The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

December 12, 2013

Mineral Springs Baptist brings Bethlehem to Stanly

Thursday, December 12, 2013 — Temperatures were falling, but excitement was rising Saturday night as shepherds and angels, innkeepers and tax collectors, merchants and magi, a small flock of sheep and a humble donkey took their places around the Bethlehem village across from Mineral Springs Baptist Church, all with the goal of pointing passersby to the reason for the season — the nativity of Christ.

On N.C. 205 just south of Oakboro and led by the Rev. Rod Denny, the church is putting renewed focus on community outreach, according to Bonnie Aldridge, who is co-directing the drive-through drama with Amanda Griffey again this weekend.

“We typically do a Christmas play, but we wanted to do something this year that could involve the whole church and reach out to the community,” said Aldridge, as shopkeeper Shirley Morris-Bell passed by with Mary and Joseph’s donkey on the way to the stable. Melanie Edwards hurried to her stall to peddle bread next door to Marilyn Tysinger’s basket shop, while Marah Jacobs and David Nichols settled in on either side of the manger.

More than two dozen church members play Bethlehem characters, switching off to give one another a chance to warm up inside the garage behind the church parsonage. Others work behind the scenes with set construction, costumes, lighting and more.

Guests enter the production area from Ledbetter-Ford Road, which intersects with N.C. 205 in front of the church. They receive a program with scripture and information and a CD with music and voice-over to set each scene as they approach it in their vehicle. After passing the wise men and shepherds, they enter Bethlehem proper via a huge gate and pass the shops and inn before coming to the stable and hearing the Gospel message.

Just before they exit back onto the road, travelers are offered a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

More than 100 people visited the village on opening night Dec. 6, many with their windows down enjoying unusually warm weather. But over the opening weekend gusty afternoon winds toppled two of the merchant booths, which had to be reconstructed and reinforced. By Saturday night, all was calm and bright in Mineral Springs’ Bethlehem as cars began to line up just before 6 p.m.

An even larger crowd is expected this weekend as Christmas approaches. Hours are 6-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more directions, phone the church at (704) 485-4814.

Luanne Williams is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News & Press.



 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Janice Abernathy Stanly residents share memories of Mickey Rooney

    Mickey Rooney is remembered for his numerous film roles, including his immense popularity as a child actor and the Andy Hardy series.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Democrats rally platform at county convention

    There were as many no-shows as candidates vying for office at Saturday’s Democratic convention and breakfast at Stanly Regional Medical Center’s Magnolia Room.

    April 10, 2014

  • Candidates: Stanly must change EDC strategies

    Changes with how Stanly County pursues economic development and ethical standards in the Sheriff’s Office were a frequent theme at Thursday night’s Republican forum.

    April 10, 2014

  • Town increases sewer tap fee by $800, ups other fees

    The town of New London no longer has to worry about lagging behind the other areas of Stanly County when it comes to sewer fees and the costs to reconnect water and sewer. And the best part is, neither will its current residents and businesses.

    April 4, 2014

  • EDC plots main focus

    At a strategic development meeting Monday night, the Stanly County Economic Development Commission board told staff they would like to see a focus on bringing high-wage jobs into the county over the next few years.

    April 4, 2014

  • SRMC Picture Carolinas HealthCare unveils plans, changes for Stanly Regional

    Carolinas HealthCare System announced that expansions and changes will accompany Stanly Health Services’ integration into its system.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Angie Gallimore Bonanza packs Mkt. Station

    The rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits at Saturday’s Outdoorsman’s Bonanza.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Patrol Car Grant helps APD boost ranks, fleet

    The Albemarle Police Department has a new traffic officer and unmarked SUV patrolling the streets.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coffey Anderson Speaker offers youth advice

    Coffee and a Pop Tart is one way to wake up.
    Coffey Anderson and some pop music is another.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mitchel T. Morton Service tributes Vietnam veteran

    A collage of faded photographs, two letters — one returned unopened and another stamped, but not mailed, and a yellowed newspaper clipping of an obituary kept in a plastic bag are among mementos that remain behind.

    March 26, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide