Groveton Baptist Church members brought Christmas to motorists traveling the Route 1 corridor last Saturday night as they gathered on the steps to the sanctuary for an hour of caroling.
The event, entitled "Light Up The Night," marked the first lighting and decorating of the 46-foot evergreen next to the church entrance at 6511 Richmond Highway.
"This is a great occasion. We hope it becomes an annual tradition," said Pastor Phillip Bush.
Decorated with 27 strands of lights that were 46-feet long and an array of large, shatterproof balls, church members were able to reach the treetop with help from Dominion Virginia Power. "They brought their cheery picker truck to help us put up the lights and decorations. A member, who wants to remain anonymous, donated the electricity costs," said Neal Morgan, decorating project coordinator.
Two other church members, Dr. Deborah Lloyd, keyboardist, and Steve Surridge, guitarist, provided music for the carolers. While they were singing Mary Elizabeth Castels, chair for Cookie Cutter Collectors, sat just inside the church entrance receiving homemade cookies to be distributed to local soup kitchens and shut-ins.
Held as a family event, there were also holiday crafts for children who were not in the singing mood. Following the song fest, refreshments were available in the church meeting room, according to Nancye Campbell, "Light Up The Night" coordinator.
"We hope all the people in the area appreciate the tree and our caroling," she said, joining nearly 40 others in giving voice to traditional Christmas carols.