Celebrating the Fruits of Easter Weekend

By Rick Warren

Rick Warren BaptizingNearly 3,000 people gave their lives to Christ over Easter weekend at Saddleback Church! The stories of salvations and baptisms have been so deeply moving.

All eight of our Saddleback campuses had record attendance:  Corona, Anaheim, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Laguna Woods, San Clemente, Rancho Capistrano, and Lake Forest. Last weekend, three of our campuses had over 3,000 attenders, one had close to 2,000 attenders, and four of campuses had nearly 1,000 attenders!

In addition, about twenty folks around the world rented theaters to show our Saddleback Easter service for their friends. Many were saved in a prison in the Philippines where the service was shown!

On Monday after Easter, I sent a tweet asking for people to email me with the highlights of their Easter weekend. Here are some of the responses I’ve received…


I attend a Korean church in Walnut Creek, CA, but am a member of our English ministry for young adults. Because our church has two different congregations and a youth group, Sundays like Easter Sunday and Christmas Sunday are treats for us. All three groups (who worship separately for language and age group reasons) join together for a joint service.

This Easter, our three groups gathered together for worship as the senior pastor gave his sermon in both Korean and English and as our English Ministry pastor led praise in both Korean and English. Our joint services are always a treat!

This Easter Sunday was filled with joy and hope as we were encouraged to live in the Third Day: life of hope and new life.


We celebrated a powerful and risen Savior this weekend at Alger Assembly of God!

Our church has been averaging about 90 on Sunday AM in the village of Alger, a population just under 900. On Easter Sunday, 5 decisions for Christ were made, with 284 people present in our 2 Easter Sunday services! The Saturday Easter Egg Hunt Outreach packed in 678 registered guests, with an estimated attendance of 800-900 counting workers and unregistered attendees (half or more of the crowd couldn’t fit in the Sanctuary)! An incredible team of volunteers organized over 8700 eggs, 200+ custom-made Easter baskets and well over 1200 total gifts and prizes to bless the community!

We are excited to be a part of what God is doing in Alger and our surrounding region!

Mark A. Andreasen, Pastor
Alger Assembly of God


This year we called the church of fast and to pray for fair weather for the egg hunt, God’s favor in the community, and changed lives. We had several people participate, and I believe it yielded powerful results! Our annual Easter Eggstravaganza this year we went bigger and better than ever! We had 50,000 eggs, and several prizes from bunnies to bikes. About 135 volunteers gathered on the 23rd and stuffed about 45,000 eggs and built 6 bikes in 2 hours & 17 min, record time for us! The day of the hunt brought strong winds, cold weather and the imminent threat of rain.

We prayed for God to hold off until we were done, and the radar revealed something powerful, the clouds with all the rain split and went around us! We were dry right up until the very last scooter was given away, we had to clean up in the rain, but all in all it was an amazing day! We had about 3,000 in attendance, gave away nearly 2,000 hotdogs, chips, cookies, and drinks, and I was invited by our mayor to have a special meeting with him about our community!

Sunday brought 691 people to our services, an all time record!

Kelly Rhoades
LifePoint Church, Lebanon, MO


Pastor Rick first of all I am a great fan of your heart to follow God and be a resource for the church. Big C!! The Journey churched opened its doors Easter 2007 and 160 people showed up with 9 people giving their life to Christ. This past Easter on our 6 year anniversary we moved into our new facility doing 3 services and 2,780 people showed up with over 125 people committing their life to Christ. So how did our Easter go? It was Go God Awesome!

The Journey Church


We taught how the resurrection is ‘the unique element’ of our faith. We opened a new nursery because we’ve outgrown the old one w births to young families. We enjoyed our highest attendance to date w 185 people. Of those at least two made new professions of faith in Christ. We concluded our worship by baptizing 8 people, making for 50 baptisms over our church’s almost 5 year history. God is good. We are thankful.

Phillip McClure, Founding/Lead Pastor
River Valley Community Church


At Grace Hills, our Easter weekend started with a community-wide Egg Hunt at Grace Hill Elementary school. It was a rather rainy morning but we refused to cancel and 200+ people showed up (mostly families from the school district) for free lunch and to hunt for eggs among the mud puddles. Our volunteers were outstanding!

On Sunday, we had a record attendance of 221 and baptized 3. Our kids ministry re-decorated and shifted things around, going to a whole new level. The full band down front, plus a mini-choir led an amazing service. I was most impressed with the enthusiasm of dozens of volunteers who showed up early to greet, set up, and make things happen.

Brandon Cox
Grace Hills Church


We had nine services. I helped our pastor, Marty Grubbs, with five of them. Our services were absolutely incredible. Pastor Marty Grubbs is such a real, honest, humble pastor. I have the privilege of helping Marty every Sunday, and can tell you first hand, he is a real messaged of Jesus himself! Our Easter services were a true testament that we are here because Jesus “finished” it for us!

Linda Russell
Crossings Community Church


I had the privilege of leading worship for out Easter Sunday service. Packed house as we were also baptising people. We decided to mix it up and do the baptisms live at the back of the stage during part of the praise and worship (normally done as part of the service via video link). Some of the people being baptised were Persian (from Iran) from our Farsi speaking community who came to Australia as refugees. You die for doing that in Iran.

To stand on stage and lead several rows of Persians publicly worship Jesus Christ with passion, arms raised and tears in their eyes was honestly one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Some of them were tortured by the state police in Iran. Most survived a perilous journey to get to Australia. Due to some public transport issues, some of the people scheduled to be baptised missed that moment in the service. So we did it again at the end of the service, as well as inviting anyone else who wanted to be baptised to come forward and several took up the invitation. The presence of God was there in a way I have not felt for a long time. Truly a resurrection service.

Michael Mann


I attend Savannah Christian Church in Savannah,Ga. We have 6 campuses and from friday through sunday we had over 13,000 people attend one of our services. We had 489 baptisms! We had an amazing weekend at our church! God is so good!

Carl Wells
Savannah Christian Church


Our church, Mosaic Cincinnati, launched Aug 19 2012 under the leadership of pastors Shayne and Tiffany Walters who left the security and comfort of full-time pastoral positions in Dallas to begin a new church here in suburban Cincinnati, bringing with them a big vision, a big heart for people, and a whole lot of faith. Over several months leading up to the launch, God miraculously brought many workers (including myself) into the field in preparation for the harvest. The church officially launched with around 150 people – many of them already serving – and prior to Easter had seen over 200 adults, students, and children decide to follow Jesus!

Our team gives and serves selflessly and tirelessly to make Mosaic a place of love and fun for all who come. A few weeks before Easter we happily expanded to three services to make room for the increasingly growing crowds. Yesterday for Easter, all three services were packed as over 500 people joined us for worship! Our pastor began a 6-week “What on Earth am I Here For” teaching series, and we gave out a free copy of your book to each visiting family…over 50 books were distributed! No big marketing push, no tricks, no gimmicks.

But the absolute BEST part of it all is that 63 people decided to follow Christ! That’s what it’s all about! Connecting people to the peace, love, and truth of Jesus.

Our entire church is buzzing about what God is doing, and we continue to see miracle after miracle after miracle in people’s lives. Needs are being met. Relationships are being restored. People are being freed of addictions. Our students are bringing their families to church and seeing their parents get saved! It is a beautiful thing to see a healthy body selflessly giving itself and allowing the holy spirit to work through it. God is doing so much more than we could ever do on our own.

Ben Schwenk
Mosaic Cincy


Our church averages 80-90 per sun. Easter we had 160 with 18 decisions. I preached your message – Easter in 3D! Thanks for all you do for us little guys!

