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Drive-through church panorama returns

A Suffolk church is getting ready for its annual attraction to draw motorists for a meaningful holiday experience.

For about 24 years, Wilroy Baptist Church has been holding a panorama as a Christmas tradition that’s free and open to the public, and it will do so once again this Friday to Sunday from 7 to 8 p.m. each night.

Sheila Morris has helped organize the event with Kerry Greene for the past three years. At least 40 actors will depict scenes from the life of Jesus, using accurate set pieces, backdrops and costumes with the help of other volunteers from behind the scenes, Morris said.

“We’re just a little church, but God does great things in small numbers sometimes,” Morris said.

Visitors will cut off their headlights and follow guiding lights as they move from scene to scene along the path.

They will watch as the baby Jesus lies in a manger beside shepherds and angels. They’ll see Him as a man healing the sick, and as their cars near the end of the path, they will see His crucifixion and ascension to Heaven, Morris said.

Each vehicle will receive a welcome bag with candy canes and other treats at the end, when some are deeply affected by the performances, according to Morris.

“We’ve had people want to speak to the pastor right after to lead them in the prayer of salvation,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about. It’s reaching out to the community and spreading the word that this is what Christmas is really about.”

Wilroy Baptist Church is located at 306 Williams Road, off Wilroy Road. Call 539-5658 or visit wilroybaptistchurch.com for more information.