As Holy Week nears an end, many believers are looking forward to the holiest day on the Christian calendar this Easter Sunday. More than 70 percent of Americans identify as Christian, but less than a third practice regularly.
However, Alfred Street Baptist Church, a 214-year-old church in Alexandria, Virginia, is defying those odds, as the size of its congregation has nearly tripled since 2008.
At 6 o’clock on a Saturday night, the church is packed. It is one of four services that the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley officiates every weekend. He said attendance is strong because his 214-year-old church understands its calling.
“We are called to be traditional Baptists, with a high liturgy, where those who want to come and receive an intellectual and spirited worship service can do so in a timely manner,” Wesley said.
In eight years, Wesley said the congregation has grown from around 2,500 to now over 7,000.