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Nativity Live! Take the Journey! Presented by Georgetown Baptist Church

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In Grayson County, there used to be Georgetown, Texas, named after George Ivey. Georgetown was located four miles north of Pottsboro where Fort Johnson once stood in 1840. (1) The Georgetown Baptist Church dates back to the late 1880s. It closed its doors due to lack of finances and low attendance in 1940. The church reconstituted in its current location in 1947.


Nativity Live is an impressive production performed by 200 to 225 Georgetown Baptist Church members and volunteers. Pastor Bobby Hancock, also known as Brother Bobby, has overseen Georgetown Baptist Church’s affairs for ten and a half years. Brother Bobby and Chris Lovejoy, the church’s former worship pastor, conceived of producing a live reenactment of the birth of Jesus Christ in 2010.


By 2012, the conception of Nativity Live had become a reality. Nativity Live is in its seventh year of production. Chris Lovejoy resigned earlier this year and passed the torch to Jason Safford to carry on Nativity Live. I conducted an interview with Jason, Nativity Live director at Georgetown Baptist Church, this week.


I saw a picture of a live camel in the media kit photos. Where do you rent a camel in Texas for a couple of weeks?


Jason: A lady from McKinney owns some of the animals that we feature, a camel, donkeys, and sheep. She participates in the production nightly. Children love the camel!


Who builds the sets?


Jason: Pretty much, it’s 15 to 20 volunteers who work on the sets. We build them, set them up, and tear them down. We reconstitute them the following year. In 2015, we built the Great Wall of Bethlehem where all of the guests enter. We built Herod’s Palace in 2016, and we’re planning to add more permanent structures in 2019.


How much time does it take to produce Nativity Live?


Jason: Nobody has counted the hundreds and hundreds of hours for the show.  


How many people do you expect this year?


Jason: Between 3000 and 5000 attendees. We perform in all weather conditions unless it’s dangerous for attendees. We have put Nativity Live on for seven years except during the ice storm in 2013.


How much work went into to researching the atmosphere of Bethlehem at the time Jesus was born?


Jason: Brother Bobby and Chris Lovejoy spent two years off and on studying the history of the period. They studied other churches around the country doing similar events.


What are the challenges during the event?


Jason: The challenge is constantly encouraging people that we do not live in Pottsboro, TX, but that we’re Hebrew people in Bethlehem. The actors try to stay as true to character as they can and try not to recognize their friends and neighbors. The amount of time spent on the production is challenging. 


Brother Bobby: Creating the "Heavenly Host of Angels" is a challenge. On the night the angels appeared, there were possibly hundreds or thousands of angels. There is no way we could ever produce what a grand spectacle that was! But, we give a valiant effort.


How has the attendance grown over the last six years?


Jason: The first two years, we had three performances on one weekend with 800 people in attendance. We expanded to two weekends with six performances, and in 2017, 4000 people attended. We have people who travel to Nativity Live from as far away as Houston.


This year, you begin the event a 6:00 p.m. each night with groups going through every 20 minutes. How many people go through Bethlehem each time?


Jason: We have groups of 80-110 every 20 minutes.


What do the actors have to say about their experience?


Jason: They are really moved by the attendees who say how touched and how thankful they are.


What are the reactions of the children who attend Nativity Live?


Jason: Nativity Live puts a whole new perspective on the Christmas story for children who really do not understand the true meaning of Christmas. Many families say this will become a part of their Christmas tradition.


2018 Video



Nativity Live Information


Helpful Tips:



  • Registration is strongly recommended!

  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your “Journey” is to begin!

  • Groups welcome!

  • Walk-ups are welcome!

  • Nativity Live is FREE!

  • Seating is available on the “Journey” from the "Inn” to the "Manger"!


Registration


Each night there will be six opportunities for you to journey with Mary & Joseph from the "Inn" to the "Manger". The first "Journey" will begin at 6 p.m. and will continue every 20 minutes. Walk-ups welcome!


 Register for Your “Journey” Time!


Register Online and See Dates and Times


http://nativitylive.com/register/


Call to Register


903.786.2233


Register by Email


contact@nativitylive.com


Nativity Live Home


http://nativitylive.com/


FAQ


Answers to some of the most asked questions about attending Nativity Live:


What is the Cost of the Event?


This is an absolutely free event!


Do I Have to Register in Advance?


Not at all! Walk-ups are welcome! But we do strongly encourage you to register to reduce the time you and your guests may have to wait.


How Do I Register a Large Group?


For groups larger than 20, we ask that you call 903.786.2233 so that we can prepare special accommodations for your group.


Georgetown Baptist Church Website


http://georgetownbaptist.net/


Join Nativity Live on Facebook!


https://www.facebook.com/NativityLive/


Flyer


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1je54YJmxv3YjfG35VN_qxXoEGDE0xvj_/view


(1) Mattie D. Lucas and Mita H. Hall, A History of Grayson County (Sherman, Texas, 1936). Northern Standard, July 31, 1852.


https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvg14


 Pictures


 1. Great Wall of Bethlehem


2. Census Takers


3. Carpenter Shop


4. Candle Maker


5. Apothecary


6. Bethlehem Inn


7. Herod's Palace


8. Nativity


9. Heavenly Host of Angels


 




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Lake Texoma Fishing Report from TPWD (Dec. 5)

Water stained to muddy; 48–50 degrees; 1.19’ high. Black bass are good on Texas rigged craws, lipless crankbaits and suspending jerkbaits. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs. Striped bass are good on slabs. Catfish are fair on trotlines.