BRISTOL – As the warmer weather is springing into action, so were families at the Liberty Baptist Church’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at 265 Maple Avenue as they scrambled to gather around 6,000 eggs filled with tickets and treats.
To Liberty Baptist Church Youth Pastor Craig Unruh’s knowledge, the church has been hosting egg hunts for decades and said egg hunts had been held in the nearby Nelson’s Field area in the past. Around 260 participants registered for the event, and around 40 of them were parents, he estimated, and others walked in to participate. The event was held indoors due to some unpredictability with the day’s rain. Children were separated by age before being released to gather eggs.
Inside each of around 6,000 prepared eggs sat a variety of candy and colored tickets representing a different color of table in the event’s prize room. Tickets were turned in for prizes, some electronic in nature. Face painting and the Easter Bunny was on hand to interact with families.
“We had a pair of volunteers in the church who really took a couple nights to put 3,000 (eggs) together, and the other 3,000 on a Wednesday evening, instead of our Bible study group, we all got together, everybody that was here, set up some tables and made an assembly line and did them that way,” he said.
Unruh said it was important to hold egg hunts and other similarly geared civic events because the church wanted to show it was open to the community.
“We want to show that we love them and be able to give back,” said Unruh. “Kids absolutely love doing this and we want to give an opportunity that’s family friendly and wholesome for them.”
Lead Pastor Dustin Alley said it’s part of the church’s mission to welcome and reach out to the community through a variety of ministries and community support.
“We’re appreciative of the community coming out and being a part of this,” said Alley. “This is what we as Christians are commanded to do. It’s to interact with the community and reach it. We’re about the Gospel of Jesus and want to share that.”
Adam Piasecki joined the hunt with his family and said they had a good time.
“The church is volunteer so for them to have anything, all the work and prep that goes into it for the kids and the glory of God, that’s fantastic,” he said. “The people are great and the message is good.”
Cara Ruetz said she felt there was a lot of good work done by volunteers at the event.
“I can’t believe they stuffed that many eggs,” she said. “It’s a lot behind the scenes and it’s crazy.”
Easter is an especially important holiday for Christians due to its tie with the resurrection story of Jesus, said Alley. All that came to the egg hunt were welcomed to the church’s holiday service on April 17 at 11 a.m.