April 16, 2006
Albany -- Christians in Albany joined those worldwide in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ today. Easter serves as a reminder that Christ died on the cross for the sins of all people.
Two Albany church congregations used this day to worship as one. The pastor and members of a predominantely white baptist church joined in worship with a predominantly black baptist church this Easter.
Pastor Michael Catt of Sherwood Baptist took over the pulpit at Mt. Zion Baptist, and brought members of his congregation to praise God with the other church. Pastor Daniel Simmons of Mt. Zion has also presided over Sherwood's congregation before.
The pulpit switch is a way to merge a divide between Christians of different races.
Members of both churches stood to praise the same God this Easter. Singing in unison to the same God too.
"Just because people don't worship the same way doesn't mean we believe in a different God," said Sherwood Baptist member Jennifer Johnson.
"We are expanding and we are learning new things," said Mt. Zion Baptist member Loretta Felton.
Learning God's plans are what the members of both churches live to do, and today they learned together.
"Dr. Simmons and I have worked real hard on trying to bring the community together, to make Albany a better place. We say we're they good life city," said Sherwood Pastor Michael Catt.
"We're still divided, even though we're one in the body of Christ, we won't worship together. Sunday morning is the most racially segregated time," said Mt. Zion Pastor Daniel Simmons.
That's why the church leaders are integrating for a change.
"God's design for the church is not one all white church one all black church. We're all supposed to be together, we're all one child of God," said Sherwood Baptist member Gary Thompson.
"It shows togetherness as it did back in the old days during the time of Christ," said Mt. Zion Baptist member Betty Lampley.
A message both churches want spread. This Easter two church congregations equaled one body for Christ.
Sherwood and Mt. Zion Baptist Churches integrate several times throughout the year. Members say that although the worship styles are different, they are still serving the same God.
Mt. Zion Pastor Daniel Simmons says Easter is a great day to come together as a reminder that God died for the sins of all people on Earth.