KTRE takes you on a tour through Ol' Bethlehem

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A star in the sky revealed the birth of a new king, a Savior. People came from near and far to meet the new born King, Jesus Christ.

Friday and Saturday, First United Methodist Church recreates that scene with the 25th annual night in Ol' Bethlehem.

KTRE's Whitney Grunder was there, meeting with gatherers in character.

The streets of Ol' Bethlehem are especially busy tonight.

"We have so many people who come to the city to pay their taxes," said Ellen Miller, who goes by "Miriam" here in Bethlehem. She's been weaving for 25 years.

"We work long hours just to make ends meet because the economy is very bad in Bethlehem," said Miller.

In these parts, families choose a trade to support themselves.

"As soon as you can walk and do labor you are put to work," said 13-year-old Anthony Haltmar.

To make their living, they barter back and fourth.

"We will trade you a rug for a goat or for chickens that lay eggs," said Miller.

Noise fills the air as vendors try to sell their goods. A wedding party even passes through town.

The real excitement rests underneath this star.

It's why three wise men have traveled to the small city.

We came from a far to see Bethlehem in search of Jesus," said Ken Cunigan, playing the part of one of the wise men.

They're calling this new born wrapped in cloth, their Savior.

"The Virgin Mary had the Messiah. It's what I heard. News travels very fast in this small city," said Haltmar.

"Everyone's very excited. Everyone can't wait to see baby Jesus," said "Mary" played by Misty Sessions.

As strangers come to meet their King, they are filled with hope for a better, brighter world, a miracle.

A night in Ol' Bethlehem continues Saturday night at 5:30 p.m. at the Angelina County Expo Center.

First United Methodist Church is requesting a 50-cent donation at the door.

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