A Jacksonville, Fla., church has a message for the community: Come hear the message of hope this Easter and get your light bill paid!
In the run-up to Easter, The Bridge Church is reaching out to neighbors through road side signs, billboards, radio and television to communicate to the city that they care.
"During such difficult times in our city, we wanted to take the opportunity to give back," said Lead Pastor Charlie Campbell. "We want people to know during this Easter season that the light of God is amazing and free.
The church is currently taking registrations of people who desire to experience worship on Easter and have the chance to get their April JEA – the eighth largest community-owned electric utility in America – bill paid. Dozens have signed up so far.
Local businesses have also been contacting the church requesting to sponsor the effort.
"We hope that in our small way, we are making a difference in our city and changing the conversation during Easter to focus on people and what God wants to do for them," said Campbell.
On Easter Sunday, which falls on April 4 this year, the multicultural congregation will be combining its two worship services for one "power-packed" service, as the lead pastor described it.
"We believe this is the season to shine the light, the light of Jesus Christ," he said. "This is what we believe to be the greatest season in human history where we celebrate the death, burial and resurrection for our sins of Jesus Christ."
Four winners will be selected for the "Pay My JEA" initiative and announced at the end of Easter service. Winners must be a first-time guest to The Bridge Church.
"The Bridge Church is paying your April light bill to demonstrate Christ's position, which is love," the church states. "As believers, we're compelled to spread God's love freely to this city and what better way to do that then to bring light into people's lives and homes."