A new church in Washington County is holding its first Easter Eve service on Saturday, followed by a children’s egg hunt. Harvest Church is based in and was founded in January 2012.
Every Saturday, a group of families meet in a local home. Come summer, the plan is to add a Sunday service, said member Jay Belcher.
“We saw a need in the community for a church that did things a little different,” said Peters resident Jay Belcher. “We’ve been meeting at a home, but once we get a little bigger we’ll need to rent space somewhere.”
In early March, Belcher said the church had approximately 25 members. He said what it offers is a contemporary service.
“We’re outreach-oriented,” he said. “We’re not trying to steal people from other churches. It’s for people who've maybe had a bad experience at church or have never been to church. We’ve felt this calling for a number of years to do something more. We need this in the community."
The group meets at 6 p.m. on Saturdays for an hour. The service is lead by former Peters Township resident Pastor Jay Higham.
“(The service) is super relaxed,” Higham said. “It’s not stuffy. We wear jeans and T-shirts. It’s comfortable, contemporary, relaxed. We meet in a living room; the atmosphere is friendly and warm.”
For six years, Higham served as the youth pastor at . In 2007, he accepted a call to serve as the director of Youth and Family Ministries at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Somerset, PA. He and his family are planning to relocate to Washington County this summer.
“We want it to be a church that is not the typical church,” Higham said. “For people who attend church, who are frustrated with being part of a large church or politics. We’re stepping away from all of that. We’re here for people who want more, and are looking for more and aren’t finding it.”
Higham said he had a "burning desire to do something different" and to be a part of something “out of the box.”
He stressed that some may view it as “weird,” with services being held in a host’s living room.
“All churches started somewhere,” he said. “This is simple people doing a really neat thing. Sometimes people can get lost in the masses. We’re just here. Be a part of our family. We welcome you.”
If you’re interested in attending Harvest Church’s Easter Eve service, it’s from 6-7 p.m. on Saturday at 201 Thompsonville Road in McMurray. Following the service is a children’s egg hunt from 7:15-8 p.m.
Snacks, desserts and coffee will be offered.