On Easter morning, the Nazareth Evangelical Baptist Church in Nazareth was filled with members from local churches for a joint Easter service: Evangelical Baptist, Local Baptist, New Life Baptist, Nazareth Illit Baptist, Yaffa of Nazareth Baptist, as well as several local house churches.
Pastor Fuad Sakhnini, pastor of the Evangelical Baptist Church, opened the service with a prayer of blessing, followed by a reading from Psalm 133 in Arabic and English read by Riyad Haddad and Rev. Bryson Arthur. Pastor Ibrahim Simaan led worship, beginning with the song “Christ Has Risen.” This was followed by a solo from vocalist Amal Mattar who sang an Arabic song entitled “Wa Habeebi.”
Pastor Simaan offered a special welcome to a group of Dutch tourists who attended the service and shared two songs in English and Dutch. The group is lead by Albrecht Boerrigter, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Holland.
Pastor Suheil Bat-heesh read from Luke 24:13-35 and the sermon was given by Pastor Phil Hill of Local Baptist Church. His sermon was entitled “How to be an Evangelical Atheist.” Botrus Mansour provided translation.
Pastor Hill’s message centered on the biblical story of the two men on the road to Emmaus, who met Jesus but failed to recognize him. His main points included “symptoms of evangelical atheism,” “the correct spiritual diagnosis,” and “the right cure.” The message highlighted the tendency of many who consider themselves Christians but still fail to recognize the true Jesus in their lives.
Pastor Yohanna Katanacho took initiative and volunteered to lead the kids Sunday School program for children from different churches.
The service concluded with a resurrection song and a prayer of blessing led by Rajai Samawi. Christ is risen!