Live nativity scene offered in Upshur County

BUCKHANNON — Tonight, residents will have the opportunity to bundle up, take a drive and learn about the true meaning of Christmas with the First Baptist Church’s drive-through live nativity scene.

Going on its fourth year, the First Baptist Church, located on Little Sand Run Road, has been presenting scenes from the Bible live to community members during the holiday season.

This year the live nativity will include six scenes performed by multiple members of the church. Scenes will include Mary telling the people that she will be carrying the Messiah, taxes being done in the city, Mary and Joseph, shepherds in the field and the Three Wise Men. The final scene will be at the stable where Jesus is born.

When drivers and passengers go through the nativity, each scene will have a verse out of the Bible that describes what’s going on in that section, explained Pam Slaughter, a member of the church.

“You just drive right through and just read each sign and see all of the acts that are being performed,” she said.

Holiday music will also be played as attendees drive through the nativity.

Unlike previous years, the scenes will feature a big back drop of Jerusalem and of the stable this year.

Slaughter said in the past live animals were used in the scenes, but due to the frigid temperatures this year the animals will not be part of the presentation.

Throughout the years, the project has expanded, meaning preparation for the production begins at least a month in advance. Many church members get involved, performing several different duties to help with the nativity.

Along with about 25 church members participating in the scenes, Slaughter said about 35 people in total help out with the production, including backstage duties.

“There’s just a lot of people involved. We have people that help with costumes, getting everybody dressed, everybody in place, the lighting crew, people doing the music, and I believe this year the story will be read over the intercom,” said Slaughter.

In the future, she said the church plans on building onto the drive-through.

“I would just like to see a big traffic jam out front,” Slaughter said with a laugh.

The reason for hosting the live nativity scene is to share the meaning of the holiday with community members.

“I’m not sure if they don’t take the meaning of Christmas seriously or they actually don’t know what the meaning of Christmas is all about, so it’s a way to share the birth of Jesus with people and just let them know what the true meaning of Christmas is,” Slaughter said.

The free admission live drive-through nativity scene will be offered from 6-8 p.m. tonight at the First Baptist Church at 234 Little Sand Run Road. Should weather conditions be harsh, the production will be moved to 6-8 p.m. Friday.