Churches around Asheville have long been known for various Christmas shows. The Singing Christmas Tree is a big deal, for example.

But I just saw a television ad for Biltmore Baptist Church’s “Carolina Mountain Christmas Spectacular,” and was blown away. There’s a 700-member cast, massive stage and sets galore. They have a full tilt web site.

What is driving this? Are these Christmas shows money-makers for churches, or are they simply a way to show off? Looks like tickets start at $10 and cost as much as $17.

Here’s a description of the show:

What started 15 years ago with angels in cardboard wings and biblical characters dressed in homemade costumes has developed into one of the largest full scale productions in the Carolinas and now incorporates over 800 people and is seen by over 14,000.
Carolina Mountain Christmas Spectacular (CMCS) has undergone numerous facelifts, changes and progress over the years. Especially with sets and cast. Talented actors and actresses, vocalists, instrumentalists and costume designers have added more each year. This year we introduce our new set by Wolf Designs. It is one of Peter Wolf’s last designs before his death a few years ago…He is best known as a set designer for Radio City Music Hall and many Broadway Productions in New York City.

The new format and theme this year is termed, “Find the Perfect Gift.” Each person in attendance will be ushered inside the grand opening of a department store to see one family’s struggle in finding just the right gift.


  1. There is allot of thrashing taking place here. If people would just get entrenched in scripture and prayer the truth to many of these issues would be unveiled. We must adhere to Fact and resist Feeling or the truth of the matter may be clouded and muddled by our emotions, which I see clearly going on here in these harsh comments by some..Stick to Facts…It may hurt but at least you will have arrived at truth…I believe if Jesus were down here and present in the flesh He would put his foot down. Church was never meant for entertainment, Tithing was never meant to pay the mortgage and light bill, build sprawling Mega Churches or pay for affluent neighborhoods for Pastors and it’s Leaders to live in and lavish upon themselves a lifestyel high above it’s Flock while the Flock continue to suffer in poverty while still being pressured to pay their tithes…I will attach a study on Tithing. We need to seriously stop our squabaling and study the scripture and ask God for guidance and discernment. Attending Sunday Worship only to have the Preacher do the work for you is not growing a relationship with Christ. It is a Covenantail Relationship which is crucial in knowing and understanding Christ and his design and intense and purpose for His Church and sadly, it is not today’s example of what I believe Jesus had in mind for the church to be. Be watchful, Be mindful…there is false teaching everywhere, implementation of programs such as the one mentioned above and one’s like “Starting Point” that are very mangled and corrupt in their motive’s and agenda’s for bringing people into the church confusing the believer and turning off the un-believer. First they feed your bellies, fill your minds with THEIR vision, then near the back of the brochure is where Jesus is introduced. How conveniently they stroke and love on you b/c by then who wouldn’t want Jesus? What obscured messages and perpetrated vehicles in which they use to deliver something so precious as Jesus Christ severe and brutal suffering. First, the Ominous question of “What would you say to God if he asks you while standing at the gate of heaven, why should I let you into heaven”? I don’t believe God intended for our first impression of Him to be flanked by anxiety and fear. Consider Philip and the Ethiopians encounter, nothing like this…I was told at the end that say a sinner’s prayer and you are now a child of God and your name is written in the Lambs Book of Life. Seriously Folks, it is simple and complex to know the real Jesus. Reciting a “Sinner’s Prayer” does not save you and such an impersonal approach to a personal and Holy God, I feel is offensive. We don’t need these extravaganza’s all we need is the pure milk of the word and an anointed teacher to bring it to us one worthy of the calling…It wasn’t long b/f I realized BBC was very flawed in many aspects and arena’s. Certainly not a place God intended for me to be. And it all came by studying and praying and checking like the Bareans did…Be a Barean and little children, Do Not Be Deceived….

  2. wow, if you do not like it do not go. but for sure lets talk S— about someone else.

  3. Hey, Killah? It takes one to know one, so think before you post!

  4. Go Kaity!!! I am 13 too and I also go to this church. Those first post were so rude!!!! The CMCS has been a blessing in so many lives, including mine… God has blessed us at Biltmore in so many different ways! I am so proud to be part of this church! Amen to God! He will reign forever and ever and I am sure He is proud of what we are doing here. As for Pastor Bruce… Bless him many times for doing so much for our church without thinking about himself. Killah and Jack, God loves you and may you one day live forever with Him. God bless to all!

