By Portia Williams
There is a beautiful sight in the front window of the Martings building in downtown Portsmouth, which gives credence to, ‘O’Come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.’ Christ’s Community Church (CCC) of Portsmouth, has set up a display of the Nativity of Christ which is available for viewing through the Christmas holiday season.
Alice Rawlings, the wife of Scott Rawlings, the senior pastor of CCC, said they were looking for a location which would maximize the viewing of the Nativity scene.
“We were thinking about a place where we could use the Nativity scene and get the best viewing of it, and I said, why not the Martings building,” Rawlings said. “Many years ago, everybody went there to see it. I think according to Jim Sharp, they bought it right after “World War II in the 1940’s, and it was in the window every year until 2001, when they closed.”
After the Martings Department store closed, Rawlings said she contacted the ownership to see what there plans were in terms of a liquidation sale, in hopes of buying the Nativity display.
“My husband and I were headed to the Columbus Airport when we heard of the sale, and I quickly called them,” she said. “I told them who I was, and wanted to know the price they were going to put on it. When I got them on the phone, she said the owner wanted to talk to me. He said, Mrs. Rawlings, we had a board meeting last night, and we decided to donated the Nativity scene to your church.”
At the hearing of the news, Rawlings said she was elated about the generosity of the Martings establishment.
“I told him that I was headed to Columbus at the time, but he told me that they would have it stored in a room there for me, and that I could pick the Nativity display up whenever we got back,” she said. “I was so excited, and thought, how awesome is that.”
She said after working with American Electric Power through a few electrical issues, they were able to get the Nativity display up and ready for viewing the evening before Thanksgiving. She encourages members of the community to stop by the Martings being on the Chillicothe Street side to see the display, especially at night, which makes it an even more beautiful sight to behold.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.