Local church has nativity props stolen weeks before annual birth of Jesus performance


WAGENER, S.C. (WJBF) – A local church is regrouping after a Grinch tried to steal its Christmas show.

For the last 3 years, members of the Berlin Baptist Church have put on a production of the birth of Jesus.

One of the deacons of the church offered up his trailer to store the decorations, but on Thanksgiving Day he found the trailer had been stolen, right off his property.

This small bump in the road is not stopping this church because they say the show must go on. The pastor of Berlin Baptist Church is looking for the star over Bethlehem this Christmas.

“Just seems so ironic that we are out here to try to help people… in this broken world,” Berlin Baptist Church Pastor George Koon said. “A world filled with hate and bad things.”

George Koon says his congregation spent countless hours putting together the annual “Bethlehem’s Child” production.

It takes nearly 100 people to put on the realistic Holy Land experience.

It’s almost like you’re standing in the very manger where Jesus was born, including realistic costumes and live animals.

“Some of them are buildings that you walk into… homes and so forth.” Koon told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

This pastor says the story of Christmas is about hope, a message that his church can relate to as the begin to rebuild.

Koon says since the first show, the church has grown the production that more than 3,000 people go to the yearly event.

While he’s thankful for their big audience, he says the church puts it on in hopes that someone, who may have lost their way, is reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

“That’s what this Bethlehem Child production is all about,” Koon said. “We are coming against the wickedness, the evil, the hopelessness and the Christmas message transcends that. It brings an alternative and that alternative comes in the presence of Christ.”

The church is offering a $2,000 dollar reward for the return of the trailer and the props.

If you have any information call the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

You can catch the “Bethlehem’s Child” on December 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Downtown Wagener, South Carolina.Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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