Jeff Slaughter – A VBS Legend!

For the past 17 years, millions of children and families through VBS have benefited from a talented and enthusiastic music minister whose name is synonymous with VBS.

Jeff Slaughter, the songwriter for LifeWay Christian Resources’ Vacation Bible School team, has decided 2012 will be his last season writing, traveling, performing and teaching with our VBS team.

God has given Jeff new dreams and new visions. We will miss him and pray that God continues to use him. We want you to join us as we celebrate Jeff and his years of creative ministry at all the upcoming 2012 VBS preview events.

At each event, Jeff’s contributions, creativity and career highlights will be celebrated with a video tribute connected to the performance of the Amazing Wonders Aviation musical.

Jeff was originally enlisted in 1997 to create high-energy music written specifically for each year’s VBS theme. With the introduction of The Wild and Wonderful Good News Stampede, Jeff and LifeWay’s VBS became synonymous. Since then, Jeff has produced 22 VBS themes and 133 songs (including 30 songs specifically for preschoolers) for both the mainline and Club VBS.


Jeff’s contribution has helped shape VBS as it is known today. His music has reached into the hearts of kids and the motions he choreographed have helped the lyrics become personal and the message of Christ memorable.

Jeff has also been a highlight of these events, where he shares the stories behind the songs and teaches the accompanying motions firsthand.

The VBS team appreciates Jeff and his creative contributions. We’ve had a tremendous relationship with him. God has not only used Jeff to impact the lives of millions but he has impacted each of us here at LifeWay.

For most of us, the relationship extends beyond “work” to personal, everyday friendship.
We look forward to continued ministry with him throughout the 2012 VBS season and honoring him at the preview events.

Jeff will continue to be a vital part of LifeWay’s CentriKid Camps.

As part of our tribute to Jeff, the VBS team is creating a book of memories, photos, and letters. We would like to invite you to help by sending a note of thanks and best wishes or a story about your favorite VBS song.

Send your message to kidsministry101@lifeway.com. If you would like to send a photo (no larger than 5×7), send it to me, Jerry Wooley, MSN 182, LifeWay Christian Resources, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, Tennessee 37234. Messages and photos must be received by Friday, December 30.

Love you Jeff.

Comments

  1. Kelli Weeb says

    Our church started doing VBS in 1996. We noticed wonderful improvements the following year doing the Good News Stampede (we still sing the theme!) We’ve enjoyed the theme and the positive changes over the years. Jeff has felt like a part of our own VBS team, and he will be greatly missed! I hope he has trained his own replacement. :-)
    Kelli Webb
    Bethlehem, PA

    • vbsguy says

      Kelli, you are correct – Jeff will be greatly missed. I too have wonderful memories of The Wild & Wonderful Good News Stampede. It was revolutionary!

  2. says

    Over the years Jeff’s songs have been the highlight for many in our VBS. We sing with the videos during our worship rally–our people seem to enjoy that better than looking at words on a PowerPoint slide.

    Best wishes to Jeff. His work has truly helped make VBS memorable for my church.

  3. says

    I’m sadden to hear Jeff is leaving VBS. As a director–going on my 12th year–I’ve enjoyed each and every year of his God inspired lyrics and his big heart for children. I had the priveledge to meet Jeff a few years ago at a state training event (Colorado West Slope Team–with Ken Musselwhite (yeah the guy with the dummies) and I couldn’t wait to brag to my children I got to meet him. God is also moving me in a different direction with the publication of my first Christian Romance/Suspense novel this Spring, so maybe we’ll meet again. :-)
    I wish him lots of blessings in his new endeavers. He will be greatly missed!

  4. Joyce Grimes says

    Jeff will be missed in VBS life-after 2012. His is an anointed songwriter and artist. He has a passion for the Lord and people. He makes everyone feel special. I know God has some amazing plans for him.
    Best and blessed wishes to a great brother and friend in Christ, as he pursues God’s will in his life and the Lord continues to pour out His favor on him!
    Love you, Jeff!

  5. says

    We will miss Jeff’s work in VBS but I believe Jeff to be an anointed man of God and he is listening to the call of service the Lord has for him to do. Best wishes and prayers up for you dear brother in Christ. You have touched many hearts with your work. May His face continue to shine down upon you!

