Performances of the Live Nativity Pageant at Central Christian Church in Columbus have pretty much gone as planned since the annual event began in 1958.
There is an exception.
“One year, the animals got loose,” said the Rev. Steve Womack. “Cast members in costume had to chase them down Macon Road.”
Nothing like that has happened since.
And, hopefully, will not again.
The Columbus church moved to its location at 7775 Moon Road in 1995 and that is where this year’s special Christmas show will take place.
There will five pre-Christmas performances that are free to the public.
The presentations will be at 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
On Sunday, presentations will be at 7 p.m and 7:30 p.m.
Also on Sunday, a candlelight Christmas Eve communion will be held at 6 p.m. to which the public is also invited.
Characters from the nativity pageant play a role there, too.
“It is all a great experience for the family,” said the pastor of the Disciples of Christ Church.
Womack said the pageant features members of the congregation and also members of two Girl Scout troops that regularly meet at Central Christian.
“We never have to be concerned about getting people to participate,” said Womack. “This is something people want to do.”
And he never gets tired of watching it.
Womack said the story of the birth of Jesus is presented as it is told in the the gospels of Luke and Matthew.
“We have some great music in the show, traditional Christmas hymns,” said Womack, who has been senior minister at Central since 2014.
He said congregation members are eager to be in the show.
Womack said the nativity pageant got its start at a church in Macon, Ga., and the Rev. Charles Newby, who wrote and choreographed the pageant, brought with him in 1958.
Not much has changed except a few updates made possible with new technology.
Womack said some material had to be recorded again.
“We invite everyone to come share a special night,” he said.
Live Nativity Pageant
Where: Central Christian Church, 7775 Moon Road in Columbus
When: Saturday at 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.