Construction began in the summer of 1967. For forty-five years hundreds of thousands of people from all around the United States and beyond came to see the re-enactment of the last days of CHRIST. It was called The Great Passion Play located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Financial problems began to arise and attendance began to wane in the latter years and in December of 2012, it was announced that The Great Passion Play was at an end and would not open its gates for the next season. The story spread like wildfire across the the Internet and many whined and complained about the downward spiritual spiral our country was on. It seemed that the play had died and now was being buried is a sea of negative agreement.
Somewhere in Oklahoma in a little town called Ada was a pastor and his wife who saw a flicker of hope. A few years earlier they had the idea to share the Gospel through a network of country radio stations. They called their endeavor The Gospel Stations Network.
Randall and Susie Christy decided to use prayer and the connections they had because of the radio stations to attempt to rescue the floundering play. They broadcast the need, called on friends and people from everywhere began to respond. Youth groups came and made a mission trip out of it. They painted, weeded, repaired and did whatever they were asked. People of every age, size and color joined together and began to believe that they could take a stand for CHRIST right in the middle of America!
People volunteered their time and talents. Some participated in the play, others directed traffic or sold tickets or concessions. Some manned the gift shop or cleared the trees, others drove golf carts for transporting the visitors who had a hard time walking. We had the opportunity to share the story of Zacchaeus with many as the word got out that The Great Passion Play had been rescued!
A summer of dreams and hard work paid off and Labor Day weekend 2013 had the best attendance since 2006! The good news is that The Great Passion Play is back in business and is already taking reservations for 2014! So put Eureka Springs on your travel plans for next year and make JESUS part of your vacation!