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Posted on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

The Gospel of John, a live off-Broadway and U.S. touring performance, at First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor

By FUMC Ann Arbor


Actor Brad Sherrill has memorized all 20,000 words of The Gospel of John. Begin the journey through Lent with this dramatic presentation at First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor on Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m.

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It took nearly five months for actor Brad Sherrill to memorize all 20,000 words of The Gospel of John. He had plans to perform it just once at his home church in Atlanta but has now presented John’s gospel over 600 times since 2001 in professional theaters and churches across the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Ireland.

On Friday, March 11, Sherrill will bring his celebrated touring performance to First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor.

Over the past decade, The Gospel of John’s 600 performances have included a six-week run off-Broadway at New York City’s historic Lamb’s Theatre (2003) and at professional theaters in Chicago, Washington D.C., Toronto and Atlanta (from 2001 through 2010.) The Gospel of John’s European Cathedral tours (2007, 2008 and 2009) brought the performance to large, historic cathedrals of the U.K., Ireland and Northern Ireland including Westminster Cathedral (London), Lincoln, Lichfield and Gloucester Cathedrals (U.K.), Christ Church Cathedral (Dublin), St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral (Cork) and St. Peter’s Cathedral (Belfast).

With perhaps a dozen very simple props used in a variety of ways, Sherrill transforms the gospel into a captivating drama, presenting the entire story of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

An estimated 180,000 people worldwide have now experienced a rare opportunity to see an hear an entire gospel presented live in this dramatic way. Response to The Gospel of John has been overwhelmingly positive from clergy, lay members and the press.

"An amazing achievement!" writes Kathy Janich in her review for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The overriding question here is whether the word of God can work as a drama.

Sherrill proves that it most certainly and successfully can," said Janich. "You need only watch him as John the Baptist, testifying to his first sighting of Jesus Christ, to become a believer. And this moment comes less than 10 minutes into the show."

The Washington Post adds: “The Gospel of John is a sweaty, gritty tale of a miracle-working idealist who runs afoul of the law. Passion, longing, envy, greed, ambition, intrigue and betrayal -- it's all here, and it is riveting!”

Sherrill has acted professionally in Atlanta since 1983. He was selected by Atlanta Magazine in 2000 as Atlanta's Best Dramatic Actor and by Creative Loafing (another Atlanta publication) in 2001 as Atlanta's Best Actor.

He has performed in 15 productions at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre and is an Artistic Associate for the Georgia Shakespeare Theatre where he has acted in over 50 productions in 22 seasons. Sherrill began acting at the age of 11 at Chamblee First United Methodist Church, where he is still a member.

Begin the journey through Lent with this powerful dramatic presentation of the Gospel of St. John on Friday, March 11. The performance at First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor (120 S. State St., between Huron and Washington Streets) begins at 7 p.m.

Open seating. A free-will offering will be taken. A reception to meet the artist will follow this spiritually compelling performance.

Gospel of John performance website:
First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor website:

Adele Roy is the administrative assistant at First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor. She can be reached at