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East Newton Baptist expands live nativity scene

The wisemen visit Mary and Joseph during the East Newton Baptist Church live nativity scene. (Special Photo)

The wisemen visit Mary and Joseph during the East Newton Baptist Church live nativity scene. (Special Photo)

COVINGTON — East Newton Baptist Church Pastor Tom Lee hopes to draw a larger crowd for its live nativity this year after moving the scene to the 17 acres beside the church where it will have more visibility.

In previous years, the nativity was held behind the church.

“We wanted to make it more visible for people to see,” Lee said.

The church’s seventh annual Bethlehem: A Living Nativity will be held at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

“The Bethlehem star is already lit and people traveling U.S. Highway 278 can see it,” he said. “The star hangs right above the village where the nativity will be.”

Lee said the new location allows for the church to set up 200 seats and provides room for others to stand or bring chairs and blankets.

Besides building a new village scene, the church is also adding more livestock this year. Lee said there will be five horses, more than 12 goats and sheep, and possibly llamas.

“Three of the horses will actually be ridden by the Roman soldiers,” Lee said. “People in the community we’ve met over the years have been able to get animals here and there. We just started asking for more animals this year and God provided.”

The nativity cast includes 25 to 30 people and the production will last about 35 minutes. After the performance, attendees will have the opportunity to get closer to the animals.

“It’s going to be wonderful time and our main purpose is to share that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ,” Lee said.

East Newton Baptist Church is located at 11290 U.S. Highway 278 East in Covington.