ATLANTA (AP) - Easter in this economy will be decidedly less
extravagant for New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
Its annual service is leaving the Georgia Dome for the first time in more than 15 years.
Since 1993, the megachurch - which boasts a 25,000-member congregation that is largely black and mostly middle-class - has held its annual Easter service at the Dome. The service has attracted crowds of up to 40,000 including athletes, entertainers, politicians and entrepreneurs.
Sunday's service will not be the $200,000 production worshippers
have come to expect, since revenues are down and many members'
pockets are hurting. Instead, Bishop Eddie Long will hold three services in his 10,000-seat sanctuary in suburban Atlanta, where he will deliver the message "Vision in Hard Times."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)