Idaho Press-Tribune

 
default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard

Lizard Butte Sunrise service turns 75

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, April 7, 2012 12:00 am

LIZARD BUTTE — As the sun rises this Easter Sunday, crowds of the faithful will begin their day atop Lizard Butte just outside Marsing for a special service that is now in its 75th year.

The Lizard Butte Sunrise Service began April 17, 1938, with 1,000 people in attendance and remains a popular tradition for local residents. Marsing residents Ray and Marion Stafford began organizing the first service in 1937 after attending a similar one out of state. They brought together a small group of people from the surrounding communities and formed the Lizard Butte Sunrise Association that oversees and plans the event each year. The association eventually purchased the 40-acre butte in 1942.

A wooden cross was built for the first service, but vandals burned the cross two years later. The association replaced the wooden cross with a concrete one that still stands on the butte today.

This year’s service will be led by Dr. James Brandon, president of the Idaho Baptist College and pastor of Anchor Baptist Church in Kuna. Thad Roduner, music director for Anchor Baptist Church, along with his wife Jaime will be providing special music for the service.

Pastor Bill O’Connor of the Marsing Church of the Nazarene is a long-time attendee and service organizer. He said the service has been so popular in part because there are so few like it in the area, especially this large. The service draws crowds of 800 to 1,700 people each year, depending on the weather.

“We have people who come from Ontario and Boise and people who have visiting relatives from out of state who come for the service,” he said.

The service has only been rained out twice in 75 years, and O’Connor recalled one rainy morning service where the butte almost became too slippery to walk up, but the crowd still numbered in the hundreds. With beautiful weather in the forecast for this Easter, he anticipates a very large crowd to attend.

The service itself stays mostly the same year after year with the exception of the speaker who is nominated and chosen by the association. The service usually lasts between 30 and 45 minutes, and O’Connor said they encourage speakers to keep the service shorter on cold mornings. It begins with a flag ceremony and a bugle call led by members of the Boy Scouts, followed by singing of hymns and scripture music, the speaker and a benediction.

This year’s service will begin at 7 a.m.

© 2015 Idaho Press-Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Check out these other popular articles

  Crusaders hope for first-round bye
Twelve days ago, Northwest Nazarene senior center Kevin Rima pointed at the schedule. A regular season road game at Montana State-Billings? What a chance to make a statement to the rest of the league for the upcoming GNAC Tournament.
  Yotes host EOU in semifinals
Altering strategies is a necessity for Scott Garson at playoff time. The familiarity of Cascade Conference opponents causes the need for new wrinkles as he develops game plans for his top-seeded Yotes, who strive to repeat as tournament champions.
IdahoPress.com invites you to take part in the community conversation. But those who don't play nice may be uninvited. Don't post comments that are off topic, defamatory, libelous, obscene, racist, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. We may remove any comment for any reason or no reason. We encourage you to report abuse, but the decision to delete is ours. Commenters have no expectation of privacy and may be held accountable for their comments.
Comments are opinions of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Idaho Press-Tribune. Please view our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for further details...

Welcome to the discussion.

loading...
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT