Sun shines on early morning Easter service atop "A" Mountain
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - As the sun slowly rose over Tucson this Easter morning and the moon faded away, the cross stood tall above Southern Arizona.
"It happened thousands of years ago but it still touches us today," said Lupe Rodriguez, Pastor at Agape Christian Church. "We can still feel the power of that resurrection day."
The scenery atop "A" Mountain serves as a powerful backdrop as people of all faiths praised God.
"We're doing this for Him, we're doing this for the community, and most importantly we're doing it for the man upstairs," said Los Dorados spokesperson Antonio Pinarosantibanez.
Despite the picturesque backdrop, the sun still hasn't set on a 2-year controversy with the Catholic Church.
"My vision was to get all followers of Jesus Christ and get them together to worship together," David Herrera said.
Ninety-three-year-old David Herrera and his group Los Dorados started this early morning tradition 43 years ago. But the Catholic Church would not compromise with Los Dorados. Organizers tell 9OYS the church wanted communion only for Catholics. That's not what this service was meant to be about says Herrera.
"We try to treat everybody the same," said Pinarosantibanez. "That's why I think it's so great what we do over here."
For the second year in a row, a pastor, not a Catholic priest led the early morning service and communion was handed out to everyone. The disconnect with the Church took a toll on attendance last year, but this year the crowds bounced back.
"The crowds were awesome," said Rodriguez. "It just goes to show you our faith in what we believe, our faith in Jesus Christ, can not be taken away no matter what man or religion says. We can come together."
Through music, prayer and an intense belief in God, the faithful tell 9OYS they pray the sun will continue to rise above this cross, for this service for years to come. Organizers say upwards of 400 people came up "A" Mountain for this year's sunrise service.