Live Nativity held in memory of those who have passed

| December 9, 2019

COSHOCTON – Every year, the Coshocton Christian Tabernacle brings the story of Jesus’ birth to life at the live nativity the first weekend in December. This year, the event was held in memory of people who had passed away which included Roy Conrad, Joe Anderson, Betty Kyle, and Mike and Michaela Elson.

“They were extremely involved with everything, setting up the scenes for the live nativity each year,” said Jackie Wagner, coordinator of the event. “They’ll be very much missed.”

Set up for the live nativity begins in November and finishes up the week of the event with 10 to 15 volunteers helping each evening.

“It takes a lot of manpower to build these scenes,” said Wagner.

However, all the hard work is worth it as many people in the community begin their holiday season by going to the live nativity. Last year, 2,197 people attended the three-night event, and about 130 to 140 volunteers from the church make it happen each night.

“It gives people more of a traditional Christmas,” said Wagner. “It’s the reason for the season. Instead of all the busy shopping, it’s a nice time to relax and enjoy what it’s really about.”

Before volunteers go outside to their respective scenes, which depict the market scene, the tax collector, the birth of Jesus, angel choirs, the death of Christ, His resurrection, and many more, volunteers are fed by a group of dedicated volunteers in the kitchen.

“I like helping the community,” said Stacie Rice, who has volunteered in the kitchen for the past five years. “It’s something for the community to come and look at and get an idea of what the true meaning of Christmas is.”

Joanne Conrad has been a kitchen volunteer since the beginning of the live nativity.

“This is just an outreach for our church,” she said. “That’s one thing we’ve done for quite a while. The displays have gotten bigger. We try to add more and it’s a little bit bigger than it used to be.”

This is the 22nd year for the live nativity, which started in 1992 with a five-year break during those years. The church, which was founded in 1981, was originally on Brown’s Lane and was pastored by Sonny Easterday, who still comes back each year to help with the event.

“These are my people,” said Easterday. “I grew up with them. I hope they realize the importance of the virgin birth and the importance of what this nativity is about. It’s all about Jesus Christ. It’s not about our church. It’s about Jesus.”

The church started in a home, then moved to Keene Grange and then to Pleasant Valley School before moving to Brown’s Lane in an old John Deere building owned by Harold Olinger.

“It came up for sale and we began to talk about it and pray about it, and then things started happening,” said Easterday.

The Coshocton Christian Tabernacle has been at its current location since 2011.

“This just goes to show what the Lord can do and what people can do and what the Lord can do through people if we let Him,” said Easterday.

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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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