"It's an opportunity to visit the beautifully small churches that normally you just wouldn't go there. The doors are open, and there's so much history involved with the churches," says Janet Fiedler of Altenburg, Mo., who coordinates the event at her own church, New Wells Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Pleasant Hill Presbyterian is new to the tour this year, says Fiedler. Though it is no longer an active congregation, it is one of the more historic churches on the tour. First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge promises to be a favorite again this year, she adds. Members of this church, organized in the early 1900s, dress in period clothing for the event. At 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16, New Wells will celebrate the season and its own heritage with German Christmas carols.
With 24 churches on the tour, Fiedler recommends visiting just a few churches and taking your time with the drive.
"The idea is to enjoy the landscape during the daylight hours and the lights at night. Select an area, and then the next night or the next year, do another area," says Fiedler. "Don't let it become like everything else at Christmas, where you try to rush and hurry up and see what you can get done in one night. Just turn off the cell phones and the iPods, everything electrical, and concentrate on Christmas and what it means."
The Christmas Country Church Tour is self-guided and free. For more information and directions, visit www.immanuelnewwells.org/events/christma....
Christmas Country Church Tour 2011
1. Peace Lutheran Church -- County Road 302, Friedenberg
2. Zion Lutheran Church -- 6483 S. U.S. 61, Longtown
3. Grace Lutheran Church -- 53 Grace Lane, Uniontown
4. St. Joseph Catholic Church -- St. Joseph Lane, Apple Creek
5. St. Maurus Catholic Church -- 10198 Route B, Biehle
6. Trinity Lutheran Church -- 3700 County Road 415, Friedheim
7. Zion United Methodist Church -- 151 Zion Church Road, off Route KK near Old Appleton (Friday night only)
8. First Baptist Church -- 4154 Route E, Oak Ridge
9. Sargent's Chapel -- B to AA 266 to 234
10. Caney Fork Baptist Church -- County Road 472, off Highway B
11. St. John's United Church of Christ -- 781 Route FF, Fruitland
12. St. John's Lutheran Church -- 158 Little St., Pocahontas
13. Apple Creek Presbyterian -- County Road 530, Pocahontas
14. Trinity Lutheran Church -- 175 Shawneetown Road, Shawneetown
15. Immanuel Lutheran Church -- 320 County Road 516, New Wells
16. Trinity Lutheran Church -- 57 Church St., Altenburg
17. Immanuel Lutheran Church -- 8234 Main St., Altenburg
18. Concordia Lutheran Church -10172 Route C, Frohna
19. Brazeau Presbyterian Church -- Church Lane, Brazeau
20. Salem Lutheran Church -- 299 County Road 328, Farrar
21. St. James Catholic Church -- 21694 Route C, Crosstown
22. Bethlehem Baptist Church -- 160 County Road 350, Crosstown
23. Zion Lutheran Church -- 21202 Route C, Crosstown
24. Pleasant Hill Presbyterian -- at the end of County Road 541, Fruitland