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First Church of God Honors Easter Story

By MINDY MCKENZIE
Daily Globe Staff Reporter

SHELBY - The First Church of God is recognizing Holy Week by presenting the classic Easter pageant entitled, "Were You There?".

This Easter drama guides the audience through events of Jesus' life beginning on Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Tabby Alfrey is the director of the pageant.

Alfrey explained the pageant used to be performed annually and then it was switched to being presented biannually. "We went through some pastoral changes and at that point it stopped being biannual. Now we do it if we feel called upon to do the pageant," said Alfrey. This is Alfrey's second year directing the pageant. However, she has been a part of the pageant every year a production has taken place since 2001.

"This pageant has been going on for a very long time. In the beginning it started out small and since then it has just continued to build," said Alfrey.

Alfrey said her husband, Bob Alfrey, plays the role of Jesus. "We have cast people to perform monologues of a personal perspective of certain events," said Tabby. George Johnson, pastor of the First Church of God, will also take part in the pageant and play Peter.

Rehearsals began on March 9 for the pageant. "We had six rehearsals leading up to the first performance and the stage took us six days to set up. Our first performances were on Sunday, April 13. The first show went very well. We have another show on Friday, April 18 and that is my favorite showing. I just feel by then everyone's nerves have calmed down and there is just something about doing it on Good Friday. It is just more meaningful," said Alfrey.

Alfrey explained what she hopes audience members will take away from the performance. "The monologues hopefully give people a perspective of what it would have been like to truly have been there. It hopefully makes people think about what they would have done or who they would have reacted like. We just want people to really think about they would have done if they would have been there in those times," said Alfrey.

"People who are Christians know the story, but maybe they have never thought about it from that view. For people who are not Christian, hopefully this will make them want to seek out a little bit more about who Jesus was," said Alfrey.

"Were You There?" is scheduled to be presented for the final performance on Friday, April 18 at 7 p.m. The performance is free and tickets are not needed to attend.

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