No 'Way of the Cross' This Year

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

Thirteen years ago, Sister Andre Burkhart set out on a mission to organize the churches in downtown Meridian into a peace walk that showed the last hours of Christ's life before He was crucified.

She managed to incorporate many denominations into one united force known as "The Way of the Cross."

"The Way of the Cross has been one of the great aspects of the celebration of holy week in our community for a good long while," said Dr. Raymon Leake, pastor of First Baptist Church of Meridian. "And Andre Burkhart saw to it that it was a real celebration every year, and gathered churches from across the religious spectrum to be involved in it."

After Sister Andre left Meridian, organizing such a complex program involving so many members of the community has become a challenge. As a result, the 2010 Way of the Cross will not take place.

"The main reason is just timing. This year's an earlier Easter with a number of other things I was working on, I didn't really get a chance to prepare like I should," said Terrence Roberts, pastor of New Wine Ministries. "And a couple of the churches were not going to participate so, we're just going to hold off one year and give it a chance to breathe."

Organizers believe perhaps absence will make the heart grow fonder and next year more churches will want to participate.

"It's a great event. It is something our community loves to do," said Roberts. "Maybe this year, the lay off will remind people just how important it is."

"It has been one of the things that brought churches together dramatically in our community for a significant period of time," said Leake. "So we'll miss it this year, but hopefully there will be somebody that will step forward next year and make it a real success."

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