Easter Sunday at Eastridge Church in Issaquah and West Seattle will look a little different this year.
The Easter Bunny will not be the only special guest to show up at Eastridge’s Easter weekend festivities — Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett will be speaking about his Christian faith at the Saturday and Sunday church services.
“He’s going to be talking about the place of faith in his life … how that affects his life, his goals … how his relationship with Christ affects everything he does,” Pastor Steve Jamison said. “It’s an opportunity for him to share a part of his life you don’t see on the football field.”
The wide receiver is set to give his own personal testimony about the role that Christianity has played in his own life at the Saturday evening and three Sunday morning services on April 15 and 16 at the Issaquah campus. At the West Seattle location, Lockett’s speech will be livestreamed.
Heather Westad, executive assistant to Eastridge Pastor Steve Jamison, said that the church often has guest speakers come to speak publicly about their faith experience.
“We’re really big believers in personal stories,” Westad said. “We all have our different path in how we come to faith. When you hear someone’s own story, the nitty-gritty details, it helps to personalize it.”
And this collection of speakers has occasionally included professional athletes. In the past, former NBA players Luke Ridnour, Jake Voskuhl, Michael Redd and Allan Houston have all come to the church. Jamison has gotten to know major sports figures after working with professional athletes in his Christian outreach program “Jammin,’” which he founded in 1993.
“We try to create opportunities for athletes to be able to interact with the community and share a positive message,” Jamison said. “It’s a really positive opportunity for professional athletes to speak hope into people’s lives.”
Lockett has been very open about his faith in the past, tweeting out Christian messages and speaking at locations such as Evergreen Christian School in Olympia.
“He wants to use the platform he has to spread a positive message,” Jamison said.
Eastridge Church begins Easter weekend with a Good Friday service on April 14 at 7 p.m. At the Issaquah location, this service will include a passion play depicting Jesus’ last hours on earth.
“We focus on what happened on Friday in the Bible and the price that He paid for us,” Westad explained.
Saturday morning, kids are invited to two giant Easter egg hunts, which will feature a combined total of 40,000 eggs. The Issaquah egg hunt will take place at the church, while West Seattle kids will hunt eggs on the south meadow of Lincoln Park.
Easter services begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday in Issaquah and take place at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. In West Seattle, Easter Sunday services will happen at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. All are welcome to attend.
Eastridge Church is located at 24205 SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd., Issaquah and 4500 39th Ave. SW, Seattle. The church is affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination.