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Clay Hill Christmas

provides unique service

By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

Jan. 3, 2000 10 PM

The Old Christmas at Clay Hill has quietly become a favorite Christmas service in Pike County.

Each year on Jan. 6, the Brundidge United Methodist Church and the Brundidge Historical Society celebrate Old Christmas with a unique service at Clay Hill Church in Pronto.

The public is invited to attend the 7 p.m. service that celebrates an almost forgotten holy day.

"January 6 is Old Christmas day – the day we celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men who came to worship the newborn King," said the Rev. Jimmie Spikes, pastor of BUMC. "Old Christmas is an almost forgotten holy day but it’s a day with such special meaning that we think it’s worthy of special recognition. At Clay Hill, we have a historic church that is a great setting for traditional events and especially for this unique celebration of Christ’s birth."

Billy Gibson of Troy agrees with Spikes that the Old Christmas program is indeed unique.

Christmas is a hurried time and Old Christmas comes after the rush and excitement have subsided, much like when Wise Men, at last, found their way to Baby Jesus

"It’s a feeling that I can’t explain," Gibson said of the service. "It’s absolutely beautiful and so meaningful. Some people might have the idea that by that time Christmas is over but Christmas is never over. This candlelight service in this simple little church helps us to remember that and to take Christmas with us all through the year. This is a service that I don’t want to miss. It means a lot to me and to my wife Jean. We look forward to it every year."

Spikes said everyone is invited to celebrate Old Christmas at Clay Hill.

"I believe everyone who attends will be uplifted by it and leave carrying the spirit of Christmas with them into the New Year," he said.

Clay Hill is located on County Road 26, east, just off Highway 93 about two miles north of Brundidge. A van will leave from Brundidge United Methodist Church about 6:45 p.m. and anyone who is unsure of the location of the church may follow the van.