Rock Spring Presbyterian Church at 1824 Piedmont Ave NE Atlanta has been presenting a live nativity scene in the days directly preceding Christmas continuously for over 60 years. 2017 makes it 64 years in a row, the longest continuous Live Nativity in Atlanta history. On Saturday December 23rd the Live Nativity begins at 6:30pm and goes on (in half hour shifts) until 8:00pm. On Sunday December 24th, Christmas Eve, the Live Nativity starts at 6:30pm and goes 'til 8:30pm. The evening concludes with a candlelight communion Christmas eve worship service in the beautiful historic sanctuary beginning at 8:45pm.
Early each December the stable is erected in the front yard of the church directly across from Piedmont Heights neighborhood Fat Matt's Rib Shack. A split rail fence encloses the area around the stable where the live animals will be during the scene (usually sheep, goats and a donkey).During the Live Nativity Scene live costumed volunteers come out to the stable and play their parts (shepherds, kings, Mary, Joseph, Angel) as recorded music is played and scripture depicting the birth narrative of Jesus is read. This scene is repeated in half hour shifts and at the end of each scene the people viewing the Live Nativity are invited inside the church for festive food, hot drinks, fellowship and music in fellowship hall.
This Atlanta Christmas tradition is free and open to the public. Parking is at the back of the church. In addition to the Live Nativity outside and food and festivities in Fellowship Hall inside, the church sanctuary will be also be open during the Live Nativity with guided tours available. As Barbara Wright Cheshire says in her book The Spirit of Rock Spring, "It [The Live Nativity Scene] is a heart-felt gift of love from Rock Spring Presbyterian Church to the community."
New day and time for Rock Spring's Bluegrass Gospel Service
Starting Thursday evening December 7th and weekly thereafter sounds of Bluegrass will ring from the Loudermilk building behind the main building of Rock Spring Presbyterian Church at 1824 Piedmont Ave NE. Begun about 5 years ago, this casual service was on Sunday mornings and now after a short hiatus it is back in the saddle but now on Thursday evenings from 7:30pm-8:15pm. It features bluegrass music, scripture and prayer and includes rousing sing a longs, traditional tunes and house made favorites.
With couches and chairs instead of pews and an overall casual atmosphere Gospel at the Rock (GATR) offers a discussion oriented approach to scripture, encourages acting on one's faith, and praises our creator through music that can quicken anyone's pulse.
If you are curious about Christianity but are intimidated by imagines of churches in the media (judgmental, rigid, scary) come visit Gospel at the Rock. We are a welcoming group of bluegrass loving musicians and friends who enjoy music, one another and have the love of Christ in our hearts.
If you are already a Christian and want to experience a different, more casual, faith community, you are welcome too.