Greater Grace Temple's "The Whip, Hammer, & Cross" Is The Longest Standing Easter Production In The Motor City

Mar 22, 2013, 11:06 ET from Greater Grace Temple

The church's elaborate on stage production has become a Detroit community tradition drawing huge crowds that overflow its 4,000 seat cathedral

DETROIT, March 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It's more than a stage production.  The color, the pageantry, and the presentation make it an experience.  Greater Grace Temple presents "The Whip, Hammer, & Cross, the powerful story of Jesus Christ and Calvary.   It happens Good Friday, March 29th at the "City of David, 23500 W. Seven Mile Rd.  Start time is 7:00 p.m.  Doors open at 6pm.  This year's production will be presented "one-night only." 

"I believe the attraction of this presentation is much like the old saying, I can show you better than I can tell you," says Communications Director Melvin Epps.  "This is a multimedia generation and some people seem to digest the message better when it's presented in this way.  Drama and the gospel are a powerful mix." 

Even before Mel Gibson's "The Passion" packed out movie houses, "The Whip, Hammer, and Cross" became a Motor City tradition, having drawn crowds totaling over 10,000 over three nights.  When Greater Grace began this ministry outreach 15 years ago, they never dreamed of it becoming such a "community" event.   

The overflow from the cathedral (which holds 4000) into the Banquet Facility, Chapel, and huge hallways has been phenomenal in previous years.   Visitors have come from as far as Chicago, New York state, Connecticut, and Ohio.  In fact, Bishop Charles H. Ellis III and the church's Performing Arts Ministry have become known across the nation for their elaborate on stage presentations

"Passion plays" and "Easter pageants" may be plentiful during the Easter holiday season, but "The Whip, Hammer, & Cross" is clearly a beloved Motor City tradition.  With more than 200 actors, actresses and stage crew, as well as live animals, colorful costumes, and a powerful narration/sermon, this "illustrated sermon" is one people come back to see every year.  ADMISSION IS ABSOLUTELY FREE!!   For info call 313-543-6000 or visit us at   


Greater Grace Temple is one of the largest churches in the Detroit area.  The Senior Pastor is Bishop Charles H. Ellis III. The church was founded in 1927 with only three members. Today there are over 6,000.

Greater Grace has long been a spiritual pillar of the Motor City, as well as an influential part of the civic community with continued efforts and outreaches to make Detroit a better place. The church has hosted many pivotal community events, including the funeral of Civil Rights pioneer Rosa Parks.  Its new $35 million facility anchors the site known as "The City of David," a 19-acre campus in northwest Detroit. The campus also includes Ellis Manor, an 89-unit senior apartment complex.  In 2007, the church purchased the historic New Rogell Golf Course, which was featured in Golfweek and Golf World magazines.  The course is located just across from the church.

Bishop Ellis is also the Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW), which is the world's oldest Apostolic organization, and has over 1.3 million members.  He is a business administration graduate of Wayne State University with a major in accounting. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Aenon Bible College. He is married to Crisette Michelle, and is the proud father of three children: Kiera, Charles IV, and Kirsten who made her transition in 1994.

SOURCE Greater Grace Temple