Over the last 25 years, Forest Home Baptist Church’s Drive-Thru Nativity has seen its visitors increase tenfold, and the tradition returns Dec. 7-9.
In 1993, the new holiday offering saw fewer than 150 cars and just over 400 people pass through its living Nativity scenes.
In 2016, however, more than 4,000 people – in more than 1,100 cars – experienced the mix of new and biblical scenes.
“That’s how much it’s grown over the years,” Forest Home Baptist Church Ministry Assistant Wanda Billings said. “It’s pretty amazing. I don’t think [Minister of Education Pat Monk] ever thought it would grow to what it’s become.”
Just as it has for those 25 years, the free Christmas tradition will have scenes on display through the Forest Home Baptist Church parking lot with hot chocolate available at the beginning. Dog biscuits are available also for the four-legged companions.
While it takes a lot to get everything ready and run the scenes from 6-9 p.m. Friday through Saturday, Billings said, it is fun also.
“It is a neat way for our new church members to get involved and get to know our older church members,” she said. “It’s kind of a church-wide effort. It really brings our church family together putting this on. It’s one of the blessings besides just seeing the people come through.”
With both adults and children acting out their roles in the scenes, each section includes lights, props, music and costumes.
As a free event, Billings said, it offers families who may not have much money to spend on Christmas an opportunity to experience the Christmas spirit without traveling or paying an entrance fee.
“It’s something that’s kind of magical and something that they can enjoy that doesn’t cost anything,” she said. “That’s kind of neat to see.”
For more information, contact the church office at 903-984-2117.