Great Bend Church of the Nazarene, 4811 Broadway Ave., will turn its rooms into a walk-through drama called Judgement House this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Each year as Halloween approaches, approximately 150 people from area churches help to create this alternative to haunted houses, said Dale E. Pruter from the Nazarene Church. Eight scenes depict modern day situations and choices that lead to heaven or hell.
Judgement House originated in Florida and now offers a selection of scripts for churches to use. A new story, “Behind the Family Portrait,” will be featured this year. Hank Jernigan, a failing husband and father of two, has lost his job and mismanaged his relationships. When a car crash takes the lives of their children Samantha and Matt, Hank and his wife June must find a way to move on with their family cut in half.
“All of these scripts are about things that happen in everyday life,” Pruter said. The 16 churches working on Judgement House present it as a ministry, in hopes that people will make a decision for what is right, and a decision for Christ.
The creators of Judgement House have a similar vision, which is to share the gospel with a walk-through drama where people’s choices have earthly and eternal consequences. Churches that show Judgement House programs are called “covenant partners” and are expected to believe in Biblical principles. According to the organization’s website, “Judgement House believes that ‘salvation’ is by the grace of God alone, through faith in Christ alone. Not by works.”
Over 6,000 people have gone through Great Bend’s Judgement House in the six years it has been offered, Pruter said. Church youth groups from as far away as Goodland have come in previous years. To accommodate the crowds, the Great Bend City Council has agreed to close Sherman Street during the presentations, which run from 6-10 p.m. Friday, 5-10 p.m. Saturday and 12:30-6 p.m. Sunday.
While there is no set cost for the event, a donation of $3 per person is suggested to defray costs, and it is stressed the event is not intended for children under 10. Most 10-year-olds should be accompanied by a parent, and families can request to skip the most graphic room for a “milder” program. Reservations can be made and are recommended for anyone coming in from out of town or for groups of 12 or more. Reservations can be made by calling 793-6139 or online at www.gbfirstnaz.com