The Christian faith and comedy will meet at Mintz Baptist Church in the upcoming weekends. The church’s dinner theater is going into its 14th season, and tickets are still available for this annual event.
Each year the church puts on a performance designed to draw in a crowd and raise some money to help the church and the school, Mintz Christian Academy.
“The money goes towards the Mintz Christian Academy, youth missions projects, the building fund, and our evangelistic outreach,” said Dale Johnson in a telephone interview Thursday.
Johnson is a co-director of this year’s performance called “Hallelujah! There’s a man under my bed.”
“This performance is very popular,” attested Johnson, noting that he is helping with the performance as an understudy and working behind the scenes.
“We have no problem every year,” he said, explaining that the performances have just kept growing from the first night over a decade ago.
This year’s performance is a play that they did a few years back, one he said that it is back by popular demand.
“It starts out with a lot of hilarity,” he explained about the production, which involves many members of the western Sampson County church. “We revised it, making it fit our own needs, as an outreach.”
“It’s the Gospel though comedy with a serious ending,” he said vaguely, not wanting to give away the ending.
“It’s a chance to enjoy music and drama,” Johnson added. “We will have a total of eight performances, with four weekends.” Performances are on Friday and Saturday nights.
“We enjoy putting the Word in a different venue,” he stressed, detailing that this is a way for them to reach out to the community.
“This is a different setup,” Johnson said. He said that it’s a way for them to catch folks that may not go to church on Sunday morning and receive a Sunday message. Often times there are folks that would come just to see a particular performer.
“A large part of the audience may not have a church family or go to a church,” he said.
The $20 tickets are on sale now and include a multi-course meal.
“The money generated will help promote the Gospel,” he stressed. “We have 10 members in our cast including extras.” He said in other years the cast has been made up of as many as 17 individuals. Each year they have done a different play.
“This one is back by demand with revisions and the first time we did it, it was only one weekend,” he said. “Each play has a different flair, but they are all comedy.”
Some of the other plays have been country cousins versus city cousins, mystery, and even a western theme.
“They will get a full course meal between scenes,” he said about what the ticket-holder will get. The meal will include an appetizer, salad, main course and desert.
“The food is very good, and we will have a wait staff,” he said.
Reservations are required and the nursery is available at each performance. Dates are Friday and Saturdays at 7 p.m. on: July 25-26, Aug. 1-2, Aug. 8-9. To get tickets to one of these remaining performances call Pam Matthews at 564-2079 or Maxine Jackson at 564-4767.
Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-644-0447. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd