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Church hosts live nativity in the spirit of the season

New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church set out on a mission to spread Christmas cheer Friday and Saturday, it wasn’t with a photo session with Santa, or Christmas caroling, or even a toy drive. It was a live nativity.

New Bethlehem minister Merrill Potter said the church has been hosting the live nativity for several years, depicting the birth of Christ for anyone who wanted to come and see.

“Most of the time it’s in a secluded area, and we don’t get a lot of traffic,” Potter said. This year, church member Jorudi Trapp offered to let the church use his farmstand on Highway 43 for the event, which Potter said they hope will remind people what “the real meaning of what Christmas is.” “Jesus came before Santa,” Potter said. “Doing a live nativity, we’re hoping, will bring it to the point where it all started – Jesus being born.”

Church members portrayed wise men, shepherd, Mary and Joseph. The display also featured a live donkey and goat with kids.

“Ultimately, we’d like to stir the Spirit of God,” Potter said.

Passersby on Highway 43 got the chance to view the scene and take pictures.

“It makes it more real,” said one onlooker at the live nativity. “You see it, and you think about when Jesus was born and the things that went on that night. It just brings the whole story to life.”