By Cora Jackson-Fossett
Sentinel Religion Editor
Following man instead of God can destroy a church and this is vividly illustrated in “The Corinthian Scandal,” a new production by award-winning playwright Pastor Candace Cole-Kelly.
The gospel musical stage play, based on themes recorded in the New Testament’s I Corinthians, shows the result when divisions, adultery, pride and other ungodly conduct become entrenched in a ministry. The show will be at the Wilshire Ebell Theater on Saturday, March 26 at 7pm, and Sunday, March 27 at 5 p.m.
“The play is like a letter to the churches from God. It’s a prophetic production that says to the church of Jesus Christ today that we have to stay focused and be careful of the trappings and temptations of the world. Be careful of what we’re allowing to infiltrate our churches,” said Pastor Cole-Kelly, who is directing the play with Wendy Renee Wise.
“As we peruse the book of I Corinthians, we find that there are several scandals that the Apostle Paul is addressing - scandals such as incest, mishandling of money, desecrating God’s holy sacraments, not taking the sacredness or holiness of church to heart anymore.”
Two types of church leaders and congregations are presented in the play. Bishop Raymond Truth leads Mount Pleasant Church of God and he focuses on godliness, prayer and humbly serving the Lord. Bishop Brent Blindly inherits his father’s mega-church and rules by greed, control and infidelity.
“Mount Pleasant is a sound doctrine church with a passionate pastor, but the second church is the kind Apostle Paul talks about, ‘an itching ear church.’ That is, a church that likes to do what it wants to do and have a theology of convenience, of self-centeredness,” she said.
Contrasting the ministries, the play demonstrates how the behavior of both bishops impacts their congregations as they deal with topics such as faithfulness, temptation, rebellious members and human trafficking.
“This play is soul-stirring, compelling, funny, and delightfully mysterious. In fact, it opens with a great mystery. It is certainly a drama that will have you crying, laughing, and moved to tears and anger,” said Pastor Cole-Kelly.
“It will touch the emotions of your psyche and all ages will benefit by attending. We have dynamic actors, singers, several pastors in the play. Our youngest actor is six years old and he is phenomenal.”
The ensemble cast includes Pastor L.A. Kessee, Pastor Frederick Howard, Pastor Trevor Johnson, Minister Barbara Calhoun, Minister D’Antoinette Williams, Minister Jabari Steward, Leonard Murray, and youngsters Christopher and Elijah McCleary.
Tickets are available at Ticketmaster or the Wilshire Ebell Theater box office located at 4401 West 8th Street in Los Angeles. Call Candice Cole Productions at (562) 920-1604 or visit vessoulsoftransformation.com for more information.