An electric Easter at First Assembly

Worship leader Ryan Galloway leads congregation members in song during the First Assembly of God Easter Sunday service at Lincoln Middle School in southeast Gainesville.

BRETT Le BLANC/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 8:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 8:32 p.m.

Lead Pastor Mike Patz of First Assembly of God delivered a message of hope and the power of believing with a great deal of humor and wit at an Easter Sunday service punctuated by Christian music with a rock concert vibe.



Pastor: Lead Pastor Mike Patz.
Location: Lincoln Middle School, 1001 SE 12th St.
Services: Sunday worship is 11:30 a.m.
Phone: 352-376-6992.

"Easter is the best news you've got," Patz told the diverse congregation with a large contingent of college-age worshippers who attended the worship service held at Lincoln Middle School at 1001 SE 12th St.

"The resurrection is Easter and is hope," said Patz. "Everything in this earth dies, but Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus beat the system."

"If Jesus beat death, he can beat anything," said Patz, who preached from John 20:1-10, 13-17 and 24-27 and also Romans 10:9.

In his welcoming remarks, Lincoln Campus Pastor Ryan Beacher announced that First Assembly of God will soon be renamed The Greenhouse Church to reflect a desire of creating a "house" environment, where God can work his wonder of transformation in the lives of ordinary people.

Beacher also announced that a $120,000 donation was recently made to a mission in India that works to rescue and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking and the sex slave trade.

Beacher preached from Romans 5:6-8. "We're on a culture crossroad," Beacher said. "I don't think we get what happened. It was a cosmic battle, with the hero of the story dying."

He then preached about the power of God. "We want you to experience God," Beacher said. "One word from God changes you."

Worship leader Ryan Galloway led a band featuring acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and drums in playing and singing inspirational songs that included "My Beloved" by Kari Jobe, "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, "Bless the Lord (Son of Man)" by Tye Tribbett," "The Stand" by Kristian Stanfill, and "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" by Chris Tomlin.

During his sermon, Patz said Apostle John believed that Jesus would return from the dead, while Apostle Thomas was doubtful and Apostle Peter was a traitor. Patz said Jesus returned from the dead to forgive Peter. "It means so much that despite sins and pumped-up hearts," Patz said, "if you don't know how to get to God, he comes to you."

To the doubters, Patz said, "If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, then you can't throw away the Bible."

"How do you explain the explosion of Christianity without the resurrection?" Patz asked.

"Put your trust in Jesus," Patz said. "God loves you so much. If you can't find God, he will find you."

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