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Ministerial Association holds community Palm Sunday service

For The Madera Tribune

Austin Rogers and the praise team from The Well/Fourth Street Church provided praise music during Madera Ministerial Association’s special community service on Palm Sunday.


This past Sunday was Palm Sunday 2022, and Madera United Methodist Church, at 500 Sunset Avenue in Madera, hosted Madera Ministerial Association’s Palm Sunday Community Worship Service. The service was held at six in the evening, and congregations from at least seven churches joined together in this absolutely awesome commemoration of Jesus Christ’s journey to the cross at Calvary nearly 2,000 years ago.

The beautiful sanctuary was decorated with large and small palm leaves. It truly set the pace for what was yet to come, in one of the most spiritually filled Palm Sunday services most people had ever attended. There were 152 people attending.

Madera Ministerial Association is a local non-profit organization for which the goal is to promote unity among local Christian churches. Pastors and ministers of local congregations participate in this organization to work together in unifying our community through our faith.

The service began with a warm welcome from the host pastor, Jim Garrison, who asked for pastors attending to introduce themselves. In attendance were Pastor Mike Farmer of the Fourth Street Church of God, Pastor Derrick Purl of First Christian Church of Madera, Pastor Mike Souza of Harvest Community Church, Pastor Sammie Neely of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Lance Leach and Charles Rigby of Valley West Christian Church.

Mike Farmer of Fourth Street Church, who is also the president of Madera Ministerial Association, offered the opening prayer. From then, the service was filled with worship and praise. Austin Rogers and the praise team from The Well/Fourth Street Church provided praise music, in which the entire congregation of community churches joined in singing, praising God throughout the worship service.

Scriptures and reflections were offered by various pastors, Pastor Mike Souza of Harvest, Pastor Sammie Neely of Mt. Zion, and Pastor Derrick Purl of First Christian Church. All pastors were engaging and inspirational. The service ended with the congregation singing “He Lives,” and a benediction by the host pastor, Jim Garrison of Madera United Methodist Church. Afterward, was a reception in the social hall, where most attendees enjoyed refreshments contributed by the United Methodist congregation.

Pastor Derrick Purl of First Christian Church, who is also secretary of Madera Ministerial Association, said, “This has never been done before in Madera. We came together as one, celebrating Palm Sunday.” Jim Garrison stated, “I think it is very important that our churches are unified, and this story is what makes us unified. It’s the story of Jesus. We may have differences about how we do certain things, but the important thing is what unifies us, and that is Jesus.”

This is Holy Week, the week before we celebrate Resurrection Day, also called Easter Sunday. During the community Palm Sunday service, the pastors of the various churches shared what events they will have for this blessed week. First Christian Church will have every night of prayer from 5-6.

Maundy Thursday services will be held at Harvest Community, Fourth Street Church, and Madera United Methodist.

Good Friday services will be at Harvest Community, First Christian Church, and Madera United Methodist. Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church will have a service at 9:30, which will be about the seven last words of Christ.

Easter Sunrise services will be held on Sunday at the United Methodist Church at 6:15, and at Mt. Zion Church at 6:30.

All are encouraged to celebrate Holy Week and Easter Sunday, as we worship our living Lord, who lived and died for us. This is the most blessed time of the year.

For times and more information on services available during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday, you may contact the churches themselves, The Madera Tribune, or Madera Ministerial Association.



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