Some churches are incorporating fireworks into their Independence Day celebrations. This will be the first year since 2010 that the holiday has fallen on Sunday .
By Roger Alford
MONROE, Ga. – Georgia Baptist churches are taking advantage of the relatively rare occurrence of Independence Day falling on a Sunday to celebrate with cookouts, block parties, festivals, food trucks and fireworks in hopes that the celebrations will bring in people who may not otherwise show up for church
It has been 11 years since Independence Day fell on Sunday, and it won’t happen again until 2027.
For Pastor Tommy Fountain Sr., it was an easy call for him and his congregation at 1025 Church in Monroe, Ga., to work the celebration of America’s independence into the Sunday worship service. After morning worship, they’re firing up the grills for a cookout heavy on hotdogs and hamburgers, which are, after all, American traditional favorites.
“We know families will be traveling and celebrating out of town and on the lake,” Fountain said. “Yet, we want to celebrate our freedom in Christ and our freedom as citizens in our nation on July Fourth. The truth is, we can sit back and complain about folks not attending church or we can give those who aren’t going to be gone an opportunity to worship and celebrate our Lord on this special day.”
Mike Griffin, public affairs representative for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said it’s fitting that Christians celebrate Independence Day.
“We must remember that the people who started our nation were men and women who were willing to give their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for it,” Griffin said. “We have to know that while this was required to start our nation, it will take nothing less to preserve it.”
Churches across Georgia and across the nation are advertising fun-filled days of celebrations and Gospel presentations. Many of them, including First Baptist Woodstock, are planning to conclude the day with fireworks shows.
“We choose to celebrate and worship Christ, and to thank God for the freedoms we have in America,” Fountain said.
Unlike last year, when the nation was under the shadow of coronavirus, the White House is encouraging Fourth of July celebrations this year, with an underlying theme of freedom from the COVID-19 pandemic as infections and deaths in the U.S. fall to levels not seen since the initial outbreak.
“Never has there been a time in our history when the very foundations were are at the point of being destroyed, like they are now,” Griffin said. “Love for God and love for people requires us to stand up for life and liberty like never before.”