The Easter-themed escape room experiences include "The Prison," "The Tomb" and "The Upper Room."  

Hartselle church creates Easter-themed escape rooms 

By Catherine Godbey 

For the Enquirer  

  

Tired of staging the traditional egg hunts, Hartselle’s Life Church searched for a different way, a more gospel-focused way, to tell the story of Easter. 

Connie Phillips’ thoughts turned to escape rooms, the increasingly popular activity that combines puzzles, games and logic. 

“I was looking to do something focused on the Gospel, but was still fun for kids and the family. My family loves to do escape rooms, so I thought, what if we could do an escape room and center it around the Gospel,” Phillips, the church’s children’s pastor, said. 

Now, three years in, the escape rooms, which highlight the Easter story from Jesus’ trial to his resurrection, have reached hundreds of people from across north Alabama. Last year, 60 groups, each consisting of five to 10 people, experienced the escape rooms. 

“It’s been a big hit and has really taken off. People have really enjoyed the experience. I am so thankful God has allowed us to use this to reach so many people,” Phillips said. 

For those unfamiliar with escape rooms, here is how they work: Participants are given a mission and placed in a room where they must find and solve clues to escape in a limited amount of time. 

Clues, including scrolls with scripture, help lead participants out of the escape rooms.

Along with serving as the children’s pastor, Phillips was the mastermind behind the escape room scenarios. To create the scenarios, she relied solely on the Bible. 

“When I start the creative process, I don’t know what the overarching theme is going to be. I just sit down with the scriptures and the scenario unfolds itself,” Phillips said. 

The three scenarios at Life Church take place in a prison, a tomb and the upper room. 

Phillips created “The Prison,” centered around Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, in 2022, the first year Life Church offered escape rooms. In “The Prison,” participants — members of a Roman crime ring sentenced to execution — try to escape by finding clues left by a king previously imprisoned there. 

The Easter-themed escape room experiences include “The Prison,” “The Tomb” and “The Upper Room.”

“At the end they are presented with a pardon for their trespasses,” Phillips said. “That leads into us being able to tell them about Jesus and what he did so we can be forgiven of our sins.” 

Last year, Phillips added “The Tomb.” 

“In that scenario, you are part of an exploring team and, because of an earthquake, have been locked in a cave. There is one way out,” Phillips said. “At the end we share how Jesus is the way, the truth and the light.” 

This year, “The Upper Room,” centered on the Holy Spirit, will debut at the church. 

“You are part of a detective team investigating an unusual phenomena in the city. There is a plot to stop the spread of the phenomena and you have to find the power to overcome the plot,” Phillips said. “At the end we share how when we accept Jesus, we are given the ability to share the Gospel with others.” 

In each of the hour-long scenarios, participants will read scrolls with messages taken directly from scripture, find clues related to the scrolls and figure out how to unlock a box. 

The escape rooms at Life Church, 300 Main St. West in Hartselle, will take place March 29, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Registration is required and available at livelifefwd.com or by texting ESCAPE to 97000. Teams should be five to 10 people. 

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