Tampa native Robert McAroy will again play Jesus in the Gateway Baptist Church production of “The Walk to Clavary.” The production will open April 21 at 7 pm. -- Special photo

Gateway Easter program begins April 21

Published 10:50pm Friday, April 8, 2011

While many may go shopping for dresses, candy and colorful eggs during Easter weekend, a group of local churches will come together April 21, 22 and 24 to portray another angle to Easter.

Robert Walker, pastor of Gateway Ministries Baptist Church, will volunteer with six churches such as Water Avenue Baptist Church, Living Waters Church, Thru the Cross Evangelistic Ministries, Inc., and Bikers for Christ, for a live re-enactment of “The Walk to Calvary,” beginning April 21 at 7 p.m. on the steps of Selma’s City Hall.

In its 19th year, the three-day event will bring to life Biblical accounts of the Last Supper, arrest, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Walker said he wants to get the real message of what Easter means out to the public.

“We feel strongly that Easter has become too commercialized,” Walker said. “We want people to know that Jesus is the reason for the season so to speak. We’ve seen people from Alaska, Tennessee, Arizona come out and literally weep at the performances.

“We believe this event changes people’s lives,” Walker said.

“Those who’ve served the devil turn their lives over, get saved and wholeheartedly serve the Lord and become active in the church.”

Robert McAroy, a Tamp, Fla., native, travels annually to Selma to play Jesus. McAroy will pull a wooden cross from city hall and walk with it to the center field of Memorial Stadium. The Last Supper, Garden of Gethsemane and arrest of Jesus will take place April 21 at 7 p.m. and the trial of Jesus, his crucifixion and burial will take place April 22 at 2 p.m. On Easter morning beginning at 7 a.m., there will be a portrayal of Jesus’ resurrection.  Kimberly Walker-Crowe, who plays the mother of Jesus, encourages the public to get involved and participate in the life changing experience.

“We’ll have costumes available for anyone who wants to be a part of it,” Crowe said.

“We’ve seen people get saved by watching the re-enactment,” Crowe said.  “We’ve had positive responses in the past and we hope to reach more lives and just get the message out into the streets.”

For more information call Gateway Ministries at 872-8793.

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