Perched 12 stories up on top of the roof of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, a 31-foot Moravian star, one of the largest in the world, will usher in the holiday season for the 20th year.
The idea for the star was initiated in 1992 by Shirley Hasty, a secretary in chaplaincy and pastoral education at Wake Forest Baptist, and a sign company in Lexington created the 3,400-pound star. Hasty, who has since passed away, left a lasting legacy to the medical center and the Winston-Salem community.
“I think the star on top of the hospital symbolizes the light of God’s love in our lives,” said Paul Mullen, director, church and community relations at Wake Forest Baptist. “All of us want to organize our lives around symbols that bring meaning and a sense of purpose pointing us to truths that are greater than ourselves.”
The one-of-a-kind star has 27 points that range in length from seven to 11 feet long and weigh from 30 to 65 pounds each. Each of the 27 points is illuminated by a 100-watt bulb.
Mike Cheek, electrical section manager at Wake Forest Baptist, said it takes 11 employees working up to eight hours to put the star together. It stands 12 feet up off of the roof base once they raise it into place.
“We really didn’t know how much it mattered until one year we had it lit and the star went out,” said Cheek, “and we received so many phone calls wondering why the star was not on. So, we know it means a lot to the community and the facility.”
“Many members of our community really enjoy driving by and seeing the star lit up in the holiday season,” Mullen said.
The annual Christmas star lighting and worship service will be held Monday, Nov. 26, from 5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The service, which is free and open to the public, will be held on the top level of Wake Forest Baptist’s Eden Terrace parking deck off Hawthorne Road.
The service features the lighting of the star as well as music by the Medical Center Chorale and a large Moravian band. Rev. Gary Gunderson, vice president, faith and health ministries, will be the worship leader.
Hot apple cider and other refreshments will be served.
For additional information about the service, please contact Church and Community Relations at (336) 716-3027.
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