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Pastor illuminates Christ for Christmas
Nov 17, 2012 3:30 pm
Lebanon’s Christmas Land officially opened to the public Friday.
The annual drive-through Christmas display has been a Lebanon tradition for about 17 years.
“My grandboy is about 17 years old, and I started this back when he was born,” said Kenneth Bowen, who puts out the display at his home.
Bowen, the pastor at Lebanon’s Unity Baptist Church, adds a few new pieces to the display each year by using money left in the donation box.
This year, he added about five new pieces to the display.
Bowen said he doesn't earn any money from the display; it was something he felt called to do.
“God called me to keep Christ in Christmas,” said Bowen.
The front portion of the yard features religious pieces, such as nativity scenes, while the back of the yard features reindeer and the like.
Bowen, who puts everything up mostly by himself, began the preparations at the end of September.
“It’s been sweat and tears,” said Bowen. “The sweat’s from all the hard work, the tears from so many people who just don’t know what this is all about.”
He does, however, hear from visitors who do know what it is all about. A recent visitor left a note for him thanking him for “being a witness for Christ for our community.”
“We’re pretty proud of what it’s accomplished over the years,” said Bowen.
The community has also been supportive of the display.
“I’ve never had any trouble with keeping sponsors to help,” said Bowen.
Local businesses and community members sponsor the event, and those funds help cover the cost for the electricity - between $2,000-$2,200 for November and December, on average.
The display is open Saturday through Thursday from 5-9 p.m. and Fridays 5-10 p.m. at 1130 Trousdale Ferry Pike through the end of December.