  5. Tracy Porshia says:

    I have been proud to be a part of CMCS for over 11 years. It is nice to see people come together for a common cause and it is a priviledge to be able to be used by God to reach so many people. I have seen God move in so many ways during these performances. I have experienced God working in my own life during these months that it takes to prepare for the performances. It's not about the cast, choir, musicians….. it's about Jesus. Nothing else. I am stunned when I read comments like the ones before this post. Have you bothered to come and check out our church. It's not scary! Maybe your afraid of what God will do and can do in your life. That's ok! It's normal to feel like that when you really don't know what you are talking about or if you are on the edge of something really happening in your life. CMCS is fun! I am proud to be apart of something that has such an impact in this area. Concerning the cost and the comment about the money could be used for other things that would benefit the community. Come and check out what God has opened up for our church to do in the community, the area, Western North Carolina, the state of North Carolina,and all over the world. We are not scary people. We love our Lord. That's all there is to it. No hidden agenda.

  6. I went. I left. I got drunk. A Christmas Show that fast forwarded to Easter, complete with a "Jesus" getting whipped and the women screaming "JESUS!" It was disturbing. Oh yeah, I know a couple of "members" and in my LIFE, I have never met two people who are the biggest liars, thieves and money mongers in my life. They can run to that big church on the Hill all they want but to V****e and G##a, I won’t be seeing you in Heaven.

  7. Carolina Mountain Christmas Spectacular is a must see for this season. It provides a truly breath taking retelling of the life of Jesus Christ and intertwines it with a modern day storyline which many of us can relate to during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I want to commend Biltmore Baptist Church and all the people involved in making this play possible, on what a fine job they have done and extend my congratulations to them on the over 140 professed salvation decisions already made by people who have attended CMCS this year. This was an amazing experience to take in and is truly making an eternal impact for the Kingdom of God.

    For more details:

  8. You go Kaity! My daughter is right. Don’t knock the church until you have the guts to step through the door. Everyone is encouraged to say hello to each other and welcome them to church. Guests are asked to fill out a comment card and are told UP FRONT that they are not expected to join in the offering. CMCS is a HUGE production that we work hard on the whole year. I play in the orchestra and we begin practices for CMCS in August. We give up our personal time and a lot of energy to put on the best show that we can. Yes, tickets are expensive, but, more and more people come every year and more and more people are led to Christ each year. The first performance is for local prisons, homeless shelters, orphanages……all those who might never have the chance to see this type of show….those who need the loving message of what CHRISTmas is all about the most. They are fed a Christmas dinner and see the show for free. They are easily the most appreciative crowd we have all week.

    Why should a church scare you? Pastor Bruce Frank preaches God’s word. He doesn’t sugar coat it and he doesn’t water it down to make it politically correct. Is that what scares you? And, for the record, Pastor Bruce DID NOT tell anyone who to vote for in the last election. He did instruct people to pray and vote for the candidate that best shared their beliefs…whoever that may be. I know for a fact that many in our church voted for Obama. Many voted for McCain. But NO ONE was told "you must vote for McCain to be a member of this church. God wants you to vote for McCain."

    God Bless.

  9. I think that the first commits I read were truly rude, mean and uncalled for. I have been going to this church for 11 years now and I’m 13 now this is a wonderful thing they are doing I have been in CMCS for 10 years and it has saved alot of people the first show we do is for people who need Christ most the people from jails and orphans. I feel like I’m doing a big thing for my community. And not only is CMCS great! but I have been to camps with them and learned alot about Jesus this year I went on a misson trip and led 5 people to Christ and I got saved myself. So BBC is AMAZING!!!!! and You should try the church before you say it a cult cuz it really hurt my feelings and the little kids love it, I love, the older kids love it and the teens have this thing called Collide andlast month we had over 450 people there 50 people saved and 18 babtized right then! everyone should come on dec. 16 ’09 and no I’m not trying to make an ad for it I’m just giving you a chance to see we are for GOD and for GOD only not for money or some kind of so called cult thank you very much so there. P.S. JESUS LOVES YOU! 🙂

  10. Well, Church business is just like any other business!!!!!!! To put on a great production it can’t pay for it self. You would think that everything that has to do with the church would be free,because salvation is free the bible says come unto me and I will give you rest. You can’t find rest if you have to worrry about if you have enough money to put in the collection plate. The chruch is surpose to take care of its own through thithes and offerings. However everyone does not pay the 10th of there earnings, this is why the chruch had to come up with other ways of supporting the church; in return giving something back to the community so they can see what is being done with the money that is invested.having a great place to go and relax for the holiday’s is good you can take the family for wholesome entertainment and not spend alot of money and you also support the cause. I am sure Biltmore Baptist has its share of good things that they do for people in the community. All these none believers are the ones that don’t go to church are always trying to tell the chruch people how they should run God’s business. I am sure the pastor is connected with Jesus and he knows how to lead his congregation. My question to the Jesus and Church haters what have you done lately for your communtiy? what have you donated? who have you helped? when was the last time you prayed? when was the last time you attended any chruch services? when was the last time you was a witness for the Lord!!!!! I am not a member of this chruch but I plan to attend and I have heard great things about the church and its members!!! the bible says upon this rock I will build my church and the devil in hell shall not prevail!!! Biltmore Baptist will rise and they will raise more money this year than they have ever raised because of dictators like you because of Jesus inwhich they believe they can’t fail God won’t allow it! So you need to ask God for forgiveness and Go and support the cause or keep your negative comments to yourself However I belive that Politics has no place in the house of God that’s nobody’s business who you decide to vote for! I love you all may God Bless you and have a great Hoilday season

