Maryville College holds 101st Easter Sunrise Service

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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Maryville College annual Easter Sunrise Service has been held each year since 1918.

This year, Campus Minister the Rev. Dr. Anne McKee delivered the sermon, she said the sunrise service is one of her favorite events of the year.

"I love the cross being here, I love the way we sing and gather together." Said McKee. "It's the crowd and remembering the story and thinking about that together that is the key."

While many people have been going to the 6:30 a.m. service for years, Students at Marville college are learning to make it their own.

"This is my third year.", said Maryville College Junior Zach Plants. "I'm from Georgia so especially this time of year when it's getting close to finals it's hard to get home, so coming each year has been really nice because I've kind of been able to make my own traditions."

Nashville resident John Erickson took in the ceremony for the first time. He said he was in the area visiting family for the Easter holiday, and only learned about it after looking up sunrise services in the area online.

"It's sunrise and all of a sudden, there it is and as we went along in the service the sky was brighter and brighter." Said Erickson. "It was very inspiring and comforting, it was just wonderful."

Students and Staff at Maryville College said that no matter what a persons background is, they welcome all to join each year for the special ceremony.

"We kind of say that we like to meet you where you are." , said Plants, "So they welcome you with open arms."