In rural Ohio, sits a cave. But not just any cave. It’s a cave with a Christmas message.
Tom Martin of the Christmas Cave says that the cave is a big teaching tool, while Lori Davis says the cave is a “museum-like display, hidden inside the underground mines.”
“People are [going to] drive by here and they’re [going to] be able to say they got saved and met Jesus here,” said Mindy Martin of the Christmas Cave.
The Christmas Cave is based on, according to Davis, the “true meaning of Christmas.” She says she hopes that’s what visitors gather by walking through the many displays.
The Christmas Cave has been open for a couple of years, and features full-size mannequins that help tell the story of Christmas. “The mannequins are a complete original,” said Davis. “We saw one photograph and we created a whole beautiful Christmas cave developed around that photograph.”
But why do Tom, Mindy, and Lori do this. Tom says that really, it’s simple. “One name, it’s Jesus. You know, he’s real,” said Tom Martin. “He left heaven and he became a man and that’s what Christmas is all about. I mean, it’s to celebrate that God saw our struggles and he came to do something about it.”
According to the Martins, the cave has attracted people all the way from California. “What I love to see in our FaceBook comments is ‘this is our new family Christmas tradition,’ and that was a goal of ours,” said Mindy Martin.
Tom Martin says visitors can be lost for words when they go through the displays inside. “They say they just get a different feeling down here and they struggle to describe it,” he said.
Walking through the cave will take about 45 minutes. Tom, Mindy, and Lori say that when people walk through the cave, they feel a sense of peace and describe the whole experience as one filled with joy. That joy also translates into what children have said about the cave. “One little boy told his grandparent ‘I’ll never be the same again,’ said Mindy Martin. “You know, we all need to be like that little boy and never be the same again.”
“The inspiration is just the story itself,” said Davis.
“The Lord has given us a vision of getting back to the reason for the season,” said Tom Martin.
In rural Ohio sits a cave, but not just any cave. A cave you’ll just have to see to believe.
The Christmas Cave is located on White Gravel-McDaniel Road in Minford and is open Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 10pm through December 22.
The Cave does not charge admission, but they do ask for a one-dollar donation per person as every dollar they get is poured straight back into future displays.