Posted on : Wednesday March 16, 2016

By Sharon Mager

ESSEX, Md.—First Baptist Church, Essex, will have an Easter Egg10991610_939193196100783_2398133836995117602_o Hunt/Block Party, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 26. They’ll have free food, bouncy houses, games, music, face painting, a sandbox treasure hunt, relay races, an egg decorating station, and other Easter themed activities. For adults there will be Bingo and Corn Hole.

The church’s egg hunts are a time-honored tradition. But last year, church members thought they might have to break from that tradition. The egg hunt’s coordinator has been long-time church member Betty Scurto. Last year, Betty’s husband, Richard, passed away shortly before Easter. The church was mourning, and they weren’t sure if they could go on with the hunt, but members rallied and those who usually didn’t help stepped forward. Pastor Kevin Gift, who started his ministry at the church in December 2014, encouraged servant evangelism as they worked to reach out and love their community. The event drew about a hundred people. The Gospel was shared and church members were pleased.

In autumn, using the servant evangelism model once more, the church had a block party at Halloween.

“We had well over 150 people (I lost count around 75 within the first 30 minutes of the event). The atmosphere we had was really nice and we were able to reach more than the kids by having the block party feel to it. God has blessed us with the resources to host events like this so it is a way that we can love on the community,” Gift said.

The church plans to continue the block party theme with Easter, Vacation Bible School and Halloween.

Gift said the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt/Block Party is a great opportunity for church members to invite locals to the Sunday Morning Easter service.

“Easter will be the first time in quite a few years we will have the opportunity for ‘Children’s Church’ in our amphitheater in the fellowship hall,” Gift said.

The amphitheater area is a large room featuring stadium seating, a puppet theater, music and video, and fabulous lighting. Gift said that in the past the “Kids Town” area is now used for various events and is the youth group’s “Hub.”

The church’s youth group, “District 14,” has been growing and they will be assisting with the Easter block party. “District 14,” has increased from five teens to an average of 15 with highs well over 20. The youth are preparing to leave on Friday for Youth For Christ’s annual “Impact” event at Ocean City.

A rain date for the block party is set for April 2.