Local men hope to produce Passion play

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 14, 2000

Michael Binns believes God has done so much for his life that he has made a promise to give something in return. Binns, a member of First Baptist Church of Natchez, is working with Adams County resident Erle Drane to put together a Passion play in Natchez.

In the past few years, changes in Binns professional and personal life led him to a more trustful relationship with God.

&uot;I’m walking in faith on a promise,&uot; Binns said. &uot;A promise that was given by God.&uot;

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The idea to create a Passion play is a part of that process.

&uot;I was trying to think how I could return this back,&uot; he said.

The play’s development is still in its early stages, but Drane and Binns want it to portray the life of Jesus Christ.

They would like to renovate the old Margaret Martin School outdoor stadium on Homochitto Street for the production.

Binns said they picked the Martin School stadium because it is not in use right now.

And Martin School is already the location of Natchez’s Performing Arts Center, including the Natchez Opera Festival.

&uot;It seems to fit because performing arts are there already,&uot; Binns said.

The program itself is nondenominational.

&uot;It’s not about denominations. This is about the word,&uot; Binns said. &uot;This is about history and what actually happened.&uot;

Once the play gets under way, Drane and Binns want to give the profits to those in need in the community.

&uot;I believe it’s just going to be a wonderful thing,&uot; Binns said.

Binns and Drane will be seeking help from area churches and the community.

They will also be seeking grant funding to cover the costs. Just the cost of renovating 500 stadium seats has been estimated at $74,000, Binns said.

Contributions can be made to &uot;Celebrations 2000&uot; c/o Britton & Koontz First National Bank, P.O. Box 1407, Natchez, Miss., 39121.