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Black Arts and Culture

December 17: READY Academy Students To Debut Teacher’s Christmas Play

By Rosaland Tyler
Associate Editor
New Journal and Guide

Fatima Martin is putting the finishing touches on The Untold Side of Christmas, a play she wrote overnight and will present at the historic First Baptist-Bute Street on Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. in the Taste ‘N See Auditorium.

At least 155 youngsters, ages 3-10, will tell the story of Jesus’ early life by song, dance, pantomime, and reciting lines. Zeroing in on the special roles that Simeon and Anna, an elderly prophet and an elderly prophetess, played in revealing God’s plan about Jesus to the world, the one-hour play came to mind while Martin was sitting in a pew one Sunday.

“I carry a notebook in my purse and God gives me inspiration,” said Martin, grade level chair at the READY Academy at the historic First Baptist Church-Bute Street. “I started jotting things down. Sometimes, months pass before a vision God has given me comes together. He never gives me the entire play at one time.”

But Martin said, this time her vision surfaced in church, sprouted wings, and took flight after she returned home. “This time I went home and sat up for three hours typing non-stop,” said Martin who has taught at the READY Academy for eight years. “I didn’t go to sleep until about 1:30 in the morning. Everyone should come to the play looking forward to a worship experience. Everyone will leave with a clearer understanding of the true story of the birth of Christ.”

Martin added, “I enjoyed writing the play envisioning how the children could bring the birth of Christ to life. I always pick characters for a play by looking at the children, and what they are doing in everyday life. I aim to help them embrace their gifts and talents and to take them to a different level. The free play is open to the public.

Meanwhile, the youth ministry will present The Gift on Dec. 18 at 9:30 a.m., at the historic First Baptist Church-Bute Street.  On New Year’s Eve, December 31, the church will hold worship service at 10 a.m.. Founded in 1800, First Baptist is the oldest Baptist church in Norfolk, and is pastored by the Rev. Dr. Robert G. Murray. The church is located at 418 E. Bute St. Please phone 622-6701.

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