Westover Church Ramps Up Live Nativity Scene - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Westover Church Ramps Up Live Nativity Scene

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WESTOVER -

The nativity scene is one of the most iconic Christian holiday images, and what's more Christmas than a live nativity scene? The Kingdom Evangelical Methodist Church in Westover is taking the idea to the next level.

"It was phenomenal last year," said Reverend Kevin Cain of Kingdom Evangelical Methodist Church. "We had very little planning, very little put together, and basically just had the nativity set. We came back this year and they said 'let's do it again,' and I said ‘yeah' but can we wrap the entire building?"

If bigger is better, than this year's nativity will be amazing.

More than a hundred volunteers and live animals will fill the 400-plus feet of scenery. Construction on the project began more than three months ago.

"We had people working on building the sets, and painting the walls every single night up until about a few days ago," said project coordinator Roger Stanford.

Stanford and his wife Cara have been the motor behind the project. They brought the idea to the church last fall after attending a church in Parkersburg.

"When we moved back to Morgantown we came to Kevin and said, ‘have you ever thought of a live nativity?' And he said ‘yes, and you're in charge of it.' So I said 'ok' and we're going to run with it. And here we go."

The scene takes visitors from through Bethlehem, right to the manger. Placing the walls of 14 different houses began before Thanksgiving.

"What we have tried to create here is not only the birth of Jesus, but and the manger, Bethlehem itself," said Stanford. "So you can walk through and see it for yourself what it was like back in that time."

In 2011, 2,000 people visited the inaugural nativity. This year's will be open Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"When you see people coming in here, and it puts a smile on their face, and puts a peace in their mind and in their heart, that's what's satisfying to me," said Stanford.