Ambrose Thankful for Opportunity to Portray Jesus in ‘The Cross, The Crown’

Name: Reed Ambrose
Occupation: Director of Communications at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church
Family: Wife, Betsy, and two boys, Graham (6) and Holden (3)
Education: BA in English from Hastings College & MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University


In his first Easter production at Pioneer Drive Baptist church, Reed Ambrose aimed high.

All the way to the top, in fact. He’s playing the role of Jesus in the upcoming “The Cross, The Crown,” which will be staged at the Abilene Convention Center Wednesday-Saturday, April 5-8. The public is invited to the productions.

The four presentations are free. Tickets will be available at the door or can be reserved 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. Doors will open 15 minutes prior to the production.

Ambrose has been a member of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church for nine years and has been director of communications for three and a half years. Even though this will be his Easter production, he is quite familiar with it.

“This is my first time,” he said, “but my wife was baby Jesus when she was a baby, and my uncle, Jay Moore, played Jesus for a long time.”

Reed Ambrose as Jesus in Pioneer Drive Baptist Church’s production of “The Cross, the Crown.” Photo courtesy Pioneer Drive Baptist Church

Ambrose said he doesn’t feel any extra pressure in playing the part of Jesus. He wants to be excellent in the role, but would strive for excellence no matter the role. 

Preparing for the Easter production as Jesus or any of the other characters is challenging, but Ambrose said it has been a blessing to see how the congregation comes together to pull off a major production. 

The church historically has staged an elaborate Easter worship experience for the community 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.

For Ambrose, and no doubt other participants, preparing for the worship experience has had an effect.

“Spiritually, I’ve enjoyed memorizing more scripture and trying to imagine what Jesus was going through in different conversations and situations,” Ambrose said. “ I’m very thankful for the opportunity to play a part of the story and share the gospel with the community of Abilene.”

In a departure from the traditional Easter pageant, “The Cross, The Crown,” will include a dramatic presentation, with 80 in the cast, 80 choir members, and 25 orchestra members, but also will include the congregation joining in worship and singing throughout. The hope is that the presentation will be a true worship experience for everyone,Ambrose said, not just a performance.

“We want others to join in with the singing and the story, because, in the same way, God is inviting us all to be a part of His story,” he said. 

Loretta Fulton is editor of Spirit of Abilene

One comment

  • This is another tradition which is a gift from Pioneer Drive Baptist Church to the Abilene community. I can only imagine the amount of time, effort, and prayer that goes in to these productions. Thank you.


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