Like so many churches around Carson City on Christmas Eve, the pews at the First United Methodist Church were packed as the organ rang out with those familiar old Christmas carols.
The Methodists here celebrate Chrismas Eve with a candle light ceremony. The house lights are extinguished and each member of the congregation lights a candle representing the light of Christ as it spread around the world, according to church member Steve Suwe.
But the ceremony is punctuated by other events. The sanctuary resounded with songs by the Children's Choir, and all of the children from the congregation helped fill the manger with straw.
Dedicated in 1867, the stone church on the corner of Musser and Division Streets in Carson City serves a congregation organized in 1859, and is often referred to as the cradle of Nevada Methodism.
Regular worship services are held at 8:05 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., and there is Sunday School for all ages during the 9:30 service.