Lighting the Way

Silver Dollar City’s “An Old Time Christmas” (shown) remains part of Branson’s citywide effort to highlight the true meaning of Christmas (Silver Dollar City)

Every December season, Branson, Mo., hosts its Adoration Parade. Featuring faith-themed floats, the observance includes the lighting of a nativity scene on the mountain overlooking the southwestern Missouri town. This year, organizers will illuminate the crèche nightly for nearly three weeks.

Part of the Ozark Mountain Christmas celebration, the theme of this year’s observance is “Keeping Christ in Christmas”—the same theme used since 1949, when two residents suggested erecting a nativity with 30-foot-high figures.

To say locals support the project is an understatement. Five years after it started, Everett and Rebecca Gloyd, who owned the property that hosted the crèche, deeded it to the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce to ensure its place in perpetuity. When a tornado slammed the area last year, insurance quickly paid for replacements.

But sometimes it takes tougher resolve.

In 2009, Warren, Mich., resident John Satawa went to court after being ordered to remove a manger scene—which his family had erected every year since 1945—from a public roadway. In the fall of 2012, a federal appeals court ruled in Satawa’s favor.

Last December, an atheist who had sued the city of Athens, Texas, over a nativity scene on the Henderson County Courthouse lawn dropped the case after the state attorney general intervened.

Branson resident Brad Thomas says grass-roots action is a way believers can influence the public and keep Christ at the center of the holidays. Too often, Christians offer excuses about what they can’t do instead of doing what they can, he says.

“For these communities that complain about not being able to put nativities on public property, go find private property,” he says. “Go find the most visible land you can get, buy it, keep it privately held and put the nativity up.

“Privately held businesses can do things and talk about our faith. That’s why Hobby Lobby is successful. That’s why Chick-fil-A is so successful.”

A freelance writer in Huntington, W. Va., Ken Walker has been writing regularly for Charisma for nearly 20 years.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • There are some ways the Holy Spirit will never lead you.

    4 Ways the Holy Spirit Does Not Lead You—and 1 Big Danger

    Wrong teaching, ignorance, laziness and a failure of the five-fold to equip the saints for the work ...

  • Chuck Pierce

    Prophetic Word: 'The Winds of Heaven Are Now Entering the Earth'

    Chuck Pierce says we need to brace ourselves.

  • What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    Start saving for emergencies today with the $500 Savings Challenge by brightpeak financial. It's chock-full of inspiration, great savings tips and the motivation to make a dent in your savings—for real! Go to to sign up!

  • Lee's ministry photo

    10 Ways to Pray for a Troubled America

    God is always willing to rescue His people if they pray.

  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Whether it's purchasing a property, remodeling or refinancing, Christian Community Credit Union has a loan package that's customized for your budget and situation.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • God doesn't usually shout, so you should listen carefully.

    What Happens When You Actually Listen to God

    It will surprise—and most likely shock—you.

  • Is there any unconfessed sin in your life?

    Scripture Says Pain, Health and Sin Share This Unexpected Connection

    If you're experiencing chronic pain, this may offer you the answer you need.

  • Guarding the gates of your heart will keep the demonic and evil out of your life.

    Keep the Demonic Out of Your Life With This Oft-Overlooked Spiritual Warfare Strategy

    The enemy knows his limitations. Limit him.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit