Pastor Jim Goebel of Liberty Baptist Church proudly presents an ark that members of his flock built in the church gym. The structure will be the centerpiece of a play this Saturday about Noah — played by Goebel — and his ark.
Pastor Jim Goebel of Liberty Baptist Church proudly presents an ark that members of his flock built in the church gym. The structure will be the centerpiece of a play this Saturday about Noah — played by Goebel — and his ark.

Archived Story

A play for a rainy day

Published 9:50pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It wouldn’t be big enough to rescue the entire animal kingdom if the heavens opened for 40 days and 40 nights, but its creators say God told them to build it.

The ark docked in the gym at Liberty Baptist Church, with scaffolding on the inside supporting wood paneling, measures 52 feet wide, 15 feet high and 6 feet deep, said Helen Matthews, who directs the church’s Performing Arts Ministry with husband Marvin Matthews.

This Saturday, it will form the centerpiece of a dramatic presentation by 56 congregants,  “The Story of Noah and the Ark.”

“We want to present the scriptures in a realistic way,” Helen Matthews said. “Our scripts are already written: the Bible.”

The drama ministry, started by the Matthews couple in December 2010, has also staged a Christmas play, about the birth of Jesus Christ, and an Easter production featuring a collection of panoramas teaching the life of Jesus, Helen Matthews said.

“This is our first one for the summer,” she said. “It’s adults and children; it’s a family event.”

Four men from the church began building the ark June 8, working Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and a couple of Saturdays to complete the task last Friday, according to Matthews.

“We wanted to start early but because of the rain and the flood, it kept the shipment of some things from coming in,” she quipped, adding that the men recycled paneling from the Easter production.

“We have church members and friends and workers from our day care who are posing as the animals.”

The young man who drew up the plans said the ark would hold about 20 folks, Matthews said.

“Noah’s family was eight, so 12 (animals), which are six couples,” will be included, she continued.

Three of the men who built the ark will play Noah’s sons in the production.

Pastor Jim Goebel, who will play Noah, said he loves drama, “especially Biblical drama.

“Mrs. Matthews started the drama club before I got here … and we have been really trying to build this up as a strong ministry,” he said.

The show starts at 5 p.m., with tickets selling for $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for children. “But no one is turned away,” Matthews said.

There will be an intermission with refreshments served, and doors open at 4:30 p.m. Childcare will be available for a donation.

“Whenever we have done these productions, it brings all the gifts that God has poured into His people together,” Matthews said.

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