Thanks to an effective Facebook campaign and an article in AAA Midwest Traveler magazine, this year's Christmas Country Church Tour brought larger crowds than ever. Greeters at several churches said they were amazed at the number of visitors traveling long distances and spending the night so they could participate both days. Tour buses also followed the route, including a group led by a historical society from the St. Louis suburb of Crestwood.
This annual event has turned into quite the tourism juggernaut. The only lament I heard from greeters is that they are so busy helping each year that they haven't been able to take the tour themselves!
With more churches participating, it's a challenge for tourists to visit them all, especially the remote locations in Bollinger County. But that just means these same tourists will want to come back next year so they can see everything they missed.
Here is a gallery of photos of the churches I was able to visit on Friday.
Crossroads United Methodist Church, Bollinger County:
Sargent's Chapel Lutheran Church, Sedgewickville:
Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church, Fruitland:
Caney Fork Baptist Church, west of Oak Ridge:
St. Joseph Catholic Church, Apple Creek:
Grace Lutheran Church, Uniontown:
Concordia Lutheran Church, Frohna:
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Altenburg:
Trinity Lutheran Church, Altenburg:
Lutheran Heritage Center, Altenburg (Christmas tree exhibit):
Log Cabin College, Altenburg:
Immanuel Lutheran Church, New Wells:
St. John's Lutheran Church, Pocahontas:
Apple Creek Presbyterian Church, Pocahontas: