Leader Blues

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

NEIGHBORS >> Road to Bethlehem is not less traveled

BY SARA GREENE
Leader staff writer

Just off Hwy. 31 in Lonoke County, on Bethlehem Road, is a four-mile community-wide project that displays the story of the birth of Jesus for motorists driving by.

The displays are illuminated every evening from 5:30 to 10 p.m. until New Year’s Eve.

For the past 19 years, nearly all the residents along Bethlehem Road have put up life-size Biblical figures and signs with Bible verses, made out of painted plywood in their yards. With sheep, shepherds, cattle and verses, nearly every yard has a unique display making up parts of the nativity scene.

“This year we added some more shepherds and two new signs out of Isaiah 9:6 verse,” Jeaneane Nipper said.
The Nipper home has the display of the Three Wise Men riding on camels towards Bethlehem.

Just down the road, another home has angels, both in the yard and one in flight suspended from the limbs of a nearby tree.

The final display, the manger scene, is on display at Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 2540 Bethlehem Road,

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the church has had open houses featuring programs presented by the Lonoke County Council on Aging, Glen Poole and the Pearsons, Bethlehem Carriers of the Light, Christ Worship Center Church, The Hickory Hill Blue Grass Gospel Singers and the Gospel Tones.

“We had between 600 and 700 people during the open houses,” Nipper said.

To get to the “Christmas Road to Bethlehem,” take Exit 16A off Hwy. 67/167 in Cabot and get on Hwy. 321.
Take the Hwy. 321 Spur until it dead-ends at Hwy. 31.

Turn left on Hwy. 31 and then right on Bethlehem Road.

There will be a green street sign as well as a white sign with red letters advertising Bethlehem United Methodist Church.

The final display, the manger scene, is on display at Bethlehem United