First United Methodist, DeRidder will present "Trial of Jesus,” a look at how Jesus’ trial could have gone in present day Louisiana. The event, slated for 6:30 p.m. on April 2, will use participants who have been recruited to be witnesses for the prosecution and defense as if they were residents of Beauregard Parish.
“Jesus” will be brought into the “courtroom,” First UMC’s sanctuary located at 406 Shirley St. A Beauregard Parish deputy sheriff will escort “Jesus,” who will be in an orange jump suit and restrained with handcuffs and leg irons.
Judge C. Kerry Anderson, 36th Judicial District, has agreed to conduct the trial according to Louisiana law. Assistant District Attorney Richard Blankenship and Public Defender Charles "Sam" Jones will present their respective cases.
“We are using the setting of the present day to show how God became flesh among real people, not some kind of make-believe world. The witnesses will describe recorded biblical events as if they happened in the DeRidder community,” said Rev. Wayne Evans, pastor of First UMC.
The following excerpted press release gives more details of the "trial."
Jesus to Be Tried in DeRidder
Assistant District Attorney for Beauregard Parish, Richard Blankenship, has brought a four-count indictment against Jesus of Nazareth.
36th District Judge C.Kerry Anderson has set the trial for Thursday April 2 at 6:30 p.m. He set this unusual time of the trial in the evening "to settle this business before the Good Friday holiday."
Charles "Sam" Jones, attorney, has agreed to represent the defendant, who has been charged with offenses ranging from destruction of property, disruption of a religious service and defacing a house of worship, and treason against the U.S.
The trial will be held in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in DeRidder since the historic Beauregard Parish Courthouse is undergoing major renovations and the church is the only location available that is large enough to accommodate the anticipated crowd.
The defendant, who is also known as "Jesus Christ" and "Son of God,” has stirred a great deal of local interest with report of miracles of healing, and a program that has fed up to 5,000 people at one time.
Dr. Wayne Evans, pastor of First United Methodist Church, agreed to host the trial, saying, “We think the public will want to see and hear Jesus for themselves. I'm just afraid that those who claim to be his disciples won't show up and declare their faith in him."
The public is invited to attend the trial. Jurors will be selected from whomever attends.