New Birth kicks off Easter celebration on Good Friday with Bishop T.D. Jakes, John P. Kee + $50 gas gift cards

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STONECREST, GA–New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is reopening its doors for in-person worship on Good Friday, April 15, 7:30 p.m., with internationally-renowned faith Bishop T.D. Jakes and award-winning gospel artist John P. Kee.

New Birth’s reopening activities, called “The Return,” will culminate on Resurrection Sunday, April 17, with Senior Pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant and celebrated gospel artist VaShawn Mitchell beginning at 9:30 a.m. All planned events will take place at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, located at 6400 Woodrow Rd in Stonecrest.

With soaring gas prices, New Birth announced its “Gas on God” initiative to provide 500 drivers with relief at the gas by providing free $50 gas cards on a first-come, first-served basis. The “Gas on God” effort is a partnership with DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran Johnson and Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory and an effort for area drivers to find some financial relief at the pump.

“We are beyond thrilled to return to in-person worship services, to re-engage with our congregation and to welcome visitors who are thirsty for an extraordinary encounter with the Lord,” said Dr. Bryant. “Bishop T.D. Jakes is a global force and one of the most prolific voices in ministry. We are truly blessed to have him join us for our Good Friday service with the legendary John P. Kee. We are equally excited to partner with Commissioner Cochran Johnson and Gregory B. Levett & Sons to help families who are feeling the impacts of rising gas prices.”

Throughout the pandemic, New Birth has advanced innovative ways to engage members and enhance its online ministry as well as its outreach activities. The King’s Table, New Birth’s food pantry, was launched just two months before the pandemic and would serve 300 people each month. With the financial impacts that accompanied the global crisis, The King’s Table saw those numbers skyrocket to more than 3,000 people weekly at the height of the pandemic and is quickly approaching a major milestone – 1 million people served during the pandemic.

Similarly, the Stonecrest ministry’s online viewership exploded and welcomed parishioners near and far. “Shifting to an online worship experience really forced us to recalibrate our approach to ministry and rethink our outreach methodology. Honestly, the challenge now is getting people out of their pj’s and eating their pancakes while streaming service on Sunday morning,” said Bryant. “Resurrection Sunday will mark my first time preaching with all of our members in the sanctuary in more than two years during my three years at New Birth.”

During the weekend events, The King’s Table will also host its weekly free food distribution on Saturday, April 16, at 10 a.m. on the church’s campus. All distributed items are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. “What better way to punctuate Resurrection Sunday than to advance the work of the Lord through giving to those in need,” Bryant said.

New Birth initially planned to welcome parishioners in-person on New Year’s Eve but a spike in Covid-19 cases prevented the reopening effort. Now, with a statewide decline in Covid-19 cases and a rise in Covid-19 vaccinations, the church’s leadership identified Easter weekend as a perfect opportunity to welcome members and visitors back into the 9,000-seat sanctuary.

“We are encouraging people to come as they are and enjoy a weekend of fellowship and worship here at New Birth. No need to worry about fancy clothes or shoes this or any Sunday,” said Bryant. “Just plan to be amazed by God’s presence as we return into the house of the Lord.”

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The Return Activities At-A-Glance:

Good Friday Service: 

Date: Friday, April 15

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, 6400 Woodrow Rd., Stonecrest

Special Guests: Internationally renowned faith leader Bishop T.D. Jakes and award-winning gospel artist John P. Kee

Saturday Outreach: The King’s Table + “Gas on God” – $50 Gas Card Giveaway  

              Date: Saturday, April 16

Time: 10 a.m. – noon (food distribution); noon – until ($50 gas card giveaway)

Location: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, 6400 Woodrow Rd., Stonecrest

Overview: The King’s Table will distribute free food boxes on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a continuation of the ministry’s ongoing work in the community to curb food insecurity. Additionally, New Birth is adding a “Gas on God” outreach to provide hundreds of DeKalb motorists with $50 gas cards on a first come, first served basis.

Resurrection Service:

Date: Sunday, April 17

Time: 9:30 a.m.

Location: New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, 6400 Woodrow Rd., Stonecrest

Overview: Senior Pastor  Jamal Bryant will officially preach his first in-person service inside the New Birth sanctuary since the pandemic. Bryant will be joined by gospel recording artist VaShawn Mitchell.




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