Texas megachurch faces backlash after ‘spectacular’ Christmas show goes viral

Megan Armstrong San Antonio News

Video from one Texas megachurch’s rehearsal for a Christmas show extravaganza that includes a flying pack of drummer boys has gone viral this week, drawing more than 10,000 comments that include harsh criticisms of the annual spectacular production

Prestonwood Baptist Church is holding The Gift of Christmas, the annual “spectacular” holiday show that features a massive cast of almost 1,000 people, choir, live orchestra, flying angels, and live animals. There are 14 performances scheduled at the Dallas-area megachurch December 2-4 and 7-11. At the time of writing, there are tickets remaining for four of the performances. 

The viral video was posted to TikTok by Tony Daussat using the handle @tonydaussat on Sunday, November 27 with the caption “Little drummer boy, but TX’d” that pans around the church showing a rehearsal of a group of drummers flying around the room while playing. The TikTok has garnered more than 1.7 million views at the time of writing.

@tonydaussat Little drummer boy, but TX’d #christmas #church #fyp #texas ♬ original sound – Tony Daussat

The dialogue in the comments ranges from a number of “Righteous Gemstones” and “Joel Osteen” vibes and other jokes of the like, to criticisms of the “business of church” and religion in general. 

Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas

Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas

Stewart F. House/Getty Images

“I simply love in the gospel when drummer boys fly around the manger. It adds a certain dignity to the birth of Christ,” Eric Creeh said in a comment with more than 9,000 likes. 

“Tell me the preacher has a private jet without telling me the preacher has a private jet,” Keith Becraft said in the comments with more than 41,000 likes with nearly 400 replies with their own range of tone. 

A number of self-identifying Christians weighed in as well. 

“I miss the simplicity of Christmas and it simply being about Jesus,” said Beth Brown Smith. 

“My church still has a rotary-dial phone, and some of the hymnals are 50 years old. This is … different,” Wesley Long said, to which a number of other users commented saying the same. 

A spokesperson for the church called the backlash “unfortunate” in an email to the Express-News. 

“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,” the spokesperson said in the full emailed statement to the Express-News. “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.’ 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. We pray that they, too, may come to know the joy of Christmas and the love of our Savior.”

Prestonwood boasts a membership of more than 49,000 members across three campuses in Plano, Prosper, and Lewisville, the church’s website says. 

In a follow-up video posted on Tuesday, November 29, Daussat clarifies that he is not a member of the church, but he is a Texan. Daussat said he saw originally posted the video to Facebook which he felt was objectively funny, prompting him to share the video on TikTok. 

@tonydaussat Replying to @robfromtiktok ♬ original sound – Tony Daussat

“[It made me laugh], not because of some disdain that I have for churches but because there’s flying drummers at a Christmas show inside of a church. It’s objectively funny,”  Daussat said.  

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