Three wooden crosses lay on the grass by Luther Memorial in preparation for UMHB’s eightieth annual Easter Pageant on Wednesday, April 17. Though the event faced a 10 minute rain delay prior to the 12:30 show, this year’s production was otherwise another success and provided an opportunity for students to minister to members of the community.
Junior engineering major Daniel Roberson served as an assistant director for this year’s Easter Pageant.
“It really is an honor to be able to not only participate in, but to help direct Easter Pageant this year,” he said. “It is one of the most unique traditions that we have, and I am certain that it is something I will one day tell my children about.”
The tradition of the Easter Pageant began in 1940 when UMHB President Gordon Singleton had an idea to use the ruins of Luther Hall to portray the story of Christ. The event gives students the opportunity to tell the story of the Resurrection and to share the story with the community.
Students are encouraged to participate in this event, which also features children and grandchildren of UMHB students and staff. The university president selects students to portray Jesus and Mary for the production, which is student-led and directed.
This year, Easter Pageant was directed by senior nursing major Katie Aday. Senior social work major Joey Mainini portrayed Christ and senior music education major Savannah Sepulveda portrayed Mary.
The event also featured live music performed by UMHB’s One Voice, which consists of Sarah Ash, Kelli Chaka, James Jones, Hannah Killough, Tyler Medelin, Caleb Morrow, Ruben Ortega, Jancarlo Rodrigues, Douglas Stephen, Angel Tolbert, Katelyn White and Cydney Wilkerson. The songs featured were “In the Name of the Lord,” sung by Wilkerson; “Via Dolorosa,” sung by Sepulveda; “O Praise the Name,” sung by Frederickson; “Joy and Sorrow,” sung by Ray Martin. The performance also featured group renditions of “He is Jehovah” and “Any Other Way.”
“Easter Pageant is my favorite tradition at UMHB and holds some of my most cherished memories,” said junior nursing major Emma Spellings, who was an assistant director for this year’s Easter Pageant. “I was honored to play a role in orchestrating something that so clearly speaks the Gospel.”
Spellings encourages students who have not previously been involved in Easter Pageant to join the tradition in the future.
“I would absolutely encourage anyone and everyone to get involved in Easter Pageant,” she said. “One misconception about Easter Pageant is that you have to have theater background or be a perfect Christian. Neither of those things are true. Easter Pageant is for everyone and offers authentic community and fellowship while growing in knowledge of the Gospel and getting the opportunity to share the truth with so many people. There’s a place for everyone at Easter Pageant.”
Senior education major Taylor Gusler attended the Easter Pageant this year.
“I love the Easter Pageant,” she said. “I love that we choose to share the Gospel in such a cool way and have for so many years. It’s awesome! I love watching the whole community get involved as we come together to honor Christ and the sacrifice He made for us.”