School is out in Liberty County, but many churches are having their vacation Bible school classes.
Churches normally conduct their VBS during the day, but some opt to have evening sessions. While it used to be geared for children, adult classes are now part of VBS.
Churches have been having VBS for more than 100 years. The history of VBS dates back to 1894 in Hopedale, Ill. According to Growing Kids Ministry, D. T. Miles, a public school teacher and Sunday school teacher, started a daily Bible school for children during the summer. The first Bible school had an enrollment of 40 students and lasted four weeks.
VBS has evolved into a national program. Today, most VBS schedules last a week. The lessons and activities are part of a themed curriculum from the church’s denominations or independent publishing houses.
Students both young and old get the opportunity to participate in a variety of exciting and engaging activities. Other activities include religious songs, arts and crafts, skits, mime, praise dances, games, puppet shows and fellowship with good snacks.
According to Pastor Kathi Parchem, interim pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Hinesville, its VBS will be from 8:30 a.m.-noon June 18 - 22. First Presbyterian’s VBS theme, “Sky — Everything is Possible with God,” is taken from Mark 10:27.
“During the vacation Bible school, we will talk to the children about Mali, Africa, and will have large mosquito nets with plastic mosquito bugs. We will let the children bring their nickel and dimes or whatever amount they want to put in them,” Parchem said. “In conjunction with the World Vision program, we will provide help to the people of Mali. We are teaching the children to put their faith into action. They will learn Scriptures, do crafts, play games and have lots of fun.”
Fleming Baptist Church’s VBS starts at 5:45 p.m. today. Classes will continue from 5:45-8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
“On Friday night, we will have family night at 5:45 p.m. The kickoff was held on Saturday, June 9, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. We had pre-registration, food and water slides,” Pastor Michael Carden said. Fleming Baptist Church’s VBS is for children ages 3 through the 12th grade.
“Our theme is “Amazing Wonders Aviation,” which is taken from Psalm 147:5,” he said.
Members of the Hinesville First United Methodist Church will conduct VBS from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. July 9-13 The theme is also, “Sky — Everything is Possible with God.
Gum Branch Baptist Church held its VBS on June 4-8. According to Susan Dickey, of the church’s administrative personnel, attendance was great. On June 4 and 5, attendance was 175 students, and on June 6, it was 180. The theme was “Amazing Wonders Aviation.” Other popular themes this year include: “No Friend Like Jesus,” “Babylon — Daniel’s Courage in Captivity,” “Amazing Desert Journey — Where Jesus Leads Us Home,” and “Adventures on Promise Island — Where Kids Discover God’s Lifesaving Love.”
Throughout June and July, different churches will be having VBS. Some will combine with other churches. At the end of VBS, some churches have picnics, while others take the children on a trip to a theme park.
In his book “Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions,” George Barna said most people make decisions for Jesus before they are 13 years old.
“This one fact is enough to highlight the importance and need for VBS,” he wrote.