A large, detailed creche representing Bethlehem is on display inside the First Church in Oberlin UCC through mid-January.
It was created this month by Dan Bihary, who teaches at the church.
This is the first time he has displayed his pieces at the church and one of the largest the Rev. David Hill of First Church can recall.
“I didn’t know it was going to be this incredible until it was set up,” Hill said. “I think it’s terrific.”
Bihary has shown off his work before in Lorain but the one in town is much different than his past displays — it depicts the Biblical town, backed by a mural lit by a starry sky. There are roughly 28 buildings and 100 characters represented.
The village showcases people cooking food or carrying water, hanging clothes to dry, and running shops.
Bihary’s displays have graced storefront windows and he’s already drawn praise from those who have seen the Bethlehem scene.
“Our own congregation was blown away,” Hill said. “I didn’t have any idea it was this elaborate. This is something special.”
The pastor said the church has had smaller creches in the past but never something like this.
Bihary said his love for creating elaborate miniature displays started with model trains and Christmas sets, then evolved to nativities.
He created the Bethlehem village in church basement and then took it apart to install upstairs in front of the secretary’s office.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.
Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune
Dan Bihary and his wife assembled an elaborately detailed Bethlehem villagescape inside First Church of Oberlin UCC.