(Orange, Texas)

December 3, 2013

Bringing the story of Christmas to life

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — North Orange Baptist Church is creating a way to experience the Christmas story up close and personal as the church family recreates the birth of Christ in first century Palestine.

Over 100 church members are joining together again to bring the third annual "Village of the Nativity" to the Golden Triangle area.

“This is something the church wants to do for the community,” Executive Pastor Rusty Dollar said in a phone interview. “This is a way to give back to the community and to tell the story of Christmas in a unique way.”

During the past two years, the church has seen almost 5,000 visitors walk through the outdoor encounter with history.

The event allows visitors to hear first hand from the townspeople about the newborn King as one walks through the town that ends at a manger scene.

The reenactment is complete with animals, music, and structured facades. Many volunteers from the church are dressed in costume to resemble biblical characters.

Upon arriving in Bethlehem, one will enter through the city gates protected by Roman guards because a census has been ordered to be taken in the area. Visitors  will follow various individuals from the village along a lighted path through this first century recreation and come in contact with numerous sights, sounds, and smells that would have been experienced some two-thousand years ago.  

“Experiencing the five senses like smelling the perfume of the times or tasting the bread as you hear people talking as you walk by makes the story come to life,” Dollar said. “The story is no longer just words on a page.”

While walking along the path, one will see live animals, bakers, potters, basket weavers, Innkeepers, and other various village folk who will invite visitors to take part in their special trade. In addition, children will be able to play and encounter first century children’s games. The journey comes to an end when visitors see baby Jesus lying in a manager, surrounded by his parents, shepherds, and the wise men.

The public is invited 6 - 8 p.m.  Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15 to walk through the live nativity experience.  

Finish up the evening with a cup of hot cocoa, cookies, and some Christmas carols. North Orange Baptist Church is located at 4775 North 16th Street, Orange. For more information see