Vincent Revival Center plans 10th ever “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames”
Published 11:05 am Thursday, October 19, 2023
By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer
VINCENT – The Vincent Revival Center will host its tenth iteration of “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames” starting Sunday, Oct. 22.
“It is like a dramatization of different real-life scenarios of where people are faced with the reality that their life on Earth is over,” said Brandy Wallace, the Revival Center’s outreach pastor. “And will they spend eternity in heaven, or will they spend eternity in hell?”
Billed as a ‘live Christian dramatic presentation,’ churches from all over the United States buy the production rights for “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames” from Reality Outreach Ministries. According to Reality Outreach Ministries’ website the production rights to “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames” cost $4,450 for three productions.
“They (Reality Outreach Ministries) come into local churches who invited them in, and the congregation of the local church becomes the cast,” Wallace said. “So we learn the parts, and we do it for three nights—Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.”
Official rehearsals for the Revival Center’s production begin on Saturday, Oct. 21, and around 50 people are involved in the play’s cast and production.
“That’s how we know it has to be the Lord that is walking through this because there’s no way you can remember all of that in just a couple of hours,” Wallace said. “We have a lot of fun with it. We really, really do.”
Wallace herself has been in “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames” several times and has played various roles.
“I’ve gone to heaven once, I’ve been dragged down to hell and then I was an angel last time,” Wallace said. “There was this one role where I had the opportunity to play a mom. My daughter and I were out shopping and had gotten some new clothes, and we were on our way home and we were in a horrible car accident. My character realized what was going on, and had never explained to my child what heaven was about, so her child could go to heaven, but my character couldn’t.”
“Heaven’s Gate and Hell’s Flames” primarily consists of skits that follow this format, where an individual or a group of people die and find themselves ascending to heaven or condemned to hell based on their lives on earth and whether or not they are Christian.
According to its website, “Heaven’s Gate and Hell’s Flames” has been produced for roughly 43 years and more than 100 countries worldwide.
Despite popularity, the production has received criticism over the years for using “scare tactics” to convert people to the message of Christianity, along with its depictions of suicide, self-harm and the use of alcohol and drugs. However, despite the seriousness of the subject matter, many view the play as a necessary conversation that covers a series of real-life scenarios that are worthy of depiction and discussion.
The Vincent Revival Center’s production of “Heaven’s Gate and Hell’s Flames” will run for three nights first on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m., then on Monday, Oct. 23 and Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. The play is free to attend, but refreshments will be available for purchase. Child care is available for children five and under.
“We just give parents a warning because some of the scenes, especially for those things that end in people being taken to Hell, are really graphic and can scare some smaller children,” Wallace said.