By Tim Jagielo
Tyrone Twp. — Before the 2019 Jesus Walk started there were already 20 guests gathered at the welcome center at the Tyrone Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Jesus Walk is essentially a live nativity with 12 stations where guests hear from parishioners dressed in stage clothing reciting Biblical lines from within their small heated shacks. Guests hear from actors portraying Zechariah, the innkeeper, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, Wise Men and more, all leading up to the birth of Jesus. There are even live sheep and goats near the shepherds.
The final station is about the modern Christmas era. Betsey Berkey was the first to represent this stop on the walk.
A guide takes attendees on a winding 20-minute walk through the woods by lantern. Afterward, guests entered the church to warm up with snacks and live music. Flickering pots covered in smudge created a lighted path to the welcome center, which was attended by approximately 735 people.
The event ran from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15.
This was the second year the Edgar family was in charge of the event. William Edgar helped organize it with his family. “It’s exciting for the church. It’s our 33rd year of doing this,” Edgar said. He hopes for many more years as long as they can keep running it.
He said preparation started in June, and work continued on and off all year. “You will learn about the birth of Jesus Christ, up to his birth and a little bit past,” Edgar said. He enjoys the quiet atmosphere and watching the actors.
He said it takes 15 to 20 volunteers to run it and there are at least 50 actors working over two shifts.
“Jesus Walk has been a great way to introduce Tyrone Covenant to the community,” said Kathy Toonder, secretary.