Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

July 6, 2014

Judgement House ready for another run

'One Last Text' begins Wednesday at Unity

ASHLAND — Unity Baptist Church has been putting on Judgement House for most of the past 15 years.

Even though the church in South Ashland is still without a pastor after Dr. Floyd Paris resigned in September, the work goes on and so does the Judgement House ministry.

Starting Wednesday night, the free, walk-through drama that has been an effective soul-winning tool will be put on again.

“We decided, as a church, back in February that we were going to do Judgement House,” said Mark Maynard, chairman of deacons at Unity. “It’s a commitment and a big undertaking, especially without a pastor, but we felt like it was something we needed to continue.”

As much as the program has been an outreach for the community, it has been an in-reach for the church, Maynard said.

It takes between 125 to 175 members to effectively put on Judgement House, he said.

“What we’ve found is you work with people who may have sat on the other side of the church and you really never got to know them before,” Maynard said. “You work with somebody in Judgement House and you know them by the time the two weeks is over. It has created some special bonds.”

Judgement House tells the story of people who have the opportunity to give their lives to Christ. Some do, some don’t and the consequences of that choice and how dangerous that can be is played out in dramatic fashion.

Visitors are taken to eight different scenes throughout the church, including heaven and hell.

The past several years the script was written by Paris, but this year Maynard, the editor of The Independent, took a crack at writing it.

“It was a different kind of writing than I’m used to doing,” he said. “Hollywood probably won’t be calling me.”

The script is titled “One Last Text” and it deals with a family man/businessman who doesn’t know when to put the phone down — even when he’s driving the family on vacation.

“We’ve always tried to play on real-life issues and this is definitely one for people to think about,” Maynard said. “Texting and driving has become one of the most dangerous things we do.”

In Judgement House it is always about consequences and final destinations in eternity.

The message is universal and often other churches help the congregation put on the production that requires countless hours of set-building and rehearsing.

Typically, Judgement House attracts around 1,500 visitors over two weeks, including many youth groups.

“We’re always amazed at how many people haven’t been, even though we’ve had easily more than 20,000 come over the years,” Maynard said.

Judgement House will run from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday this week and next.

Groups of 10 or more are asked to make reservations, which are also taken for individuals and smaller groups.

Reservations can be made by calling (606) 324-7157. Walk-ins are also encouraged, and spots are reserved on each tour for them.

The church is at 2320 29th St.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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