Churches come together for Stations Through the Square

Jake Old • Apr 14, 2017 at 7:45 PM

Local churches came together to make up the annual Stations Through the Square event in downtown Lebanon on Friday, with each church serving as a different point represented in Jesus Christ’s journey to crucifixion. 

People were invited to walk the journey, which was about two miles total in length, to learn more about the journey on Good Friday. Stations were set up in about quarter-mile increments, including spots at each corner of the square and in front of several local businesses and organizations. 

The walk started at First United Methodist Church and formed a cross around the downtown Lebanon square. 

“A couple of things to take away from this are — first and foremost — you have all different churches coming together to do the same thing and work together, and then you have an outward display so the community sees it,” said Chad Karl, who organized the event. 

“Even with a lot of people walking it, there are also a lot of cars driving by, people see it and wave.” 

This year marks the fourth year the event has been held, and Karl said he hopes it can keep growing each year and eventually become a Lebanon tradition. 

“We would love to see it be one of those traditions every year, with families coming back out to make the walk,” Karl said. “Some people walk it alone, a lot of families walk it and take turns reading scripture at each of the different stations.” 

The weather was cooperative Friday, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s and 80s. Previous years featured heavy wind and overcast conditions, which Karl said likely caused a few people to decide not to make the walk. 

Karl said he had seen a pretty good turnout throughout the day, as people could start and finish the walk at any point from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

This year marked the first year for a few churches, including Hope’s Way and West Haven Baptist. Visitors participating in the walk included locals from Wilson County, as well as people in surrounding areas. 

“We saw people from Hermitage and Antioch who had heard about it and just wanted to come and see what it was all about,” Karl said. 

Although the stations had a sequential order, each participant could go to each station at their leisure, spending as much time at each as they chose. 

Volunteers from churches would greet the walkers and share information. Some stations also provided respite from the sun, with shade or a cool drink. 

Each station had a unique tie between Lebanon in the present and Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion. Among the stations presented included: 

• Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane at First United Methodist Church garden.

• Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested at First Presbyterian Church.

• Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin near Cox Gifts.

• Jesus denied by Peter near the Capitol Theatre.

• Jesus is judged by Pilate at the southwest corner of the square.

• Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns at the corner of South Cumberland and Gay streets.

• Jesus takes up His cross at the southeast corner of the square.

• Jesus is helped by Simon to carry His cross at First Baptist Church. 

• Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem at the northeast corner of the square.

• Jesus is crucified at the intersection of North Cumberland and Sycamore streets. 

• Jesus promises His kingdom to the repentant thief at the Wilson County Jail. 

• Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other at Liberty State Bank. 

• Jesus dies on the cross at the northwest corner of the square. 

• Jesus is laid in the tomb at Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home.

Karl said the plan is to continue to improve the event each year, and hopefully attract new visitors to walk the path in the process. 

“I talked to someone hosting a station who said ‘please keep doing it, even if nobody shows up, it’s still a lot of fun,’” Karl said. “Each year we’ll tweak it, and hopefully it eventually becomes tradition.”

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