From the time Becky Moore of College Heights Baptist Church first visited a Bethlehem Revisited program in Texas to their 2013 production many Christmas’s have come and gone. “I was so taken aback by the experience because it takes you to a time and place that makes you focus on the real meaning of Christmas. It took me several years before I said I know our church could do this for our community and God kept working on me until I finally said let’s do it and that was in 2009,” Moore told the Dispatch in an interview. Moore and the members of College Heights kept adding new things every year to enhance the experience and after taking last year off returned with their greatest production ever this year. “We added more shops this year and of course the Inn but we had a temple this year that takes you Jesus’ life at 12 years of age through his crucifixion. We added a school house this year with teachings in Hebrew as well as English so children could experience what a school was possibly like 2,000 years ago,” said Moore.
This years Bethlehem Revisited included 175 some costumed volunteers and a variety of animals from llamas to miniature goats and ponies. Tim Bruno, associate pastor at College Heights Baptist portrayed the dreaded King Herod and made sure all paid their taxes and appropriately bowed down to him, “I love playing the character and to be hated by everyone even 2,000 years later, but of course Herod wouldn’t even be a foot note in history if it wasn’t for a poor Jewish baby born in a barn in Bethlehem. All of his power and wealth would be long forgotten if it wasn’t for the life of Jesus,” pointed out Pastor Bruno. According to Becky Moore over 4,000 people from all over Alaska attended this year’s event, “We caught a break in the weather and four people actually came to the Lord through their Bethlehem Revisited experience. I want to thank everyone who visited and all those who helped us create Bethlehem Revisited, we plan to do it again in 2015.”