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Bringing Easter to the community: one church's new approach to an annual event

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Saint Luke AME Zion Church took their egg hunt up a notch.

They invited New Hanover County sheriff's office and other local resources to the event in an effort to strengthen the community.

After about ten years of the traditional Easter Outing new senior pastor Jermaine Armour decided to do their annual Spring event a little differently.

"We challenged ourselves instead of taking it a little further out, let's have it right around the corner. In the city our church is in. In the community where we minister." Armour said, "This kinda lets everybody know that hey, it's not all bad that's going on."

Folks came out for lot's of food, music, and of course the Easter egg hunt.

Armour said this year he wanted to offer all the annual fun but also bring out resources for the community, building a bridge between them and local law enforcement.

"Some kids grow up and they're very scared of police officers, but we wanna soften that appearance and soften what they think so we have them here with the community and they're up and close and persona," Armour said. "It makes the law enforcement not look so scary to children and that creates a better atmosphere for the community."

Sheriff's office explorer Chris McIntosh agrees.
"A lot of people don't like law enforcement but you know, we're human just like everyone else," McIntosh said. "So it's a great way for us to give back to the community and help us serve them."

The sheriff's office says this shows a friendlier side of law enforcement. They're hanging out in the community, handing out frisbees, pens and "junior deputy" badges.

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