Church prepares for 37th annual Living Christmas Tree

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - First Baptist Church in Lawton is preparing for their 37th annual Living Christmas Tree performance.

The Living Christmas Tree will feature about 100 singers and a full orchestra. The church will be singing new songs, with traditional songs incorporated into the show.

Mike Neff, the associate pastor for worship, said the tree  is the result of three months of hard work. Once the singers and orchestra heard the theme back in September, they started practicing and memorizing music.

"We prepare by having weekly rehearsal, rehearsal on Sunday afternoons, drama rehearsal, tech rehearsal," Neff said.

Neff started looking for the 2017 theme months before it was announced to the choir. The theme this year is 'What Kind of Throne.'

"God the father sent his son to this earth out of love, and desires a love relationship with us," Neff said. "And out of all places that he could've been born, he was born in a stable and in a manger."

In addition to the music, the church spends the months assembling the 39-foot-tall steel tree.

"One Sunday afternoon, we put it all together. It takes about seven hours to put it up," Neff said. "We have about 60, 75 people that help us."

Once the steel frame is up, they spend the next evening putting the 100,000 lights on the tree that are synchronized to the music.

There will be four Living Christmas Tree performances: Friday night at 7 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The show will be free to get in, and the church will provide childcare for kids five and under.

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