More than 1,100 people found salvation in Christ in—of all places—Sin City.
The Church at South Las Vegas, a 4,000-member mega church headed by Benny Perez, organized an Easter outreach at the Thomas & Mack Center, the city's largest indoor arena. The Thomas & Mack Center typically hosts sporting events, concerts and monster truck shows. The venue seats nearly 20,000. But on Easter Sunday it was a venue to display the love of God to the Las Vegas masses.
Perez not only planned perhaps the city's largest-ever Resurrection Day service, he also planned to give back to the Las Vegas by sponsoring a canned food drive at the event.
Dubbed "Easter at the Mack," the event certainly got the attention of the secular city. But instead of spiritual hindrances, Perez saw mostly support for his endeavor. Henderson City Councilwoman Gerri Schroder donated $5,000 of her campaign funds to support the event.
"We believe that Jesus gave His life to redeem mankind and He loves cities like Las Vegas," says Perez. "We thought we could demonstrate the love of Christ in a tangible way by providing food for residents who need a helping hand. The Church at South Las Vegas would become an extension of the hand of Jesus."
On Easter Sunday 60,000 pounds of food were donated in partnership with ThreeSquare, the city's largest food bank. In a city with the fifth-worst economy and a state with the nation's highest unemployment, the gesture was well-received.
Eight thousand people attended "Easter at the Mack." And hundreds walked up to the front of the arena to give their lives to Christ at the end of the service.
"When I saw whole families streaming out of their seats to make their way down to the front for the altar call, I was overwhelmed by this outpouring of God's grace," says Perez. "We know that many churches in Las Vegas and throughout our nation impacted thousands of lives during Easter. We think God not only impacted the people of our church by inspiring them to work tirelessly toward the goal of helping the less fortunate. We believe the Lord also forever altered the spiritual landscape of our city."
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