Vacation Bible schools under way

Kids dance and sing during a Vacation Bible School family night at Millbrook Baptist Church in Aiken.

Starting this week, churches across the area are being transformed into fishing boats, space stations, airplane hangers and tropical islands.

It’s the start of the summer Vacation Bible School season, in which churches host themed week-long outreach and education programs for children in their church and community.

Summer Bible schools date back to the 1800s, according to LifeWay Christian Resources, which has produced VBS materials since 1925.

Baptists credit Walker Aylett Hawes with their first VBS program. The doctor’s wife rented a beer hall for her Everyday Bible School, which included games, crafts and Bible stories, in the summer of 1898.

Methodists trace VBS programs even earlier, to summer school classes offered as early as 1870 near New York’s Lake Chautauqua.

Today, Southern Baptist churches host more than 2.8 million youth in summer VBS programs, according to a 2009 count by LifeWay, the most recent year for which data is available.

 TELL US

What does your church have planned for VBS? Email the date, time, location and theme to churchnews@augustachronicle.com to be featured in an upcoming Your Faith section. Find a VBS program to attend at chronicle.augusta.com/calendar.

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