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Over 2,500 unite to celebrate faith 

By: MARY BERRYHILL - Staff writer 
4/27/00

SANDPOINT - On Easter Sunday morning, a group of pastors and Christian followers from a number of local churches gathered in what was to be one of Sandpoint's most historical Christian events...

    SANDPOINT - On Easter Sunday morning, a group of pastors and Christian followers from a number of local churches gathered in what was to be one of Sandpoint's most historical Christian events - the "Make Us One" Easter Celebration held at the Sandpoint High School.

    From a weekly, ongoing pastoral prayer group made up of 10 and sometimes 12  local pastors, came the idea of uniting as "one in faith." The idea, in its final stage, brought more than 2400 people together to celebrate their Christianity with a total of 10 churches.

    "The Easter service is the first major event that we, as a group of pastors, have done, visibly," said Ken Lawrence of the River of Life Church. The pastors have been meeting for a number of years and found themselves connecting in issues regarding their faith.

    "And that was our primary desire and emphasis in this celebration - to say as Christian ministers we believe that we are one in the faith of Jesus Christ."

    The show of unity doesn't necessarily mean that the pastors agree on all of the secondary doctrines.

    "There are things that we feel that would be important - but not enough that we would avoid a fellowship, together. What it does mean is that we are one in the central foundation truth of gospel."

    And stemming from the special occasion last Sunday, he said, "was beautiful in that it became also a show of unity as far as seeing people of
different races being one in Christ when an African American singer who brought a special music event took place along with our local choir composed of the churches participating."

    The featured Christian music artist, Sonya Kaye Acord from Lake Stevens, Wa. near Seattle, led the multitude of listeners through a series of gospel, soul and rhythm and blues. Sonya is married with twin boys and spends her life ministering through her music.

    "We sing to the eyes of the Lord - not of denominations," she said to the crowd. "We can disagree but don't let us divide."

    Churches participating included First Christian, First Baptist, River of Life, Sandpoint Christian Center, First Church of God, Church of the Nazarene, Evangelical Free, Church of God, Sandpoint Assembly of God and Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran.

    "The meeting on Sunday was one of the most awesome events to take place in our community - in my opinion," Lawrence said. "The unity of churches in our town was magnificent."

    An official total of 2524 attended the Easter Celebration.

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