March 31, Egg Extravaganza starts at noon, offering food, fun and fellowship for the entire family. There will be an Easter meal for the first 200 families who show up.

The church is at 1879-1921 Glenwood Ave. S.E. in Atlanta. For more information, visit www.greaterpineygrove.com/ or call 404-377-0561.

Resurrection Community Blitz

The New Birth Missionary Baptist Church family will head into the community on March 24 to meet neighbors and invite them to join them for Resurrection Weekend Services.

The Resurrection Community Blitz, which takes place noon to 2 p.m., kicks off at  “The Jesus Statue” on the steeple side of the church. Some New Birth members will interface with the community and others will beautify the neighborhoods.   

On March 31, the church is hosting its annual Resurrection Community Block Party from noon to 2 pm in the McKinley Cove neighborhood on Kevin Court in Lithonia. There will be music, fun and fellowship. 

New Birth is 6400 Woodrow Road. For more information, visit  www.newbirth.org or call 770-696-9600.