SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Nearly 1,000 people started their Easter Sunday bright and early with the Surfside Beach Sunrise Service.
This service was put on by several churches in the Surfside Beach community and people started to arrive well before sunrise.
Pastors said this tradition goes back to the 1960's and is held each year at the Surfside Fishing Pier.
A cross placed on the beach, representing the resurrection of Jesus Christ facing the east as the sun begins to rise.
Despite a little chilly breeze, it truly was a beautiful morning.
Those in attendance said they love coming together with others at the sunrise service every year to celebrate Easter.
"The people here are testimony and most people here don't know each other, but we feel like a family as we're here worshipping today," said Matt Brown who made the trip with his family from York, South Carolina.
Pastor John Gambrell said, this Sunrise Service goes back over 50 years and continues to attract people from not just along the Grand Strand but throughout the country.
"There are dozens of denominations represented here and we all focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and his resurrection; therefore, the differences are not that big as we join and worship," said Gambrell.
When the weather is warmer the churches also perform Easter Sunday water baptisms in the ocean.