CRESTWOOD, MO (KTVI)- A Crestwood Church has adopted one of the area’s more unusual versions of the sunrise, Easter Sunday service. A First Baptist it comes with a kick, and a finish line. For thirteen years the traditional Easter sermon has been followed by the “Resurrection Run,” a 5K race started by a pastor who runs marathons on the side.
“Running has always been a passion of mine and Easter is the core of my faith, belief,” Lance Long told us Sunday morning before preaching. “So I thought combining those things because I believe running is spiritual.”
Many agree these days. More than 250 people showed up for this year’s race. But initially, Long was met with serious skepticism from all sides when he spoke of mixing Jesus and jogging.
“People in my church looked at me cross eyed. People in the running community looked at and said, ‘are you crazy?’”
These days Long is preaching to the choir. The event draws well, and more than half of those running are not members, allowing for a little ministry.
“I’m like hey! Let’s go!,” church member Kim Munkin said of her reaction to the race. “It’s for Jesus! Jesus is alive and we have to outreach to everybody, including runners.”
Another member who was volunteering, Ken Owens, agrees.
“That’s what they did on Easter morning,” he said. John and Peter ran to the tomb.”
Some of the runners are there just for the race. Their family and spiritual plans are set for other places.
“I’m getting together with my family later,” Lindsay Wright said. “Probably eat a bunch of food that’s not too good for me to celebrate the day, so this is something to get out and feel healthy before relaxing with my family.”
Others are growing a tradition. Less than a month away from giving birth to her first child, Nicole Galley is back for her fourth Resurrection Run, or, in this case, walk.
“It’s very inspirational. It gets our day started off and just keeps the reason for Easter alive in us.”