August 2, 2019
By: Liz Nussmeier
Lakeland - Academy of Arts, Taylors South Carolina. Never heard of it? Not surprised. Not many have around these parts, but recently Gibsonia Baptist Church in Lakeland right here in Polk County Florida hosted a group of young people for a memorable performance those of us in attendance will not soon forget.
Marked for Greatness is a one-hour presentation about Adoniram Judson, an early American missionary to Burma. The story of his life as portrayed by the troupe was very riveting with moments of both humorous and poignant events throughout, but what I found most amazing was the caliber of the production, this group delivered, from the sound and lighting to the costumes, sets, and props.
The cast and crew are comprised of eleven young folks ages 16-23; they are all volunteers and certainly aren’t getting paid. Despite this, they deliver a professional quality production each putting their whole heart and soul into every show, approximately 40 over a seven-week period, with only two weeks of preparation in Training Camp. Each member was hand-selected and dedicated their entire summer to be a part of this Drama Ministry, which has traveled in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, to share the Good News and encourage others in the Christian faith.
The Academy of Arts in conjunction with the Logos Theatre, founded in 1971 by Dr. Nicky Chavers, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to make the Bible come alive, and to this, I say, "Mission accomplished!" If you are interested in learning more about the Academy of Arts and their phenomenal theatrical performances, I invite you to visit their website at www.academyofarts.org, perhaps even get on the schedule for next summer’s Drama Ministry to come to your location with Team South, a traveling theatre group with a mission!