Written by Beth Exley | Photos by David Schmude

The first Easter Sunrise service in Cook Forest was held in 1950 at the Circle Campground in Cook Forest State Park. At that first service, Dr. Dale Houk, president of Slippery Rock State Teachers College said, “The forest was God’s first great cathedral, the ‘organ’ is all but destroyed, but here we may stand beneath God’s own green pines, the pipes of heaven’s great organ, and listen with reverence as the winds play to stir and uplift the soul of man.” The event was originally organized by Verne Leigh, the Tri-County Men’s Club, and the Leeper Women’s Club. It is an interdenominational Easter service with all invited to attend.

Fast forward 69 years. With the many years of restoration and preservation to the Cook Forest State Park acres, God’s great cathedral is alive in the forest. Cook Forest has some of the tallest trees in north-eastern U.S. in the Forest Cathedral and some of the most beautiful sites as well. Some call it “God’s country”, we call it home. This year will celebrate the 69th Easter Sunrise Service in Cook Forest. The service will be on Easter, April 21, 2019 at the Ridge Campground. Musical interlude will begin at 6:30am and the service will start at 7am. Please come and give thanks for all He has given us. For more information, go to facebook.com/cookforesteastersunrise/. For more events in the great outdoors, go to VisitPAGO.com/events/

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