Moultrie Observer

Local News

December 4, 2010

Norman Park church 'returns to Bethlehem'

MOULTRIE — First Baptist Church of Norman Park will be bringing biblical times to Norman Park so people can experience life at the time of Jesus’ birth.

The Rev. Shane Ashley, pastor of First Baptist, said the fourth annual “Return to Bethlehem” will be held Friday, Dec. 10, through Sunday, Dec. 12. The walking tour will take place at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Norman Park, and groups will start taking the tour at 6 p.m.

Once each group begins the tour, Ashley said it will visit seven scenes leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. Groups will visit the Temple, Caesar’s Palace, the Bethlehem Marketplace and the Manger.

First Baptist holds the event each year to reach out to the community, Ashley said. He hopes each person who goes through will take a step back in time and see how life was when Christ was born and the impact He still makes on the world today.

“We want to help people think about the real meaning of Christmas,” Ashley said. “We hope families make it a tradition to come here.”

There is no admission fee, and Ashley said groups are welcome to attend. The tours will have groups of about 20 people go through the scenes at a time. Large groups can make reservations, but they are not required.

Anyone who would like to make a group reservation can call the church office at 229-769-3051, Ashley said. The tours will begin at the Conference Center’s Hope Chapel, and music will be provided while visitors wait to begin their tour.

Ashley said more than 100 church members will be in costume and part of the tour. Although the scenes will remain the same from last year’s performances, the cast will be building up what was already done.

In the event of rain, Ashley said there are no scheduled makeup dates. The church is praying for dry weather to be in place for the weekend so no nights will have to be canceled.

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