GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Two Baptist churches in Gulfport spent this Easter praying together. Members of Cowan Road Baptist and Handsboro Baptist Church held an Easter sunrise service.
Dozens of people gathered at the foot of Highway 90 and Cowan Road and watched the sun come up over the Mississippi Sound. This was the third year in a row the two churches they prayed together on Easter morning.
Similar services were held in the beach parking lot at Courthouse Road, at Jones Park, and in the beach parking lot in Long Beach.
A fifth service brought people together in Pass Christian. The early risers stood on the sand as they prayed for Jesus. Cornerstone Baptist Church hosted this sunrise service. Crosses made from flowers lined the sand. They formed a walkway to this service.
About two dozen people attended the Cornerstone sunrise service.
In his Easter Vigil homily at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis kept his message simple and tied to the liturgical readings. "Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life!" Just a few hours after the vigil ends, Francis on Sunday will celebrate his first Easter Mass as pontiff and deliver his "Urbi et Orbi" speech, Latin for "To the city and the world."