Young people ruled for at least a day at what was called the "THE ENCOUNTER," a non-traditional worship service held at The Open Bible Community Church on Sunday, September 23, 2012 in Miami, Fl.
Helmed by the award-winning drama troupe, JGneXT, "THE ENCOUNTER" kicked off with a suspense-building video presentation about the history of the drama troupe, which was founded 10 years ago at the church.
As the crowd continued to grow past 350, audiences squeezed into every pew
and overflow seating area at the church to be witness to the first event of the
morning -- a spirit-filled rendition of Cory Asbury's "Shekinah" sung by Shawn
Gordon, a teenage member of First Church of the Open Bible in Fort Lauderdale,
Fl. Accompanying him were a team of singers, a collection of South Florida's
finest musicians and JGneXT dancers.
All was set to a dynamic strobe light presentation.
"THE ENCOUNTER" continued with select spoken word pieces, special song selections, hip hop-infused praise and worship music, a "poetry in motion" duet featuring Kamryn Walker (orator) and Alexis Antoine (dancer), a sermon on forgiveness by Pastor Albert Guthrie and a feature dramatic presentation called "I Never Knew You."
The drama conveyed a heartfelt story of two best friends, Lee (Tristan O'Connor) and Keith (Jeremy Martinez), who are torn apart by the reckless decisions that Keith makes. In the end, one teenager must pay for choosing to ignore the pleadings of his best friend. The drama was an allegory symbolizing the world's friendship with Christ.
Audiences gave the entire production a standing ovation, requesting DVDs of the event for their collection.
Zachary Knowles, artistic director of JGneXT, believes the 3 months of hard work truly paid off.
"We really labored over this whole production but we wanted to make sure that whomever we invited could get a taste of church in a new and different way," he said. "We wanted it to be an encounter with the God that they've never met or have yet to know intimately."
View an excerpt below from "THE ENCOUNTER," the poetry in motion piece by Kamryn Walker and Alexis Antoine. For more information, visit www.jgnext.com