Lively Easter service held at Osage Centre

Monday, April 1, 2002

The Easter worship service at the Osage Community Centre Sunday morning was anything but somber.

It was one that had young and old alike shouting, dancing and singing in the aisles.

The service started out like a Christian rock concert with music blaring so loud the beat could be felt pulsing through the floor and heard outside in the parking lot.

For almost an hour, a choir of about 50 members joyfully lifted their voices in praise, leading a crowd of nearly 1,300 people who came to worship on one of the most important days in the Christian year.

For the fourth consecutive year Cape Girardeau First Assembly of God held its Easter celebration at the Osage Community Centre so all of its members could unite in praise under one roof.

Pastor Gary Brothers said the church usually holds five different Sunday morning services at three different locations, and on television, to accommodate all of the people.

"This is not a memorial service," he said of Sunday's gathering. "It is a celebration of life designed to bring all of our families together."

Brother's message, "It is finished," described how Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection defeated death and the devil and opened the door to heaven.

Jody Fitzgerald attended the service with her husband, Rick, and children, Ian and Kayla.

She said she enjoys the annual service because the whole church is able to worship all in one place.

"This is awesome because we don't get to see everybody every Sunday," Fitzgerald said. "When you are out around town, you can ask someone where they go to church and they could say they go to your own church, but you've never seen them. This is a really exciting family experience."

Crystal Dubman also attended the service.

"The amount of people is unbelievable," she said. "The spirit of God absolutely works better in numbers."

Cape Girardeau First Assembly of God holds regular services at its main sanctuary at 750 N. Mount Auburn Road, the House of Hope at the old May Greene School and at Freedom Rock at 396 N. Kingshighway.

hkronmueller@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 128

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