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Away in a manger...
Mary and Joseph with the baby Jesus during the live nativity scene Dec. 18 at J.F. Gregory Park. - photo by Photo by Bryan Browning

Few things grant holiday cheer like carolers singing, hot chocolate and merrymaking in the cool air.
In the spirit of the season, New Beginnings Community Church and countless other groups spent the days leading up to Christmas caroling and sharing holiday cheer.
In another effort by the Richmond Hill Bryan County Chamber to foster community connections during the holidays, this year’s Holly Days on the Hill featured joint effort between New Beginnings Community Church, area volunteers and the Richmond Hill High School Marching Band to bring to life a nativity scene Dec. 18 at J.F. Gregory Park.
The community collaboration for the nativity scene included volunteers posing as Mary and Joseph, a selection of animals that included camels, goats, sheep and more.
New Beginnings joined the Richmond Hill Chamber at the inaugural live nativity event to provide a musical element to the evening. The group of carolers, led by Worship Director John Cloy, served as background music for the event. And they say they look forward to participating in other community events throughout the year.
“Even those in Richmond Hill that aren’t part of our church are active participants in the events that we host in the community,” Cloy said. “Our congregation is incredibly active around Richmond Hill and we love finding new ways to connect with the area.”
New Beginnings, led by Cloy, also recently held a holiday cantata full of Christmas songs and celebrations.
“It was our first year putting on the cantata, but there was a great response,” he said. “We definitely learned some lessons about how we’d do it again but are thrilled with the feedback from our congregation and the community.”
Even though the nativity started late due to delays with the animals, more than 100 people enjoyed the music and holiday festivities organized by the chamber.
“We had a few hiccups, but once the animals arrived we were able to have everyone set up quickly and those that were able to attend really enjoyed it,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brianne Yontz.
“It is the first year for a few of these holiday initiatives and we are glad that so many people are enjoying them. We look forward to building upon these events and getting more people from the community involved.”
New Beginnings Community Church is located at 75 Crosswinds Drive at the entrance to Buckhead North. For more information about the church and its community events, visit

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