Sunday evening, visitors to the First Southern Baptist Church's annual live nativity scene will be able to hold and touch soft sheep provided by Preston farmer Jim Gatz.
With Christmas festivities beginning, Pratt will see many events, one being the live nativity scene at the First Southern Baptist Church. The scene will include a live donkey, camel, sheep, and other animals.
Jim Gatz, the owner of sheep, says he has been raising sheep all his life, and his kids raised sheep in 4-H. Now that he no longer has sheep for 4-H, he has transitioned from wool sheep to hair sheep, meaning he does not have to shear the sheep.
Gatz says the sheep are important for the scene because of the symbolism.
“The lamb is always a symbol of Jesus,” Gatz said.
Gatz said the sheep also symbolize Christians, since sheep are followers.
He enjoys raising the sheep, especially lambs. Gatz says the lambs chase his chickens, and jump and lay on their mothers.
“I really like the lambs,” Gatz said. “They’re just enjoyable to be around.”
Gatz has fun showing his sheep to people who aren’t typically around the animals.
“People think they’re adorable,” Gatz said.
He said not only kids like to hold them and touch them but the adults too.
“It’s that kind of reaction, the wonderment and awe,” Gatz says is why he enjoys showing his sheep to others.
Gatz is looking to the live nativity.
“It’s always a great experience to see the different stages of Jesus’s life,” Gatz said. “It brings it to a personal level.”
The live nativity will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 5-8:30 p.m. in the First Southern Baptist Church parking lot, 193 NE Hwy 61, Pratt.