Roseville church hosts live drive-through nativity

Free annual event put on by Seventh-day Adventist Church on Cirby Way
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Organizers are calling their church’s special Christmas event a live drive-through nativity, but it’s much more than that.

“There are 10 scenes,” said Kathie Kordenbrock. “It’s more than a nativity. They get a whole show.”

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Roseville will host its 13th annual drive-through nativity four times in December. The event opened Friday night and is free and open to the public.

Some 130 actors bring the nativity to life during the three-hour event. Two sets of acts perform in 30-minute shifts. They don’t have speaking parts, but they’re dressed to depict Mary, Joseph, Jesus and other Biblical characters.

On Friday night, Robin Schwartz helped Stephanie Matthews prepare for her debut in scene No. 3 of the nativity. 

"This is her first time," Schwartz said. "She's going to be a great Mary."

Before beginning the drive, each car gets a CD at the start of the nativity, which narrates the scenes and includes Christmas stories just in case the visitor has a long wait to enter.

The nativity begins with a scene of the angel Gabriel predicting a messiah will be born. A couple scenes later, Mary and Joseph welcome baby Jesus. The next scene shows three wise men looking at the stars — next to llama.

“We couldn’t get a real camel, so we got a llama,” Kordenbrock said. “But it gives the effect.”

Subsequent scenes depict Jesus as an adult and his second coming — complete with angels and fog machines.

“It’s very dramatic,” Kordenbrock said. “They get the whole story from the predication to how it’s supposed to end, which hasn’t even happened yet. (The nativity) is fun, it’s great for kids, it’s the story of the ages. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, he was a very important character in history.”

She said despite the rain last year, more than 2,000 visitors took a drive through the nativity.

“We just want people to enjoy it,” she said. “This is a special Christmas experience.”

Sena Christian can be reached at


Live drive-through nativity
7-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 10, and Dec. 17
Where: Seventh-day Adventist Church, 914 Cirby Way in Roseville
Cost: Free