When you think about looking at a nativity scene you may imagine a ceramic one with figurines. Every year, First Assembly of God in Searcy does a different nativity, they do the 'Live Nativity'. It steps back about 2000 years to Bethlehem.
Keith Lunsford went to see it on Saturday. He says, 'It's beautiful. It's just beautiful. They've done a tremendous job with it.' Trixi Huffstickler who was also there on Saturday agrees, 'It makes you feel good. It makes you feel good.'
It takes about a month to set up. There are 40 buildings. 150 in the cast. Dozens of animals and by the time it's over, 100 thousand people would've driven through from all over the country.
Mark Ferren built some of the buildings and also serves as the children's pastor. 'We're so spoiled in America and I want to remind [people], a chance for parents to show their kids what Christmas is all about. Christ sent His son a helpless defenseless baby.'
There's a wait to get inside but once in many are in awe of how real everything looks not to mention the lessons they say this teaches. Jeremy O'dell who went to see it on Saturday has this to say, 'the faith and belief in God and Jesus what He died and what He was born for.'
Chris Frye is a member of the church and part of the cast. 'We want it to be a blessing to you just as God wanted to send his Son to be a blessing to you.'
The drive takes you from tax collector past the merchants and the people who gathered in Bethlehem for the census. You'll see the inn with no room and then there's the three wise men, the Star of David and then Mary, Joseph and Jesus.
First Assembly of God Pastor Vernon Ables says, "The nativity speaks [for] itself. We don't get to talk to them individually but we think that when they get to the manger scene which is the climax of the entire nativity in Bethlehem, we feel that this gives them the message that they need to hear concerning the salvation of the birth of Jesus Christ."
The Live Nativity was canceled Sunday because of the rain but it will reopen Thursday, December 7th and run through Sunday, December 11th from 6:30 to 9:30 each night. It's free but the church will accept donations.
For more information you can go to their website by clicking here.