We have been presenting PROMISE for 21 Christmas Seasons.
“The Promise” ... as we once called it, was initiated in 1996 by our worship leader Anthony Poole. The first year we made a HUGE leap of faith and debuted PROMISE in our old “Original” auditorium / sanctuary. We had seating for approximately 700 people. That year we did several performances and saw many lives changed through this ministry.
In 1997 we moved PROMISE to the Lenoir Rhyne University Auditorium in Hickory, NC and continued to present it there until 2002. In 2003 we took a year off from PROMISE because we had moved into our new sanctuary. Then, in 2004 we were very excited to present PROMISE in our new facility!
We go through many changes and tweaks each year putting PROMISE together, trying to improve the experience for you … but the message is always the same. Just as it has been for over 2000 years. “The Greatest Story” ever told. The life of Jesus Christ!
Since 1996, literally thousands of our members have participated in PROMISE. Some have been involved in PROMISE every year, every performance!
This Christmas Season will be no different for PROMISE. As this will be our 21st year declaring PROMISE there will be some changes. We will have some exciting new scenes and songs as well as several new cast members.
There are no professional actors or vocalists, everyone you see on stage, or ... you don't see behind the scenes, is a member of Tri-City Baptist Church or Tri-City Christian School and all are totally committed to presenting the life and ministry of Jesus Christ!
A FEW USELESS RANDOM FACTS
: We've only used two camels since 1998. "Bubba" ...performed the camel role until 2014. Bubba did a great job, however "Bubba" just grew too large to get thru the door to our sanctuary and had to take an early retirement! Our current camel ..."Clyde" will be returning for his third season. By the way ...The little shepherd leading "Clyde" ...well, his name is being withheld. Any resemblance to "Clyde" is strictly intentional!
: The white stallion's name is "Bailey". "Bailey" has grown up with "PROMISE". He has been in every PROMISE since the very FIRST ONE! This is his 20th anniversary too!
: All of the animals are provided by Buffalo Beals Animal Park. Owned by Terry and Kim Beal. We've had a very long relationship with these wonderful animals ... and people! It all began with the original owner, Joe Parloto. Joe got seriously ill and had to move away to be with family so he sold the animals to Buffalo Beals. We understand that one of his conditions for the sale was that they could buy them but the animals were to always be used for Promise as long as we had PROMISE at Tri City Baptist Church. Terry and Kim have always honored that commitment.
: It may be obvious ...to think we have had 19 different new born babies play baby JESUS. Actually, we have had a few more than 19. No-one can remember exactly how many. Some years we would use different children on different nights ...depending on their ATTITUDE!
: Over the years we've only had four men play the role of JESUS. The first was Richard Smith, then Eddie Schroder for one year. Then George Williams ...for one weekend! And now Eric Gentry, who has had this role for the past nine seasons. By the Way ...George Williams has been the only person to perform the role of satan AND JESUS. ...Just not in the same year!
: There are well over 200 Tri City members that volunteer each year to be a part of PROMISE. In addition to the cast you see on stage there are dozens of parking lot attendants, make-up artists, greeters, ushers, childcare workers for children in the cast, costume/wardrobe, seamstress, backstage crew, prop masters, animal wranglers, media technicians, lighting, audio engineers and ALWAYS the cast favorites ...craft services ...aka: the people that feed the cast and crew!
: Hair & Make-Up ...we use A LOT of make-up! ... Some of the male cast members need quite a bit! Michelle Hendershot coordinates this team of talented artists and has for several years. For some of the roles it takes considerable time to apply and achieve the correct "look".
: Costumes, ...we use hundreds of different costumes during each performance. As you might imagine, they often need adjustments. repair and alterations. Rebecca Crowe heads up the costume and wardrobe department. The majority of the costumes you will see have been handmade by members of Tri-City!
: Several of our team and cast members have appeared on stage, or been a part in some way of every PROMISE to date. Really to many of them to name. However ...there is ONE person who stands out. "GINGER"
Ginger has been a major part of every PROMISE. She has performed and handled many different roles over the years. From on stage acting to managing the props and sets, to now ...the backstage crew. She currently RUNS EVERYTHING backstage, and we do mean "EVERYTHING". So ...if something unexpected happens, or doesn't quite go like it was supposed to ...you now know whose fault it is... and who we blame! "GINGER"! We can't tell you her last name ... but, it starts with Wilson.
: Five people have played the role of satan over the years. Sometimes it's hard to get someone to play this role. Although it "may" fit their personalities, we still have to rotate them in from time to time!