Local congregation lights up the community for nearly four decades

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CARTHAGE, Mo. — If you make your way around any neighborhood this time of year, you’re bound to see houses lit up for the holidays.

And if you’re in Carthage, it’s pretty hard to miss our next story which has been lighting up the community for 38 years.

Seeing it during the day doesn’t do it justice, because night is where this light display comes alive.

“It’s a good thing to do with any family,” says Truckey Adams, Pittsburg Resident.

The Way of Salvation lights have become a holiday staple for the Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer.

And it all started after the church decorated one of its statues for Marian Days in 1983.

“People had the idea of “why not start a Christmas light display,” says Father Paul Tran, Congregation Provincial Minister, “We were able to find they say around 30 thousand bulbs…In 1984 we put it together and somehow came up with the theme of the ‘Way of Salvation.’ we take all the big events from the bible, we divide it into the old testament and the new testament.”

Since then the church has worked hard to continue the Way of Salvation and it’s become a tradition spanning nearly four decades and millions, on millions of lights.

“I’ve been coming here for probably 20 plus years,” says Tyler Snowden, Sheldon Resident, “It gives us something to do because it takes 10 to 15 minutes to go through it, and we can sit here and see new things all the time.”

“From Texas, from Minnesota, we have all sorts of states, you sit out in the booth and you greet people, you’re surprised by the license plates and where they’re from,” says Father Paul Tran, “We just hope people drive through here for the festivity of Christmas but we hope that they get the real meaning of Christmas, it’s not just about the extravagance of the lights, but trying to get the true meaning of why.”

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