OGDEN -- Area residents have a chance to experience Christianity in an assortment of forms and in a fun way at 7 p.m. Friday at Peery's Egyptian Theater.
A collection of area faiths will host a Christian's Night Out, billed as a variety show extravaganza.
"The objective is to have as much fun as possible," said the Rev. L.D. Hampton, an associate pastor with Emmanuel Church of God in Christ, who is organizing the event.
"We want to have a fun atmosphere for all."
But Hampton said there is an even more important purpose to the event than having a good time.
"We can not only fellowship from time to time, but we can get together without color flags of denomination with everyone represented," Hampton said. "I am looking forward to showing the talent from the different congregations. Each person can experience the way other people praise and sing."
Hampton said the show is meant to be the first of what is planned to become an annual event to bring the different churches together.
He said the event will be multidenominational, multiracial and multicultural.
The show will feature presentations by Hampton's church and the Westminster Presbyterian Church choir, as well as the choir from the Second Baptist Church of Ogden and local performers Carl and the Coffee House Trio.
The event will bring to Ogden the character of Mr. Groove from Compton, Calif., known as "the oldest man in show business" as the character is a great-great-grandfather.
Prentice Dabney created his Mr. Groove character in 1980.
According to Dabney's promotional materials, the character is used to promote positivity, education, spirituality and to bring a sense of unity that only comes from laughter.
"Mr. Groove takes his audience on a journey that will awaken their inner being, help restore hope, bring smiles during periods of struggle, cultivating growth in each individual who can dream of better, seek better, and give better, throughout the unpredictable obstacles that will face every human being at some point of their development," the materials state.
A highlight will be the comical appearance of another fictional character, the Rev. Leroy Touchemall, senior pastor at the Church of "Dowhatyoulike" Saints who will host the night's events. Organizers also plan to invite a performer who will represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Hampton, an African American, said his desire to bring together people of different faiths came about when he moved to the area four years ago from California and experienced culture shock.
"My race makes up 1 percent of the population here and 98 percent of my congregation," he said. "It seems like the congregation should reflect the community."
Hampton said last year at his church's anniversary, he invited members of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, an all-white congregation, to celebrate along with members of his church.
"The church was filled with a variety of people," he said. "Everyone enjoyed themselves."
Tickets for the event are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 2 to 11. Toddlers younger than 2 are free.
Tickets may be purchased at the door and are also available through Smith's Tix for a $1 handling fee at smithstix.com/events/item/root/christians-night-out.
Peery's Egyptian Theater is at 2415 Washington Blvd. in Ogden. For information, call the theater at 801-689-8700.