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30th year of drive thru nativity goes virtual due to COVID-19

“Personally for me, it’s more emotional because this would have been my 25th one and I’m retiring in three weeks,” said Pastor Killgore.

Posted: Dec 8, 2020 4:41 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2020 10:26 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Christmas won't be coming to life at Wyatt Park Christian Church this year.

COVID-19 has changed another St. Joseph tradition this holiday. Friday, the true meaning of Christmas is going virtual. 

“We’re disappointed too,” said Pastor Scott Killgore, Wyatt Park Christian Church. 

For what would have been 30 years, Wyatt Park Christian Church has held their drive thru nativity scene- a beloved holiday tradition in St. Joseph. 

“We start down here at 27th and Penn St with ten scenes all together and along the way different scenes that tell the story of the birth of Jesus. It’s about a hundred people a night in costume and we have line animals out here too- in a normal year. This is not a normal year,” said Pastor Killgore. 

COVID-19 is again, changing things up. 

“We don’t want this to be a hotspot,” said Killgore. 

Instead, the church will be uploading a virtual nativity scene full of pictures and a new narration on it's Facebook page and website.

Pastor Killgore said holding the traditional tableau isn't safe during the pandemic, “We could go with fewer angels and fewer shepherds for example, but you have to get people in and out of costumes. The costumes are such that you need help and we have to be really close together to do that. The other issue is getting enough people together who would be willing to do it.”

This wasn't an easy decision for the church, especially for Pastor Killgore who is closing a chapter in his life. 

“Personally for me, it’s more emotional because this would have been my 25th one and I’m retiring in three weeks,” said Pastor Killgore. 

Pastor Killgore said he knows how much this event means to the community, but it just can't happen in 2020. 

“Sad about that. Disappointed, but it was the right decision. Absolutely the right decision,” said Pastor Killgore. 

To watch the virtual nativity on Friday, click here. 

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