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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Scottsboro church recounts life of Jesus in drive-thru tableaucomment (0)

December 7, 2006

By Jeremy Dale Henderson


While live nativity scenes trace their roots back to about the 13th century, Calvary Baptist Church, Scottsboro, has taken the traditional ministry to levels of modern theatre. “We started doing a live nativity just a few years ago with a traditional manger scene, and it got a great response from the church and the community,” said Calvary Baptist member Leigh Ann Pierce. “But we just started kind of brainstorming.” 
   
That developed into “Pictures of Jesus,” an eight scene, drive-thru tableau that begins with Christ’s birth and ends with His ascension. 
   
“It’s one thing for people to think about Jesus at Christmas, but they leave Him as a baby in the manger, and we wanted to expand to the whole story and tell them why He came as a baby,” Pierce said. So for a second year, a group of close to 100 Calvary volunteers will take to the church’s property from 6–8 the nights of Dec. 8 and 9, re-enacting Christ’s birth, His miracles and even His crucifixion. 
   
“We actually had a member who does carpentry to build a Golgotha on the end of our property out here,” said Kris Dolberry, Calvary’s minister of education. 
   
Located at a busy intersection on U.S. Highway 72, Scottsboro’s main thoroughfare, the Tennessee River Baptist Association church — led by Pastor Robert Gamble — is in a prime position for this evangelistic approach. Guests receive an accompanying narration on either compact disc (CD) or cassette. They drive around the church where the scenes are set up while listening to the narration. They return the CD or cassette at the exit. 
   
Last year, 500 cars are estimated to have completed the course. This year, a free gift-wrapping service is being planned as extra enticement. “I think churches just need to do more and more to support the true meaning of Christmas because we see so much in society that’s not supporting it,” Pierce said. “And thankfully we can still do whatever we want on our own property.”

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