Mountaintop Church presents holiday musical dramas

By Steve Sears

Kody Vagle, Next Generation Pastor for children, youth, and young adults at Hackettstown’s Mountaintop Church, speaks passionately about the response received for the church’s recent Christmas production, “Immanuel.”

Vagle said, “This past Christmas, our sanctuary was packed with guests, and we had over 1,000 views online from our performances. We love Mount Olive and Hackettstown, and we strive to be a blessing to our community. This show was for them; everyone was welcome.”

And all will be again welcome to the soon to be presented Easter drama, “Victorious,” which is a direct continuation of the “Immanuel” story.

Vagle explained that, historically, every year Mountaintop Church hosted what it called an Easter drive-through during the holy day weekend. “Anyone from our community could drive through our parking lot and view our volunteers acting out different scenes of the ministry of Jesus, leading to His death on the cross and resurrection out of the tomb. However, we had a string of bad luck with weather, so in 2022, we decided to move it inside and make it more of a production with acting, dancing, singing and special effects. Since then, every Easter and Christmas has gotten bigger and better.”

Prior to this past Christmas, the productions were just biblical scenes portrayed on stage. This time around, dramatic twists were added. “Immanuel” consisted of a grandmother recently diagnosed with cancer, and she taught her granddaughter the story of Christmas, and how Jesus showed up during the world’s darkest time. 

Vagle added, “The grandmother narrated the story while our actors portrayed the story of Mary and Joseph, culminating with the birth of Jesus in a manger. In between scenes, our band and choir performed live Christmas songs.”

As for the upcoming “Victorious,” drama, Vagle said, “The grandmother’s cancer has seriously progressed, and she is desperate to tell her granddaughter the story of Easter, practically from her death bed. No matter what happens, Jesus is victorious! It will be quite the dramatic story!”

“Victorious” will first be presented on Good Friday, 3/29/24, at 7:00 p.m. On Easter Sunday, 3/31/24, Mountaintop Church will have two more showings, one in English at 10:00 a.m. (immediately following, there will be a weather-permitting Easter Egg Hunt for families with children who attend) and then in Spanish at 1:00 p.m. Attendance is free.

Vagle said, “The initial planning for both Christmas and Easter started back in August. We do the entire production both in English and Spanish, with a total cast and crew of about 50 volunteers, so there are a lot of logistics to consider. We have already begun rehearsals for Easter and will be meeting every Thursday night until the big day.”

Over the years, the congregation of Mountaintop Church has loved all the performances, and the main goal always is to portray the love of God to the community.

“No matter who you are, where you’ve come from, or what you’ve done,” Vagle said, “you are so loved by God and by us at Mountaintop Church. We always have a seat for you!”


Mountaintop Church is located at 6 Naughright Road in Hackettstown. For more information, visit


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