Area church creates live nativity scene
by Daniel Gaddy
Dec 06, 2010 | 1626 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As Terrie Banks describes her church's re-creation of the Nativity, the event sounds more like a movie production than a church play.

Banks, the leader of praise and worship for Freedom Assembly of God, said their Nativity is in the style of a hay ride which takes the audience through the scenes of Christ's birth. The program includes live performances, live music and even live animals for the Manger scene.

When asked about the amount of rehearsal required to pull off the production, Banks laughs.

"Oh my goodness," she said about the workload.

Despite the extra hours, Banks said the live Nativity is something she and many church members have wanted to do for years. She said the performance serves as a way to reach out to the community.

"It's just us wanting to minister outside the four walls of our church building," she said.

Banks said their top priority is to make a connection with those who don't normally attend church.

"It's to reach the lost," she said. "That's the whole goal -- to let them see the true meaning of Christmas."

Freedom Assembly of God's nativity will take the audience through five scenes of Jesus Christ's birth, from Joseph and Mary walking toward Bethlehem to the Manger.

Banks said there will also be a special finale performed by the youth group, which she must keep a surprise.

"That scene is going to be moving," she said. "It's going to be awesome."

This weekend will be the second year the church has produced the live Nativity. Banks said the event received 250 audience members last year, and she has received several calls from church groups that plan to attend this year.

The performance will be held on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. at the church. Banks said groups of audience members go through the ride every 45 minutes, and "if we have to run until midnight, we will run until midnight."

Banks said attendants also receive hot chocolate and cookies at the end of the show.

She said reservations are not required, but organizers are requesting them to get an idea of how many people will be coming. Those interested in making a reservation can call, 205-522-8541.

Banks said the performance is free, and she stresses that everyone is invited.

"We just want to do something special for the community -- to let them know they are loved and that Jesus loves them," she said.