Golf Course Acres to host ‘Lights for Jesus’ on Saturday

Published 6:40 am Thursday, December 8, 2016

Contributed Photo/Pat SweeneyEach year on a Saturday before Christmas, residents of Golf Club Acres line the streets with Lights for Jesus.

Contributed Photo/Pat SweeneyEach year on a Saturday before Christmas, residents of Golf Club Acres line the streets with Lights for Jesus.

For nearly four decades one Elizabethton neighborhood has let their lights shine for Jesus as a way of helping the community remember the true reason for the season.
On Saturday evening, Dec. 10, the Golf Course Acres neighborhood will present the 37th annual “Lights for Jesus” event. In addition to the traditional lights and Christmas decorations on the houses and in the yards, the streets of the neighborhood will be lined with thousands of candles — 6,000 votive candles inside white paper bag luminaries. The luminaries will line the streets from G Street to Armour Drive in the neighborhood.
Pat Sweeney, one of the residents who helps coordinate the event, said the first “Lights for Jesus” was held in 1979 and the neighborhood had no thoughts of stopping.
“Christmas is still going on and we have to be reminded of the reason behind it,” Sweeney said. “We want to get people thinking about Christmas and remember the reason for the season, so to speak.”
Sweeney was among the first group of residents to take part in the event and has helped ever since. He said many of the same residents live in the neighborhood though it has changed some.
“We’ve got some people that have moved in and some that have moved out,” he said. “The new people pick right up with it.”
The event began as a project of the Golf Course Acres Children’s Bible Club, which was led by Becky Magill.
“Some of those children live in the neighborhood now or return to help with setting up the luminaries,” Sweeney said. “Four generations of participants as well as new neighbors give a lot of time and effort to make this event special for visitors.”
Ten block leaders distribute the candles and bags to their neighbors and a total of 150 homes are decorated and light luminaries to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
The residents also take time that night to say a special prayer.
“The neighbors pray for God’s protection for our community, nation, U.S. Military and our families on this night,” Sweeney said.
The general public is invited to drive through the neighborhood to view the luminaries beginning at 5:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. Visitors are directed to enter the subdivision from G Street onto Sabine Street, which is located behind Mullins’ Auto Dealership.
“Children in the neighborhood will ring bells to alert neighbors to light the lights for Jesus,” Sweeney said. “We hope the people that drive through will know that this event is to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and may it bring glory to our Father and His Son.”

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