Annual Christian Unity
Banquet in Huntsville Alabama
by Robert Somerville & Paul
together is the universal gesture of love and acceptance in every
culture. The Kingdom of God is no exception, because through the
blood of Christ we are all one. Sitting together at the table of
the Lord demonstrates this common-union and oneness. Jesus chose
the Hebrew "seder" meal at His last supper to eat with
His disciples, and the greater church of Huntsville Alabama has
been coming together on a large scale to celebrate this meal for
over 20 years! Every year since 2002, an average of 1,400 people
have gathered in the local civic center (Von Bron Center) to honor
the Lord's Passover.
Dr. Marvin Wilson, who was a contributing editor to
the NIV version of scripture and a leader in Christian-Jewish relations,
said, the Christian Passover Seder conducted by Awareness
Ministries in Huntsville Alabama is to my knowledge the largest,
trans-denominational event of it's kind. Paul Wilbur of Hosanna
Integrity Music who has made the Seder presentation all over the
world said, This is the largest ecumenical audience before
whom I have presented the Christ in the Passover demonstration.
As the body of Christ begins to unite under the headship of the
Lord Jesus and worship Him according to His order and ways, we believe
Passover will become a more common
Christian celebration bringing unity to the Lord's body in other
cities as well.
Christ our Passover events have been attracting a large number of
local ministries, as every major denomination in the area has been
supporting this event and participating each year. This broad participation
among Christians has always been the goal for these events. Robert
Somerville says, "if you cannot bring true Christian unity
on a local basis, then it is only a facade of the real unity that
Christ died to bring." It was at our Lord's Passover supper
when he washed His disciples feet that Jesus made this profound
statement: By this shall
all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to
another (John 13:35).
True discipleship is demonstrated by our love being expressed
in practical ways. Pictured on the right is pastor Paul Lawler from
Chase Valley United Methodist Church washing the feet of pastor
Oscar Montgomery from Union Hill Primitive Baptist Church at the
2002 Christ Our Passover. They, along
with other leaders, washed each others feet as a symbol of the humility
of Christ which he performed towards His disciples during His last
Many different demonstrations of unity such as foot
washing have been performed at these events, but the main example
is the communion meal itself with Jesus' body and blood being represented
in the bread and the wine. Since Christ died on Passover, this day
has special communion significance. This communion always emphasizes
our Covenant Relationships, and UNITY through the Blood of the Lamb.
and deliverance are also key themes every year
at the Christ Our Passover. Christ died to deliver us and
to make us one family! When Israel left Egypt, it did not matter
what tribe (church) they belonged to, it only mattered that the
blood of the lamb was applied to their doorposts. This Christ
our Passover banquet is a traditional menu (not a seder meal),
but it always lifts up the blood of Christ which makes us one!
For several years the Christ our Passover event
has been well covered by the local media in television, newspaper
and radio. In 2003 Amy George with channel 19 news conducted interviews
with both Paul Wilbur and Robert Somerville, and the Huntsville
Times ran a full page section of the local Passover events which
included a full color picture of the three shofar horn blowers.
"Let the Walls Fall Down!" is a theme that the shofar
blowers have always portrayed similar to the walls of Jericho falling
in Bible times. Click here to see an
ad which was in the local Huntsville Times paper about the Walls
of Division Falling Down!
Passover THEME: Demonstrating
Let there be no strife...
For we are brethren -- Abraham
2005, the Christ our Passover gathering has been taking up
a free-will offering to give towards areas in the city of Huntsville
that are in need. God instructed His people to be a blessing to
the city wherever they sojourned (Jer. 29:7-8). Huntsville Mayor
Loretta Spencer was contacted several years regarding the greatest
needs in our community. In 2005 the evening's ~$11,000 offering
was dedicated to the Huntsville Police Department for the purchase
of safety equipment - additional bullet proof vests for those officers
who are willing to lay down their lives for us every day in the
course of their duty.
In 2006, the bless the city offering went towards
the city Library. In 2007 they blessed the Downtown Rescue Mission
which helps to house and feed the homeless in our city. In 2008,
the Christ our Passover offering blessed the local Jewish
community, and in 2009 they gave to the Green Team to purchase a
greenhouse for many of the city clean-up projects that they support.
This year, in 2010, the bless the city offering will be donated
towards the local Fire Department. The average offering for each
of these events is ~$15,000. In all of these endeavors, the main
goal is to bless and honor those who serve in our city to make it
a great and safe place to live. The money gift is just a token from
the Christian community of our support and appreciation for those
God has blessed us with in our city.
At each Christ our Passover, the Seder meal is explained
and communion with the attendees is served. We are all "one
loaf of bread" as a community of believers regardless of race,
denomination, age or gender. Whether you are white bread, brown
bread or beagle bread, you are welcome to join in the citywide Christ
our Passover to honor Jesus as our Passover Lamb! "For
we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all
partakers of that one bread." (1 Cor. 10:17)
The pictures on this page were taken at Christ
our Passover events by Bob Dafney who is a freelance photographer
for the Huntsville
Times. Click here to see an article the Huntsville Times ran about
the 2008 Christ our Passover.
Christ our Passover is sacrificed
for us; therefore let us keep the feast.
1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Related articles about having citywide unity celebrations:
The Door to Christian Unity and
Three Times a Year in One
Accord and As One Man