Annual Easter production of ‘Worthy is the Lamb’ opens tonight in Duncan Falls

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Annual Easter production of ‘Worthy is the Lamb’ opens tonight in Duncan Falls

By Christine Holmes, News Director

Thousands from around Ohio and its surrounding states are expected to flock to Duncan Falls this weekend for Cornerstone Full Gospel Church’s production of “Worthy is the Lamb.”

“It’s not your normal Easter play,” said co-director Brandon Bankes.

More than 100 church and community members make up the cast and crew for the annual production, some of whom have been part of the play since its start three decades ago.

Bankes remembers playing the role of a child sitting at the feet of Jesus when he was real young.

As the years went on, Bankes took on more responsibility, first helping with set design and now directing in addition set and costume design.

His co-director, Adam Wahl, also grew up in the church before stepping into his role of worship leader.

Together, the two coordinate the acting, musical and creative elements that draw so many to the play each year.

“A lot of love and a lot of detail goes into this production,” said Bankes.

The brainchild of former director Mike Randolph, Bankes said the play has grown from his vision in the years to follow.

“He was just an amazing, way before his time, visionary,” said Bankes. “Some of the special effects in this just, I can remember watching as a kid and just being blown away. How are they doing that? How is that possible?,” said Bankes.

Bankes said other groups have incorporated pieces of “Worthy is the Lamb” into their own productions.

“Which just goes to show, again, just how impactful and cool this play is,” said Bankes. “It really is life changing.”

Whether a person is familiar with the Bible or not, the play gives the audience a foundation beginning with the story of Adam and Eve, moving on to the birth and life of Jesus Christ and ending with the resurrection.

“The message of Jesus, whether you’re a Christian or not, still applies today as it did 2,000 years ago, you know — love, hope,” said Bankes. “And it’s everything, not only to the core of our faith and what we believe, but these are historical events that actually happened.”

Portraying Jesus in the play for the past five years is Derek Hague.

Having had no prior acting experience, Hague said he took a humongous leap of faith when his assistant pastor asked him to take on the role following a church service several years ago.

“It’s probably the most rewarding thing that I’ve done, to be honest,” said Hague. “God’s trust in me to portray His son, his most prized possession. It’s humbling, it’s an honor, and it honestly makes you feel more accomplished to see something like that through, and that’s what’s rewarding to me.”

The play runs Friday and Sunday night from 7 to 9 p.m.

Doors open at 6 p.m., but Bankes said the line starts forming around 5 p.m. Entertainment from Christian radio station “The River” will be available before the show. 

“Definitely come,” said Bankes. “There’s nothing like this play within a 50-mile radius. We might be in southeast Ohio in a little church in the middle of nowhere, but this play rivals anything, you know, in a big city like New York or anything like that.”

Cornerstone Full Gospel Church is located at 4509 Salt Creek Drive in Duncan Falls. Childcare service for children ages 0-3 is available, and ASL service is available upon request.

For those unable to attend, a livestream of the play will also be available online.

More information about the play is available on its Facebook event page.