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Live Nativity brings the community back to true Christmas meaning

| December 10, 2018

The Coshocton Christian Tabernacle had the annual Live Nativity on Dec. 7 – 9 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Pastor Mike Jansen built a permanent tomb this year with a goal to rebuild one to two scenes every year. Pictured is Anthony Johnson as Jesus.

COSHOCTON – For the past 21 years, more than 100 volunteers of all ages and walks of life come together at Coshocton Christian Tabernacle to bring the Live Nativity to the community. Although the event begins at 6:30 p.m. for three nights in December, cars start lining up to view the Live Nativity at 5:30 p.m. and by 6:30 p.m., the line stretches all the way out to US 36.

“A lot of people use this as their Christmas celebration because Christmas gets so busy, so they can use this to remember what Christmas is all about,” said Jacque Wagner, director of the event.

In the kitchen, a group of volunteers makes sure that all the actors are fed a cup of warm soup before venturing out into the cold. Christy Grudier has been volunteering with the Live Nativity since the beginning and now works in the kitchen.

“I just enjoy helping out wherever I can,” she said as she stirred a big bowl of hot chocolate mix. “The community seems to enjoy it so it seems like something I need to do.”

Pastor Mike Jansen has taken it upon himself this year to construct a permanent tomb that is used for the resurrection scene. His goal is to take a set or two in the Live Nativity every year and rebuild it as a permanent structure.

“The Live Nativity is part of who this church is,” he said. “This is who we are and we want to build things so we’re not doing a ton of repairs every year and so that set up and tear down isn’t a ton of work every year. I got the idea for it last year because all of our sets needed a lot of work.”

Chad Clark of Clay LBC Co in Newcomerstown donated all the stone used to construct the tomb, which is approximately 6 – 7 feet tall.

“It was really fun,” said Jansen. “I have never done anything like that. It was fun to give something to the church and it came out very good.”

Jansen also made a special note that the church was missing a very special member during the Live Nativity. Betty Kyle, who had repainted the temple for the event, was unable to make it to the event this year.

“We are heartbroken,” said Jansen. “It’s pretty rough.”

The Live Nativity started in the early 1990s on Brown’s Lane and when the church moved to its current location on Airport Road in the mid-2000s, they brought the event with them. However, it has grown from a stable and angel choir to 12 scenes of Jesus’ life.

“The main reason why we did this is because we wanted to involve as many people in the church as we could,” said Mary Ann Gill, who started the event. “It was a good thing and I think it’s progressed over the years. It worked out and we involve the biggest part of the church.”

Coshocton Christian Tabernacle has worship service each Sunday at 10 a.m. as well as special events throughout the year. Check their website at cctab.org for more information.

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Category: Faith, Multimedia, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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