As Easter nears, a number of churches across Haywood have planned special services. Some churches are holding in-person events, while others have a more limited attendance, but offer ample opportunities to follow worship online.
Here are a few churches in the area that have special events planned for the upcoming Easter weekend.
A “Ridin on Faith” Easter Service will be held at 8 a.m., Sunday, April 4, at the Smoky Mountain Event Center, 758 Crabtree Road in Waynesville.
The special Easter sunrise service will feature horses to inspire an audience through the Gospel and will deliver a message of hope. Young horse riders will say prayers, honor Jesus and carry crosses across the fields to reach souls for Christ.
Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church at 133 Old Clyde Road in Waynesville, will offer a drive-in worship experience at 10 a.m. Easter Sunday, where worshippers are invited to bring a lawn chair and sit outside (using masks and social distancing) or remain in their vehicles and tune in to the service via an FM signal.
Breakfast and children’s worship guides will be provided. There also will be streamed services at 9 a.m., 10:10 a.m. and 11:11 a.m. on Easter morning.
Pinnacle Church in Canton will be starting a new sermon series on Easter Sunday titled ”Jesus Who?”
“This is the sermon for you if you want to know more about Jesus, have questions or are just curious about Jesus, even if you don’t believe,” according to the church’s website. “Because if Jesus is who He said He is, it changes absolutely everything.”
The series will explore what others said about Jesus and who he was. Reservations for in-person attendance are available, but others are encouraged to connect online April 4.
There will be a noon Easter egg hunt at Maggie Valley Methodist Church, 4192 Soco Road, on Saturday.
The event will be preceded by Easter services at 7 a.m., which is a sunrise service by the cross; a 9 a.m. indoor service where capacity is limited and reservations are needed; and an 11 a.m. outdoor service in the large gathering area behind the church. During this event, masks will be required, but there is no need to sign up.
At Grace Church in the Mountains, 394 N. Haywood St., Waynesville, there will be three services on Easter: 6 a.m., 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
The 6 a.m. vigil service will be inside in the Nave, while the two later services will be under the tent outside, weather permitting. Those who attend the 10:30 service are encouraged to bring their own chair.
There are also services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday at noon and 7 p.m. both days. A Children’s Way of the Cross event will be held at 4 p.m. inside the church on Good Friday.
All of the events are in person and also will be live-streamed to the church’s website, YouTube and Facebook.
Lake Junaluska will hold a 7 a.m. Easter sunrise service at the amphitheater below the Lake Junaluska cross.
All are invited to join in person or to follow online on Facebook. A brass quintet will provide music, and the speaker will be the Rev. Gina Gilland Campbell.
Attendees are encouraged to dress warmly for cool mountain morning temperatures. In the event of rain, the service will be held at Memorial Chapel. Check the Assembly website for any announcements about a possible change in location.
At Canton First Baptist, there will be an in-person service on Easter Sunday, where attendees are asked to bring a fresh flower or two to help “transform the cross with life and beauty” as the resurrection of Christ is celebrated.
There will be an Easter egg hunt at 11 a.m. for children preschool through fifth grade, and family photos will be taken after the service.
Those unable to attend in person can see a livestream on the church Facebook page or listen on WPTL radio.
At Crestview Baptist Church, 3258 Pisgah Drive, Canton, there will be an Easter sunrise service and a second worship service.
All are invited to attend the 7:30 a.m. outdoor sunrise service in the parking lot. The service will be followed by a light breakfast. Sunday school will begin at 9:30 a.m. Then at 10:30 a.m., the church’s worship ministry will present “Son of Heaven.” For details, call 648-1110 or visit the church website.