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Music video to be recorded in Smithville

If you have ever wanted to be part of a music video, you now have a chance. Gospel recording artist Johnathan Bond will be shooting a video at Smithville First Freewill Baptist Church for a song co-written by Smithville’s very own Vonda Brown. “Cries from the Cross” will be filmed Saturday, December 18 from noon until 5 pm and requires a large number of people to participate. The song and production will release near mid-March 2022 prior to Easter.

The video will have two main scenes, one of Jesus and the two thieves on the crosses and one in the church sanctuary of a singing/praise service. A large number of cast members are needed for both scenes. Those who would like to participate are asked to be at the church, located at 500 Bright Hill Road, Smithville, at 11:30 to sign a release form.

“We would love to have everyone from DeKalb County to come and be part of this,” said Johnathan Bond. “There are some hard scenes in this. Jesus will be on the cross with the thieves on each side. There will be people in the crowd jeering and criticizing Jesus, but also those who are pleading for compassion.”

Participants in the crucifixion scene will be required to dress in time-appropriate clothing as those who were in the crowd at the crucifixion. Men wore solid color tunics, slightly below the knees, cinched with a cloth belt or rope around the waist and sandals. Women wore solid color, long dresses that covered the feet, with a cloth belt cinched at the waist and a head covering.

Those who participate in the church service have broader dress options. Characters in all types of clothing are needed including Sunday church clothes, every day street clothes, and come as you are.

“I’m very excited about this,” said Johnathan Bond. “Vonda reached out to me and had some lyrics to a song and asked what I thought about co-writing. So, we sat down and began to write, asking God’s direction. It just unfolded beautifully.”

After completing a demo of the song, Bond said he was listening to it play and his heart got involved. He contacted Brown to see what she thought about shooting a video. He then contacted his manager, Rick Hendrix and shared the song with him. They knew it was a powerful song and needed to proceed in production.

“I asked Vonda what she thought about doing a full video,” he continued.  “Everything just began to unfold beautifully. Just so excited about the reminder. A lot of times people just don’t think about how many cries actually took place at the cross.”

Vonda Brown, member of Smithville First Freewill Baptist Church tells of how writing “Cries from the Cross” came about.

“I got the idea from our pastor Bro.  Andy Patterson,” she said. “He was having a tag-team (multiple preachers) event at church called “Seven Cries from the Cross.” Cries from the cross just stuck with me in my spirit for several days, so I asked the Lord about it. I was stuck in traffic one morning going to work, and I just asked the Lord what it was about. The next thing I knew, He was pouring out these words, and I couldn’t get it typed fast enough.”

Writing the song took only three weeks from start to finish.

Brown added, “Think about the Trinity – God is good!”

While Brown has written a few other songs, this is the first one to be recorded with video production and released to the main stream gospel stations.  There may be even larger projects using the song which may be done at a later time. 

Bond is a 30 year veteran of the Gospel Music Industry, and performs with his band Young Harmony.

“To look back at what all God has done over the years is amazing,” said Bond.

“On this song specifically I’ve never thought about all of the cries. About all of the hurt Mary must have had, and when Jesus said to his brother ‘take care of mother’ even in that hardest point in His life physically, He still had compassion to say ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.’”


Cutline: Professional Gospel Artist Johnathan Bond, left, and Smithville’s Vonda Brown, are seen standing at the crosses located at Smithville Freewill Baptist Church where a main scene will be filmed for the song “Cries from the Cross.” The song was written by Brown and Bond.