Southern IL church carries cross to celebrate Good Friday

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - While many people are getting ready for Easter Sunday by stocking up on plastic eggs and candy, members of the Lakeland Baptist Church in Carbondale are celebrating Good Friday first.

The group celebrated by carrying a cross from their church near the end of Grand Avenue all the way to the Morris Library in Carbondale.

Pastor Phil Nelson said the members of his church have been doing this every day of the week of Good Friday for the last 3 years.

"It has gotten a lot of different responses," he said, "Some people honk and get excited about us spreading the word of God and some people yell at us, but that doesn't happen too much."

It wasn't only members of the church participating, however, but students from Christian groups at SIU like Brandon McNeely, who is the Director of the Impact Club on campus participated as well. McNeely said he feels a sense of community in participating in this event, "Just as we have a group carrying a cross today, the same brothers and sisters of Christ help me walk with Jesus every day."

After the approximately 2 and a half mile walk, the group stopped in front of the Morris Library for a quick breather while they thought about their experience. For some, it was an emotional experience, others considered it to be a good day of doing God's work.

The group handed out fliers to passing students reminding them that it was Good Friday and inviting them to the church's special Easter Sunday service.

Pastor Nelson also gave a short sermon that was followed by the group singing the classic hymn, "Amazing Grace."

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