  6. says

    Jerry,
    Will Jeff be at the VBS Events for 2012? My sister and I were skipping the event this year but now we may have to reconsider that decision!
    Thanks,
    Kaye

  7. says

    Many people know about Jeff’s VBS contributions, but not so many know of his tireless involvement in summer youth camps, ministry with orphans, and his incredible ability to encourage people by his mere presence and joy in the Lord. I don’t know who LifeWay will get to replace Jeff, but they certainly have some enormous and talented shoes to fill. The expectations are going to be very high to say the least.
    Dr. Tom Blackaby

  8. Dr. Cynthia Cardwell says

    I have to admit that I have wanted you job since the first video with the Great Adventure and the Good News Stampede! Last year’s Saddleridge Ranch was awesome too. The tumbleweed ABC …soo cool! The rap of why don’t you this year also great. My favorite one is Mt. Extreme. I was”Mac” in the musical when a tree toppled our Mt. Extreme duing The Ropes” and I yodeled a note that was not humanly possible as my appendix ruptured! I stayed until family night was done since I was the VBS director and then went straight to sugery. The surgeon said I was still yodeling as I went under! Love all the things in between as well. You are amazing and you will be missed for years to come. Love you and God bless in your new adventures.

  9. Brenda Farner says

    Jeff will be greatly missed through VBS! God has blessed him with amazing talent and a heart for VBS and children. His music has always been easy and memorable and our children still know the songs from the VBS several years ago. I pray that God will continue to bless you through your ministry. Lifeway has some big shoes to fill. Looking forward to seeing you at Ridgecrest. We will miss you.

  10. says

    Words are not adequate to express our love and gratitude for all Jeff has done to make VBS music so inventive, exciting and heart touching for so many young and old. You will be greatly missed and we pray that God will bless you in the new directions He is leading. We also pray for God’s direction at Lifeway as they search for the person who will step into those big shoes.

  11. Sheree Jordan says

    Jeff’s music not only touched the lives of the children in VBS, the adults as well were moved.. The truth that is written into every song causes the heart and soul of the adult workers to reflect and act. Jeff is a man that is led by the Spirit of God as he writes music for the next generation. Looking forward to see where God leads him and cant wait to hear the new music that will come from the journey. God Bless you Jeff!

  12. Bryan Pittman says

    Jeff, thank you for your willingness to serve God wherever He leads you. The impact your music and obedience has made on the Kingdom will not be fully known on this side of Heaven.
    Jerry, we will continue to pray for the VBS group at LifeWay as you move forward and continue to create the leading VBS material available.

  13. says

    I am so sad to hear the Jeff will no longer be with Lifeway. Being a college student now, I still can remember all the awesome songs that he made and what and impact he had on my life and in my faith as a child a student. Even the other day in one of my college courses a friend and I began to talk about VBS and Amazon Outfitters, he started to sing the theme song and I said, “Hey I know that song, and that guy!” Jeff is such an awesome artist, writer, and choreographer, I hate to know that children will not get to experience his gift the way I did. I thankfully have a close relationship with Jeff since I had the opportunity to work in one of his videos and with his music as a student, and I know that I am very blessed to still have him a part of my life. Overall Jeff, you will be missed, VBS just won’t seem the same without you. God Bless you Brother.

  14. Reba Lane says

    My kids at church start asking as soon as VBS is over what we will be singing abut next year. Jeff’s music has become the source of great anticipation for all of us. We feel like we have gotten to know Jeff through his music and the demonstrations he does for us. We Love him and will all miss him greatly. I am very sad.

  15. Patti Swilley says

    I am deeply saddened that Jeff will not be with us on our music for VBS . I have always looked forward to watching his video and helping me learn the songs and motions to each day’s lesson. Whenever my granddaughters come to my house, we are always putting on the videos from all the years and singing and doing the motions with Jeff. Just a few weeks ago one of my granddaughters was singing one of the songs from VBS years ago, and asked me what this year’s song was going to be. I want to thank you, Jeff, from the bottom of my heart for all you have done. You not only gave us songs and motions, you gave us your deep emotions, desires, and love for Christ, so that we may go out and show and tell others about The Lord !! You are and amazing man of God, and I will miss you. I will be praying for you and your endeavors in whatever you will be doing. May God richly bless your life my friend !!!
    Love in Christ, Patti

  16. says

    WOW, what incredible wonderful words we can all use to describe Jeff Slaughter, what a blessing his ministry is to so many. The first year I was invited to help work on a VBS writing team, we were whisked away on a “themed” adventure dinner/outing. When Debbie Ruth shared with me that yes, Jeff would be there, I think my legs turned to jelly, I was so nervous. Jeff was warm and friendly in spite of me being such a VBSOLOGY over-zealous fan. He is simply a warm and friendly person, who permeates the love of Christ in his conversations and through his music. I’m sorry I just saw this email, ’cause I have a picture of Jeff and me the first time I got to meet him. God surely has wonderful things in store for LIFEWAY and for JEFF SLAUGHTER in the days ahead. What a beautiful partnership, and what a beautiful testimony of Christian Leadership. Know there are many people praying for all of you in the days and months ahead. Keep up the good work. We are reaching kids with the Good News through your efforts.
    Sincerely yours,
    Kathy Martin
    Children’s Ministry Director

  17. Heidi Frazier says

    Thank you, THANK YOU for so many years of faithful service, Jeff Slaughter!

