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7/24/97 Baptists take lead role in launching outdoor drama

FORT MILL, S.C. (BP)–When “Two Thieves and a Savior” debuted this summer, two Southern Baptists had leading roles in producing and directing the new outdoor Christian drama in South Carolina.
Rebecca Martin and Yvonne Clark, members of Hickory Grove Baptist Church, Charlotte, S.C., leased the amphitheater that formerly was part of Jim and Tammy Bakker’s Heritage USA complex at Fort Mill, S.C. The theater had stood empty for nearly a decade.
With a lot of volunteer labor and $250,000 in loans, the theater — which has been renamed King’s Arena — was cleared of debris, stage sets were designed, lighting and sound equipment was installed, costumes were sewn and a tri-state cast of 135 actors and musicians was selected, about 60 of whom are featured nightly.
Martin wrote the drama portraying a story of two thieves meeting Christ before the three are crucified.
The multi-faith cast unites members of Southern Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Christian Church, Church of God, Assembly of God, Episcopal and other churches, she notes.
Almost a third of the cast are from Hickory Grove church, where Martin’s brother-in-law, Joe Brown, is pastor.
A dozen performers are from First Baptist Church, Pikeville, Ky., where Martin served as minister of youth and education for 10 years, and Clark was music and youth director. Both Martin and Clark are graduates of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky.
About 15 actors are from Fort Mill’s Pleasant Valley, Tega Cay and First Baptist churches, including a centurion, disciples, soloists, soldiers and Nativity Mary.
Martin and Clark anticipate offering a different drama each year. “Two Thieves and a Savior” runs Thursday through Saturday, through Oct. 25. A Spanish version is planned for Oct. 3.
At each production an invitation is extended. About 30 individuals already have indicated making a “significant change in their lives” and about a dozen have accepted the Lord, Martin reports.
For ticket information, write NarroWay Productions Inc., 9700 Regent Park, Box 106, Fort Mill, S.C. 29715, or call (803) 802-2300.

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  • Todd Deaton