The Community Christmas Services are much the same as they were in 1950 when they began as the Laymen's Pre-Christmas Services and they're coming up next week.

The Community Christmas Services are much the same as they were in 1950 when they began as the Laymen's Pre-Christmas Services and they're coming up next week.
At one time, these services were only open to businessmen, but that archaic practice ended years ago and now they're open to the community.
This year, the series of  church services leading up to the celebration of Christmas starts Monday with a 7 p.m. candlelight services at the First Christian Church, 800 S. Main St., Carthage.
The remaining three services will be held in the morning, at 7 a.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at the Lighthouse, 801 S. Main St.
Dennis Bowers, one of the organizers of the services, said the theme this year is “Joy, The Lord has Come.”
“They have always been a time for businessmen, teachers, public servants and all of the working community to come together during the busy Christmas season to celebrate their common hope in the birth of Jesus Christ,” Bowers said in a written release. “Great communicators and talented musicians are selected from across the community each year to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas!”
Representatives from several local services, including Kyle Catron, Jim Benton, Bill Lasley, Nancy Dymott and Larry Robertson will lead the first candlelight service Monday night at the First Christian Church.
The speakers for the remaining three morning services, all to be held at 7 a.m. at the Lighthouse, are as follows.
• Ron Blauvelt will be the speaker on Tuesday. He is a retired pastor, cattleman, and real estate broker who presently lives west of Carthage. During his career he has showed national champion cattle, managed international purebred cattle sales, and served on a college Board of Regents.
He pastored in Nebraska for eight years and in Casper, Wyoming for 13. Ron and his wife Nila have three children, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. They are members of Grace Pointe Assembly of God church.
Macy Thomas will provide special music.
• Judge John Nicholas, the speaker Wednesday morning, graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1993 with a BA in Economics and a minor in philosophy, with honors. He obtained a Juris Doctorate in 1996 from the University of Oklahoma, College of law, with distinction.  
John practiced law for 18 years in Jasper County prior to taking the bench in 2014. He is presently serving as Associate Judge in Division IV of the Jasper County Circuit Court. John and his family are Carthage residents. He and his wife, Greta, have been married for 21 years and have two sons, Joseph and Benjamin.  They are members at Fairview Christian Church in Carthage.
Nathan Terry will provide the special music.
• Rick Maynard will speak at the final service on Thursday morning. Rick was born and raised in Carthage, where he attended school and graduated from Carthage High School. Rick has been a self-employed contractor in Carthage for 30 years.
He and his wife, Stella attend Grace pointe Assembly of God church where he serves as a Deacon, Sunday School teacher, and is a member of the worship team.