Christians celebrate Easter weekend

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - Christians around the area celebrated Good Friday, the official beginning of Easter weekend.

April 18 is Good Friday, a day when Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified to free others from sin.

Members of Saint Dominic Catholic Church in Kingsport marked Holy Week on Friday. Father Mike Noland says in the evening they're holding another service to read through scriptures, representing the different stations of the cross, heading into Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday mass.

"God's mercy, he continues us on the journey. So on Easter we may celebrate with holy joy," said Father Mike Noland. "Holy Saturday concludes with the Easter vigil, which is the granddaddy of all the services of the church."

Father Noland encourages all Christians to unite and remember the reason for this Easter holiday.

Some others in Sullivan County spent this Good Friday on a special walk.

More than 20 people joined in as several others carried a cross for about a mile and a half along Bloomingdale Road from Holly Springs United Methodist to Salem United Methodist.

"Today commemorates Good Friday for Christians, the most important day of our faith," said Will Shewey, pastor of Salem UMC. "It's the day that Jesus suffered, bled, and died for the sins of the whole world. We as a community like to come together in a show of solidarity to let the world know that even though Christianity seems to be divided in so many ways, we are united that Jesus Christ is alive."

This is the fifth consecutive year the churches have done the walk with the cross. "We do it as a witness to the community of our faith to Jesus Christ," Shewey said. "We are one with many members. Many different churches, many different kinds of interpretation of scripture, but we believe Jesus is Lord."

The group ended the event with a prayer and a lunch.

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