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Bethlehem Walk returns for its ninth season beginning Wednesday, December 4th. The interactive outdoor drama where guests experience first century Bethlehem continues through Sunday, December 8th. As you enter the city, allow the sights, sounds and smells to carry you to a period of time that changed the world. Journey through the heart of the city to the marketplace that is bustling with activity from over a dozen authentic shops; enjoy samples from the baker's shop, see the blacksmith at work making crucifixion nails, marvel at the potter's crafts and listen for the rumor of a king's birth from excited townspeople.
Since its inaugural season in 2003, Bethlehem Walk has thrilled and emotionally touched thousands of visitors from across the Commonwealth. Nearly 6,000 travelers toured Bethlehem the first year. Last December, host church Salem Baptist in Crozier, VA partnered with 11 area churches to reach 13,000 people with this interactive Gospel drama that takes visitors through scenes ranging from the entrance of the Savior into the world to an empty Jewish tomb.
Bethlehem Walk is located at Salem's Broad Street campus in Goochland County, VA just 6 miles west of Short Pump. The tour is outside and takes approximately 45 minutes. Wait times for the event could be anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. Dress appropriately for the weather. The rough terrain is not suitable for wheelchairs; however we do have "chariots" to accommodate you. Admission is free and parking is available on the property. Shuttle service is provided to and from satellite parking locations. Donations to help defray the costs of construction and maintenance are accepted and Bethlehem Walk T-Shirts will be available for purchase (proceeds go to support construction and maintenance costs) for $15.00.
Bethlehem Walk 2013 is Salem's holiday “gift” to the community. Many families will take their children to see Santa Claus at the mall this year. Bethlehem Walk is a way to experience the true meaning of Christmas.
Bethlehem Walk featured in Richmond Magazine
Bethlehem Walk featured in FaithInRichmond
Help us Win the Fight Against Hunger in Central Virginia. This year we will be collecting non-perishable food items for our local food bank!
Bethlehem Walk is our Christmas gift to the community. Please consider bringing the gift of a non-perishable food item for our community food drive!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 . . . 6 – 9 PM
Thursday, December 5, 2013 . . . 6 – 9 PM
Friday, December 6, 2013 . . . 6 – 10 PM
Saturday, December 7, 2013 . . . 4 – 9 PM
Sunday, December 8, 2013 . . . 3 – 8 PM
LOCATION: Salem Baptist Church/Broad Street Campus
465 Broad Street Road, Manakin, VA 23103
6 miles west of Short Pump
Media are welcomed to attend a walk through for filming, photographs and interviews Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 6:00 PM or may attend the Wednesday evening tour session with permission. Please contact Salem Baptist Church at 804-784-4171 for additional information.
With the conclusion of Bethlehem Walk last December, it is clear that again our Lord has richly blessed this ministry with many new souls for the Kingdom and lives renewed to service for Jesus. Read some of the comments from among the 13,000+ plus that visited the small Jewish town for last year’s event. Over 100 people indicated a decision to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and nearly 250 indicated a desire to rededicate their lives to the Lord.
Bethlehem Walk Comments
“This was fantastic. Not sure that you can improve upon perfection. I am leaving refreshed and renewed in the Lord.”
“We may have scuffled and bickered while gathering coats and getting all six of us in the car to come here…but the inner peace and reconnection with our faith has renewed our spirit so graciously.”
“This walk was one of the most well done and meaningful events I have been to in my adult life. Lydia, my guide, really was very good and made it enjoyable.”
“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We really enjoyed coming. This has become a family tradition. It is important to be reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season.”
"Thank you for loving Jesus and obeying His call to do this. My heart has been renewed, changed. When Jesus was on the cross, I was on His mind. Thank you for ministering to a Christian of 15 years. I am refreshed by the Holy Spirit to go and tell and teach others about Jesus. Thank you so very much for your tremendous sacrifice. My life has been truly changed."
“This was absolutely fantastic! What a GREAT way to share the Gospel. God bless you for ministering to people in this way.”
“I shared this evening with my grandchildren. The bright star was in just the right spot. My 9 year old said, ‘God put the star just there. Isn't He great?’ Amen.”
"Love the tour. It felt like we were really there. I'm glad everyone played their part well. In a world like this, we need to be reminded of our Savior and this kind of reminder brings hope in everyone's life. Thank you all so much for the experience."
“This presentation is excellent. Everything about out this program was well done. It touched my heart and made me think what Christmas is all about. Thank you.”
“This was such an affirmation of our faith. Thank you for all of your hard work. What a blessing and reminder of our savior's love for us. Thank you. Our feet are cold but our hearts are warmed by your message.”
“Thank you so much for this wonderful walk in Bethlehem. You all are so awesome. God's presence was totally here tonight. I'll be praying for ya'll.”
"This was a wonderful experience for me and my family. My grandchildren were the most attentive I have seen at any Christmas program we have been to. Thank you and may God bless you all."
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)
1. When is Bethlehem Walk? Bethlehem Walk returns beginning Wednesday, December 4th and continues through Sunday December 8th, 2013.
2. Where is Bethlehem Walk held? Bethlehem Walk is located at Salem’s Broad Street Campus (Route 250) in Goochland County, VA just 6 miles west of Short Pump. Traveling eastbound on I-64 take the Oilville/Goochland Exit 167- turn right onto Route 617, take a left at the light onto Route 250 and travel east 7 miles to the site. If traveling west on I-64 take the Rockville/Manakin Exit 173 onto Route 623, take a left at the light and go approximately 2/3 of a mile and turn right onto Route 250 at the T-intersection light. Proceed west approximately 3 miles to Bethlehem Walk.
