TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Green Acres Baptist Church shared the spirit of Christmas with the East Texas community in a way they haven’t before.

“We just wanted to do something for the entire city of Tyler and East Texas- just to create a fun family event that’s free for everybody and just to show the love of Jesus and to really come out and celebrate everything that this season is really about which is the birth of Jesus Christ,” said Senior Pastor, Dr. Michael Gossett.

This Christmas was a bit different for Green Acres. A few months ago, the church purchased a 47-foot tall Christmas tree. The star added an additional seven feet to the overall height.

“The past couple of years, we have been with COVID and everything, we haven’t done anything really large and we’ve just been very cautious in our crowds, and this year we just decided to blow it out and do everything we can to just love on our city as best as we can,” said Dr. Gossett.

The tree lighting ceremony event consisted of singing carols, carnival rides, activities, a live nativity scene, and food trucks.

Prior to the lighting, East Texans were treated to a performance from the Kidzpraise Christmas Program in Crosswalk and a message from Pastor Gossett.

Green Acres expected around 10,000 people in attendance on Sunday evening.

“It’s very exciting! This is the first time that we’ve done a Christmas tree lighting which is a huge community event!” said a member of 54 years, Kathy Bauman.

For members like Bauman, this event is truly a special occasion.

“My grandson will be the fourth generation here at Green Acres. My mom is still here,” shared Bauman.

Green Acres Baptist Church will have a Christmas Eve service on Dec. 24 at 4 p.m. and again at 6 p.m.