Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano has faced scrutiny after a video showed a behind-the-scenes clip of its extravagant Christmas program. The church is charging up to $60 for tickets to the show.
A viral TikTok posted on November 27, showed multiple performers drumming while suspended from the ceiling while the word “Jesus” flashes in the background. Comments about taxing churches and “the business of church” filled the comment section. The video currently has over 171,000 likes and almost 13,000 comments.
Tickets to the production are being sold for up to $60 per ticket, with the lowest priced ticket sold for $19 for upper balcony seats. Guests can also purchase a “Christmas buffet” prior to each show for $22.50 for adults and $11.50 for children. According to The Dallas Morning News, the annual showing of The Gift of Christmas tells the story of Christmas with special effects and over-the-top performances. Around 1,000 cast members, a choir, a live orchestra, “flying” angels and live animals are set to perform from December 2 – 4 and 7 – 11. This is not a new tradition. Local Profile introduced the performance in our annual holiday guide.
“For more than a quarter of a century, Prestonwood Baptist Church has pulled out all the stops in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ during the Christmas season,” Executive Pastor Mike Buster said in an official statement. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to share this grand celebration of our savior with as many as 75,000 people each year through The Gift of Christmas. And we are especially grateful for the many who make decisions to follow Christ or deepen their relationship with Him.”
“At Prestonwood, we believe Jesus deserves our absolute best, especially at Christmas. It’s unfortunate that the perennial American tradition of the church Christmas program now draws hateful ire from some,” Buster said. “We pray that they, too, may come to know the joy of Christmas and the love of our savior.”
But the church does not believe they have done anything wrong by charging for tickets such as these, as they have done so in the past. Communications Ministry Berta Delgado-Young told Local Profile that misinformation has spread regarding the production and that the video in question is not from a worship service, but a rehearsal for the Christmas production.
“The news has gotten information that was completely wrong and ran with it,” Delgado-Young told Local Profile. The church has several scheduled Christmas Eve services free to the public and it will also be live-streamed for individuals to watch, free of charge.