“Jesus is His Name,” Christmas play, begins Friday, in South Congaree

Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon, Fisher and US Rep. Joe Wilson.

By Karamie Sullivan

“This Man Called Jesus,” ran for 25 years every December in the Midlands area.

The last “This Man Called Jesus” play was presented  in 2012. Since it is no longer presented,  some of the play’s fans have been disheartened.  That is why a new version of the play called “Jesus is His Name,” began last year. It will start its second year on Dec. 8.  There are six nights the play will be shown: December 8 and 15 at 7 p.m., and December 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 6:30 p.m. It is being shown at the South Congaree Arena.

The new production is not affiliated with any church group, but some volunteers and actors in the play, including the man who portrays Jesus, remain the same from the former show.

There are a variety of live animals in “Jesus is His Name,” all provided by Clifford Fisher, whose involvement in this play has been apparent since the beginning. He is considered the “founder” of the recreation of the production.

“I started with the play when it first began, I provided horses,” said Fisher. Then over the years, Fisher says the director asked if he could provide additional animals, including a sheep, a donkey, and eventually a camel. He acquired the camel as a baby, and has now had him for about 20 years. When asked if the play was the main reason why he decided to take on the responsibility of owning a camel, he quickly replied, “Yep, my only reason.” He added that since owning the camel, who he named Father Abraham, the camel has been a perfect companion. The addition of the live animals in the production add to its dramatization and impact on the audience, according to Fisher.

At the height of the former play, as many as 1800 people would turn out for the production in a night. However, after three years of not running the show, Fisher and the other volunteers are now in the middle of building its attendance back up and getting the word out.

“We’re happy that we’ve brought the story back, it tells the life of Jesus from birth to death,” he said. “I like to call it, the rebirth of ‘This Man called Jesus.” The show runs about an hour and 50 minutes, and is free to the public.

More information about “Jesus is His Name” can be found at jesusishisname.net.