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'Because he lives': Easter Sunday service celebrates resurrection, hope

  • 1 min to read
'Because he lives': Easter Sunday service celebrates resurrection, hope

With his eyes clenched shut, the Rev. Roderick Williams Sr. outstretched his arms. “This is the day — Hallelujah!” he said, belting the phrase to the congregation.

Nearly 50 members of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church gathered for Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter, and the church’s 47th anniversary Sunday morning in central Columbia. The day, one of the most important Christian holidays, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ described in the New Testament.

“No systemic racism can stop you because Jesus is alive,” Williams said during the service, which was also livestreamed on Facebook. “I can face all of the blunders, all of the fumbles because I know he holds the future — because he lives.”

His words were met with applause and praise. “Amen,” the worshippers called out.

Rev. Rodrick Williams Sr. outstretches his arms

Rev. Rodrick Williams Sr. outstretches his arms

Legacy Jordan, 1, reaches toward another member of the congregatio

Legacy Jordan, 1, reaches out to another member of the congregation while her mother, Marva Shavers, holds her Sunday during a Resurrection Sunday service at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. Her grandfather, George Norman Jr., a deacon at the church, later handed her a plastic egg to hold.

Ed Hayward distributes pre-sealed cups of grape juice

Ed Hayward distributes pre-sealed cups containing grape juice and wafers before a Resurrection Sunday service in preparation for the Holy Communion on Sunday at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. Hayward said that the pre-sealed cups are a safety measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Members of the congregation listen to Rev. Rodrick Williams Sr.

Members of the congregation listen to the Rev. Roderick Williams Sr. share announcements for church events and services at the start of a Resurrection Sunday service Sunday at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. All members were required to wear masks and social distance.

Jayden Norman, 17, is a student at Hickman High School

Jayden Norman, 17, is a student at Hickman High School. Norman, who stood for a portrait Sunday, is the grandson of George Norman Jr., a deacon at the church who organized a vaccination clinic in early March.

Ilana Bonaparte, 4, watches Essie Redmon, who has led church decoration for more than 40 years, set up

Ilana Bonaparte, 4, watches Essie Redmon, who has led church decoration for more than 40 years, set up a welcome table Sunday before a Resurrection Sunday service at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. During the service, Ilana sat in the back of the church with her older brother, Jacob Norman-Bonaparte, 12. Nearly 50 members of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church gathered for Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter.

Joyce Kelly is a charter member of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church

LEFT: Joyce Kelly is a charter member of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. Kelly, who stood for a portrait Sunday, said she wore a mint green outfit to resemble the colors of the spring season. RIGHT: Shawn May claps his hands behind his back Sunday during the closing prayer of a Resurrection Sunday service at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. 

While helping Annie Gardner, left, to her car, Gregg Jackson, 14, pulls his mask over his nose

While helping Annie Gardner, left, to the parking lot, Gregg Jackson, 14, pulls his mask over his nose after eating a candy Sunday at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. Garnder said she has lived in Columbia for more than 60 years.

  • Reporter at the Columbia Missourian. (He/Him). Reach me jacobmoscovitch@mail.missouri.edu.

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