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Hats off for Easter

By Michael Davis

Church services, Easter egg hunts and family get-togethers are the order of the day this weekend as the Southern Crescent celebrates the Easter holiday.

The weekend is packed with events that began on Good Friday and will last through Easter Sunday. Churches, civic groups and even some cities are hosting the traditional egg hunts, including the annual egg-hunt on the lawn of the Locust Grove Municipal Complex.

"We're hoping to reach more than just the immediate community," said Kim Lee, chair of the event-committee.

"Last year, if that was any indication, it should be big," she added.

Expecting 5,000-10,000 children to hunt nearly 17,000 plastic, candy-filled Easter eggs, Lee said city employees and volunteers were already setting up the event Friday afternoon. The hunt begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and an event for special education students begins at 10:30 a.m.

Rebecca Newton is expecting quite a few members of her large family to her Locust Grove home Sunday for an Easter dinner. "We get together every Easter, every Christmas and on Mother's Day," said Newton, 84. She expects to see some of her 42 grandchildren, 55 great-grandchildren and her eight great-great-grandchildren.

Stockbridge resident Idell Compton, 85, got into the Easter spirit Friday with an Easter egg hunt at Heritage Senior Center in McDonough. She won third prize for collecting the third most eggs and said she plans to attend sunrise services at her local church, Zion Hill Baptist.

Other events and services in Henry County include:

*Locust Grove United Methodist Church is holding an Easter egg hunt at 11 a.m. Saturday, community Easter sunrise services at 6:45 a.m. Sunday, and Easter Sunday services at 8:45 and 11 a.m. For more information, call (770) 957-9605.

*The Holy Week schedule for Locust Grove United Methodist Church, 211 Peeksville Road, Locust Grove, includes Good Friday service at 7 p.m. Friday, Easter egg hunt at 11 a.m. Saturday, community Easter sunrise service at 6:45 and Easter Sunday services at 8:45 and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Call (770) 957-9605.

*Stockbridge First United Methodist Church, at 4863 North Henry Blvd., will host its annual Community Children's Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. Along with the Easter Egg Hunt, a barbecue dinner will be available sponsored by the For Better For Worse Sunday school class, a car wash by the United Methodist Youth to help fund their summer mission trip, and a bake sale sponsored by the United Methodist Women with proceeds going to the construction of the new bell tower for the new church will be featured.

Call the church office at 770-474-4111.

*Upcoming events for the month of April at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church on Racetrack Road, McDonough, include: worship service at 8 and 11 a.m. Sundays, 9 a.m. Sunday school; prayer service and Bible study Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.; children's Easter program at 9:30 a.m. Sunday; Singing Four Stars anniversary celebration at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

At McDonough First United Methodist Church, 151 Macon St., sunrise service will be on the McDonough Square on Easter Sunday, followed by a breakfast in the church fellowship hall. Easter worship services will be held at 8:30 and 11 a.m.

*Community Bible Church, 2001 W. Jodeco Road, will host "Experience the Passion" at 6 and 8 p.m. Friday at the church auditorium. Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will land in a helicopter, and egg hunts will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday. Refuge service for college and young singles will be at 8 p.m. Saturday. Easter Sunday services will be at 7 a.m., 8:15, 9:30 and 11 a.m., with children's programs at 8:15, 9:30 and 11 a.m.

*One Heart Community Church, 4340 North Henry Blvd., Stockbridge, will hold an Easter egg hunt and cookout from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Moseley Park.

Call 678-283-3017.

*An Easter Egg Hunt will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Union United Methodist Church, at the intersection of Union Church Road and Ga. Highway 138, for children ages 2 to 12. There will be storytelling, face painting, games, refreshments and prizes. Children are asked to bring their own baskets.

Call (770) 483-4338.

*Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church will have a community-wide Easter egg hunt at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Pecan Grove next to the parsonage at 4474 Ga. Highway 81 East in McDonough. Children 3 years old through fourth grade are invited to attend.

Call pastor John Brown at (770) 954-1194.

*The Passion of the Christ - true or false? Find out this Easter at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at East Side Baptist Church, 4010 Ga. Highway 138, Stockbridge.

Call Pastor Bob Halstead at (770) 860-0400.

*Living Way Church Easter celebration will be at 10 a.m. Sunday at the new church property at Ga. Highway 155 and East Mays Road, Stockbridge. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held, and Easter egg hunts will be offered for children of all ages.

Call (770) 474-5595.

*Faith Independent Baptist Church in McDonough invites the community to special Easter Sunday services. The 10:45 a.m. service will include a mini-musical by the FIBC choir. An Easter candy hunt for children through grade six will be held after the morning service.

Call (770) 946-9945 or visit www.fibcministries.com.

Events and services in Clayton County include:

*The Jonesboro Greenhouse is hosting an Easter lunch buffet and Easter egg hunt beginning at 1 p.m. at 139 College Street in Jonesboro, Sat. April 11. Seating is limited so call (770) 477-1084 for reservations.

*Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Forest Park will have an Easter egg hunt at 2 p.m. April 10. Children in the fifth grade or below should arrive by 1:45 p.m. An Easter sunrise service will be at 6:30 a.m. April 11 with breakfast following. Sunday school will be at 9:45 a.m. April 11, and an Easter Cantata will be part of the 11 a.m. service. For more information, call (404) 366-1851.

*Pinecrest Baptist Church of Morrow will present the

"Southern Crescent Passion Play" at the Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the church, Betterway Christian Bookstore in Stockbridge and Kroger in Lake City and Stockbridge. The play benefits Rainbow House. For more information, call (770) 478-8118.

*The Clayton County Ministers Conference will have an Easter sunrise service at 7 a.m. April 11 at Clayton College & State University. The guest minister will be the Rev. Wilbert Jordan, and music will be provided by the Glad Tidings Assembly of God Choir. The conference will hold a National Day of Prayer Breakfast at the beach of Clayton County International Park at 6:30 a.m. May 6. Tickets are $10. Call (770) 477-4439 to learn more.

*First Presbyterian Church of Jonesboro will have a sunrise service at 7 a.m. at the pond for Easter Sunday April 11. The youth will provide a pancake breakfast afterward. Sunday school will be followed by an 11 a.m. service. For more information, call (770) 478-8118.

*Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will land in a helicopter at Community Bible Church in Stockbridge at 6 p.m. April Saturday. An Easter egg hunt will follow for children in grades five and younger. A "Refuge" service for college students and young singles will be at 8 p.m. The church also announced its April 11 Easter services. The sunrise service will be at 7 a.m. Caf? church services, chapel services and children's programs will be at 8:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. To learn more, call (770) 914-0808.

*Morrow First United Methodist Church announced its Holy Week events. Easter services will be at 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday. Call (770) 961-4668 for more information.

*Jonesboro First Baptist Church will have three Easter morning services Sunday. At 8 a.m. will be the choir and orchestra, at 9:30 a.m. will be contemporary worship and at 11 a.m. will be the full choir and symphonic orchestra. For more information, call (770) 478-6710 or visit www.fbcjonesboro.com

*St. Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church in Forest Park announced its Holy Week services. Easter services will be at 7 a.m. Sunday with an 8 a.m. breakfast and 10:30 a.m. Call (404) 366-3560 to learn more.

*The Rock Baptist Church in Rex will have an Easter egg hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday. For more information, call (770) 961-7141.