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Nativity walking tour returns to Roanoke’s Shenandoah Baptist Church with new features

Tour brings story of Christmas to life with walking tour and light display

ROANOKE, Va. – Shenandoah Baptist Church takes storytelling to the next level with its free outdoor live nativity.

For two weekends in December, this interactive walking tour takes people on a journey to eight stations. Each station is a scene from the biblical story of Jesus’ birth.

There are some changes this year. The walking tour will be open on Fridays in response to the large turnout last year. Another change, registration is via text.

In past years there was a stage where the choir would perform called the Celebration Station. Due to the pandemic, that was moved outdoors with a Christmas light display as the backdrop. Similar to drive-in movies, when you pull into the parking lot and tune in to a specific radio station you can hear music synchronized to the light show.

Darin Allen, the associate pastor for worship, said the goal is to provide hope especially right now.

“In a time where it seems like it’s hard for us to see what’s around the corner, it’s hard for us to see what’s coming next there is an eternal hope and we believe people can hear about that here, we know they can hear about that here at nativity and we hope it’ll make a difference in their lives,” said Allen.

Mark Jervis plays King Herod in the walking tour and said participating makes him feel like he’s part of something bigger than himself.

“I would never be able, in my own person, put on a production like this. I don’t have that skill but to be part of it and to be part of something that’s going to reach in the community as far as this will, especially this time of year, of course, this is really special,” said Jervis.

Watch below for a snippet of Jervis’ scene.

According to the church’s website, the nativity walking tour is about 350 yards and is not wheelchair accessible.

Opening night is Friday, Dec. 4, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The nativity runs through the weekend and starts back up the following Friday. For more information, click here.

Shenandoah Baptist’s senior pastor Mark Hopkins welcomes people to enjoy the synchronized light show throughout the week up to Christmas Day.


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