Macomb Cribs: Local Nativity History
Three of the most prominent life-size nativity sets in Macomb Township were purchased from Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth.
It seems Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth is the place to go when purchasing a life-size nativity. At least that is where all three churches on Romeo Plank went to get their nativity scenes.
As you begin at Immanuel Lutheran Church on 21 Mile Road, a large manger can be seen in front of the main worship center.
The Holy Family, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, were the first figures to be purchased from Bronner's in the early 1990s, said senior Pastor Mike Lutz.
The stable dates back to the live nativity events held at Immanuel in the 1980s.
"Some may remember we had young adults acting out the nativity scene and live animals, too," Lutz said. "We would use a child from the audience as baby Jesus."
Gradually the church acquired the shepherd and sheep, wise men, camels and cow. They were purchased with memorials from church members over time.
St. Isidore's Catholic Church
Going north on Romeo Plank, on the very corner of 23 Mile Road, you see the life-size nativity scene of St. Isidore's Catholic Church.
In 1995, it too, was purchased at Bronner's by the Altar Society, which is made up of ladies in the parish who take care of the altar and the sanctuary.
Last year the nativity scene was moved from near the building to near the road. After the great response from the community, it was returned to that location again this year.
St. Peter Lutheran Church
One more mile up Romeo Plank Road at St. Peter Lutheran Church is the nativity set that started it all.
Purchased in 1975 as a complete set, the nativity scene has lasted well with
A lifetime member of St. Peters, Rose Reh, 84, said the set was first seen at Frankenmuth during a church convention in the 1970s. Members of the church worked the rest of the year to raise $5,000 and received matching funds from the Aid Association for Lutherans, which is now known as Thrivent for Lutherans.
"We had bake sales, candy sales and auctioned off homemade bread for as high as
$100 a loaf," Reh said. "We purchased the complete set and have had it ever