Word Alive International Outreach of Coldwater will host its first community-wide Easter celebration beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Oxford High’s Lamar Field.
The event will include an Evangelical Easter service, followed by the “egg drop,” in which a hovering helicopter will release 20,000 plastic eggs containing candy and other prizes.
“We’re really excited to see what 20,000 eggs look like coming out of a helicopter,” said Craig Mattox, director of operations at Word Alive.
Mattox said all residents are invited to attend the event, not just members of Word Alive.
“Dress casual and come as you are,” he said. “Come have a fun community event with everybody.”
Mattox said administrators of Word Alive, which was founded in the Oxford area 10 years ago, decided to hold one large Easter celebration this year to compensate for their church’s popularity. Mattox said approximately 2,500 people attend services at Word Alive each Sunday, which forces the church to hold multiple services.
“Easter is always a larger attendance than normal and we’re maxed out now … we’re spilling out the door,” he said. “We thought it would be a great idea to get the whole congregation in one place at one time.”
As for the Easter egg drop, Mattox said the church wanted something for the kids as well.
“We saw some other churches do this on YouTube and we thought it would be unique … something that’s never been done in this area,” Mattox said.
The helicopter will drop one batch of eggs for the youngest children and then a second batch for teens to make the event more fair, Mattox said.
While every egg dropped will have candy, eight of them will be special and can be returned for prizes, such as a Nintendo Wii or a mini laptop computer.
In addition, the church’s Isaiah 58 Food Ministry will distribute boxes of a week’s worth of food for 2,500 needy families.
“We want to share what we know of Christ,” Mattox said. “He told us to feed the hungry.”
The ministry, which was founded shortly after Word Alive, has distributed millions of pounds of food to those in need in the past nine years.
Mattox said if everything goes well, Word Alive will likely make the Easter celebration an annual event.
There is no need to register for food at the event.
Contact staff writer Patrick McCreless at 256-235-3561.