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Churches Celebrate To Bring The True Meaning Of Christmas

Loris First Baptist Church, ‘A Live Walk-Through Nativity’, cast members in the city of Bethlehem.

Visitors traveled through time to more than 2,000 years ago at Loris First Baptist Church from Friday, Dec. 14, through Sunday, Dec. 16. Beginning at 6 p.m. a guide asks prayers then takes a group of 30 through the live outdoor walk-through stepping on a hay path where the group is led to the field where the shepherds watch their flock of sheep.

The guide explains in scripture and script that an angel appeared to the shepherds to give the good news of Christ’s birth. One of the angels, Lealah Porter, said she likes participating in the program and enjoyed singing in the field. The group then sings two carols, The First Noel and Angels We Have Heard on High before being escorted to the town of Bethlehem.

The five scenes each guest visited are as follows: And the Angels Appeared, the Town of Bethlehem, At the Stable, At the Cross and The Resurrection. Each scene is as realistic as it was 2,000 years ago. In Bethlehem signs were posted in both English and Hebrew.

The guests were asked to interact with the cast in Bethlehem by asking questions or to ask if they have seen Mary and Joseph. They asked merchants and shoppers if they have seen Marry and Joseph where most gave the response, “No, I have not seen them.” The innkeeper remembered seeing them, but there was no room at the inn; he directed the guests to the stable. As they reached the stable they heard Mary softly singing as the baby Jesus lay in a manger with Joseph looking on. The shepherd guide spoke and again the guests joined in song, Away in a Manger, before walking over to the cross scene where they listened to the LFBC choir sing as they faced the lonely cross. Mary said, “Only 33 years after my baby Jesus was humbly placed in a manger, he was horribly nailed to the cross.” She continued, “Jesus was born unto this world to die for the sins of this world.”

Again the guests followed the hay laid path to the tomb where when the rock was rolled away, the tomb was empty. An angel appears saying, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? Jesus is not here.” He has risen and has died for our sins as we ask forgiveness it is done.

This is the second year the church and its members have presented the walk-through nativity to Loris residents. A group from Calabash was invited to visit the program by a co-worker who is a member of the church. Paul and Cheryl Dought, Linda Mullins and Roger and Penny Doss were excited to see the program. They are glad they came to visit as it reminded them of the early days and the true meaning of Christmas.

Friday night the church had to cancel the program due to the rain. Saturday night the program was cut short due to the cast members being wet from the sudden showers during the program. Several visitors from outside of Loris were disappointed but promised to return at Sunday’s performance. Hunter Johnson, the youth pastor, live streamed the program on Facebook.

Loris First United Methodist Church presented a Christmas Recital featuring students of Linda Jernigan Jordan on Sunday, Dec. 16, from 3 to 6 p.m. Christmas music filled the sanctuary with the voices of the youth Jernigan coaches. There were 26 soloists singing Oh Christmas Tree, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, The First Noel, The Christmas Song and I’ll Be Home for Christmas to name a few.

Jernigan’s voice students, Caroline Grace Garland sang O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Haveri Housand and Embry Simmons sang Away in a Manger and Nyreonna Bryant sang Silent Night. Two hours of upbeat Christmas songs as well as the traditional Christmas carols echoed through the sanctuary entertaining a full house.

Following the musical refreshments were served in the fellowship hall.
The First United Methodist Church wished all a Merry Christmas as the guests left with a peaceful feeling.

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