News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, Dec. 17, 2012
CLEARWATER, S.C. -- Members of Heights Church wanted to present a drive-thru play that's fun and free, but they also want the true message of Christmas to be clear.
Two-year-old Noah Harden was excited and paying full attention to all 10 stages of the drive-thru, as his mom drove and his dad held him up to the window.
Noah's father liked it, too.
"Oh yes, I enjoyed it. Especially with this little one jumping around me like a jungle gym," he said.
The play called the "True Meaning of Christmas" is almost 17 minutes long. Cars drive through and listen to a CD that explains each scene as the actors stand silent. The first scene starts in the bedroom of a little girl praying with her father. She asks God to bring her all kind of gifts. Her dad then begins to explain that Christmas is not just about presents.
"We just want to show Christ. That's why we didn't stop with the birth. Because the life of Christ doesn't stop at the birth," said Pastor Mark Canipe.
The production runs the church about $20,000 and Canipe says they don't take any donations.
"If you really want to get something. If you want to build a building, you want to build a movement. Give everything away," he said.
Even though it's free to the community, there is a lot of planning that goes into the production.
"I couldn't even to tell you how many volunteers, but we have hospitality, traffic control, communications, all the actors and actresses," said Jackie Magee, a church volunteer.
And with the program ending for this year, Pastor Mark says he's ready for the next.
"We'll be here next year. We plan on doing it again," he said.
And so does Noah, who will be just a little older.