By Ralphine Major

Christmas 2021 is almost here!  Even with supply chain issues, the holiday is just days away.  Shoppers were advised months ago to order gifts early.  A year after COVID slammed our nation, signs of Christmas can be seen throughout our Knoxville, Tennessee, region.  Churches all across our great nation have been observing Advent and sharing the message of hope.  Traditional sounds of the season such as “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger” may be heard in many church services.

This year, a festive light display has been a focal point on the grounds of Union Baptist Church, 6701 Washington Pike, in Knoxville.  The church literally lights up the Ritta Community!  The second weekend in December, Union held a Festival of Lights event featuring a beautiful, expanded light display and fun for the entire family that included cookie decorating, face painting, crafts—and hot chocolate!  From its earliest beginnings in 1843 as a white frame structure, Union Baptist has been a spiritual light in the community.  According to Pastor Craig Cummings, the beautiful display will be lit up every night until Christmas.  Readers may learn more at and on Facebook.

Driving by the church as preparations were underway for the special event, one could imagine the excitement of those who would attend.  It was a stark contrast to the news later that same weekend of the destructive tornadoes that tore across several states.  Countless lives were lost, homes and businesses destroyed, entire communities wiped out, and the lives of so many families changed forever.  During this holy season, remember all those who have suffered so greatly.  To you and yours—have a blessed and Merry Christmas!


Words of Faith: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13-14 (KJV).