Monday, December 4, 2017

Growing Deer Creek Nativity starts Saturday

Deer Creek Baptist Church members will tell you their place of worship has seen much growth as of late.

Having monthly activities helps to bring in a bigger crowd, elders say, as the church regularly hosts themed events such as Hallelujah Parties, Pumpkin Carvings, Grandparents' Day and a Veterans Day ceremony. Next up is the three-day Nativity scene, a live replica of Bethlehem  based on early biblical descriptions of the city. It is centered around Jesus Christ’s birth.

The Nativity will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9-11.

Longtime church members Donna Hearell and Wade Buntin organize the project, while Denise Byarley designs the costumes. The three collaborate with many other members who work behind the scenes and are just as vital to the project.

The church intends to make this year’s nativity scene bigger and better than before. The Bethlehem scene will be complete with detailed props, new characters and overall realistic scenery.

“Every member of the church contributes, and it is one big group effort,” Hearell said. “In other words, it truly takes a village to make this thing run, and the experience itself is all about the atmosphere. You can smell the smoke and hear the blacksmith working, for example."

In addition to the usual scenery of Bethlehem, they will be introducing a variety of new characters into the scenes, outside of the usual residents who have been used for years. Roman soldiers will now be patrolling the streets while peasants are making their rounds begging for food. Water gatherers will be posted at the district well, and local fisherman will be used to portray life in such a time.

Two camels will be mixed in with the variety of other farm animals used in the display, and it is has been suggested there will now be a city wall surrounding this replica of Bethlehem. There are descriptive plaques throughout the city meant to guide attendees and tell the story of each section. Organizers are working toward steady improvement and aim to offer an unforgettable experience to both returning and first-time spectators.

Deer Creek Baptist Church is located 5 miles out Ky. 297 from its intersection with U.S. 60 West.

This is an abbreviated article from a longer piece published in the Nov. 16 issue of The Crittenden Press.