Elna M. Smith Foundation / The Great Passion Play

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 9/27/2021. To update the information in this column, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


Elna M. Smith Foundation (the organization generally goes by the name "The Great Passion Play") provides biblical re-enactments, bible tours and educational facilities. It was formed in 1965 and provides the public with the following programs: The Great Passion Play; Sacred Art Center; the Bible Museum; Christ of the Ozarks; and the New Holy Land. The Great Passion Play is a reenactment of Jesus' last days on earth. The New Holy Land Tours take you into the history and culture of the ancient Middle-East from the time of the occupation by the Caananites to the time of Christ. The seven-story Christ of the Ozarks Statue is one of the most visited attractions in the Ozarks. The statue was completed and dedicated in 1966, and was sculptured by the late Emmet Sullivan. The Bible Museum contains over 6,000 Bibles in 625 languages and dialects, and a large collection of parchments and artifacts. The Sacred Arts Center is a collection of art that includes some very important masterpieces and some unusual pieces.

Contact information

Mailing address:
The Great Passion Play
PO Box 471
Eureka Springs, AR 72632

Website: www.greatpassionplay.com

Phone: (479) 253-9200

Email: reservations@greatpassionplay.com

Organization details

EIN: 710387411

CEO/President: Randall Christy

Chairman: Rev. Keith Butler

Board size: 23

Founder: Ms. Elna M. Smith

Ruling year: 1967

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1992


Staged in an outdoor amphitheater, the multi-level set, special lighting and sound effects, live animals, and a cast of over 100 Biblically costumed actors come together to create the thrilling epic drama of Jesus Christ's last days on earth. This Christian attraction has been performed since 1968 in the beautiful Ozark Mountains in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Mission statement

The Elna M. Smith Foundation's Mission Statement is:

The purpose for the existence of the Foundation is to acquire, establish, construct and maintain shrines, monuments, libraries, memorials, archives, historical locations, art galleries and exhibits and to preserve books and manuscripts of notable Christian patriots.

The Christ of the Ozarks Statue inspires thousands to reflect on the teachings and character of our Savior.

The Great Passion Play, faithful to the authentic traditions of Christianity, presents the complete story of Christ's last days on earth in a setting simulating the city of Jerusalem.

The Sacred Arts Center touches every phase of artistic tribute to our Lord and presents portrayals in every known form of art.

The Bible Museum with its collection of Bibles and ancient ecclesiastic objects glorifies the Word of God, which is indeed the textbook of Christianity.

The New Holy Land replicas, reenactments, life-size buildings and exhibits will acquaint people with the Jerusalem existing at the time of Christ and cause them to reflect on the traditional beliefs of the Church.

These Sacred Projects cannot be separated because they combine to make the most significant educational shrine in the Western World calling attention to the historical and authentic traditional values of Christianity.

Statement of faith

The Elna M. Smith Foundation uses the following to communicate its values: br>
1. The Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

2. That there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3.In the deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

4. That for the salvation of lost and sinful men regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

5 In the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

6. In the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

7. In the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Christian Growth

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating654 of 99949 of 75
Fund acquisition rating264 of 100116 of 75
Resource allocation rating510 of 100144 of 75
Asset utilization rating973 of 99973 of 75

This ministry has a negative net worth, making it impossible to assign it a valid financial efficiency rating.

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$75,503$110,784$100,344$82,318$75,522
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$130,251$107,456$124,283$86,375$98,861
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$1,958,337$2,077,355$2,157,298$2,275,297$2,338,789
Other long-term assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$1,958,337$2,077,355$2,157,298$2,275,297$2,338,789
Total assets$2,088,588$2,184,811$2,281,581$2,361,672$2,437,650
Payables and accrued expenses$28,489$72,197$24,260$45,135$46,400
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$28,489$72,197$24,260$45,135$46,400
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$2,037,001$2,126,509$2,176,279$2,310,228$2,355,973
Total long-term liabilities$2,104,781$2,194,289$2,251,659$2,340,228$2,385,973
Total liabilities$2,133,270$2,266,486$2,275,919$2,385,363$2,432,373
Net assets20192018201720162015
Without donor restrictions($44,682)($81,675)$5,662($23,691)$5,277
With donor restrictions$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets($44,682)($81,675)$5,662($23,691)$5,277
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$565,593$316,299$385,346$295,585$250,907
Program service revenue$1,000,034$1,244,079$486,498$1,275,733$1,277,439
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$5$2$0$0$0
Other revenue$171,224$77,812$849,906$62,307$126,025
Total other revenue$1,171,263$1,321,893$1,336,404$1,338,040$1,403,464
Total revenue$1,736,856$1,638,192$1,721,750$1,633,625$1,654,371
Program services$1,325,706$1,246,088$1,477,372$1,427,492$1,547,623
Management and general$374,157$479,331$215,025$235,101$162,533
Total expenses$1,699,863$1,725,419$1,692,397$1,662,593$1,710,156
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)$36,993($87,227)$29,353($28,968)($55,785)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$36,993($87,227)$29,353($28,968)($55,785)


Compensation data for this ministry has not been collected.

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 9/27/2021. To update the information below, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


The Great Passion Play offers the following history:

The Great Passion Play is a 501-C3 non-profit, non-denominational ministry founded in 1967. The Christ of the Ozarks Statue was the first of the sacred projects to be constructed, followed by The Great Passion Play, the New Holy Land, the Bible Museum and the Sacred Arts Center. Plans are underway for new projects, which will be designed to compliment the existing attractions.

Program accomplishments

  • The Great Passion Play is the number one attended outdoor drama in America. Since its opening in July of 1968, over seven million people have enjoyed this portrayal of The Greatest Story Ever Told. The Play is performed on a 550-foot wide, multilevel stage in an outdoor amphitheater, which has 4,100 individual seats.
  • The New Holy Land Tour includes over 30 exhibits. All have been researched for historical accuracy. Each exhibit is explained by the tram drivers or by costumed and knowledgeable tour guides.
  • The Sacred Arts Center contains a collection of art that includes some very important masterpieces and some remarkable and unique pieces. One of the oldest pieces dates back to circa 800 AD. The Center also houses several historical collections, such as the royal Dresden china pieces representing the Last Supper as commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm I.
  • The seven-story Christ of the Ozarks Statue continues to be one of the most visited attractions in the Ozarks. More than 500,000 people come to view the Statue each year.
  • The Bible Museum contains over 6,000 Bibles in 625 languages and dialects, as well as a large collection of parchments and artifacts. There are a number of Bibles featured in the Wycliffe exhibit. An original page of a Gutenberg Bible is part of this collection. Other important translations on display include a Greek New Testament published by Erasmus in 1516, Martin Luther's German translation, William Tyndale's New Testament, and Coverdale's Bible, which has the distinction of being the first complete Bible translated into English.