Thousands attend Easter services across area

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's Easter Sunday: A holiday for Christians around the world celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and one of the busiest days of the year for area churches.

Whether it was in Jacksonville Beach at the Seawalk pavilion or in Downtown at the Jacksonville Landing, along the banks of the beautiful St. Johns River, thousands of people came out to worship and rejoice.

The church band got the crowd going at the Landing, as about 200 people came out for a sunrise service.

“It is about coming together,” Light in the Word Christian Center pastor Bishop Eric V. Lockett said. “No denomination, just people who love the lord Jesus Christ.”

Nearby, hundreds packed the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for mass. Across the street at the First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, the congregation ended Easter services by getting together for a pancake breakfast.

In Jacksonville Beach, 2 to 3,000 people gathered at the Seawalk Pavilion for the 60th annual Sunrise Service, where for the first time, a female pastor led the prayers.

For some, Easter came to them. Many in the area watched the broadcast of the Pope's annual Easter blessing from the Vatican City. The leader of the Catholic Church prayed for unity and peace in the world, calling for an end to violence and terrorism.

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