Local churches plan Easter sunrise services and traditional celebrations

The River Church of Carolina Beach will host a sunrise Easter service at the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier at 6:45 a.m. (Port City Daily photo/Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — After Covid caused many religious services to go virtual the greater part of 2020, church-goers will be able to worship together once again in some form or fashion this Easter weekend.

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Numerous services are planned for Sunday, Apr. 4, like The Bridge Presbyterian Church in Leland’s sunrise service at Brunswick Riverwalk. There are also other events, like an outdoor family festival on Saturday at Pine Valley Baptist. Egg hunts will get under way for the kids and a food truck will be on site.


Pine Valley is best known for hosting one of the largest sunrise service events in the city at the Battleship North Carolina. It had to cancel 2021, as the Battleship isn’t hosting activities yet, per the pandemic regulations.

As well, North Pointe Community Church’s annual sunrise service at Crystal Pier has been canceled because of outdoor gatherings being limited to 100 under Gov. Cooper’s executive order.

Still, there are other options available for folks to make weekend worship plans, including sunrise services at Wrightsville Beach, Airlie Gardens, Carolina Beach Fishing Pier and beach accesses in Topsail and Surf City.

Here’s the rundown…

Wilmington

Ogden Baptist Church

  • What: Traditional worship — the first in-person service since the pandemic began
  • Where: Ogden Baptist Church, 7121 Market St.
  • When: Apr. 4, 9:30 a.m.

Pine Valley Baptist Church

  • What: Family-friendly event, featuring Easter egg hunt, bouncy house and crafts, with Poor Piggy’s truck
  • Where: Pine Valley Baptist Church, 3940 Shipyard Blvd.
  • When: Apr. 3, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • What: Easter morning service, hosted in person at the church and online as a livestream, which can be accessed here.
  • Where: Pine Valley Baptist Church, 3940 Shipyard Blvd.
  • When: Apr. 4, 10:30 a.m.

First Baptist Wilmington

  • What: Easter morning worship, hosted outdoors at historic Airlie Gardens for two services
  • Where: Airlie Gardens, 300 Airlie Rd.
  • When: Apr. 4, 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

  • What: Sunrise service in the courtyard of the church
  • Where: 612 S. College Rd.
  • When: Apr. 4, 6:30 a.m.

First Presbyterian Church 

  • What: Easter service, signup is required ahead of time. Call the church office, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at (910) 762-6688.
  • Where: Cameron Center, 125 S 3rd St.
  • When: Apr. 4, 8:30 a.m.

Grace Baptist Church

  • What: Easter worship will take place at the church; however, because of a potentially high volume of people, they’re asking folks to sign up here.
  • Where: Grace Baptist Church, 1401 N. College Rd.
  • When: Apr. 4, 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

North Pointe Community Church 

  • What: Easter worship will take place at the church this year.
  • Where: North Pointe Community Church, 4490 Gordon Rd.
  • When: Apr. 4, 10:10 a.m.

Wrightsville Beach

Church of the Servant

  • What: Sunrise service on Wrightsville Beach (bring blankets, masks and keep distance between households)
  • Where: Beach Access 4 (North Ridge Ln., North End)
  • When: Apr. 4, 6:15 a.m.
  • What: Holy Eucharist Rite II (bring blankets, masks and keep distance between households)
  • Where: Front lawn of the church, 4925 Oriole Dr.
  • When: Apr. 4, 10 a.m.

Wrightsville Beach Community Sunrise Service

  • What: Easter Sunday sunrise service, with all of the islands churches, featuring Reverend Pat Rabun of Little Chapel delivering the message and music from WBUMC Acoustic Instrumental Group — Worship On the Water
  • Where: Oxford Street Beach Access 19, south of Johnnie Mercer’s pier
  • When: Apr. 4, 6:30 a.m.

Wrightsville Beach Baptist Church

  • What: Saturday morning children’s ministry, with an Easter egg hunt and lunch
  • Where: On the water by Trail’s End, 610 Trails End Rd.
  • When: Apr. 3, 11:40 a.m.
  • What: Sunrise service as part of Wrightsville Beach Community Sunrise Service (see above) and traditional services
  • Where: Church grounds, 601 Causeway Ave.
  • Apr. 4, 9 a.m. traditional service, 11 a.m. contemporary service (also livestreamed)

Leland

The Bridge Presbyterian Church

  • What: Sunrise services
  • Where: Brunswick Riverwalk, 580 River Rd SE, Belville
  • When: Apr. 4, 6:45 a.m.
  • What: Traditional in-person and livestream worship
  • Where: Church grounds, 497 Olde Waterford Way
  • When: Apr. 4, 10 a.m.

Carolina Beach

River Church 

  • What: Easter sunrise service, featuring speakers Rick Courtney, Sonya Perry and Jay Izso
  • Where: Carolina Beach Fishing Pier, north end of Carolina Beach
  • When: Apr. 4, 6:45 a.m.
  • What: Traditional in-person worship
  • Where: Church grounds, 1800 Carolina Beach Rd.
  • When: Apr. 4, 10:30 a.m.

Kure Beach

Kure Beach First Baptist Church

  • What: Sunrise service and gospel singing (download lyrics here)
  • Where: Kure Beach Ocean Front Pavilion (105 Atlantic Ave.)
  • When: Apr. 4, 6:40 a.m.
  • What: Traditional in-person worship
  • Where: Kure Beach FBC Worship Center, 208 6th Ave., South
  • When: Apr. 4, 10:30 a.m.

Surf City

Chapel by the Bay (Interdenominational) 

  • What: Sunrise service and worship
  • Where: Beach Access 13, 510 N. Shore Dr., Surf City
  • When: Apr. 4, 6:30 a.m.
  • What: Traditional worship
  • Where: Church grounds, 216 Michigan Ave., Surf City
  • When: Apr. 4, 10:30 a.m.

Faith Harbor United Methodist

  • What: Traditional worship and service
  • Where: 14201 Hwy. 50/210, Surf City
  • When: Apr. 4, 9:20 a.m.

The Gathering at Surf City Baptist

  • What: Easter concert
  • Where: Worship Center, 304 Wilmington Ave., or livestreamed here
  • When: Apr. 3, 6:30 a.m.
  • What: Sunrise service and worship
  • Where: Beach Access 13, 510 N. Shore Dr., Surf City
  • When: Apr. 4, 6:30 a.m.
  • What: Traditional worship and service
  • Where: Church grounds, 304 Wilmington Ave.
  • When: Apr. 4, 8:10 a.m., 9:25 a.m., 10:40 a.m., 11:50 a.m.

Topsail Beach

Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel

  • What: Easter sunrise services, officiated by Rev. Chris Thore
  • Where: Ocean Access #12, (Scott Ave.)
  • When: Apr. 4, 6:30 a.m.
  • What: Traditional Easter service, officiated by Rev. Chris Thore
  • Where: Chapel grounds, 1040 S Anderson Blvd., and livestreamed here
  • When: Apr. 4, 10 a.m.

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