After most of the Easter vigil programs, sunrise services and holiday observances are finished, Wilson Baptist Church and its LTO Worship Band will hold its second annual outdoor celebration called Renew on Sunday evening.
Pastor Stephen Hay, organizer of the event, has encouraged his congregation to depart from tradition when it comes to Gospel worship. He said Renew will break traditional stereotypes of Christianity and provide a unique sight and sound experience for young and old.
The action-packed evening will include music by the band, skits about everyday topics and an Easter message. Hay said the program would "blow your expectations right out of the water."
"Renew is not your run-of-the-mill church service, and except for the solid biblical teachings, you might not recognize it as a church service at all," he said.
Renew got its start when the pastor decided to expand the reach of the church's weekly indoor Sunday evening LTO event. LTO stands for "Limited Time Only," a life lesson from the Bible's Book of James about the brevity of life on earth.
The theme for Sunday's Renew program is "War Tested." It is designed to test the mettle of some audience volunteers who will take part in a boot-camp style challenge and will grapple for the title of "War Tested Champion."
Renew is a free public event. Hay encourages everyone to attend, including those who never felt at home in a church and those who attend church regularly. He suggested that attendees arrive early and bring their own lawn chairs, and maybe a blanket, depending on the weather.
The event will be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Sunday in the Wilson Fire Company parking lot, 250 Young St. In case of severe weather, it will be moved inside First Baptist Church at Pettit and Chestnut streets.
Hay said several hundred people attended last year's program.