Bay Area Fellowship of Corpus Christi, is not only making national headlines, on FOX News and MSNBC for their unconventional Easter services this year, but they're also attracting record setting crowds. Throughout Easter weekend, the church led by Pastor Bil Cornelius, is having an Easter event that has drawn both large amounts of criticism as well as praise.
The controversy is over their 'Ultimate Easter Giveaway.' Bay Area Fellowship is giving away over $2 million in prizes including items such as cars, televisions, furniture, bikes, entertainment tickets, and much more. Among the criticism is the 'materialism' and 'consumerism' associated with these giveaways and many question what that has to do with Easter. Both in his blog and on various interviews, which can be seen on the Bay Area Fellowship site, Pastor Bil Cornelius reassures the public that the intent of this event is not to focus on the materialism of the things around us in our daily lives, but rather to focus on the 'Ultimate Free Giveaway,' that is the love of Jesus Christ and his gift to mankind, giving his life for us. In that context, the giveaway is to call those who have strayed from the church or those who have never been in church, to find their way back or to experience Jesus' saving grace for themselves.
The multitude of items being given away were donated by members of the church and the community. Regardless of whether you agree with this unconventional method of bringing people back into the church, understand this; many people were moved enough by the possibility of reaching out to others that they donated in hopes of helping those who were wayward find their way back to Jesus' flock. As a result, many more people are listening to his Easter message this year. The true test will be if many of those 'new' visitors bring their families and continue returning to hear the word of God and keeping the Sabbath holy.
A car is expected to be given away at each service as well as one car will be given away at each Bay Area campus locations.
For more information about Bay Area Fellowship and the 'Ultimate Easter Giveaway,' please visit their website.
Bay Area Easter Services are as followed:
- Thurs., April 1, 2010 - 7pm
- Fri., April 2, 2010 - 5pm & 7 pm
- Sat., April 3, 2010 - 3pm, 5pm, & 7 pm
- Sun, April 4, 2010 - 8 am, 10am, 12pm, & 2 pm
Bay Area Fellowship is located at:
7451 Bay Area Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78415 (361) 993-5900
Campus locations include:
KINGSVILLE CAMPUS: 2001 S. Brahma Blvd., Kingsville, TX 78363 (361) 516-1988
PADRE ISLAND CAMPUS: 15201 S. Padre Island Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78418 (361)949-0022
FIVE POINTS CAMPUS: 15314 N.W. Blvd. (FM 624), Robstown, TX 78380 (361) 387-5985
ALICE CAMPUS: 3310 E. Main St., Ste. C, Alice, TX 78332 (361) 668-8552
SAN MARCOS CAMPUS: 651 Moore St, San Marcos, TX (512) 353-3509