Love u Rick,
Pastor Kurt


Thirty-one years ago myself and my cousin Mike were invited to a church where during the alter call the pastor spoke about about 2 young men in the balcony that needed to come down and receive forgiveness. There were around a 1000 + people there that day. We knew he was speaking to us. But in sheer terror we sank down in or seats and didn’t receive the forgiveness that was offered that day. Forward 1997 I received Christ. Only then did I realize what I had missed out on that day. Well Easter Day 31 years later my cousin walked in to church with me and (the roof did not collapse as he thought it would) got saved. No doubt the best Easter I’ve ever had. Praise God. My heart is so happy right now.


On resurrection Sunday the youths took center stage and did puppetry and a special short skit based on the popular “heaven’s gates, hell’s flames” drama production. It basically showed that Christ came to give everlasting life and that we all have to opportunity to walk away with either a blessing or a curse depending on the choice we make here on earth. Strangely enough, alot of people were color coordinating that day and it wasnt white or red, it was pink! Lol. It was actually my first Easter service ever, though I’ve been a believer for some years now. Even though my family wasn’t there, I still had a wonderful time!

Also, I’m excited to let you know that the church I attend (Jesus Is The Answer praise center) is going to start back bible study using ‘the purpose driven life’ book. Everyone is geared up for ready for what God will reveal and do, based on the message He birthed in you.


It was the most worshipful and Holy Spirit filled service, ever. It was a compelling review of the Gospel Story, from Genesis to Revelation. God’s original plan for Paradise, and our need for a Savior. We worshipped with songs and my friends gave their testimony, of how they came to a relationship with our amazing God. We watched an inspiring video about God’s passion for us.


We had a great Easter! We are a church that is 17 years old. I have been there the whole time as pastor. We had 570 in attendance. 10 percent up over last Easter. We had people come to Christ in the services and our pre-service promotion even convinced a Mormon lady to be one of our first time guests of the day! Thanks to be God!

Brian G. Tracy.
Lead Pastor, Evangel Assembly


We had a GREAT Easter weekend here in Athens, Ga. We had 4 services this weekend: 1,190 people, 150+ serving and loving others, and 43 SAVED!!! The Church at Southside is 7 yrs old and located in NE Ga. Praise The Lord! Thank you for loving pastors like you do.

I love my church,
Jeff Williams


I am the lead pastor at Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN. Our Easter Weekend was incredible. We started with a Good Friday service. On Saturday we hosted an community event called Egg-A-Palzooa with carnival games and several types of bounce houses, a slide, and a obstacle course. Our church is located just outside the inner city so we love these events to love on our community. We had a great crowd on Easter Sunday and saw people give their life to Jesus. But what made Easter special was what happened after most of us left. Another church in the inner city called Over Coming Believers needed a building for worship. We are mostly white and they are mostly black. We had started partnering with events recently and saw this as a great opportunity to be a blessing so they met in our building at 12:30, which is their normal time. Our teams worked together and the pastor called me last night to say it was the first time in their existence that they didn’t have to turn anyone away at Easter! They had 1700 in attendance, more than us! They also had 300 saved! I am thankful to pastor a church that views God’s Kingdom more than their camp.

Mark McKeehan


Friday’s sermon was amazing to I point I blogged about it. I titled it Ammazing Love. The Sunday’s was about the Resurrection of Israel. We thought our Pastor had made a typo error on his Sermon notes at first. But the sermon blended well at the end. He preached about how the OT was fulfilled by Christ’s Resurrection. How the new kingdom of Israel is now for all that believe in Christ. One doesn’t have to be born a Jew to be part of the kingdom. All in all the Easter was a jam-packed good scripture sandwich that we all love.

