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Cruising through Christmas: First Baptist tells story along street

It's a Christmastime sight motorists along the Warrenton Highway have grown accustomed to seeing.

The front of an old warehouse is transformed into an ancient inn. Vendors' stalls appear in a village market, standing ready to be filled with fruits and vegetables. A carpenter's workshop begins to take shape.

These images are all a part of "One Night in Bethlehem," a Christmas gift presented each year to the community by First Baptist Church of Thomson. This year's Drive-Thru Living Nativity is scheduled for Dec. 14, 15, and 16.

The Nativity will be open each evening from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. There is no admission charge.

More than 60 actors will take part in 10 scenes depicting the Christmas story.

The narrated story begins at the gated entrance to Bethlehem and continues with the angel Gabriel's visitations to Mary and to Joseph.

Roman soldiers stand at attention as one of Caesar's centurions conducts a census.

Visitors to the Nativity next find themselves in the village of Bethlehem itself as Joseph and Mary try to find a room for the night.

In this scene, as well as in the manger scene and the encampment of the Wise Men, live animals are featured.

"This is the fifth year of our presentation," said Laverne Melton, FBC Minister of Music and originator of the annual event. "We've grown each year. And we've learned a lot each about what to do and what not to do.

"Every year seems to present challenges of its own. Just ask the angels who 'soar on high' from the rooftop of our Fellowship Hall," she said with a laugh.



Web posted on Thursday, December 9, 2004











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