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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Gadsden program offers ‘one-time experience’comment (0)

April 6, 2006


On April 1 and 2, the music and drama ministries of Bellevue Baptist Church, Gadsden, in Etowah Baptist Association presented “The Living Lord Easter Pageant” for the 21st year.

Though the pageant has been performed for more than two decades, each year is different, noted Rick Willis, Bellevue Baptist’s associate pastor and minister of music and education. “Every pageant is sort of a one-time experience,” he said. Some scenes or songs change each year, and the blend of people involved differs as individuals move into and out of the community.

Each year is a snapshot “never to be repeated again” with the same people in the same manner. This year, new songs performed included “This Baby Boy,” “Light of the Stable” and “When He Comes Again.”

Approximately 125 individuals participated in the choir, cast, crew, child care and other aspects of this ministry, said Willis, who has been involved in each of the 21 productions.

He said there are about four others who have been part of the pageant all 21 years.

The two-hour performance was presented in two acts and 14 scenes. Willis said it depicted the life of Jesus Christ, the Savior — from His birth through His ministry, crucifixion, resurrection and expected return to earth. “The goal and purpose of the pageant is to share the message of salvation to all who attend and that each person will leave renewed and definitely changed in their relationship to Jesus Christ, the living Lord,” Willis said.

Being part of the pageant for the first time this year was particularly meaningful for Duane Warsham, who portrayed Jesus.

Warsham, a software engineer, said he prayed about the request for him to play Jesus and had peace about it. He said it has been “a humbling experience” to portray what Jesus endured and how He loves all people so much that He lay down His life for them.

It is “a great reminder of the sacrifices He did do for us,” Warsham said.

EDITOR’S NOTE — A version of this story was written by Leigh Pritchett and originally appeared in the Gadsden Times.

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