Houston Park church of Christ minister Tom McLemore invites everyone to VBS. Houston Park’s VBS will be June 12-15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will have classes for all ages, including adults. -- Alison McFerren

Vacation Bible Schools begin

Published 9:06pm Friday, May 27, 2011

By Alison McFerrin

The Selma Times-Journal

A popular Sunday School song says, ‘The more we read the Bible, the happier we’ll be.’ Local churches are taking the opportunity to squeeze in that little bit of extra Bible study with Vacation Bible Schools.

“It’s a fun and exciting week,” Kim Lewis said. Lewis is the director of children’s ministries at Elkdale Baptist Church. “It’s different from our regular schedule.”

Area VBS programs run three to five days for several hours each day.  VBS programs began as early as the 1890s, according to an article in the March 30, 2003 edition of The Lookout, a Christian magazine.

“With Vacation Bible School, we’re teaching them God’s Word through an exciting, themed curriculum,” Lewis said. Elkdale’s activities will include songs, crafts, and memory verses.

First Presbyterian Church’s VBS will be focused on lessons from Psalm 139, Naomi Oslund said. Oslund is the coordinator of children’s ministries.

“It’s an exciting time for children to learn more about Jesus and fall in love with God a little bit more,” Oslund said. She added the children will learn, “God created us, God knows each one of us individually, God gave us gifts to use, God loves us, and Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins.”

While most VBS programs focus on children, some churches also offer adult classes.

Houston Park Church of Christ will have a guest speaker for their adult classes, as well as offering classes for children.

“This is our major outreach, you might say,” Tom McLemore said. McLemore is the preacher at Houston Park. “It would help it to be more of a family thing, where whole families can come.”

McLemore said the guest speaker will cover the history of the church in Alabama, and the children’s lessons will cover encounters with Jesus by people like Paul and Zaccheus.

“The elders just really stressed the desire for us to always keep it focused on Jesus,” McLemore said, but added he also hopes the children learn “that all the folks at Houston Park love kids, and we’d love to have them come and be with us at all times.”

Outreach is a major focus for VBS programs. Lewis said in their outreach, they are seeking to be an Acts 1:8 church. This scripture reads “…ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (King James Version).

Lewis said Elkdale Baptist is specifically trying reach out to the children at Edgewood Elementary School, which is across the street.

“We would just love for everyone to come and learn with us,” Lewis said. “It’s a great learning experience for everyone.”

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