Spectacular Easter service in South Carolina

For Easter this year, we visited our daughter at Clemson University, in Clemson, SC.  She had a special surprise in mind for us for Easter services this year.  We drove about 1.5 hours north into the mountains between South Carolina and North Carolina.

On the grounds of the YMCA Greenville Camp located in Cleveland, SC is the “Pretty Place”, more formally known as Symmes Chapel.  We arrived at the camp around 5:15/5:30 after a long and windy 1.5 hour drive up the dark mountain roads (thankfully, not too scary!).  From the parking lot, you take a shuttle bus up to the “Pretty Place” even though it is a short hike up the hill.  The problem is that it was still fully dark so walking would be unsafe.

We arrived at the open air chapel around 5:40am, and it was packed.  We sat on the steps off to the side.           
For about forty years now, the Rocky Hill Baptist Church has been conducting this very memorable Easter Sunrise service.  When we arrived, we were in total darkness.  The choir sang and read the Bible story of the Crucifixion and resurrection as the sun rose.  It started in full darkness and recounted the story of the Crucifixion.

Then, slowly but surely, the sky began to lighten and turn beautiful colors.  After the choir finished, the Preacher gave a sermon as the sky grew lighter and lighter.

We ended with a prayer and a loud Amen just as the sun rose.  It was absolutely perfect.  I can not think of a more beautiful way to celebrate the miracle of Easter.

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