Though Easter 2018 is behind us, we’re still celebrating the incredible ways God moved at Bay Area on April 1. For the first time, we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection as one church family at three locations - our Annapolis and Easton campuses, and an additional site at Broadneck High School. Nearly 5,000 attended! It was a momentous morning and God was at work in the hearts of many across all three locations. Below, Campus Pastors Craig Fadel and Brian Hopper celebrate what happened in Easton and Annapolis, and Student Ministry Pastor Brent Squires, who led the team that organized Easter at Broadneck, shares about what happened on the Broadneck Peninsula.
Easter at our Broadneck High School site was amazing! The idea for this location actually started before Christmas. Our leaders wanted to expand our impact within the community and create capacity at our Annapolis campus for the hundreds of guests that we knew would visit during this incredible holiday. A team of staff was assembled and met weekly from January through March in order to handle all of the logistics.
Our desire was to provide every person who drove onto the Broadneck site with the same great worship experience they would find at our Annapolis campus.
As we asked our church family to step up and serve on Easter across all our locations, we were excited and grateful to have 130 people step forward to serve at Broadneck in various capacities including set-up/tear-down, ushers, greeters, Children’s Ministry and hospitality. Our team was encouraged by the enthusiasm and ownership they brought with them on Easter: Many of the volunteers arrived as early as 5 a.m. to help unload equipment and supplies, and set up the stage and baptistery.
In total, roughly 1,400 people attended the two gatherings held at 9 and 11 a.m. Many of those in attendance were from the Broadneck Peninsula – and enjoyed a quick commute and found plenty of parking!
Jonathan Madrid led worship and Pat Linnell wrapped up our Evidence series with a powerful message and invitation for people to accept Jesus as their Savior. We’re praising God that 12 people came to faith! Additionally, 16 people publicly declared their faith in Jesus by being baptized in the courtyard following the gatherings.
It was truly an amazing Easter Sunday at Broadneck High School, and we look forward to seeing how God continues to lead Bay Area as a result.
God has been working at the Easton Campus! Having just celebrated our second birthday, Easter Sunday had a lot of anticipation. This year we were offering three gatherings, which was a feat in and of itself. We needed an earlier setup time, more volunteers, and bigger commitments – all while trying to make Easter special for both the most committed and the first-time guest.
The atmosphere was upbeat, worship was sweet, the evidence was compelling, and hundreds of lives were positively impacted! Our volunteers from Children’s Ministry to technology were all stars, our teams looked like professionals, and our people were warm and welcoming. When all was said and done, we had 443 people attend on Easter Sunday. There were nine who came forward to trust Christ or recommit their lives to Him, and five were baptized!
Many prayers were answered that day. Though we had passed out hundreds of invitations, the choice for someone to actually come is theirs. We were trusting God and asking Him to work in all our hearts and lives – whether it was for the simple hope that a family member might attend, that a friend would take a small step of faith, or that radical healing and change would occur. After the service, a mom with tear-filled eyes shared the joy of seeing her daughter singing along with our worship songs. Her daughter does not normally attend, and yet was truly engaged in everything that was happening. “I was trying not to stare at my daughter, but I couldn’t believe it,” she exclaimed.
God’s resurrection power was on full display at the Easton Campus this Easter! We praise Him for His ability to work in and through us as a church.
What an Easter celebration we had at our Annapolis Campus! Here are a couple highlights…
The 6:20 a.m. sunrise gathering was amazing. What a beautiful picture of the resurrection with over 300 of us walking into the chapel from the early morning darkness and leaving in the brightness of the risen sun (Son). The worship was celebratory, the preaching was strong, and the Lord was glorified. It was a great way to start such an impactful day.
Another highlight was the sheer number of people who gave up some of their Easter Sunday to serve our church family and guests. On big days like Easter where we have so many additional folks joining us, the volunteer needs swell - and this year our body rose to the occasion to step up and serve. From Children’s Ministry to the ushers/greeters, to the men and women directing traffic, it was an excellent display of Christ’s love working through our volunteers to serve our body.
And lastly, and most importantly, we witnessed 24 people surrender their lives to Jesus and decide to follow Him. The significance of this cannot be overstated - on the day that we celebrate Jesus defeating physical death and rising to new life, so we witnessed men, women and children come forward to accept the new life that Jesus offers. And then to have the morning capped off with 11 people getting baptized was almost too much.
Like so many years in the past, Easter was again one of the highlights of our year and further evidence that Jesus is with us, leading us, and drawing people to Himself through us. For that, we are humbled and thankful.