Precious memories of Bible School

Published 7:30 am Saturday, June 11, 2022

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“I’m not coming unless they serve my favorite grape Kool Aid,” a little boy told the preacher who urged him to attend Vacation Bible School. It was that time of year when children from churches all over gathered for a time of fun and instruction.

As I pulled in the church parking lot one extremely hot morning I heard children’s voices loud and clear singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Standing up front were three children. One held The American Flag, another The Christian Flag and the one on the end held The Bible.

As one of the volunteers that day, I heard the songs, enjoyed the refreshments that did include grape Kool Aid, watched some of the crafts activities, and listened to some of the lessons being taught. I remembered Bible Schools I attended as a child and others when I had been a worker. My most vivid memory as a Bible School attendant was when a program I led was chosen to participate with others in the graduation,

During my newspaper days, I decided to quiz some of my co-workers about what they remembered about Bible School. Annette said it was very hot and she looked forward to the refreshments. Bo’s response was a little more detailed. His answer was “Cookies, making things and inspirational teachings.”

Tim remembered eating fudgecycles.  For some, crafts were favorites. Margaret learned to crochet a rug. She said it turned out pretty big and she gave it to her daddy. “He put it beside his bed and made me think it was his pride,” she said, laughing.

Pam still had a little wooden camel which she varnished. Then she said they cut out a figure of Abraham and glued it to the camel. She also remembered that the teacher brought seeds and had her students plant something. Paul recalled making something out of a paper plate. He also remembered running around and playing in the church yard.

Woodcraft has always been popular. Just as little boys at our church tackled bird houses, Buddy said he once cut out an elephant with a saw, put hooks on it and took it home to hang things on.

I know all of that sounded like fun things at Bible School, but some of those I quizzed had some more serious thoughts. Pam learned all the books of the Old Testament. Buddy, who was a very competitive, said he would be crushed when he was defeated in a Bible Sword drill.

Tim could have been one of those three children holding flags because he remembered holding a flag or the Bible when pledges were repeated.

Singing is an important part of Bible School. Lisa remembered one of the most popular songs for Bible School was “Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Pam remembered “There Was A Little Boy David.” She got so wrapped up in that song; she gave all of us in the newsroom her version of it, complete with the motions. My daughter also looked back on the songs she learned at Bible School. They were “The B- I-B-L-E”, “Deep and Wide” and “Joy, Joy, Joy.”

Whether you marched to the tune of “Onward Christian Soldiers” this year or untold years ago at Bible School, it’s almost certain that something made an impression: a song, the fellowship, the refreshments, a caring teacher, or something you painstakingly made with your own hands. For some it made such an impact as to change their lives through a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

And for those teachers, preachers and volunteers who work so hard to make it a good experience for the participants, the rewards are untold.

Praise our Lord for vacation Bible Schools.

Note:  The above was a revised column taken from my book, “Bylines: Selections from Nina’s Notes.”