As the first rosy rays of dawn broke over Jennings Beach early Sunday, a crowd gathered at the water's edge to celebrate the start of Easter.

The Easter Sunrise Service, organized annually by First Church Congregational and led by the Revs. David Spollett and Jennifer Campbell, the historic church's pastor and associate pastor, the service began moments before sun up with cries of "Christ is risen!"

As the sky gradually grew brighter and the sun began to peek over the horizon, the clergymen recited a poem by E.E. Cummings, offered a welcome to visitors and guided the worshippers in prayers and song.

The service concluded with good wishes among those gathered for the celebration, as well as coffee and other refreshments to fortify the celebrants.