For the past four years, several thousand worshippers have used the evening to gather at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta to contemplate Christ’s crucifixion with worship leaders from Passion City Church.
This year is no different — and neither is the fact that the assembly is sold out, as it has been every year since 2009.
“It’s bigger than Passion City Church. It’s a gathering for anyone in the city to come,” said Jennifer Hill, culture curator for the Atlanta church near the Lindbergh MARTA station.
As in years past, Atlanta-based Christian singer Chris Tomlin, who helped launch Passion City in 2009 with the Rev. Louie Giglio, will perform, as well as Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill and David Crowder.
The musicians will play together throughout the casual, 2 ½-hour event and lead together, Hill said, while Giglio will teach.
Every year at the ticketed gathering — proceeds offset the cost of producing the event — an offering is taken for a specific cause. This year’s will benefit the church’s partner groups that work to end human trafficking and slavery.
While Passion City claims 4,500-5,000 regular worshippers, the Good Friday assembly draws worshippers from numerous congregations both inside and out of the metro Atlanta area.
“Other churches might not have a Good Friday service or an opportunity for people to come together like this,” Hill said. “This (event) is part of the fabric of our church.”
For those who might be attending for the first time, the meaning of the gathering will be a simple one.
“The night is all about Jesus and the hope that we have because of the sacrifice that he made on the cross,” Hill said. “He brings hope. That is our message for this night.”