‘Overnight Christmas’ reminds of the reason for the season at Thomas Road Baptist

Thomas Road Christmas 1

Photo from Thomas Road Baptist Church Facebook page.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

In the past I have attended the West End Assembly of God’s Christmas productions in Richmond but today was the first time experiencing Thomas Road Baptist Church’s Christmas spectacular celebrating the birth of Jesus. With more than forty years of productions under its belt, TRBC pulled out all the stops once again for an entertaining, music-packed, two-hour production with an underlying message of faith while pastor Jonathan Falwell bumpered the event with inspirational remarks and prayer.

My husband and I were invited by long-time friend Kurt Michael, who is managing editor of this blog and an assistant dean at Liberty University, and his wife Pam, to attend the production. We were not disappointed. For some the show has become a holiday tradition; for others, it was a first-time experience.

The entertainment included plenty of toe-tapping, hum-along music, dancers, jokes, soloists, and talent galore. Props and costumes were outstanding, and the 37-foot living Christmas tree filled the air with the voices of a 100-member chorus that was accompanied by a 30-member orchestra and 60 members of the children’s choir.

The 5,000-seat auditorium was full at the 2:00 showing, the fourth of five performances for this year. One more Sunday night will close out 2015, and plans will begin for 2016. From the website:

Scott Williams is in for the adventure of a lifetime when he signs up for the last delivery run before Christmas.

Join Scott on an unforgettable musical journey where he’ll encounter the timeless traditions of China, experience the festive celebrations of Russia and Mexico, trek through the wild African plains and hills of Afghanistan. Before morning arrives, he just might find the true meaning of Christmas.

The 2015 production of Thomas Road’s Virginia Christmas Spectacular is packed full of joy and laughter, a heartwarming story, and the best-loved songs and carols of the season.

Featuring the Living Christmas Tree, more than 150,000 dazzling lights, hundreds of musicians, dancers and performers, plus tons of family entertainment, you will want to make Overnight Christmas a part of your holiday celebration.

Thomas Road Christmas 2

The program. Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell.

This year’s event was dedicated to the loving memory of Mrs. Falwell who passed away in October. The dedication in the program was written by Charles Billingsley:

This year, we would like to dedicate the Virginia Christmas Spectacular to Macel  Falwell. Mrs. Falwell passed away on October 15, 2015.

Born in Lynchburg, Va., on October 4, 1933, she was the wife of 49 years to the late Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr. and mother to Jerry Jr., Jeannie, and our pastor, Jonathan.

Mrs. Falwell graduated from E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, and later in life, graduated from Liberty University. She served on the boards of several local organizations including the Fort Early Corporation, Vista Suburban Women’s Club, Liberty Godparent Home, and Liberty Christian Academy.

With a great love for music and art, Mrs. Falwell spent many years sharing her talents with the world. She produced dozens of beautiful paintings and played piano for Thomas Road Baptist Church for nearly 50 years.

Mrs. Falwell was well known in the Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University Family as a woman of poise and grace. Never desiring the spotlight, she faithfully and quietly stood by her husband as her greatest cheerleader, onfidant, advisor, and friend during their ministry together.

It is only fitting that we pay tribute to this beautiful and Godly woman. She loved the Virginia Christmas  Spectacular and for over 40 years attended every single performance she will be missed, but her memory will forever live in our hearts.

The music — the music! — was fabulous. They played and sang everything from Here Comes Santa Claus to Carol of the Bells, Feliz Navidad, Silent Night, O Holy Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, The First Noel, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Angels We Have Heard On High, We Three Kings, among others … and ended with the get-the-crowd-to-their-feet Hallelujah Chorus.

It was yet another reminder of the power of faith, the gift of family and friends, and that Jesus is the reason for the season.

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