Special Report December 2010

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Keeping Christmas at Richland Church 2010

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"It was the best yet", "It gets better every year", "It was our first, but it won’t be our last", "I look forward to this each Christmas season", "This is a wonderful presentation and the church was decorated so beautifully", and "The Confederate soldiers added so much to the program", are just a few of the comments from some 350 patrons attending the Third Annual presentation of Keeping Christmas at Richland Church.  
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The weather was cool and crisp, but ladies and gentlemen dressed in the period of the 1850’s were warm in their woolens and hats as they posed for cameras. Even some of the patrons attended in period dress.  Muskets were stacked in formation near the Confederate campfires on the church grounds, and candle lit paths lead to often attended “necessary houses” located in the woods behind the church. 
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The distant drone of the highland bagpipes being played for those in attendance both living and long deceased gave this event a touch of melancholy that helped set the stage. 
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Timeless holiday carolers accompanied by fiddle, bass and piano sang tunes that entertwined like a scarlet red Christmas ribbon through a hand made wreath amongst the brief but enthralling history lessons the actors gave the audience.
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Merriment of the pre war season began the show. Then the rumblings of war came, bringing mixed feelings of bravado, wonder, sadness, and worry. The war begins with muskets fired outside the church by the Confederates as they staved off the Yankees. 
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Life at home and in the community church of Richland continued through the difficult war period with troops delivering the casket of a fallen brother followed by a weeping widow and friend. Hardships and letters of loved ones arrive bringing news from the war front while the season of Christmas continues each year of the war
concluding with a wounded but united nation, which would continue to be the United States of America.  And in conclusion the names of the original founding member of Old Richland Baptist Church were called out in remembrance. 

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The annual event sponsored by the Richland Restoration League, Inc in cooperation with Frank Hendrix, Playwright and Director is held on the first weekend of December each year at Historic Richland Church. 

Photos and editing courtesy of Belynda Enzor (Cochran, GA). Other photos provided by Deanne Berry (Port St Joe, FL) and Morrison (age 6) from Ailey, Georgia.