The First Baptist Church of Highland Park in Landover, MD was filled with foot stomping gospel, high octane preaching and more than 1,000 souls who gathered for a Good Friday service that featured seven pastors who preached the “seven last words,” that Jesus spoke on the cross.
The event, hosted Rev. Henry P. Davis and members of the Landover Church, has become one of the largest and most spirited Good Friday services in the area. Davis said that that he created his service because he grew up in the church where Good Friday services were boring. “As a preacher’s kid, I dreaded Good Friday services.”
But Friday night nobody fell asleep during a service that last more than three hours.
Bishop LaVaughn Hughes, senior pastor of Faith Temple No. 2 Original Free Will Baptist, preached from John 19:25-27: when Jesus looked down from the cross at his mother Mary and said, Woman, Behold thy son…Behold thy mother.”
“The cross was so powerful that it bridge the gap between God and man and brought the two back together,” Hughes preached. “But there is a problem here: The cross had enough power to bring God and man back together, but for some reason the cross don’t seem to have enough power to bring us together.”
Rev. Lanier C. Twyman, senior pastor of the St. Stephen Baptist Church, preached “Father forgive them for they don’t what they are doing,” from Luke 23:34; Rev. Tony Lee, pastor of Community of Hope in Temple Hills, preached “Today you will be with me in paradise,” from Luke 23:43; and Rev. Bernard Winchester, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fairmont Heights preached “My God, My God Why have you abandoned me,” from Matthew 27:45-46.
“When things get rough don’t throw in the towel,” preached Winchester as an organ chimed in between his every phrase. “When you are down, know that God is up to something !”
Rev. Anthony G. Maclin, pastor of The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square in Capitol Heights preached “I am Thirsty,” from John 19:28; Bishop Vincent A Charity, pastor of the Masters Touch Praise Ministries preached, “It is Finished,” from John 19:30 and Bishop C. Matthew Hudson, pastor of Matthews Memorial Baptist Church closed the event out with the passage from Luke 23:46: “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
Maclin compared his preaching task to driving the speed limit at 55 miles an hour while his colleagues in the ministry were zooming at 70, but as he went on he got faster and louder and people were on their feet.
“Every now and then, I have to come to the conclusion that I got to handle my thirst, let me try that again, every now and then I got to handle my thirst,” Maclin preached. “The problem in many of our churches is that we keep bring our cups, thinking our cups are going to satisfy our thirst, but you can’t bring a cup to Calvary.”
As people stood on their feet, Maclin boomed, “The Bible says that there is a fountain filled with blood drawn Emmanuel’s veins. As sinners blood beneath that flood moved all their guilty stains…touched somebody and say I got to get rid of all my sins.”