2008-10-09 / Local & State

Story About "Amazing Grace" Composer To Be Dramatized


The incredible story behind the world's best-known and most-sung hymn - "Amazing Grace" - will be dramatized in "But Now I See," a nationally touring, live theatre production about the hymn's composer, John Newton, at Warfordsburg Presbyterian Faith Center Sunday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m.

Professional actor Erik Nelson of Maranatha Productions portrays John Newton, a young man impressed into the British Navy in the 1740s, then savagely thrust into slavery on a lime plantation in West Africa, and finally found captain of a slaver himself. Convinced he is about to perish in a violent storm on the Atlantic one night in March 1748, Newton cries out to God in total desperation.

"But Now I See" is 75 fast-moving, action-packed minutes in length. This one-person dramatization includes music written by John Newton after his amazing conversion in the middle of the stormy Atlantic Ocean. The production is highly entertaining, and at the same time, inspirational.

"But Now I See" is most appropriate for ages 6 and older and will bring to everyone attending a new and never-to-be-forgotten insight into the world's most popular hymn and into one of the world's leastknown pastors and most prolific (280+ hymns) composers.

An actor-singer-model, Erik Nelson travels nationally and internationally creating such roles as Jesus in Passion Play productions during the Lenten season and Wycliffe Bible translator Chet Bitterman in "Martyred: The Chet Bitterman Story." Recent TV appearances include portraying American Navy Seal hero Lt. Bruce Walker in "Untold Stories of U.S. Navy Seals" on The Learning Channel and hosting the sports TV show "Dirt Bike Television." During the spring of 2005, Nelson created the lead role of Pastor Des Morton in the movie "Stepping-Stone Miracles," produced in Bristol, England, dramatizing surprising answers to prayer that many call miracles. He will be seen later this year in a feature film about John Wesley.

Maranatha Productions Inc. is a nonprofit production company based in Lancaster, Pa., utilizing drama and media tools to communicate examples of faith-based lives and to bring to life accounts from the Scriptures.

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