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Live productions celebrate Easter holiday

Local churches planning special events throughout the week for members of the community

Posted: April 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Roger Halston portrays Jesus during a rehearsal of the Grace Baptist Passion play on Thursday. Halston is also the writer and director of the play, his first time filling all three roles. Roger Halston portrays Jesus during a rehearsal of the Grace Baptist Passion play on Thursday. Halston is also the writer and director of the play, his first time filling all three roles.
Roger Halston portrays Jesus during a rehearsal of the Grace Baptist Passion play on Thursday. Halston is also the writer and director of the play, his first time filling all three roles.

Rodger Halston has played the lead role of Jesus in the Grace Baptist Easter Passion production for eight years; but this is the first year he also wrote the script and will direct the entire play.

Taking on all three roles proved to be somewhat challenging for him, yet he kept one goal in mind, share the message of who Jesus Christ was with everyone.

“For people who don’t know I wanted to represent who Christ was so they would understand what he was about,” said Halston. “I also pulled pieces from the gospels and tried to e true to that.”

Using the accounts from Mathew, Mark, Luke and John; Halston put together a production he hopes accurately depicts the account of Christ’s life. Set through the eyes of the apostle John as the narrator and set to a live choir and orchestra.

The script was completely written from past years and a new approach to Christ’s life was taken. Changes were made from top to bottom.

The sprawling production uses lighting and special effects to help tell the story of Christ’s birth, crucifixion, and resurrection. The production also features a “big” ending, viewers will be awed by.

“My job is to love and lift up,” said Halston. “If I do that then I’m accomplishing what God really wants us to do. I’m just God’s humble servant.”

“Come & See: The Light of Resurrection” is open to the community and free of charge.

Showings include Thursday, April 17 and Friday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 19, at 5:30 p.m. A special unadvertised showing was recently added for Tuesday, April 15 at 7 p.m..

Visit for ticket information.

While the production at Grace Baptist may be one of the largest and longstanding in the valley, other churches also offer fantastic ways to celebrate the Easter holiday.

Five evangelical churches work together every year to put on “A Living Hope,” the Vasquez Rocks Easter sunrise celebration. Offered for more than 20 years, slowly growing from a smaller production to the large event it is today.

Acton Faith Bible Church, Crown Valley Community Church, Family Community Church, Living Springs Foursquare Church and Shepherd of the Hills work together to offer two live depictions of Christ’s life, crucifixion and resurrection.

Held Saturday, April 19, at 2 p.m. and Sunday morning April 20, at 5 a.m., more than 2,000 people attend the production perfectly set in nature. Seating is first come first serve, but attendees are welcome to bring their own chairs. Plan to wear sunscreen, the production is held outdoors.

For more information visit

Something for Everyone

Higher Vision Church is offering a complete lineup of services and events the entire week before Easter, beginning with a special Wednesday night Seder on April 16, at 7 p.m.

A Seder is traditionally meal held to commemorate Passover in the Jewish community. This seder keeps some of the Jewish tradition while adding a unique Christian focus.

“It is a dinner to remember the children of Israel coming out of Egypt,” said Pastor Jared Ming. “We use the imagery of the sacrificed lamb to tie into a Christian perspective and the role of Christ, how he was the lamb slain for the world.”

The seder will feature many Passover traditions, including tasting of the bitter herbs; but will also focus on Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of the Exodus story.

Higher Vision is also offering a Last Supper reenactment with a live cast. The illustrated message which focus’ on Michelangelo’s depiction of the Last Supper will be featured in both Spanish and English and followed by a free Mexican themed meal for all who attend, Thursday, April 17, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Good Friday offers churchgoers an opportunity to reflect on the crucifixion of Christ. While often a somber service, Higher Vision’s noon time event also features a celebration of Christ’s triumph over the cross and death.

“In the midst of remembering the crucifixion, ultimately what takes place through suffering ends up being great victory,” explains Ming. “It brought the ultimate spiritual victory.”

As for Easter, the church is hosting four celebratory worship services Saturday and Sunday. The service, “Alive,” features illustrated messages with props and multimedia presentations.

Children are welcomed to attend the carnival event held during the services. In a VBS format, a children’s message is featured. Children can they move on to the carnival portion of the event with rides, games, prizes and fun.

“This is a joyous season,” said Ming. ‘We are celebrating life. That is what Easter is about. Jesus came to bring life in this world and life to come.”

Easter services at Higher Vision are held Saturday, April 19 at 6 p.m., Sunday, April 20 at 8:30, 10, and 11:30 a.m. Visit for more information.


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