Easter sunrise service brings community together on Savannah River

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, March 31, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It was a cool Sunday morning along the river.

For Kelly Mall and her family, they were up extra early to get a good word.

"It's brisk, but it kind of brings your attention to the real meaning," Mall said.

This is her first Easter Sunrise Service at Jessye Norman Amphitheater on the riverfront.

"Different race, different religion, like I said, different denominations, all came together and had a pleasant morning," Mall said. "I just wanted to come by and see what it was all about."

Her family has made this a tradition, waking up bright and early to look out over the river while reading scripture.

A tradition that has become really important.

"It Kind of struck a core, felt like that's what I should be doing even if I was out late, to be up early and participate," she said.

The sunrise service has become a familiar sight around the Savannah Riverfront.

"There's a lot of people from a lot of different areas that come into Augusta for this service," said Pastor Hardy Bennings of Springfield Baptist Church.

He spent his Sunday morning looking out over the river.

"The river presents us with a very serene and peaceful scene, that we can all gather and celebrate Christ," he said.

Close to 150 people sat, listening to the pastor, all before everyone made their way to their respective churches.

"This is one of the only days of the year that we can preach the same message, and we can all gather under the same premise that Jesus was raised from the dead," the pastor said.

And after the Easter services are done, many like Kelly will keep the traditions rolling.

"We're just going to do a family get-together, a little brunch, and just kind of do the traditional, post-ceremony Easter festivities," she said.

Another good way to end a day that started so perfectly.

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