Pensacola Magazine

Celebrate the Sonrise

sonrise service

Celebrate the Risen Son with Marcus Pointe

Easter is a time of renewal. Spring flowers begin to bloom after their long winter sleep. The birds begin to sing their sweet songs again. We celebrate the coming of spring with Easter egg hunts, baskets full of goodies for children, and church services to honor the religious meaning behind the holiday. Every Easter, Marcus Pointe Baptist Church invites Pensacola to join them for a unique Sonrise Service at the Blue Wahoos Stadium. As the sun is rising, Pastor Godfrey brings the powerful message of the resurrection to the gathered congregation.

This family-friendly Easter kick-off event begins Saturday before Easter with a giant egg hunt for children. The egg hunt features 50,000 eggs hidden around the outside of the Pensacola Wahoos Stadium for children of all ages to enjoy. There is also a special egg hunt for special needs children that will feature 500 to 1,000 eggs hidden in a special area. On Easter Sunday, March 27, Marcus Pointe Baptist Church will begin a service inside the Wahoos Stadium at 6:30 am. The service will last approximately one hour. Pastor Godfrey, who has been at Marcus Pointe for 25 years, sends a special Easter message designed to reach as many people as possible, from all walks of life, and inspire them to focus on the power of Jesus. His mission is to impact as many people as possible and help change lives.

Pastor Godfrey selected the location for a reason, saying, “We chose the stadium because it has a community feel to it. It is widely known throughout the community and that is what we wanted this service to feel like, a community service. ”

“There will be shuttles that will bring people from the parking lots to the stadium and also have a lot of security. Everything will be well lit and very safe,” Godfrey explains.

For many families, Easter is a time to recommit themselves to getting involved with a church. For one family in particular this decision to make Easter morning their first Sunday in a church setting changed their lives. Bob Murphy and his wife Cindy decided that instead of waking up so early to make it to the 6:30 am service, he would park his RV in the stadium parking lot so he could sleep a little later. His family sat through the service and once the time came to mark the invitation card with an S for salvation, Murphy looked down and saw that his 10-year-old daughter took that walk of faith that morning and marked her card. This changed Murphy’s life forever. Murphy has since become involved in his church and had the opportunity to preach at his own church one year to the day from his first Sonrise Service. The Murphys have had the opportunity to serve as missionaries and he now attends seminary.

Murphy shared some thoughts on his experience at the service, saying, “Three years ago we were not involved in a church and decided to attend the Sonrise Service. There is a palpable electricity in the air that engulfs you and makes you feel like you are a part of something big. As the crowd fills into the stadium and begins to greet each other with love, you feel like you are in a special place. You can be anybody with any type of relationship with God, or no relationship, and you go in there and feel like you were meant to be there. Many people don’t go because they feel like they are not good enough; like they have not cleaned their life up enough, but you go and there is a sense of God’s love there. It doesn’t matter who you are. You feel the love of God and the love of the community and church.”

If you are looking for a unique service Easter morning, join Marcus Pointe Baptist Church as they bring a powerful message to the community. This service begins March 27 at 6:30 am at the Pensacola Wahoos Stadium.