A Tabernacle Christmas

December 4, 2010 10:15:00 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


"We hope to see many come and share a touch of history, in a church that is full of history," said Pastor Wally Armstrong of Tabernacle United Methodist Church, home of the storied Tabernacle Camp Meeting held every summer since 1828. 


Christmas Memories will revisit the late 1800s and early 1900s in a Christmas event for the public Dec. 11-12, at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  


The Christmas story will be told by members in period attire, reminding listeners of a less commercial time, said church member Lisa Godfrey, who is spearheading the program, along with her sister, Debra Crimm. 


This is a departure from Tabernacle''s usual December presentation -- a hay wagon ride through the campground, where scenes from the Christmas story were re-enacted. 




Looking back 


Armstrong said, "Two most important memories we should all have and share is ''Remember when?'' and ''Remember why.'' Memories are in the heart and soul of every one of us." 


When the pastor saw the rocking chairs being used for the event, he was reminded of his grandfather rocking on their front porch. One of the fondest memories, said Armstrong, was of the family coming and going, hunting and playing in the yard during the holidays. And, of course, the big home-cooked meal.  


Often, his grandfather told him, a hog and couple of turkeys, maybe even a few chickens, would be raised, just for the Christmas dinner. 


"Those memories will be with me forever," Armstrong shared. "And I feel Christmas Memories will spark some of those similar memories for those who come out and celebrate this joyous season with us." 


The program''s cast, ranging in age from 4 to 92, will share the Christmas story and traditional songs by candlelight. 


Then, in turn-of-the-century attire -- and hospitality to match -- some of Tabernacle''s best cooks will offer a vast selection of desserts and food, apple cider and other refreshments in the life center, which has been transformed into a setting from yesteryear. 


Godfrey said, "Our church is really working together as a family to put together a program that touches a lot of lives. We hope everyone will take a special time out to sit and think about the real meaning of Christmas; this is a good way to do it." 


For more information, or to reserve a specific time to visit Christmas Memories, contact Godfrey at 205-662-3258, or Armstrong at 205-662-3442. For directions, visit www.tabernaclecampground.com. The church is located at 6015 Tabernacle Road, Ethelsville, Ala.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.