CRESTVIEW — This weekend, North Okaloosa churches will celebrate Easter with several sunrise services.


CRESTVIEW — This weekend, North Okaloosa churches will celebrate Easter with several sunrise services.  



"We celebrate the resurrection by getting up early, because that is what Jesus did," said Jerry Nelson, pastor of Live Oak Baptist Church.



Nelson will preach at Crestview's 6:30 a.m. sunrise service on Sunday at Old Spanish Trail Park on Stillwell Boulevard. Doug Compton, pastor of New Life International Worship Center, will direct the music. The service is organized by the Crestview Area Ministerial Association, which comprises several churches.



The Crestview association will collect money to support local needy families. A portion of the proceeds benefits a scholarship for Christian students, Nelson said. 



Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church has replaced its regular 5 p.m. vigil Mass March 30 with an 8 p.m. service. Its Sunday services are 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.



For Holt and Baker residents, a sunrise service will take place at 6:30 a.m. Sunday at Baker School's Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium. It will feature Curt Rainey, pastor at the First Baptist Church of Holt.



The Baker service, organized by the Baker Area Ministerial Association, will feature music from Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church members and Darren Williams’ direction.



The Baker association also will collect money for needy families, Rainey said. 



Laurel Hill’s service is at 6:30 a.m. Sunday at Gene Clary Park on New Ebenezer Road. Mike McVay, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Laurel Hill, welcomes area residents to the service, in which he will be preaching, and to a following breakfast.



If 6:30 a.m. is too early, a 10 a.m. service, sponsored by Mosaic Church of Crestview, is at Twin Hills Park.



"Like Jesus, we want to preach to the crowds, but at our current church, we don't have enough room for crowds," Pastor James Ross said. "So we decided to do something special for the community."



Children’s Easter egg games will follow the service. A bounce house also will be available.



Services are outdoors, so attendees should dress accordingly. In addition, attendees should bring their own chairs.



Want to go?



Crestview, Laurel Hill and Baker’s Area Ministerial Association sunrise services are as follows:



•6:30 a.m. Sunday, Old Spanish Trail Park on Stillwell Boulevard, Crestview.  



•6:30 a.m. Sunday, Gene Clary Park on New Ebenezer Road, Laurel Hill.



•6:30 a.m. Sunday, Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium, Baker School, 1369 14th St.



The Mosaic Church in Crestview’s service is 10 a.m. Sunday at Twin Hills Park, off east James Lee Boulevard. 



Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Crestview celebrates Easter at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or matthewb@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.