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Churches prepare for big Easter crowds - KOAM TV 7

Churches prepare for big Easter crowds

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Sunday is the biggest day of the religious calendar, which means increased congregation sizes at area churches.

For some churches, it is as simple as putting out extra folding chairs. For Forest Park Baptist Church of Joplin, it's a bit more than that.

"We have special little treat bags for the children, we ask our people to look for new faces and make sure they get a warm friendly welcome. And we've asked our people to park farther away from the building so we have good spots up close for those who are guests," pastor John Swadley said.

Forest Park's main campus usually has a Sunday crowd of 1000-1100 people. Easter attendance numbers are closer to 1800-2000, a near double.

"Our faith is not based on a belief, it's based on an event. We believe this event really happened, and we believe that since Jesus rose from the grave, everyone can have a better life," Swadley said.

Special gift bags are prepared as a "thank you" to first time guests on Easter Sunday.

"We will have plenty of space for a full crowd on Easter Sunday," Swadley said.

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