BY KIM LUTTRELL
A long-standing tradition is returning to Muncie for Christmas after a three-year hiatus.
Muncie Baptist Church and the village of Muncie are once again teaming up to have a live Nativity scene for one night only tonight.
Heather McArty, a member of the Muncie Baptist Church, said the live Nativity had been a long-time tradition at the church.
“Our live Nativity was really something our church was known for,” McArty said. “It had been held here at the church for 28 years until 2008.”
McArty said in the past the live Nativity had been held for three nights and required a lot of volunteers as well as someone willing to board and feed the livestock for those three days.
“It took a lot of dedicated people to put it on,” McArty said.
However, three years ago the decision was made to discontinue having the live Nativity.
“Some of us in the church realized that it was a big part of who we are,” McArty said. “So we decided to bring it back for just one night this year.”
According to McArty, the animals, which include camels, donkeys, sheep and a cow, are provided by an outside source. The human characters portrayed in the live Nativity will be members of the congregation as in the past.
“We no longer have a place to board our animals for three nights,” McArty said. “So we decided we would just have the live Nativity for one night.”
This year, members of the church are opening the church doors for people who come to view the Nativity.
“The Nativity display will be as in the past, with people able to drive through and observe it from their cars,” McArty said. “However, once they drive through and see the display we are inviting them to park and come into the church.”
Inside the church, members will serve barbecue sandwiches and potato chips. There also will be a film on the Nativity story showing in the sanctuary and there will be crafts for children. There also will be a petting zoo outside of the church.
Members of the church also will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Oakwood Township Food Bank.
The live Nativity will run 3:30-8 p.m. today. Muncie Baptist Church is located at 205 Main St., Muncie. Muncie is 12 miles west of Danville on U.S. Route 150 or by taking exit 200 off of I-74.
Visitors are encouraged to park north of church if participating in activities inside of the building.