In the Beginning . . .
Building began in August 1999 as a labor of love from a husband who wanted to give his wife not only a special home for her collection of nativities, but also a Sanctuary for meditation and a place of reflection and refuge from the chaos of today's world. (He also simply wanted to get them out of every room in the house and reclaim his home turf!) As the bare shelves began to fill, an unanticipated, simple, two-fold ministry began to unfold:
1st was to educate visitors in the terminology and the symbolism related to the Birth of Christ;
2nd is to share with all who visit the Gallery the joyous news of our Lord's Birth.
Timeline of events to build and fill this Gallery:
July – 1970 = First collection was made by Judy Klein at a ceramic shop in Justin TX
June – 1990 = Collection began experiencing major growth after European Vacation.
February – 1998 = Inherited mother’s collection of 300 nativities and had no place for them.
August – 1999 = Husband began construction on Gallery to house growing collection.
October – 2000 = Placed the first Creche in the completed facility.
November – 2000 = First visitor arrived to experience “Bethlehem”!
June – 2001 = Added sidewalk and other exterior finishing touches to Gallery.
June – 2002 = More than 350 guests have registered from 35 Texas cities plus 17 other states.
December – 2002 = One of five destinations on Denton’s Christmas Homes Tour!
September – 2011 = There is no room left in the inn! 2,925 Nativities 1870 visitors!
March – 2012 = Plans underway for expansion to more than double footprint.
August – 2012 = Began re-arranging existing & unpacking new Creches from storage.
October – 2012 = Ready for the Christmas Season with two more rooms and a restroom
September – 2018 = More than 2,850 guests from 20 countries, 43 states, & 138 Texas cities.
In 2019 = Another room or do we start downsizing this massive collection ????