    I was introduced to Jeff’s music when our Children’s Pastor came back from a conference and had the children jumping around to “Humpty Dump”! So I bought the album (“Nothing”) and that was the extent of my exposure to Jeff Slaughter… until Lifeway’s 2010 VBS, Route 254. I was tentative about the worship leader training video included in the kit… then I pressed PLAY. Wow! I was SO impressed with the quality of the music, the creative motions, and (especially) the humility and passion for worship by the man in the video. “Who is this guy?!” I wondered. Jeff Slaughter, of course! I was especially moved when Jeff shared the backstory to “We Believe!” (Yes, I cried to a training video!) Who knew that later that same year my own dad would pass away?! GOD, of course… and Jeff’s story and song were just a few of the ways God reaffrimed that His own love and care for me during that difficult time. God’s greatness and goodness shines through you, Jeff!

  18. Kevin Shanks says

    Hi Jeff,
    I just met you today.. at the Ridgecrest VBS preview. It was great as always. If you remember I am the person you brought up in the first session that had some good ole’ Charlston leg moves. I have been doing the music at our church’s VBSs for going on 3 years. I have enjoyed using your music and choreography, and the kids always look forward to the music rotation because of the great music and moves. I for one, who hanen’t worked with any other VBS material, will greatly miss your inspirational and meaningful music and choreography for VBS. I hope to cross paths with you again possibly in another venue. I will strive to do the music rotation the best that I can, but there will always be something missing. God bless you and take care. Your in my prayers…
    Thank you for all you do to bring children to Christ.

    Kevin Shanks
    Music Director
    First Baptist Church of Dayton KY

  19. Lori Clendinning says

    “Jeff, Jeff, it was a sad day “(pretend to rub eyes with both hands, to indicate crying)… “when you declared you were leaving Lifeway” (fingers wiggle upward in front of torso, for “life” and then index fingers point away from body to indicate a path, for “way”)… “You pointed children to Eternity” (touch index finger to heart and then to sky, to indicate “Eternity”)… “by teaching them the A.B.C’s” (with your right index finger, touch your first three fingers on your left hand, to “count off” A, B, C)… “A is for Accept, B is for Believe, C is for Confess, but G… is for Grieve” — Apologies for the above, but seriously, Jeff, we’re going to miss your contributions to VBS and other Lifeway projects… Your music (and ALL the motions) touched lives and proved useful to the Holy Spirit to help children gain knowledge of our Heavenly Father. We wish you the very best that God has for you as you venture out on this new course. We will miss you! One of your friends from FBC, Brandon, Mississippi, Lori Clendinning

  20. Dan Bliss says

    My now-grown daughter (and me, too) still occasionally sings “Stampede” and “Rickshaw ralley” as she is puttering around the house. Jeff has made an eternal impact on many thousands of children, and will be missed in the VBS scene. He will, I’m sure, continue to have a great Kingdom influence wherever he goes from here.

  21. Billie Bacle says

    “I know that I know that I know that only the Lord is God” and that only Jeff can write words, set them to music and figure out motions that make will make children want to sing. I missed the Good News Stampede, but have lead the Music Rotation up until 3 years ago, when I moved up to the VBXers. The kids were always eager to learn the songs and the motions. I still teach some of the older songs in my Children’s choir. Who else will be able to empower every child with the ability to lead someone to Jesus by remembering all those ABC songs? Who else will be able to teach the basics of our faith thru song like “I Believe”? I’m already singing “If God is for me, who can be against me?” Songs that are both fun, biblical and scriptural. Who? Who? I know that God will bless Jeff’s new venture, for Jeff has blessed the lives of millions of adults and children. We will miss him sorely in VBS.

  22. Jeanie Bingham says

    I stood in front of my tv in my home, watched a much younger Jeff, teaching the songs and the moves. It took me a while but I learned them. That was the first year of his time. I began going to the preview events about 5 years ago. Our church has registered to go this year but due to circumstances beyond our control, we didn’t get to go. I know that tonight would have been great but very emotional and tomorrow even more so. I would like to thank Jeff for his commitment to VBS and will keep him in my prayers for whatever God has in store for him in the years ahead.