Pumza Deti


Thank you firstly for the request about Easter and the ongoing encouragement you provide in such a wide variety of ways. Easter was amazing, not necessarily numerically but in content. Our Good Friday worship touched those who came either to our hour at 10 or the 3 hours when we used thoughts on the Stations of the Cross by Framk Topping thought provoking, challenging, coming from a different place – lives touched. Easter Day was brilliant @9 we had new people and a couple of returners and I preached about hope and responding to the love of God in Christ and how – from looking at Peter there is no condemnation only love and acceptance for who and as we are and that is how Jesus would love us to respond just look at His committment to us @10 3new people 2 returners same sermon same response the new glad to have been ther and enjoyed and now 2 want baptism one already is!

Stephen


Not really “my” story to tell, but … Evergreen Community Church in Bothell, WA, with an average weekly Sunday attendance of ~400, baptized 47 people during Easter services!

Trever Esko


My pastor, Mike Yearley (Church at Rocky Peak, Chatsworth, CA) based his Easter Sermon on Isaiah 53 (also including Acts 8:26-40, the account of the Ethiopian eunuch reading from that chapter) which was especially gratifying to me as a Messianic believer!

Blessings in Yeshua,
Martin Weiss


Much like the world we live in, a severe thunderstorm raged outside during our morning worship service. The power blinked and despite the high winds and lightning, our time of worship carried on. If anything, it enhanced the experience. For me it did anyway. Jesus gets us through any situation, any circumstance. Sometimes we lose sight of that.

Nathan Bailey
First Baptist Church
Sulphur Springs, TX


We celebrated our Easter Sunday with praise and worship, followed by a drama of the crucifixion of Jesus. I was tasked with introducing the drama. I am the youth leader at our church and was praying for the Holy Spirit to give the words needed to touch these people’s heart and receive his salvation. I started reading some of your tweets about Easter being about God’s love for us, and not trying to wow people. I admit, I was trying to think of some innovative and catchy way of getting their attention, but your tweet kept speaking to me. It was the Holy Spirit, I know this.

I took this to heart and conveyed that message of love to our congregation. I asked them to make this experience personal, as The Lord was thinking of each of us as he sacrificed his life. The Holy Spirit was moving and our pastor asked me to pray for people that came up to the altar. I have never felt his presence so strong in my life before. I was praying for people with very serious problems in their life and was able to reassure them that The Lord is in control, and loves us more than we can ever comprehend.

Jerry Garcia


We have two services Easter morning. The first is our sunrise service that we have in the parking lot of one of our local businesses. It is as our new pastor calls a “drive up” church service. Everyone drives their vehicle in front of a stage that we made of the empty tomb and listen to the church service. The people stay in their cars! The community loves it! It is always Easter morning at 6:30 a.m. It is wonderful view – we live on the prairie and so the sun is just coming up Easter morning – what a joyous celebration! Our second service is our Easter Celebration Service. Our sanctuary is decorated with lilies and palm leaves and of course our big cross that is draped in white. Both services are always full of people that are celebrating our risen Lord.

He is risen indeed!!!! Alleluia!!!!!
Vicki Marek – Stuttgart, Arkansas


Easter at our church went really well. We’re a small church (~50 adherents) celebrating our 5th Easter as a body. We’re not in a position to do extravagant productions, etc., but we came together as the Body, celebrated our risen Savior, and enjoyed a time of great encouragement and fellowship!

David


I am part of Hillsong Church Cape Town with Ps Phil Dooley heading our Church up. Our production team put together a modern day version\translation of the Prodigal son story – really impacting on the fact that Jesus excepts us back with open arms and the Love of Jesus dying on the cross for my(our) sins… All summed up as : CROSS =3D LOVE.

Nicholas Large


We had 2,300 in attendance & 76 decisions for Christ over Easter weekend! P=
raise The Lord!

