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Church hopes to raise ‘Good Friday Experience’ attendance

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Severns Valley program open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today

By Amber Coulter

The first attempt to recreate the Biblical account of Jesus’ final days of life was a success last year at Severns Valley Baptist Church, and organizers hope to top last year’s attendance today.

More than 2,000 people visited the “Good Friday Experience” last year at the church on Ring Road in Elizabethtown, said the Rev. Bill Langley, pastor.

“We were amazed,” he said.

The event, which takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, includes multi-sensory experiences based on accounts, such as a scene of the Last Supper.

After seeing the event last year, volunteers from the church and some visitors were so impressed they told others to attend. Some even returned with friends.

“It’s hard to guess how many people will come, but (last year’s turnout) was way beyond what we were expecting, especially for the first year,” he said.

The event is meant to highlight Jesus’ sacrifice made on the cross, Langley said.

“More than anything, we want people to turn their focus and attention to what Christ did on our behalf,” he said.

Palm Sunday and Easter are celebrated in a big way by churchgoers, especially because those days fall on regular worship days, Langley said.

“It’s almost crazy, but sometimes we lose the crucifixion because it’s on Friday,” he said. “It’s right for us to remember and meditate on and thank Christ for what he did on our behalf.”

The church also expects to draw large crowds at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday for Easter services.

About 3,000 worshippers attended the three services last year.

The sermon will be about the second coming of Jesus foretold in the Bible, Langley said.

“This is the one thing that separates Christianity from all the other world religions is the resurrection of Christ,” he said. “If Jesus is still in the grave, then nothing matters. On the other hand, if Jesus is risen from the dead, then nothing else matters. The resurrection is what validates all of Christ’s claims and lets us know that he really is God in the flesh.”

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.