The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Area churches join forces for Easter


March 30, 2018

ELIDA — A Baptist, a Methodist, and a non-denominational Christian walk into the town park. While it may sound like the setup to a joke about faith, it’s actually how citizens of Elida and Kenna celebrate Easter.

Members of the First Baptist Church of Elida, the Elida United Methodist Church and the Kenna Community Church will join together for the second straight year in the Elida town park on Sunday for a combined Easter service.

“We decided it’s silly we don’t worship together and we thought Easter would be a great time to do it,” said Josh Foucett, pastor at First Baptist Church of Elida.

“It just really unites the three churches together and I think it just shows it doesn’t matter what names are on the church, we’re still serving one God,” said Darryl Tennefos, pastor at Elida United Methodist Church. “That’s kind of the purpose of it, to bring us all together.”

The unique nature of the service does not stop at who is in attendance. Churchgoers on Sunday will not witness a preacher deliver a sermon like one might expect, but rather members of each church will simply take turns reading the Easter story according to the book of Mark.

“We just let the Scripture be the sermon that week and let the Scripture speak for itself,” Foucett said.

But there’s more to the service still. In between readings, a worship band will perform a mixture of traditional and modern hymns along with contemporary praise music that relate to and reinforce the Bible verses.

“So everything is eclectic about this service,” Foucett joked.

The worship band also includes members of each congregation, including Foucett on guitar and Tennefos on drums.

“We are really blessed here to have quite a bit of musical talent in such a small town, so it’s really fun to get that all together. It really enhances the worship experience,” Foucett said.

The ability of the three churches to come together is no surprise to the people who know Elida and its residents.

“Elida is a really unique little town, most people are just awesome,” Tennefos said. “They’re there for one another.”

Also keeping with the spirit of Elida is the informal approach to the service.

“Some folks bring their lawn chairs and set up on the grass, it’s very laid back,” Foucett said. “It’s Elida so you won’t see many slacks. There will be people in shorts and a whole lot of blue jeans; that’s just kind of Elida.”

Last year over 200 people from different denominations attended the Easter service, no small feat for a town with a population of about 180.

“It’s amazing to me,” Tennefos said. “I think that’s what the church is supposed to look like and I’m just proud to be a part of it.”

Foucett said the Easter service begins at 10:45 on Sunday morning in the Elida town park and will run until about noon, at which point the majority of the churchgoers stick around for the annual Easter egg hunt and a meal of hamburgers and hot dogs.


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