By Joey Martin, Special to the Message
VIDALIA – When Vidalia First Baptist Church Youth Minister Dusty Carson asked Megan Powell to come up with a drama skit for a church event in January, she had no idea it would lead to a production that would have congregations fixated at the beginning, crying in the middle and standing and cheering at the end.
[img_assist|nid=6356|title=Megan Powell watches members of First Baptist Vidalia drama team perform a skit.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=66]“Dusty asked me to get some kids to do a couple of skits,” Powell said.
“A lot of the kids were interested and excited about it and wanted to do some of the skits during church service and it grew from that. We’ve even got a lot of younger kids ready to take the place of the seniors who leave. There’s a lot of participation behind the scenes.”
Powell is the wife of First Vidalia Associate Pastor of Worship and Creative Ministries Stephen Powell.
“I did drama in high school and always enjoyed it,” Powell said. Powell said each member committed to the project and has honored that commitment.
“They have really put everything they have into it and enjoy putting in the time to share the message through these skits,” Powell said.
he drama team performed several skits at a Baptist church in Roxie, Miss., last month.
“It’s very exciting to see people moved by the performances,” Powell said. “These kids have all kinds of extra-curricular activities. They know what they are doing is very worthwhile and they are taking part in a church ministry.”
Powell came up with most of the skits by looking at YouTube. “I would take parts from
different ones,” she said. “So far I haven’t written one of my own, but that’s my goal.”
The skits include several moving dramas, including one of a young girl turning away from God, only to find her way back to Him. The scene ends with Jesus holding his arms out and keeping other teens who have been bad influences away from the young girl, finally pushing them down as they cower away and the young girl embraces Jesus.
“These kids are very talented,” Powell said. “And they are really fun to be around. It’s great the way they have bonded. And a lot of the younger people look up to them and can’t wait to do what they are doing.”
The skits involve intricate choreography at times, as the group forms a table for the Last Supper, a boat with men rowing before and after a storm, doves flying or other scenes from the Bible.
“It’s really not that hard, they just hear the beat and count it off 1,2,3,4,” Powell said.
The drama team practices each Sunday afternoon.
“We review each skit and at times learn a new one,” Powell said. “Each time they get a
First Baptist Vidalia Interim Pastor Bill McCullin said the drama team elevates the level
of worship at the church.
“It’s another element that people haven’t seen before,” McCullin said.
“They communicate through their actions and that’s really neat and really a blessing.”
John Brixey plays the role of Jesus in the drama of the young girl coming back to God.
“I know people are watching me and seeing me in that light,” Brixey said. “It’s really
not overwhelming. I look at it as reaching out to people. I know we can inspire and touch
people. It shows how Jesus is there for us and it’s very inspirational.”
Stephen Crain said he has enjoyed being a part of the team.
“I really don’t mind being in front of a lot of people,” Crain said. “I was thinking it
was just a skit, but when I look at the people’s faces I see how much it touches them.”
Caleb Holland was persuaded to join the team by his friends.
“I tried it out and liked it,” Holland said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s great that we are able
to spread the word through it.”
Caitlyn Hendricks participated in a lot of school plays in Jackson, Miss., before moving
to Vidalia, where she has sung at school performances and in community events.
“I enjoy moving around to the music because it has very significant meaning,” Hendricks
said. “When you see the people crying you know you’ve reached them.”
Darren Knapp said the drama experience has been much better than he anticipated.
“I take it very serious and just want to get better at it,” Knapp said.
Alexa Mallory is a cheerleader at Vidalia High and also sings in school and community
“When you are singing all eyes are on you,” Mallory said.
“In this we are working as a team. It’s really awesome. I want to do this forever.
We’ve done this at camp and when we went to Roxie there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It’s great to see the Lord moving like that.”
Landry McGivaren was also asked to join the group by friends.
“It’s neat going to other churches and meeting other people,” McGivaren said. “It’s great being a part of something like this.”
Kaytlyn Walker is part of the Vidalia High dance squad.
“I enjoy it because it’s something different each time,” Walker said. “I’m not so nervous in music skits, but I do get nervous in speaking skits because I don’t like to speak.
I didn’t realize how much it would affect people.” Seth Hughes also plays the role of Jesus in other skits.
“I didn’t know how serious it would be at first, but everybody takes it very serious,” Hughes said. “It’s great because it’s taught me a lot of things and lets me know how I should live my life.”
Julie White said she has been surprised at the reaction of people to their skits.
“It’s a lot of fun and it’s really amazing to see how people react,” White said.
Taylor Welch is a cheerleader at ACCS.
“We’re just trying to get the message across that Jesus is important and it can be a matter
of life and death,” Welch said. “It’s a matter of being held accountable for how we live our lives.”
Hillary Twiner and Savannah Vance are also members of the drama team.
Call Stephen Powell at 318.336.7111 to have the drama team perform at a youth event or church function.