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Local tragedy inspires Judgement House story

Oct. 26, 2013 @ 01:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Christ Temple Church is hoping a local girl's story of salvation will draw its visitors closer to Christ during its annual Judgement House the week of Halloween.

Organizers are expecting 6,000 people to take part in "Kristen's Choice," a walk-through drama inspired by the true story of Kristen Stiltner, a Wayne High School student who died in a car crash last year shortly after being saved at Judgement House.

Pat Michael, a close family friend of the Stiltner family, helped co-write the script, which will be used at Judgement Houses across the country.

"We wanted to use her story and her courage to lead others to Christ," he said. "It's such a compelling story. Kristen got saved at Judgement House in 2010. She was an awesome kid and had so much going for her, but her life was cut short. Her story shows the urgency of making the decision while you're at Judgement House."

Kristen was finishing her junior year in high school when she died in the crash in May 2012. She was a star basketball and volleyball player at Wayne High School and the daughter of the mayor of Wayne at the time, Dwayne Stiltner.

Michael said her death devastated the entire community.

"There has to be something positive come out of it," he said. "Someone's life can change because of her story."

Anneliese Caserta, co-director, said Kristen's life is portrayed through different scenes including when she came to Judgement House and the night she died.

"We're keeping it as true to her life as we can," she said. "She got saved at Judgement House and was baptized afterward. She told her family and friends all about it and lived for God for a year and half before she died. We want people to realize life is short and you never know what the future holds."

The entire production includes about 300 people as each scene requires different actors to play Kristen and the other characters.

Judgement House is a nationwide program with the mission of providing people with the opportunity to choose a saving and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Local organizers say Huntington's Judgement House is one of the biggest in the country with more than 1,000 decisions made about salvations each day.

Doors open for "Kristen's Choice" at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The first group tours 50 minutes after doors open and then groups are taken through the house every 20 minutes. Live entertainment will be available while groups wait. Organizers are asking for a $2 donation for admission.

Christ Temple Church is located at 2400 Johnstown Road, Huntington.

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