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Prayer vigil, demonstrators await playgoers outside Oklahoma City theater on cold, icy night

Groups give contrasting views on biblical satire, ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told'
by William Crum Modified: December 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm •  Published: December 7, 2013

Beneath crosses etched in lights on downtown skyscrapers, about 30 Christians opposed to a play at the Civic Center Music Hall gathered Friday night to pray and sing carols.

Across the Civic Center plaza, about 15 people supporting “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” also sang carols. They huddled together, shoulders hunched, in 20-degree weather.

Both groups were there to express their views on the play's opening night.

Opponents object to the playwright Paul Rudnick's biblical satire, propelled by homosexual characters inhabiting stories such as the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden and the Nativity.

Produced by Oklahoma City Theatre Company, “Most Fabulous Story” runs through Dec. 22 in CitySpace, a small theater in the basement of the Civic Center.

Thursday's preview performance drew a small protest of a half-dozen or so out-of-state Catholics who held signs outside the Civic Center as patrons arrived.

Friday night, Stephen Black of First Stone Ministries led opponents in prayer. Black said he was molested as a child and engaged in homosexual sex as a teenager and young man.

First Stone's mission is to lead people to “freedom from homosexuality and sexual brokenness through Jesus Christ.”

In his prayer, Black, 52, asked “that salvation would start with us.”

“Thank you for delivering me from homosexuality,” he said. “Start with Oklahoma City, Lord.”

Play opponents then broke up into groups of five or six and locked arms as they prayed aloud.

JD Bergner, who organized the counterdemonstration to the prayer vigil, said his group gathered outside the Civic Center “in support of our friends in there putting on this play.”

Both groups were short of their attendance objectives early in the frigid evening.

Pastor Steve Kern of Olivet Baptist Church had predicted 200 to 300 people would attend.

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by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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