Long Hollow Baptist Church always starts their special services with at least a few corporate worship songs. It gives people a chance to get in the room and gives them the opportunity for corporate worship if the special experience doesn’t have that programmed in it. They never want to skimp in that area during a special event.

Their pastor, David Landrith, always preaches too. Though he normally preaches 40-45 minutes, during special events he will preach closer to 20-25 minutes. That leaves about 30-35 minutes in the 65 minute service for their special program (scheduled between the worship and the message).

This year’s special program was the life and death of a fictional character named Phillip Randoll – titled “The Fortunate Death of Phillip Randoll”.

They’d been creating some buzz among their congregation for quite a few weeks leading up to the event. They’d created some social networking profiles, profile videos, and subtle announcements during the service. They never introduced anyone to Phillip, just told people they’d meet him on Easter.

When they began the creative element of the service, they started by saying, “Now’s your chance to meet Phillip Randoll.” Lights out.

The presentation started with Phillip’s moment of death. Then the countdown of his life reversed and went to the start. Out walked a boy around nine years old. The musical story progressed as he made friends, accepted Christ in church, made an impact on others, got married, watched his family die, then ultimately breathed his last breath.

It was a mixture of live worship music and powerful story telling. The end goal was to encourage others to live a life like Phillip’s – a life that ends in a fortunate death.

After the creative element, Pastor Landrith spoke a message that continued the idea of living a fortunate life. They displayed a countdown clock, counting down to a theoretical time of death for the pastor. He referred to the clock and used it as a chance to stress the importance of a salvation moment.

The response from the service was incredible. They had many people make decisions to follow Christ, be baptized, and re-commit their lives.

Finally, they received an offering and ended the service with Hillsong’s “You Hold Me Now” – the same song they played when Phillip died during the creative element. At the end of the offering, Phillip re-emerged and walked out after the clock struck zero. The lights went out and the screen read, “This is not the end. This is only the beginning.”

They invited people back for the sequel to the story and the next few weeks of the series.

Quick Facts

  • Number of Services: 23 between all campuses
  • Campuses: 4 campuses
  • Preparation: 9 weeks

The Video

Watch the video of the creative element for yourself:

Their other campuses used this video instead of live acting. Most people liked the video better than the live experience!