I said churches, plural, because I’m looking forward to touring each of the six Church Circle area houses of worship that will fling open their doors Sunday for Advent open houses. The event was last offered in 2017, when I went with friends Vicki Cooper Trammell and Roy H. Odum II. We enjoyed what we saw, but lingered too long at some of the churches and didn’t get to visit all of them.
So, if you do go this year, try to have a plan and remember to just keep moving.
The churches participating include: First Baptist, First Christian, First Presbyterian, Holy Trinity Lutheran, St. Paul’s Episcopal and First Broad Street United Methodist. Each is open for self-guided tours from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. If you want to do them all, you’ll have to do better than we did two years ago. We started at First Broad, walked over to First Presbyterian, and then to First Baptist. We caught a shuttle that took us to St. Paul’s. We didn’t make it to First Christian or Holy Trinity.
The floral arrangements and greenery were outstanding and would have been worth taking the tours. The additional decorations were just icing on the cake. Vicki’s favorite parts were the many different Nativity scenes, in all sizes and made from just about any material you can imagine, that lined the windowsills in some of the sanctuaries. Roy, a horticulturist and master gardener, stayed pretty focused on the plants and floral elements. First Broad’s decorations included an unexpected element: a courtyard full of cut trees, decorated in themes chosen by the donor of each.
A highlight for me was learning a bit about the history and architecture of each of the church buildings.
The open houses are free and there will be music and light refreshments at each location.
First Baptist, First Presbyterian, and First Broad are all on Church Circle. Holy Trinity is at 800 Broad St. First Christian is at 106 E. Charlemont Ave. (across the street from the rear of First Broad). And St. Paul’s is at 161 E. Ravine Road (corner of Watauga).
This is a great chance to go explore these different sanctuaries. Hope to see you there.
J.H. Osborne covers Sullivan County government for the Times News. Email him at [email protected]