From the manger to the cross

Published 11:59 pm Friday, April 10, 2009

The life span of Jesus Christ and His story as told in the Bible serves as inspiration for Roger McClain’s “From the Manger to the Cross,” a live musical drama being presented this weekend at Opp’s Westview Baptist Church.

The production is McClain’s brainchild, and while he may have “put it all together,” it will take a cast of 250 church members to give life to the passages in the Bible that tell the story of Jesus’ life – from his birth in the manger to his resurrection.

McClain, who serves not only as Westview’s minister of music but also as principal at Fleeta Jr. High School, first made local history when he and the church decided to put on a live nativity scene at Christmas – complete with Mary, Jacob, baby Jesus, and even Henry the camel, with a few other live animals thrown in.

“Since then, I’ve wanted to do something at Easter, something that told about the life and times of Jesus beginning with his birth and ending with his resurrection,” McClain said. “This production does just that. A narrator will talk viewers through the different times in Jesus’s life as church members make a continuous procession through the grounds.

“When you see the side grounds of Westview Baptist Church, you can tell something amazing is going to be happening here,” he said. “This production is exciting. It’s emotional and is something you won’t soon forget.”

Parental discretion is advised when viewing the crucifixion scene.

“That scene is pretty graphic, but very dramatic,” he said. “The whole event will be filled with music, live action and the wonderful story of Jesus’s life and death for us.”

Cast participants described the show as an “outstanding performance of the greatest story ever told” and one that shouldn’t be missed.

The free production will be held tonight and Sunday night at 7 p.m. Seating, which is available for 1,000 people, will begin at 6 p.m. Parking is available at the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College McArthur campus and a shuttle service will be provided.