Pastor John Reeve
The Cause Community Church


We are a 1 year old church plant in Westminster Colorado. The area we are in is fairly church-less? We went old school the day before Easter and had about 50 of our people go door to door and invite people to our Easter service with Easter goodie bags in hand. We had at least 10 families who were invited show up! One lady had never been to an Easter service. All these people had seen our signs for a year, had received postcards in the mail about our church, but it was not until a personal invite did they finally come. We had been praying for God to double our service. We normally have around 150 people on a typical Sunday and had over 300 yesterday! 4 people became believers and there were numerous recommitments.

Scott Applegate, Pastor
Novation Church


We had an awesome day! We started with sunrise at the ocean and a baptism in the ocean. Then we had over 200 in service (I just became pastor at this church in Jan. with 70 people). 15 people rededicated their lives to Christ!! Not sure how many, but the alter was full of those longing for a renewed passion in their Christianity. Our nursery and children’s church had 40 kids!! All around very exciting day! Now to just keep winning people to Jesus and grow the church!!!!

Robby Weatherholt


Cause Church is a one year old church plant in Clinton, IA. A core group of 22 people launched Cause Church last Easter with 140 in attendance. Yesterday 360 people were in attendance and 14 Salvations were officially recorded! God is amazing!

Joshua Meyer


I didn’t go to church on Easter Sunday or on Good Friday although I attend a Foursquare Gospel Church in Calabar, Nigeria. I was at the neonatal intensive care unit doing a 24hr call and I worked all day long. I however see my job as a special kind of service to God and mankind and I don’t complain when I have to miss church to work. That’s how I spent my Easter. I’m sure this is quite different from what you’ll be getting from others. God loves babies.

Osamagbe Asemota


As for this Easter. It is our 2nd Easter as a Church. We had a special Easter service, where I spoke on “Easter..a tale of two trees”. After we had sang special Easter hymns. We had cake in Church to celebrate all those born in March. There was special Easter get together at the home of one of the Elders in Church.

Sunday Ogidigbo, Lead Pastor
Holyhill Church


I am a member at International Christian Center in Brownsville, Texas. I serve in the Praise & Worship team, but this past weekend I participated in the Easter play. 505 people responded to Christ in all the presentations of “The Thorn”! The Lord was exalted. Great Cast. People prayed and brought others. Sharing the Easter story by your petition in Twitter. My pastor in Twitter is @bobordeman


Easter was wonderful in our church. In our early service, the pastor prayed that a miracle would occur during worship. In the late service, while another pastor was preaching on the resurrection and reaching the climax of his message, a strong wind literally blew open a door that opens to the outside! The pastor kept right on going, talking about how the Spirit was present at creation and brings about the new creation of believers in Jesus! It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen and has had the entire church abuzz with faithful enthusiasm.

Pastor Mark S. Jordan
Cokes Chapel UMC


I go to Covenant Baptist in the small town of Mt. Vernon, MO. We had an AWESOME service. I led worship and God totally showed up and moved throughout the entire worship time and message. We had a great speaker and we were going to take communion. So the sound guys decided that instead of me playing, they would play a song on YouTube during communion. So they pulled up the video and clicked play. But an advertisement came on and played a great song called “The Marvelous Breadfish”. If you haven’t heard it, look it up on YouTube. It is very funny. After the initial awkwardness, everyone laughed and we continued with communion and our time of worship. It was a very awesome experience with my church family!


I lead the worship band at my church. Easter is a huge Sunday for us. Unfortunately, the opening song was a train wreck. I was pretty frustrated. Then my pastor told me how he’d been approached by a family who loved the service and wanted to make a commitment to become part of our church family. I was reminded that God uses us even when things don’t go as planned.

-Todd
Milestone Baptist Church


Last year, we were a one campus church and hosted 730 people on Easter morning. Since then, we had a smaller, struggling church merge into ours, and between the two sites, we had 970 people come through our doors to hear Christ’s resurrection preached yesterday! Praise God!

Josh Conrad, Youth Director
Commonwealth Chapel


Did we miss your report? It’s not too late to celebrate. Tell us about your Easter weekend in the comments below!

Rick Warren

Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.