Christmasland drive-thru display illuminates Christ

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated Nov 17, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Keeping Christ in Christmas was the mission of one local pastor for more than 20 years, which he does with a grand display of Christmas lights, characters, nativity scenes and more.  

Pastor Kenneth Bowen, who lives at 1130 Trousdale Ferry Pike in Lebanon, fills his 2.72-acre yard with six nativity scenes, Santa’s sleigh and more than 200 individual Christmas light displays. Anyone is welcome to drive through to view Christmasland which opens Friday. This year, Christmasland will be open Thursday through Sunday from 5-9 p.m. through Christmas. 

Bowen is pastor of Unity Church, has a Sunday morning radio show on WANT and has lived his entire life in Lebanon. He and his wife, Linda, have lived at their Trousdale Ferry Pike home for 32 years.  

“I started out with just a few little old things, and God spoke to me one night, saying I need to keep His son’s birthday alive. So I named it Christmasland and went from there and continued to build,” Bowen said. 

Around 2,500 cars drive through Bowen’s display each year. He asks that people stay in their vehicle while enjoying Christmasland. 

Bowen sets it all up solo, since he knows where to place everything and how the wiring all works. 

“I appreciate people helping, and I have a lot that help me take it down, but it’s so much easier for me to do it by myself when I put it up, because it’s going through my mind where I want things,” Bowen said. “I turn it over to the Lord. He knows pretty much what will go where, so I just follow His lead.”

There aren’t any brand-new items this year, but the old-fashioned Christmas shed near the end of the Christmasland loop is something Bowen just started last year. “This building was just sitting here empty, and I came up with that, and everyone had a fit over it,” Bowen said. 

A plethora of displays is scattered across Christmasland, including six nativity scenes, and the brightest is under Bowen’s new carport with a centerpiece light that used to serve as a church steeple. 

There is also a display to honor soldiers and multiple displays that remind viewers that Jesus is the reason for the season. 

“When I first started this, it was a Christmas tree, few little deer, that was it. And this is what it has grown into. I hope it can grow more and keep going,” Bowen said.

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