Apalachicola’s First Pentecostal Holiness Church filled its sanctuary last weekend not only with the true meaning of Christmas, but with a packed house.

Terry Tipton, Jr.’s timeless work ‘Help Me Get Through Christmas” returned to the altar once again with a marvelous blend of music and drama that met with great acclaim from the audience.

New this year to the story of how a family succeeds in handling the holiday by both reaching out and reaching inside were a line of dancing Santa’s elves, each strung with a necklace of lights, and at one high point, they lifted placards that spelled out “Joy to the World.” Performing as elves were Amontaye Austin, Brennan Cook, Emma and Logan Fuentes, Sarah Ham, Micah Harris, Addyson Kent, Ella and Preston McClain, Jaxson Odom, and Alexa and Jazmine Pavon.

In addition to directing the young dancers, Holly Chambers danced magnificently, as did Kalahn Kent, with Dana Pavon and Teresa Ann Martin also as featured dancers. Pavon, Kent and Chambers also appeared in the show,

Soloists Beth Terry, Davy Paul, Jentzen Odom and Ginger Coulter rocked the house with their moving vocals. The other actors, Randall Terry, Janelle Paul, Linda Thompson, Scott Abel, Joshua Odom, Scott Kelly, Angel Silva, Rex Pennycuff, Jennifer Finch, Lynn Cook and Sabrina Hicks, all performed well, with the funniest moments generated by Jannie Ham and Brenda Austin Cummings.

The wonderful set, soulful musicians, superb management of the production -all is a credit to a dedicated stage crew

The evening closed with a stirring appeal by Pastor Susan Roach about the deepest meaning behind the show, which was wonderfully brought to life by the pastor role on stage, writer and director Terry Tipton.