Cottondale- Ray Windham has been the General Manager of Branning's Garage across the street from Cottondale Elementary School for years.
The shop has never decorated for Christmas in the past, but this year, Windham said they would. He told us he had decided to proudly display the nativity scene Cottondale Elementary used to set up on their lawn, on his.
Not only that, Windham said he's been encouraging other business owners to display nativity scenes on their property as well. It's all part of a growing community effort to keep Christ in 'Christ'mas- and in the schools.
Wednesday, community member Vicki Barber spoke with News Channel 7 about what she described as her "fire and calling" to bring God back into the schools. Barber, with the help of members from her church, Piney Grove Baptist in Cottondale, has planned to help set up the nativity on Windham's property Friday, directly facing the school.
"[Barber can] cover the whole place if she wants to- the more the merrier to me" Windham told us. "I like it! Anywhere she wants to put it out there would be great and as much as she wants to put out there, on our property. More people will see it that way- more kids will see it that way."
She and Windham both told us that if just one child saw baby Jesus in the manger and asked about the story of Christmas, the endeavor would be well worth it,
Barber said the church group would also help anyone else who wanted to set a scene up on their property.
Windham said it was time to get the message of 'Christ'mas out in the community and in the schools in a big way. He and Barber both said they hoped the Panhandle communities would join their efforts.
Barber, Windham and Piney Grove Baptist Church said they were challenging the community to see how many people could put a nativity scene on their property this holiday season.