Southside Baptist stages production: ‘The Battle’

Part of the cast of “The Battle” rehearses in the sanctuary of Southside Baptist Church. Andy Alverson, seated at the table, portraying Jesus, is surrounded by actors playing the disciples, under the direction of Linda McClendon. Performances are at 7 p.m. March 22-24. Admission is free.Part of the cast of “The Battle” rehearses in the sanctuary of Southside Baptist Church. Andy Alverson, seated at the table, portraying Jesus, is surrounded by actors playing the disciples, under the direction of Linda McClendon. Performances are at 7 p.m. March 22-24. Admission is free.

By Donna Thornton/News Editor

“The Battle” will be waged again this Easter at Southside Baptist Church, in a dramatic musical production featuring dozens of member of the church’s congregation on stage and hundreds involved in all aspects of the performances.

“It’s the story of the life of Christ from His birth through the resurrection, and a portrayal of how the enemy tried to work through all these things to bring confusion and destruction, and how Christ remained victorious,” SBC Music Minister Darren Hood said.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. on March 22, 23 and 24. Admission is free and child care will be provided.

Linda McClendon said this is her 35th year to direct Southside’s Easter program, and the fourth year the church has performed “The Battle.” She said there are changes each year – some rewriting of the script, new songs and new faces in the production.

In addition to a large cast of performers in the drama, the church choir and musicians are involved, as well as members of the congregation who will do everything from decorating sets to greeting guests at the door and caring for children during rehearsals and performances.

Hood estimated about 200 people are involved in some aspect of the production, in some way.

And while weeks of rehearsal go into putting on a quality production, the intent of everyone involved is to share the message of the Gospels to people in the community.

There are people who are more inclined to come to a play or musical at church than they would be to come for a sermon. “I’ve had women tell me their husband’s will come with them (to the musical) but they won’t come to hear a preacher.

“It’s a picture,” McClendon said, to depict what is written in the Bible. “A lot of people need a picture as an explanation. I think that’s part of the draw,” she said, of the production.

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