Community Invited to ‘The Cross, The Crown’


“The Cross, The Crown: An Easter Worship Experience” will be presented April 5-8 at the Abilene Convention Center.

The public is invited to the productions, courtesy of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church. The four presentations are free, but tickets are required by calling the church at 692-6776 or by emailing

Presentations will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, April 5-7, and at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 8. 

The church stages the elaborate worship experience every other year, but missed in 2021 due to COVID. This will be the first production since 2019, said Eric McElhaney, worship pastor at Pioneer Drive. In the past, the event was known as an Easter pageant, but the church is steering away from that and calling it a worship experience instead. 

“We are still embracing the rich tradition of pageants past,” McElhaney said, “but we have a fresh vision moving forward.”

Eric McElhaney, left, is worship pastor at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church and director of “The Cross, The Crown,” which will be presented April 5-8 at the Abilene Convention Center. The center and right photos are scenes from previous productions. Photos courtesy of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church

The event will include the dramatic presentation but also will include the congregation joining in worship and singing throughout. A large number of church members will be involved including 80 in the cast, 80 choir members, and 25 orchestra members. All cast, choir, orchestra and volunteers are Pioneer Drive members. 

The script was written by choir member Mike Walls. Music was selected by McElhaney, based on the scenes. Principal actors are Reed Ambrose, Jesus; Griffin Jones, Nicodemus; Madeline Lowry Jones, Hannah, the wife of Nicodemus; and Brian Bessent, Joseph of Arimathea. 

“The Cross, The Crown” covers the earthly ministry of Jesus through death, burial, resurrection, and the ascension.

McElhaney provided the following description of “The Cross, The Crown”:

“Was Jesus just a man? Was He just a prophet? Was He truly the Son of God on this earth? Was He worth following? Humanity has faced these questions for thousands of years and many still do today.

We want to take this opportunity to invite you to “The Cross, The Cross”: An Easter Worship Experience. Through worship, music, and drama we will experience the story of Jesus and observe how Nicodemus, a religious leader in his time, struggles and ultimately answers these questions.”

Loretta Fulton is editor of Spirit of Abilene

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