Faith, choices and consequences -- in this life and the next -- were examined during the 23rd annual Judgement House, a walk-through drama hosted last month at Southside Baptist Church in Princeton.
Church member Doug Roper said participants went from scene to scene as the drama progressed.
"They went through Judgement, then they went through Hell, then the Cross Room, which ties everything together, and the final scene they went through was Heaven," Doug said.
The drama was titled "Alone," and it was written by church member Vickie Roper. Doug and Vickie live in Kuttawa, have been married for 30 years, and have been involved with Southside for 26 years.
"I think everyone at one point or another is facing a trial or situation in which they feel totally alone, whatever the circumstances may be," Vickie said. "In this particular drama, it was a teenager feeling that way."
The character's father had left the family, and something happened to her best friend, causing the character to feel isolated. As a result, she committed suicide.
"There is some focus on that in the drama itself," Vickie said. "Suicide is an increasing number for that particular age group --14 to 22. It's increased 47 percent from 2002 to 2017 and there's over 45,000 suicides a year."
"I think that's what spoke to a lot of people going through and how many kids were involved in it."
The church's entire youth department, about 30 children, was involved with the show, whether through acting or serving as extras.
"Judgement House takes over 100 people to pull off," Vickie said. "It's security, registration, concessions, greeters, the kitchen crew, counselors, people in the prayer room and we provide child care for younger kids who have people coming through."
The church began preparing in August. The actors practiced through September and October leading up to the performance.
In total, 2,301 people attended Judgement House this year, an increase from last year.
"Our last day was a record for us," Vickie said. "We had 546 go through, so that was awesome."
Judgement House usually has a profound effect on people who go through it, Doug said.
"We had 102 accept Christ into their hearts, 1,067 made some type of profession that they wanted to grow closer in their relationship with Christ, and 90 said they wanted additional information," Vickie said.
The event is outreach for the church.
"It was mission work that we could do without having to go out," Doug said. "The people come to us so that made it really awesome. The church always pulls together as a whole. We're more united during Judgment House than we probably are any other time of the year."
People from outside of Princeton and Caldwell County also attended the event.
"We get people from Illinois, Tennessee and surrounding areas in Kentucky," Doug said. "Some of them drive over two hours to come to Judgement House."
The Ropers hope the event allows people to be more aware of what's happening in the lives of people around them.
"Hopefully if you had questions about your faith, this would help you grow stronger or go to your own local church to seek answers," Vickie said.
They stressed the importance of showing kindness and love to others, and lifting one another up.
Sandi Rogers, a member of Uncommon Ministries from Hopkinsville, has gone to Judgement House in Princeton for the past four years.
"It's amazing," Rogers said. "We take the youth from our ministry and pray that they get the full experience and get to know who Christ is."
She brought 16 people with her -- 14 children and two adults -- for this year's performance.
"We had two kids give their lives to the Lord," Rogers said. "(Judgement House) spoke about suicide, which is not touched on a lot, so we really liked that. … They expanded on heaven and hell and showed the things teenagers are going through now, which is important to address."