TABOR CITY, NC (WWAY) – The Star of Bethlehem is shining bright over Columbus County this holiday season, as a Tabor City man is calling all ye faithful.
Rodney Gore has more than 600 nativity scenes, from around the world, on display at his home. He has even converted his carport into an additional room to house his collection.
“I have crystal. I have brass. I have pewter,” said Gore.
As the 73-year-old man continued to name off all the materials his hundreds of nativity scenes are from, it was apparent what they come together to form had so much more meaning to him.
“Somebody had their hands on these pieces. It wasn’t anything and then they turned it into the nativity,” he said.
More than 30 years ago and with his own hands, Gore started collecting these figurines.
“My family always fuses, ‘You’re buying too much.’”
But “too much” is never enough as Gore shows his love of faith.
“I can never show enough love because without love, I have nothing,” he said.
With his assortment of nativities growing by the day, he laughed as he said “There are still thousands and thousands I’d love to have.”
For the first time, Gore wants to share his “stable” with anyone who is willing to make the trip, like Mary and Joseph did thousands of years ago.
“Like the shepherd said ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see,’ ” he said, beaming with excitement.
Several church groups have come to admire his work within the last couple of weeks.
“I was just overwhelmed. It just was just beautiful,” said Elizabeth Ehelers as she walked through the display.
The group’s reaction proved that even centuries later, the nativity scene still has the same effect as it did on the first Christmas.
“When the shepherds went to Bethlehem, they couldn’t believe it either,” said Gore.
Maybe you do believe, or maybe you do not. But for Rodney Gore the wood, the plastic, and the metal decorating his home are tender and anything but mild.
If you would like to see Gore’s self-proclaimed Nativity Museum, he asks you call to set up an appointment. He can he reached at his florist shop at 910-653-9349.