Vicksburg YMCA sets Easter sunrise service at Fort Hill

Published 4:00 am Sunday, April 10, 2022

For more than 72 years, Vicksburg residents have gathered at Fort Hill to celebrate Christ’s resurrection during the YMCA’s Easter sunrise services in the Vicksburg National Military Park.

On April 17, as the sun rises over Vicksburg and the former fort, residents will once again gather to celebrate the miracle of Easter Sunday.

“This will be the 73rd time we’ve done it,” said Philip Doiron, director of the Junius Ward Johnson Memorial YMCA. “That’s a long tradition of being up there and being there on that special morning.”

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Services begin at 7 a.m. at the top of Fort Hill. Ministers for the service are the Rev. James Arthur, pastor of Trinity Temple Baptist Church, and the Rev. Beth Palmer of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Music will be provided by Kristy Brumfield.

The service marks its second return to the military park since COVID-19 forced organizers to change plans.

“In 2020, the Park Service shut down all activities in the park so we couldn’t hold the event,” Doiron said. “We were originally going to have a drive-in event at the Halls Ferry Park parking lot, but the rain hit. We ended up doing it online from the YMCA. Last year, we returned to the park.

“The (Vicksburg) National Military Park has been a great partner for decades,” he added.

People wanting to attend the service are asked to arrive early and park along Confederate Avenue.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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