Easter sunrise service draws crowd

Posted at 4:23 PM, Mar 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-27 18:30:00-04

The Easter bunny has come and gone and dyed Easter eggs of all colors will soon transform into something more than a visual treat for the eye. But it's on this day, Christians across the globe celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Just before you reach Marsing, you can't miss the Lizard Butte and its rock formation. That's where a white cross sits atop the mountain and a sermon is given each Easter morning when the sun begins to rise.

A Boy Scout troop from Caldwell helps direct traffic as people from all over the Treasure Valley dedicate the wee hours of their morning to, in their belief system, a higher power.

It's still dark when people start to arrive.

"The cars start pulling in about 6 o'clock and then people line up in rows so it's not unorganized," says Presten Baker, 14.

As they start to make their way up the hill, Baker is on the lookout for anyone who is getting up there in years and could use a helping hand.

"I walk over there and help them walk up the hill... that way they don't slip and fall," he says.

Fellow Boy Scout Troop #276 member Cameron Manker also believes in the story of Jesus Christ.

It's on Easter Day that Jesus arises from the dead, as promised, after dying on the cross.

Manker has been in attendance for the last seven years. 

"Once I started doing this with the scouts, my family made this a tradition," Manker says.

The service is non-denominational and is something you can count on even if it's raining or snowing.

"Last year, there was heavy rain and tents were flying everywhere," Mankers says. "So far, this is the best weather we've had in a long time."

When the service wraps up, many people continue on with their traditions. Some hike up Table Rock in Boise and end their day watching the sunset there.

Between the picturesque view and message of renewal, Christians at the gathering walk away with a sense of unity.

"This is just a place of peace and solitude and I only have that peace and solitude because I know who He is," says Rebecka Seward, a Boise resident. "He is my Savior and if you're wondering about that, if you're in turmoil about that ... ask somebody."

It's the Marsing Church of the Nazerene that holds their Easter service at Lizard Butte each Spring.

The long-standing Treasure Valley tradition will reach its 80th anniversary next year.