PARKERSBURG - Christians around the world today are celebrating Easter, the holy day marking the resurrection of Jesus and the culmination of Holy Week.
Easter is celebrated by a special service and message and area pastors have been busy planning and preparing for the messages they will deliver today.
Pastor Randell Fuson, of 19th Street Church of God in Parkersburg, begins preparing his Easter messages five to six weeks prior to the holiday. While each Easter message is unique, he tries to focus on a central idea each year.
Local ministers prepare to deliver their Easter messages
"I always put special emphasis on the fact that if Jesus had not risen, our Christian faith would not be complete," Fuson said.
Fuson will preach three times today. He will begin with a sunrise service at 8 a.m. at Fort Boreman Park.
The message is "Five blessings of resurrection," he said. The five blessings are pardon, peace, purity, the power and God's presence. A 10:30 a.m. service follows at the church, featuring the message "The cluttered tomb."
Photo by Emily Balser
Pastor Bill Brown of Vienna Baptist Church stands in the sanctuary in preparation for Easter today.
"In our government, both national and state, there seems to be so much unanswered questions and despair without hope," Fuson said. "We need to get rid of the things that clutter the tomb."
The final service will be 6 p.m. today with the sermon "Our glorious conqueror."
"Since Jesus rose from the dead he is conqueror of all things," Fuson said.
Christians around the world today are celebrating Easter.
A sunrise service will be 8 a.m. today at Fort Boreman Park.
The holy day marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Area pastors have been busy planning and preparing for the messages they will deliver today.
Pastor Mark Mason, of 36th Street Church of God in Vienna, will give his Easter message "We Are Always Confident" at 10:30 a.m. today.
"The confidence that Christians have from the resurrection is the main theme," Mason said, adding his Easter messages change from year to year depending on the circumstances of the times.
Pastor Christopher Longgrear, of Fresh Fire Church in south Parkersburg, will speak at 10:30 a.m. on the power of the resurrection and its relevancy to the body of Christ.
Longgrear decides on his Easter messages "in a time of prayer and meditation upon the word of God" and hopes the congregation takes with them the messages of the transformation, inspiration and revelation.
"Revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, inspiration in their walk of Him and transformation in their daily lives," Longgrear said.
Pastor Bill Brown of Vienna Baptist Church will also have a message focusing on the resurrection and what it means at 10:45 a.m. today.
"I try to plan weeks in advance what my focus will be and a theme," Brown said. "A week before I explore the text and how that applies to today."
Brown said he puts equal effort into all his sermons, including his Easter sermon, and not a year goes by that the resurrection isn't addressed.
"I hope that people realize that lives can be changed forever through the power of Christ and his resurrection," Brown said.