“Because He Lives”: Easter Sunday Service Celebrates Resurrection, Hope | Local

With eyes closed, Reverend Roderick Williams Sr. stretched out his arms. “It’s the day – Hallelujah!” He said throwing the sentence at the assembly.

Nearly 50 members of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church gathered for Resurrection Sunday, also known as Easter, and the church’s 47th anniversary Sunday morning in central Colombia. This 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 broadcast live on Facebook. “I can face all the blunders, all the fumbles because I know he holds the future – because he lives.”

His words were greeted with applause and praise. “Amen,” shouted the faithful.






Reverend Rodrick Williams Sr. reaches out








Legacy Jordan, 1, reaches out to another member of the congregation

Legacy Jordan, 1, reaches out to another member of the congregation as her mother, Marva Shavers, holds it on Sunday during a Resurrection Sunday service at the Progressive Baptist Missionary Church. His grandfather, George Norman Jr., a deacon at the church, then gave him a plastic egg to hold.








Ed Hayward hands out pre-sealed grape juice cups

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








Members of the congregation listen to Reverend Rodrick Williams Sr.

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








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

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








4-year-old Ilana Bonaparte watches Essie Redmon, who has led church decorating for over 40 years, settle in

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








Joyce Kelly is a founding member of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church

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








While helping Annie Gardner, left, get into her car, Gregg Jackson, 14, puts his mask on her nose

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



Alicia R. Rucker