Map to Salem's Broad Street Campus
3. Is there a cost to visit Bethlehem Walk? It’s free – our Christmas gift to you. But any donations will be gladly accepted, which we will use to cover the costs of the event.
4. Where do I park? Parking is available at the Bethlehem Walk site and at the shuttle lot at the West End Church of the Nazarene. ALL parking at authorized Bethlehem Walk lots is FREE. We do not sanction, assume any liability or provide shuttle service for any parking that requires payment. Any paid parking is done without the approval or authorization of Bethlehem Walk and its participating churches and none of the funds collected goes to Bethlehem Walk. Guests that park at unsanctioned alternatives assume ALL risks.
Because of the massive response to Bethlehem Walk, parking lots fill up rapidly. To avoid traffic and delays, if you plan to visit Bethlehem more than 2 hours after it opens, go to the satellite lot at the West End Church of the Nazarene. If that lot is also full, please proceed to the Bethlehem Walk site.
Directions to the West End Church of the Nazarene shuttle lot:
From the East: Take I-64 west to the Oilville (Exit-167) exit. Go to the end of the ramp and turn left. Go approximately 1/2 mile to the light. Turn left on RT 250 east. Go approximately 4 miles and West End Church of the Nazarene will be on the right. Look for the Church sign.
From the West: Take I-64 east to the Oilville (Exit-167) exit. Go to the end of the ramp and turn right. Go approximately 1/2 mile to the light. Turn left on RT 250 east. Go approximately 4 miles and West End Church of the Nazarene will be on the right. Look for the Church sign.
Shuttles will take you to and from the event. Waiting times from the time you arrive until you enter the city are typically 2 to 2 1/2 hours on the weekends. Feel free to bring your ipod , DSI or a book to pass the time and it's OK to bring a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to keep you warm.
5. What is the history of Bethlehem Walk? Since its inaugural season in 2003, Bethlehem Walk has thrilled and emotionally touched thousands of visitors from across the Commonwealth and the nation. The 2009 production welcomed visitors from across the country (Southern California) and across the Atlantic ocean from nations like Germany. Nearly 6,000 visitors toured the city the first year and last December, host church Salem Baptist in Crozier, VA partnered with 11 area churches to reach over 13,000 people with this interactive Gospel drama that takes visitors through scenes ranging from the entrance of the Savior into the world to an empty Jewish tomb. Over the brief eight year history of Bethlehem Walk approximately 70,000 people have toured the event and over 850 decisions have been made to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. In that time, Bethlehem Walk has become a central Virginia Christmas tradition. We certainly hope you will join us and make Bethlehem Walk a traditional part of your family’s Holiday celebrations.
6. Who organizes, plans and coordinates Bethlehem Walk? Last year, host church Salem Baptist in Crozier, VA partnered with 11 area churches to reach over 13,000 people with this interactive Gospel drama that takes visitors through scenes ranging from the entrance of the Savior into the world to an empty Jewish tomb. There is a production team that works year-round, planning and preparing. By opening night over one hundred-and-fifty members, cast, crew and support will participate in this year’s event. Bethlehem is constructed on a permanent site at Salem’s Broad Street campus. Throughout the year additional construction, site work, enhancements and repairs are conducted.
7. Can I make reservations? Because of the huge response to Bethlehem Walk, we cannot offer reserved tours. Tours are given on a first come-first served basis.
8. What should I wear? This is an outdoor event so please dress warmly and be prepared for potentially wet weather; it is frequently cold in Bethlehem at this time of year. Temps are expected to be around 40 this year. Also wear comfortable shoes, as the terrain can be uneven.
9. What type of a reception will I get when I arrive in Bethlehem? You will be warmly received by the residents of Bethlehem, but some of the Roman Soldiers can be outright rude, so stick closely to your guide. Once you return to the 21st century you will enjoy refreshments, listen to Christmas music, and chat with some of our cast.
10. Can I be a part of Bethlehem Walk? Sure!! If you would like to advance beyond a visitor to Bethlehem and become a part of the cast or crew of the Walk 2012, you are more than welcome to participate. Call our Church office (804-784-4171) or email us and we will forward your desire to a walk coordinator who will happily contact you with the details for this year’s event.
11. How can I help promote and/or financially support Bethlehem Walk 2012? There are flyers and yard signs available at the church. Call in early October to ask for a sign for your yard or flyers to pass out to friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.
Since its inaugural season in 2003, Bethlehem Walk has thrilled, touched and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ to thousands of visitors from around the world. Over 70,000 tours have been given during that span and we expect 2012 to be our most fruitful season. Bethlehem Walk has become more than a ministry of Salem Baptist Church; it has become a community tradition.
Bethlehem Walk relies on the generous contributions of the members of Salem Baptist Church and our community for its construction and annual maintenance costs. If you, your family or your company would like to be a part of this community outreach please consider becoming a Bethlehem Walk Partner. You can support Bethlehem Walk by making a contribution to assist in defraying these costs. To support this tremendous outreach visit our online giving page or email email@example.com. Your donation will be used exclusively for construction and annual maintenance costs of Bethlehem Walk.
The support and donations of many local companies make Bethlehem Walk possible. From gravel donated by Luckstone, portable restroom facilities donated by S.B. Cox, to chicken sandwiches from Chick-fil-a, this event is not possible without the generosity of our local community business leaders!!
THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING BETHLEHEMWALK A TRULY SPECIAL EVENT.