Religion

Faith Baptist Church Pastor Donald Yancey proud of Judgment Journey success

The positive results of Judgment Journey are displayed on a gym wall on the campus of Faith Baptist Church.

It is a record of how many people said they have been saved since Faith's first Judgment Journey in 1997 in LaGrange, Ga. Pastor Donald Yancey says a total of 70,777 people have been saved.

And he is proud of that number.

Billed by the church as a life-changing experience, Judgment Journey is walk along a wooded trail approximately a mile long, featuring scenes that represent events from the end of the world as described in the Bible.

The event is held annually in October and can be considered a different kind of haunted house.

At the end of the visit, participants can fill out a card saying they received Jesus Christ.

The first year, it was 259 people. Last year, it was 6,527.

"This is not a program," Yancey said. "This is a ministry."

And it is a very successful one.

Yancey said about 19,000 people brought tickets last year. A church group from Indiana attends annually.

"We will have people from at least seven states coming to Judgment Journey this year," Yancey said.

A pastor from Warner Robins, Ga., recently told Yancey he was "absolutely blown away" that a church would go through this much effort and spend a certain amount of money to teach the Gospel.

As many as 350 church members are involved in the production, which this year cost approximately $159,000.

Judgment Journey will be open tonight and also on the nights of Oct. 23, 24, 30 and 31.

Tickets are $15 at the gate and $12 if purchased online. The first journey begins at 7:30 p.m. More information is available at www.judgmentjourney.com.

Judgment Journey began at Faith after an associate pastor and a youth minister saw a similar production elsewhere and decided "we can do that." Church members agreed.

While not meant to be a frightening event, Yancey said, because of its graphic nature, it can be quite intense and is not for young children.

No one under 16 is allowed inside without an adult.

Realistic scenes featuring pyrotechnics include a person in a gas chamber, people in a lake of fire, a tank firing and an airplane crashing into a car.

There is one stop during the 45-minute journey where the earth shakes.

"I am not telling how we do that," Yancey said, laughing.

The pastor said some scenes are changed each year.

"We are always trying to get better," he said. "We want to explain the Gospel as clearly as possible."

  Comments