Churches change schedule for Christmas

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2005

With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, many area churches are making some changes in their normal schedules.

At Southside Baptist Church in Greenville, Pastor Herbert Brown will lead his congregation in a 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday morning, rather than the traditional schedule of Sunday School with a worship service to follow.

&uot;We have found from past experience we have better attendance by simply holding one service at 10 a.m. With so many people having family get-togethers and going in many different directions, this seems to work,&uot; Brown said.

A mid-morning service allows his congregation to have some family time before church and &uot;plenty of time to go places afterwards.&uot;

Services at other churches contacted are as follows:

n At First Baptist Church of Greenville, a Christmas Eve service is planned at 5 p.m. and a single worship service will be held on Christmas Day at 10 a.m.

n Saint Thomas Episcopal Church doesn’t plan to hold any services on Christmas Day, but has two services scheduled on Christmas Eve.

n At 5 p.m. on Christmas, a Family Eucharist is scheduled, with Festival Christmas at 10:30 p.m. that night at St. Thomas.

n Saint Elizabeth Catholic Church will hold their Christmas Eve Mass at 9 p.m.

&uot;Since we have to share our priest with Andalusia, we hold what used to be a midnight mass on Christmas earlier here in Greenville,&uot; parishioner Mary Ann Hamilton said.

A Christmas Day Mass is slated for 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

&uot;We often have many out-of-towners visiting family who come and join us and we welcome them once again to our church,&uot; Hamilton said.

n First United Methodist Church in Greenville will ring in Christmas on a musical note Sunday morning with a Christmas cantata performance at 10 a.m. The church will hold a &uot;come and go&uot; communion service from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

n First Presbyterian Church of Greenville plans a Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m. on Saturday and a Christmas Day worship service at 10 a.m.

n St. Paul Baptist Church in Greenville plans a Christmas Day service at 9 a.m. to allow members to get back to their families.

n Walnut Street Church of Christ in Greenville plans no changes in their normal schedule.

n In Georgiana, Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church and First Baptist Church will jointly hold a community-wide Christmas service at 4:30 p.m. at FBCG on Sunday.

&uot;We want to invite everyone to come and join us for this special service. We will return to our normal schedule after the first of the year,&uot; Allen Stephenson, pastor of both churches, said.