OnlineVBS

Leah Davidson, left, and April Guffey prepare one of the video messages that will be part of First Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School next week.

Vacation Bible School is a longstanding tradition in the community of churches. But one Hartsville church is giving a new look to its VBS plans this year.

First Baptist Church will be holding its “Concrete & Cranes” Vacation Bible School completely online this year from July 20-24. There will be videos each night for children to watch that will incorporate the message of the Gospel and God’s love, instructions for crafts and other projects, as well as song and dance.

“We had originally planned to go ahead and have Vacation Bible School here at the church,” said Charlie Puckett, Children’s Minister at FBC. “With the COVID-19 pandemic here in the county on the upswing, the kids really need to hear the Gospel of Jesus. Rather than postpone VBS, we decided to try and do it online.”

The videos were recorded last week by church librarian Leah Davidson, who said the quality looked good.

“I’m also doing the music for VBS,” Davidson said. “I’m uploading the videos to Youtube and will be putting the link on our Facebook page for the kids to watch… I’m hoping it will be easy for the kids to follow.”

Puckett said FBC was following the example of a number of churches across the country that are holding “virtual” Vacation Bible School services. A number of Trousdale County churches, including First Baptist, have also been holding their regular Sunday services online as well.

“We had seen other churches that had done this,” Davidson said. “We tried to take some pointers from churches we had seen and tweak it to fit us.”

First Baptist has also been holding Awana (children’s discipleship) and Bible study online during the pandemic. So holding VBS in an online format just came naturally.

“This was a natural fit,” Puckett said. “We’ve been averaging 47 view the first few Awana meetings. One night we had 200 views.”

Church members will be putting together packets for children to pick up prior to the beginning of VBS. Packets may be picked up on Saturday, July 18 from 8-10 a.m. and Sunday, July 19 from 5-7 p.m. Anyone wishing to participate in the online VBS is asked to register at vbspro.events/p/d228a7 ahead of time so the church knows how many packets to prepare. The link is also available on the church’s Facebook page, First Baptist Church of Hartsville, TN.

VBS will begin each night at 6 p.m. with a live opening on Facebook, followed by the posting of videos that will be age appropriate for grades K-2 and 3-6. There will be a live opening online, followed by the night’s video. The packets will also include snacks or instructions for easy-to-make snacks.

In addition to reaching the local community, Puckett said the online services had been viewed in Texas, California and even in Great Britain.

“That’s what we’re supposed to be doing — spreading the good news of Jesus Christ,” Puckett said. “It’s really an outreach ministry that we feel is not only needed, but we’ll be blessed because of the effort we put into it.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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