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Church events for youth and adults fill summer schedule

Ross Jones has his fingerprints taken by Chief of Police William Riley during Sister Springs Baptist Church's Agency D3 Vacation Bible School Thursday afternoon. (Scottie Brown | Times-Journal)

Ross Jones has his fingerprints taken by Chief of Police William Riley during Sister Springs Baptist Church’s Agency D3 Vacation Bible School Thursday afternoon. (Scottie Brown | Times-Journal)

By Scottie Brown

The Selma Times-Journal

 

Like clockwork, every summer children flock to church. Only, it’s not Sunday.

Vacation Bible School is part of routine for many churches. It’s a routine that dates back several decades.

Sister Springs Baptist Church in Tyler was established in 1823. Debbie Moore, the church’s VBS director, said it had hosted a VBS well before she became a member of the church.

“We have pictures of kids underneath one of the old trees,” Moore said. “It goes back to the ’50s or ‘40s.”

This year the children attending VBS were able to investigate the life of Christ using the theme Agency D3. The three D’s for the theme are discover, decide and defend said Moore.

“It entails is the investigation into the life of Jesus,” Moore said. “You’ve got to prove that he is who he says he is, that he did die and that he did raise from the dead.”

The theme is fun and upbeat a change from past Vacation Bible Schools, but it was able to keep the children’s attention Moore said.

“They love it,” Moore said. “It’s entirely different from my generation. This is movement. I mean they are constantly moving.”

With VBS, the children are able to build a foundation for their faith, Moore said.

“It’s one of the highlights of our church,” Moore said. “We really count on Vacation Bible School to reach our children. It gives them the background they need to build their faith on.”

While Sister Springs’ VBS focused on the children attending the church, Greater Mt. Calvary in Beloit, who partnered with Hopewell Baptist Church and Aim Well Missionary Baptist Church, took an unconventional route to VBS, teaching adult church members.

“Vacation Bible School is more than just for children,” said VBS director for Greater Mt. Calvary Patricia Braxton. “When you think of Vacation Bible School most people think [of kids], but our highest attendance is with our adults. We have excellent teachers. We have three teachers that are exciting and keep your attention.”

The classes for adults are tailored to what the adults hope to learn during their time at VBS, Braxton said.

“We were in Sunday school and one of the members said ‘we need to have a workshop or seminar about different things,’” Braxton said. “So, I had a workshop this week in Vacation Bible School. It’s not only biblical. It’s informative.”

Towanda Moseley, a Hopewell Baptist Church member, said the adult classes were a large help for someone growing in their faith.

“It means a lot to me because you don’t have this everywhere,” Moseley said. “You can get more in-depth with it. If you don’t understand something you can come to the church and learn together. It’s a great learning experience.”

Greater Mt. Calvary’s, which has a range of attendants for 70 to 80, includes several classes for the younger generations. The church tries to reinforce what the children and young adults are learning during their time there.

“You see the word all around,” Braxton said. “When they go out the door they have scripture. When they come in the door they have scripture. The thing here is getting the word of God in them while they’re young.”

For Braxton, VBS is a way to reach those in the community and build their faith.

“You see new people,” Braxton said. “You see people that don’t come to your church and you get a chance to introduce them to Christ. It’s a passion for me.”