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Local church reaches out for Easter

Mar. 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Easter church services started early for members of Tucker Memorial Baptist Church on Saturday evening.

More than 20 people attended a special celebration event at the church, where they took communion before Pastor Chad Hatfield and the members carried a cross along Adams Avenue, where the church is located.

While the church will host traditional services Sunday morning, Hatfield said he wanted to take the opportunity not only to celebrate the holiday, but also to bring the spirit of Easter into the community.

"This weekend, a lot of people focus on celebrating Friday, when Jesus died on the cross, and Sunday, when he was resurrected," said Hatfield. "We wanted to try to take Saturday, the original Sabbath, and use that time to show that the cross was empty that second day because Christ had died for our sins.

"The sight of the empty cross is one that I hope brings hope and joy to the people who see it."

Hatfield was assisted by several children at the church in carrying the cross, which was crafted by the church's youth pastor, Nate Martinichio of Ceredo.

Martinichio said when he originally built the cross, it weighed about 60 lbs. Being able to have the children who attend the church participate in carrying the cross was important to Hatfield and Martinichio, so he hollowed out portions of the pine wood to bring the weight down to about 20 lbs.

"I come from a mechanical background, and I have done some construction work, and I think that is one thing God led me to do -- to use my skills to benefit the community and the church," said Martinichio. "I hope when they see it they remember the hope of Easter and that it really isn't all about the bunny and the eggs."

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