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Small Pell City church resurrects VBS, uses it as part of new outreach focuscomment (0)

August 7, 2008

By Greg Heyman

After a three-year hiatus, Lister Memorial Baptist Church, Pell City, not only resurrected its Vacation Bible School (VBS) ministry but also did it in an innovative way.

Twenty-nine members of this St. Clair Baptist Association church, which has an average Sunday attendance of 40, channeled all their efforts and energy into a one-day VBS July 12.

“We’re a small church and couldn’t get our workers there for a week,” Pastor Brad Moseley said. “So we decided to put every bit of effort we could into one big day.”

From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 33 children ages 3 years through sixth grade took part in activities that included five Bible lessons, music, missions videos and crafts. For recreation time, they played on a moonwalk and an inflatable slide.

Because VBS lasted all day, the children were fed a lunch of hot dogs and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches and were treated to ordered-out pizza for dinner.

The event followed this year’s LifeWay Christian Resources theme for VBS, Outrigger Island.

“We used a Hawaiian theme to focus on learning the truth, speaking the truth and knowing the truth,” said Moseley, who got into the spirit by wearing a grass skirt and Hawaiian shirt.

And he’s the reason Lister Memorial Baptist even had Bible school this year, according to June Lee, a church member for 46 years and VBS volunteer. Re-establishing VBS was one of the goals Moseley set when he became pastor in February, Lee said.

She said VBS was seen as one way to increase church membership, which has declined in recent years.

Of the children in attendance, Moseley said 12 were unchurched, two were from an area church and the rest were children or grandchildren of church members. He said a fourth-grader who was not attending church accepted Jesus as Savior that day. The student will be baptized in a few weeks and now attends services at Lister Memorial along with other family members.

Lee said it is very likely that the church will hold VBS again in 2009.

“It might be a one-day thing next year, too,” she said.

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