  11. I am part of the CMCS production and in the past 2 years our church has taught the good news about Christ giving His life for each and every person born into a sinful world, over 1,000 people have steped forward and accepted Christ. This is why we do the production. It is an outreach ministry for those that need it most. The production expenses are paid for by ticket sales. If just 1 person came forward it would be worth the expense to save that one lost soul. The hatred expressed by some of the comments should be expected when you consider our Baptist church home is located in the middle of Asheville, NC and the mixed crowd we have living here. God’s word and the wonderful works His devoted Christian followers are devoted to is about the only thing right here. There are plenty of cults in the area but BBC is certainly not a cult. If you want to experience God’s truth, love and His calling for your life…Biltmore Baptist Church can be a blessing in your life!

  12. all i know is when i was in black mountain correctional center and was given the opportunity to go see this production i have never been given the respect these people gave me. they provided a wonderful meal for ALL the girls, and it really gave me the gift of christmas in a place were you would never expect to find it.i recomend everyone who has the chance to see this wonderful, wonderful production….

  13. One more thing, maybe. You just know Pastor Bruce Frank was standing up in his high and mighty pulpit, every Sunday leading up to Election Day, telling his lemmings(I meant sheep, I think)to vote McPalin. So much for separation of Church and State, not to mention his bogus, non-profit status. dot-org, my ass!

  14. Are Jack. and I the only ones scared shitless of these folks?!? Everybody ought to be!

  15. Tru Dat, Jack! Biltmore Baptist is one concertina-wire fence away from being an armed, Evangelical Christian compound, a la David Koresh and his Branch Davidians. They are raising their children on the "inside", in hopes of never having those kids have to "mingle/mix" with "outsiders". It is truly frightening! Do not be surprised if one day, the FBI, ATF and State Police(local cops would never get involved in this brand of hornet’s nest)are staked-out at the Long Shoals entrance– waiting to storm these religious extremists who occupy that property and bear false witness to a God that would never approve of the real business they’re conducting. Again, What Would Jesus Do?

  16. They’re like a cult. Ever seen what the people look like? All clones of each other. Even have a nursery called Praise Land . WTF? It’s one of those churches (so to speak) that feels it has to entertain to bring God into the lives of people. What a joke. I can’t believe the people who go there don’t see through the racket that it all is.

  17. Not to mention all the ads that "church" is paying for on WLOS, pimping the Christmas Extravaganza! The enormous amount of money that congregation wastes on this every holiday season could be put to much better use in the WNC community, during tough economic times. What Would Jesus Do? An appropriate question, indeed.

    • Jacqueline McIntosh says:

      God gives us free will to either love him or hate him. The churches have been super active in feeding, clothing, paying rents and electric bills of poor and working poor people of Asheville for decades. Without God’s help thousands of people would be in a real pickle. To pay ever increasing payments on church properties and electric bills and to keep money flowing to these helps, It’s not unreasonable to ask 10 bucks for a show that costs thousands to put on, in props costumes and other expenses. Are you kidding me. Just the power bills alone of these churches are in the thousands not to mention mortgages and other bills. For those who condemn the churches, I pray for you because you simply do not know, really anything about them.

    • Jacqueline McIntosh says:

      Killah, what would Jesus have you to do today.

      • Did you know that Bruce Frank and His wife Lori live in a $600,000 dollar home? He has never visited me in my $450 dollar apt while taking chemo…so here’s what i propose…why don’t we march the streets of Asheville during this Christmas Play Extravaganza, pick up the cold hungry homeless and possibly dying poor, ditch the play and set up a banquet table in their honor for a Christmas they most likely will never forget and a savior they can learn about who undoubtedly will lift them up out of their suffering one day…giving them hope and the joy in knowing their is a Savior who loves them and died for them. Why prey-tell will this likely to never happen? Because of the $600 thousand mortgage and lavish lifestyle’s our Leader’s and Pastors have become accustomed to instead of taking that money the 10 or 20 dollars to Win Souls…which is exactly what they ought to be doing and not just one time a year, at Christmas or Easter but everyday…What ever happened to “Soul Winning on Thursday Nights….Father watch over and protect the poor, cold, hungry, sick and dying on our streets of Asheville and everywhere…Amen

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