Christmas is almost here and people are gearing up for the holiday with a variety of festivities and activities.
Many churches throughout the community will present Christmas plays, cantatas, nativity scenes, gospel singing and other fellowship gatherings.
Members of the Fleming Baptist Church are doing something a little different this year. They will present the church’s first live nativity at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12. There will be a dress rehearsal at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.
Fleming Baptist Church is at 3526 N. Coastal Highway 17 in Fleming, and members hope the ideal location will attract visitors to the program.
“We normally present a Christmas cantata every year, but this year we decided to add the nativity scene,” said the Rev. Chris Bowen, who serves as youth pastor and musician. Bowen has been the youth pastor for three years and the church musician for two years. He will direct the production.
“We want the community to know that the church does know the reason for the season,” Bowen said.
After months of hard work and rehearsals, members are bubbling over with anticipation as the big day nears.
The choir will sing a cantata while other parishioners perform the live nativity. The whole program will be outside under the stars. Men from the church will participate in the nativity in the role of shepherds and wise men. The shepherd and wise men will dress in handmade costumes.
“The children of the church will sing a song with the choir at the end. An invitation to Christian discipleship will also be extended during the event,” Bowen said.
“We are a small church and between the choir, the characters and other workers to pull this off, we will have plenty of room for visitors. I’m not sure this has been done in a rural community in a very long time. We want to show the community and our neighbors that we are representing the true meaning of Christmas,” said church member Maude Thompson, who serves as the church clerk and adult ladies Sunday school teacher.
Members of Fleming Baptist invite the community to come and watch the event while enjoying hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies. Bowen said he hopes the live nativity becomes an annual event with members of the community participating.
The church is under the leadership of interim Pastor Jack Yarborough. He is a well-known evangelist who heads the Jack Yarbrough Evangelistic Ministries. Yarbrough has 12 years of pastoral experience and 28 years of gospel singing experience.
For more information about the program, call 884-7499 or 667-7429.