Just before Christmas, Celebration Church’s production of “Celebrate with Family” thrilled audiences with professional-quality entertainment.
Held in the 1,500-seat auditorium at the Clovis location, the Christmas-themed show drew about 10,000 guests during the five performances from Dec. 20-23. The general public was welcome to the free one-of-a-kind event.
“We have been doing a variation of this show since we started the church more than 25 years ago in northwest Fresno,” said Roland Ford, Director of Development. “This is the fifth year under the name of ‘Celebrate with Family.’ We wanted to encourage families take time to slow down during a season that can often be overwhelming – to laugh, spend time together and celebrate the great things that happened throughout the year.”
Combining popular hymns and Christmas carols with breath-catching technical effects and lighting, the theatrical show incorporated humor and encouraged audience interaction. The singing and stage work was expertly performed almost completely by talented members of the congregation. The large stage and four well-placed screens provided ample viewing options.
Through it all, the spiritual meaning of Christmas was remembered.
“We love God and we love people,” said Pastor Fred. “We’re very much about creating a sense of family. From big things, great things happen.”
After each show, children had the opportunity to have a picture taken with Santa Claus and meet some of their favorite characters like Santa’s elves and the Grinch. Refreshments were available in a beautifully decorated lobby, all complimentary.
“We’ve never been here before, though we saw the church when we came to Costco,” said the mother of one family. “This has been a great chance for us to relax together. The show was wonderful; the kids really enjoyed the lights and the drums.”
This holiday season, Celebration Church partnered with 19 local organizations to bring love, hope and a spirit of Christmas to the community. Through different outreach initiatives, nearly 1,100 hours were served and close to 4,300 lives were impacted.
Randy and Cherie Hand, senior pastors, initially started Celebration Church in their living room in 1992. It has since grown to include locations in Fresno, Clovis and Madera. Services run between 75-90 minutes and technology is used to unite the four campuses.
For those who missed the live Christmas show, a video of it is available on the church’s YouTube channel.