Janet Thomas, Bible Stories Theatre

Janet Thomas is the founder and president of Bible Stories Theatre.

Like many great ideas, this one occurred in the shower.

Having walked and driven past Wilson Boulevard Christian Church for months, Janet Thomas had the idea hit her, perhaps divinely: She needed to go inside.

“The spirit pulled me to it,” said Thomas, the founder and president of Bible Stories Theatre. “I hopped right out of the shower, put on my clothes and went to the church.”

Based on the imposing facade, Thomas was expecting a large congregation and perhaps a cool welcome. Instead, she found a small group who extended their hearts.

This week, Thomas’s new religious family and her professional life come together, as the church hosts “The Third Day,” an original production written by Thomas to tell the story of Christ’s life from nativity to resurrection.

The idea is to bring in those who might not regularly attend worship services, and to make sure, during the Easter season, they “stay focused on the Word rather than Easter bunnies,” she said.

Putting on a show with limited resources is always a challenge. “This has been truly a test, because there’s no money,” Thomas said. “I’ve called in some people I’ve known, I’ve been on the phone a lot. I’ve been pulling in everybody.”

Rewrites were continuing as the production neared; Thomas is responsible not only for the dialogue, but also for the music.

An affiliate of the Disciples of Christ denomination, Wilson Boulevard Christian Church celebrated its centennial last fall. The church’s efforts include evangelism and community service: It provides a community food pantry, is home to Ballston Children’s Center, has been active in ministering to recently released incarcerated people and, last year, started a dance company for little children.

The lineage of what is now Wilson Boulevard Christian Church dates to June 1913 and a chance meeting between Mrs. George Fisher, who was canvassing a neighborhood selling religious books, and Mrs. Elizabeth Day, who answered her door and, in discussion with Fisher, discovered they were both members of the Christian Church (now known as Disciples of Christ).

The women forged a friendship and established a weekly prayer circle that attracted about 10 people in the homes of parishioners.

By 1921, the congregation purchased its current site at 3850 Wilson Blvd., with the cornerstone being laid in October 1923 and a formal dedication ceremony held in September 1929.

Known originally as Ballston Christian Church, the church’s name was changed to Wilson Boulevard Christian Church in 1937.

Performances of “The Third Day” will be held April 18-20 at the church, 3850 Wilson Blvd. For tickets and information, see the Web site at www.biblestoriestheatre.org.

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