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Hayneville churches partner for VBScomment (0)

August 9, 2012

By Maggie Walsh

Cooperation was the refrain of Hayneville Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) song as it partnered with Jonathan’s House of Prayer, Hayneville, to minister to children across racial and denominational lines in Lowndes County July 15–19.

Darrell Paulk, pastor of Hayneville Baptist, and Sylvester Hardy, pastor of Jonathan’s House of Prayer, formed a friendship through their mutual involvement with Olive Tree Ministries, an interdenominational nonprofit organization in Lowndes County. 

While battling generational poverty and illiteracy through Olive Tree, Paulk and Hardy’s friendship flourished, creating the foundation for collaboration that made the combined VBS possible.

Through Hardy, Paulk became aware that very few African-American churches in the area have a VBS. Together they decided to rectify the situation.

During Hayneville’s Amazing Wonders Aviation VBS, Hardy and 10 volunteers brought 30–35 African-American kids each night. 

Each of the 120 children enrolled were able to enjoy the week, which included a plane flying over the church one night. 

“The kids loved it,” Paulk said, expressing his thanks to Dave Goodwin for making the flyover. Goodwin is a member at Hayneville and the personal pilot of Gov. Robert Bentley. 

Approximately 240 families attended the family night that concluded the week. That night Paulk received a pie in the face when the girls proved victorious in the battle of the sexes for giving more money to the missions offering throughout the week. The offering was for Olive Tree Ministries. 

“I love how it came full circle with Olive Tree,” Paulk said. “Something like this [VBS] has never been done in Lowndes County.”

During VBS one child accepted Christ, and many relationships developed with children and workers from both churches, Hardy said. “This opportunity was a real blessing from the Lord.”

Both churches responded well to the partnership, Hardy said, and are planning to get “a lot more involved” in the future. Paulk echoed his fellow pastor, saying he received a lot of positive feedback about VBS from his congregation.

The two churches are planning to combine for VBS again next year.  

(Maggie Walsh, TAB intern)

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