Congregations from throughout Southwest Florida will gather at City of Palms Park in downtown Fort Myers Easter Sunday, April 8, to worship and to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Doors open at 5:30 a.m. for the Easter Sunrise service, which begins at 6:30 a.m. There is no admission for the service or for parking at City of Palms Park (former Red Sox stadium). Free coffee and pastries also will be served both before and after the service.
The inspirational message will be delivered by The Rev. Dr. William L. Glover, senior pastor of Mount Hermon Ministries Inc., in Fort Myers.
Ministers from a dozen area churches participated in the planning of this year's annual Easter Sunrise service, which has become a tradition in Fort Myers.
Supporting the program will be the Rev. Gary E. Cox of First Christian Church, the Rev. John Q. Daugherty of First Baptist Church of Fort Myers, the Rev. David Pleasant of Elevation Ministries, the Rev. Paul deJong of First Presbyterian Church of Fort Myers, the Rev. Lia Icaza Willetts of First United Methodist Church, the Rev. Arlene Jackson of Grace United Methodist Church - Fort Myers Central Campus, the Rev. Philip D. Read, II, SSC, of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, the Rev. Jon Zehnder of St. Michael Lutheran Church, the Rev. Dr. Israel Suarez of Templo Cristiano El Buen Samaritano and the Rev. Douglas Kelchner of Thomas A. Edison Congregational Church.
Additional churches are encouraged to bring their congregations to the service as well, according to organizers.
The Community Easter Sunrise Service has been a tradition since the 1950s and has moved over the years from the Fort Myers High School Stadium to Centennial Park to City of Palms Park. This is the 17th year that the service has been conducted at City of Palms Park. Last year, more than 3,000 people attended the service.
Music will be provided by vocal artistry with conductor Joseph Caulkins, an outreach of First Baptist Church of Fort Myers, along with music from a praise team. The service will be inter-denominational.
For more information about the Community Easter Sunrise Service, call 239-334-0316 or visit www.cityofpalmssunrise.org.