NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - In Nacogdoches, the five week days before Easter brings the return of the Community Holy Week Noon Services.
Different Nacogdoches ministerial alliances began the tradition decades ago. More recently, there has been a push by pastors to work together toward a perpetual message.
People of all denominations worship at the Holy Week Noon Day Services. Each day, a pastor's take turns delivering a reflective non-denominational sermonette.
"This week we have an opportunity to live into our faith by living out from our faith," said the Rev. Michael Caldwell, the pastor of Christ Episcopal Church.
"We've got churches of all sorts," said the Rev. Kyle Childress, the pastor of Austin Heights Baptist Church. "Roman Catholic, Pentecostal and everything in between."
It's happened close to 60 years. Unfortunately, the unity is difficult to maintain all year long.
"There's been separate ministerial alliances, predominantly between white and black," Childress said. "We're living in a world where there is immense division, so any way we can come together and pray for each other and encourage each other is very good."
Earlier this year, several ministerial alliances agreed on a goal of renewed unity. They reached it over a meal, similar to the one worshipers share after each Holy Week Service.
"There are problems here that have to do with economics and race, and we did talk about what are ways we can look at working on those," said Dr. Jeff McDonald, the pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Nacogdoches.
The thought is if pastors from different backgrounds are communicating, the community will as well.
"Because to me the whole thing is not about denomination lines or congregation, it's about the community and bringing the community together," said Lorraine Brown, an associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Nacogdoches.
Community Holy Week Noon Services continue through Good Friday at First United Methodist Church in Nacogdoches. After each service, a meal will be provided in exchange for a donation to a local charity.