When: 7 tonight, 11 a.m. Sunday
Where: Iglesia Triunfantes de Jesucristo, 794 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Gainesville
More info: 770-503-4292
The sacred Christian calendar observes many spiritual holidays throughout the year, and Sunday, the day of Pentecost will be celebrated at some local churches with special services and sermons.
The holiday is traditionally observed in the Pentecostal denomination.
"Before Pentecost, there will be fasting," said the Rev. Manuel Maldonado, pastor at Iglesia Pentecostal Shekinah de Jehovah in Oakwood. "The Bible says when Jesus was taken up to heaven that for 10 days, they were in one accord, fasting, praying until the 10th day. That was the day of Pentecost, and that day there is a big feast."
The day of Pentecost is observed 50 days after Easter in the Christian faith. Acts 2:4 explains the events of the day in Jerusalem when "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the spirit enabled them."
It is the day that Christians believe the Holy Spirit was revealed to the church.
The Rev. Scotty Poole of Lula Assembly of Praise said the day of Pentecost has different meanings for the Jewish and Christian faiths.
"It’s a Jewish festival found in the Old Testament," he said. "It’s been called also the Feast of Weeks, I believe called Shavout ... it’s celebrated on the 50th day after Passover. It would be seven weeks from what we consider Easter and was a time of celebrating the harvest and a time to bless Israel.
"For Christianity, we find it in Acts the second chapter. It talks about the day of Pentecost and it is when the gift of the holy spirit was given."
The observance of the day of Pentecost is not only the day that the Holy Spirit was shown to the church, but also when the tradition of speaking in tongues is believed to have been revealed.
"There is a movement that we consider the Pentecostal movement. It’s the belief (of) the outpouring of the spirit and baptism of the holy spirit. Some see all that taking place at salvation, and some, like ourselves, see them as two separate events," Poole said.
In the spirit of Pentecost, Iglesia Pentecostal Shekinah de Jehovah will bring together other churches for two services for the observance. The first service will be tonight at Iglesia Triunfantes de Jesucristo on Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.
"Pentecost is not just for Pentecostals, and that’s one of the things that we want to do; we want to close our church and have one service for every church," Maldonado said. "We want everyone to get all together ... regardless of the denomination and regardless if it’s English or Spanish, because the pastor will preach both languages. It will be a bilingual service and all of us get together and celebrate.
"What I really want to project is the unity of the church. We expect open heavens that day."
The services at Iglesia Triunfantes de Jesucristo will include a special guest pastor, the Rev. Glen Harvey from New Jersey.
"We are expecting to have five or six Hispanic churches at the service," said the Rev. Ruth Rodriguez, pastor at Iglesia Triunfantes de Jesucristo. "We want to let people know in the community that we are here ... we are working to get families, remember the ways and to follow God."