Members of three Harlem churches will recreate an ancient Bethlehem this weekend and offer a glimpse into Jesus Christ's birth.
The third annual Walk Through Bethlehem is the combined effort of Harlem United Methodist Church, Harlem Baptist Church and Second Mount Moriah Baptist Church.
The guided tours will start at Harlem United Methodist Church, 115 E. Milledgeville Road. Upon entering the church, guests will register and "pay" the "tax collector" before going into the village.
"The shop owners will be in costume of those times," said Debbie Nunley, the secretary of Harlem United Methodist. "We will have the Roman guards, so it's as realistic as we can possibly get it."
Along the journey, tourists will pass a bakery, wine shop, fruit and vegetable stand, and several other stores in the marketplace. A nativity scene also will be recreated.
"We do have a stable with Mary and Joseph, and we have the live animals," Nunley said.
The 20-minute tour is free, said Nunley, who noted that people from as far as Statesboro, Ga., have checked out the event.
The tours will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Once the tour has concluded, refreshments will be offered next door at Harlem Baptist, Nunley said.
Harlem United Methodist will also put on a Christmas program during its service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
The church's choir will present Winter's Grace: A Cantata for Christmas .
"It tells the Christmas story using music, Scripture, prayers and poetry," said the church's music director, Floyd Montgomery.
The presentation will use seasonal imagery to "represent humankind's spiritual need for renewal and redemption," Montgomery said.
The choir will be accompanied by a pianist, flutist and narrator.
The performance will include both new and traditional carols, including Silent Night and Angels We Have Heard on High, which most people are familiar with, Montgomery said.
For information about either event, call Harlem United Methodist at (706) 556-6885.
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