  23. says

    This is a huge loss for Lifeway, Jeff Slaughter was the revolutionary who made the same old same old … of VBS New and exciting. Think back about the past 17 years of Lofeway VBS and tell me what you remember? I bet you don’t remember the lessons, but you remember all the SONGS!!! Each song God inspired, evangelistic, and touching the hearts of milliions of children. The style and the singers that Jeff used was unique to Christian Children’s music also. Usually recordings are made in unison with a children’s choir, again the same old same old…. , but Jeff used two and three part harmony with such a strong blend. Anyone who ever met Jeff at a conference or better yet at CentriKid Camp working with the children can see his transparent heart. He is truely a annointed man and very sincere in his service to Christ. We will be praying that God continues to bless him and use him to spread the gospel of Chirist. As for Lifeway, I am sorry for your loss. This is truely a big blow to your VBS team.

  24. Carol Williams says

    I would just like to thank Jeff for his wonderful contribution to all the lives of the many children and adults who have attended VBS for the last 17 years. God gave him an amazing talent to write and choreograph these songs that we use year after year. I first met Jeff several years ago at a training event and several other times over the years. I was very honored to work alongside Jeff at our association’s training last year. He has been a blessing and he will truly be missed. I am excited to see where God is going to use him next!

  25. VP Hickman says

    God used Jeff to minister not only to the youth but also through their anointment it makes adults want to renew their connection to the Lord and continue to praise him with a joyful noise. Thank you Jeff for sharing the many gifts God has given you and for sharing so much of yourself with us in VBS. Last year was my first year directing VBS and the DVD helped so much with the kids. he kept wanting to do the movements over and over. Even after VBS was over my own 3boys were still dancing and listening to the songs from then and years before. I watched how the musical ministry transformed my husband’s personal connection with God. God is working through us all, I know it. They are really excited about this year! Jeff will always be a blessing in our lives. Heis energy and faithful spirit will be missed. Here’s to doing greater work for our Lord and Savior.

  26. says

    This was such a shock! We have used Lifeway VBS for our summer camps over the years, starting with Truth Trackers… and all of the ABC songs, Jehovah Jirah , not to mention countless others have become a part of our children’s church music as well. I remember spending HOURS trying to get the words for Rickshaw Rally, but what an amazing camp that was! This year is our FIRST year using Lifeway for our actual VBS, and we felt confident in not only the materials, but we KNEW the music would be awesome. Jeff, wherever the Lord has called you, I know you will be a blessing! Thank you for many many memories!

  27. Sarah Gossum says

    Jeff… I just wanna say, you’re AMAZING! I love VBS because of your songs! I’ve had lots of fun worshiping God with you! I hate that this year is your last year, but I’m sure God will provide Lifeway another talented singer/songwriter/dancer. (Haha) My church has been doing VBS for as long as I can remember. Music is my FAVORITE part of VBS and I’m 16! My favorite VBS was Outrigger Island. Loved it! (I still listen to the songs sometimes..) I’m gonna miss learning the movements and powerful words/lyrics from you. I hope life goes well for you and thanks for all the fun memories! I LOVE YOU! GOD BLESS! <3 :)

  28. Heather Stich says

    Jeff touches even the adults during our VBS weeks at First Baptist Church Temple in Temple, GA. The lyrics are deeply biblical and lovely, the music is always catchy or beautiful and the choreography is meaningful and fun. Music/worship is always my favorite part of VBS and our whole congregation expressed sadness when we announced that it was Jeff’s last year. Thank you, Jeff, for your vision and work and for bringing such creative learning and joy to VBS throughout the years.

    -Heather, VBS Director in Temple, Georgia

  29. Elaine Yaw says

    I have just finished learning all the motions for the songs this year for Amazing Wonders Aviation. What will I do without your inspiration? You have helped a lot of “old dogs” learn new tricks or should I say moves! I know God has great plans for you and one day when you get to heaven you are going to meet all those people your music influenced for the Lord. God bless you greatly. Elaine Yaw – Northside Baptist – Lakeland, Florida

  30. Patti says

    I have been doing VBS with Jeff since the beginning. We will miss him terribly with LifeWay. However, I hear he has a new VBS of his own coming out! So excited! It’s called Jeff Slaughter’s World Tour and I hear you can get it through a company called Brentwood Benson. Can’t wait to get a sneak peak!

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