Many people will spend Christmas Eve sitting around the table with family and friends, while others seek comfort in their local sanctuary as they celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Though some churches have opted out of Christmas Eve services, many congregations still meet the night before Christmas in reverent ceremonies. Among them are Westminster Presbyterian Church, where Larry Gilpin has been pastor for nine years.
"We've always had a good crowd," Gilpin said. "It can vary a little depending on who may be out of town, but generally it's pretty well-attended."
Gilpin said Westminster has never entertained the idea of not having a Christmas Eve service since he has been pastor.
"It's just never been considered," he said.
Area churches holding Christmas Eve services include:
- Greater Augusta Apostolic Church, 4406 Wrightsboro Road, Grovetown; candlelight service at 5 p.m., Terry Newsome, pastor
- Berea Baptist Church, 213 South Old Belair Road, Grovetown, 6 p.m.; Bert Daniel, pastor
- First Baptist Church of Evans, 515 N. Belair Road, Evans, 5 p.m.; Steve Spencer, pastor
- Grace Baptist Church , 4945 Hardy McManus Road, Evans; 6 p.m.; Bill Hilley, pastor
- Martinez Baptist Church, 3632 Lynnwood Drive, Martinez, 6:30 p.m.; Phillip Winsett, senior pastor
- Westside Baptist Church, 261 Flowing Wells Road, Martinez, 5 p.m.; Robert J. Lehn, pastor
- Bible Cathedral, 1116 Furys Ferry Road, 6 p.m.; Jack Custer, pastor.
- St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, 4921 Columbia Road, Grovetown, 6:30 p.m.; Michael Roverse, pastor
- Church of the Holy Comforter, 473 Furys Ferry Road, Martinez, 5:30 p.m. (children's service); 11 p.m. (traditional midnight mass); Cynthia Taylor, pastor
- Grovetown United Methodist Church, 206 E. Robinson Ave., Grovetown, 6 p.m.; Will Dyer, pastor
- Mosaic United Methodist Church, 476 Columbia Industrial Boulevard, Evans, services at 5 and 7 p.m.; communion at 6:15 p.m.; Carolyn Moore, pastor
- Wesley United Methodist Church, 825 N. Belair Road, Evans, 2:30 p.m. Children's Candlelight Service; 4 p.m. Candlelight Communion, 5:30 p.m. Candlelight Communion, 7 p.m. Candlelight Communion, 11:30 p.m. Lessons & Carols and Candlelight Communion; Greg Porterfield, senior pastor
- Columbia County Christian Church, 4004 Prescott Drive, Martinez, 7 p.m.; Mike Klaus, senior pastor
- Christ Church Presbyterian, 4201 Southern Pines Drive, Evans, 5 p.m.; Dr. W. Duncan Rankin, pastor
- Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 3703 Old Petersburg Road, Martinez, 7 p.m.; Steve Olson, pastor
- Harlem United Methodist Church, 115 West Milledgeville Road, Harlem, 8 p.m.; Tom Drake, pastor
- Lewis Memorial United Methodist Church, 5555 Hereford Farm Road, Evans -- 5 p.m. candlelight service in the sanctuary, 7:30 p.m. candlelight service in the warehouse, 11 p.m. candlelight service in the historical chapel; Eddie Bradford, pastor
- Marvin United Methodist Church, 4400 Wheeler Road, Martinez, 6 p.m.; Chuck Moon, pastor
- Martinez United Methodist Church, 3514 Washington Road, Martinez, 5:30 p.m.; Perry Shelfer, pastor
- Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4303 Wheeler Road, Martinez, 6 p.m.; Larry Gilpin, senior pastor
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