VBS Geeks of the Week: Shiloh Baptist!

Katie DeCilloYou know, I LOVE it when churches get GEEKED for Vacation Bible School.

There are so many of you out there who pour your heart and soul into VBS and will do ANYTHING it takes to make VBS a success! We love hearing those stories! If you have a story to share about a VBS Geek at your church, email me at katie.decillo@lifeway.com to nominate them by telling me why your nominee is a VBS GEEK, and they might just be featured on our blog!

This week, we’re featuring a whole team of VBS Geeks!

Church Name/Location:
Shiloh Baptist Church, Bridgeport, Ilinois

VBS dates:  June 23-28th

How many years has your church done VBS?
“Forever. LOL! I am 51 and went to VBS at Shiloh when I was young. It has changed drastically over the years. We have probably been doing it this way for around 18 years,” says Kyle Davis.

Average attendance?
157– includes students and workers

How much time does it take to decorate your church for VBS?
We decorate it in one week. Many workers spend many hours prior to that week to get the decorations ready.

What is your church vision for the ministry of VBS?
To reach the children and their families in our community with the Gospel message.

Most memorable VBS moment?
This year, we had a student win Holiday World tickets for bringing in the most visitors and he gave them to the runner up because he has season passes and is able to go whenever he wants. This was his idea. It was so sweet. The runner up had never been and was thrilled.

Click here to check out Shiloh Baptist’s end of the week video!

VBS 2015 Think Tank Geeks of the Week!

Katie DeCilloThis week, our VBS team has been working hard brainstorming ideas for VBS 2015 and we are super honored to have these VBS Geeks with us.

These four ladies were selected at our 2013 Preview events after they came dressed to the nines in Colossal Coaster World gear!

Debra Wolfrey, (Arizona) Lisa Moore, (Georiga) Tori Morris, (Kentucky) and Casey Whitworth, (Florida) are honorary Geeks of the Week!

Debra Wolfrey, (Arizona) Lisa Moore, (Georiga) Tori Morris, (Kentucky) and Casey Whitworth, (Florida) are honorary VBS Geeks of the Week during the week of VBS 2015 Think Tank!

 P.S. We wanted to let you know that today is Shaun Pillay’s birthday. Shaun is one of the missionaries featured in the Colossal Coaster World Missions Rotation. He and his wife are in Norwich, CT. 

Geek of The Week – Paula Royal!

Hey Guys. Paula Royal caught our attention at the Nashville Preview Event as soon as she walked into the EXPO room. She was wearing an orange colored jacket with the Amazing Wonders Aviation logo embroidered on the back! Not only that, she had embroidered VBS 2012 airplanes on both legs of here blue jeans… scripture reference stitched right in! My first thought? “There goes a Geek of The Week!” (…and I mean that with all due respect!)

It is a pleasure to introduce Paula Royal, Lake Martin Baptist Church, Dadeville, Al – our newly inducted VBS Geek of The Week!

Paula receives her Geek of the Week T-Shirt at the Nashville Preview, Jan 2012

Paula is a delight. I don’t usually use that word but it applies here. What a sweet lady! During the preview, she wore several other self-made, custom designs! (…we’re saving those and other custom made accessories another blog!) For now, here are some shots of Paula’s cool customized clothes that caught our eye…

Paula's outfit!

Front left of Paula's jacket!

Paula's pants - back left!

Paula's pants - front right!

What are your VBS roles?
My roles in VBS are:
1. teaching the 3 – 4 year old class
2. I help others with ideas and decorations when needed
3. the past 2 years (and again this year) I will teach crafts at the Tallapoosa Baptist Association VBS clinic
4. helping anywhere needed

What is your “Geekiest” VBS moment?
Last year at our VBS I dressed as “Liz the Taxi Cab Driver”. I monogrammed
a white jacket with the VBS logo, taxi cabs, the Big Apple with silhouette, Statue of Liberty and the Bible verse. I also painted my tennis shoes black and white checked with yellow accent like a taxi cab. After VBS I passed my “Liz” items to Beulah Baptist Church in our area to use. I asked, if possible, please pass these items on to another church when they were finished.

However I felt my “Geekiest” VBS moment was this year at the TN preview. Dressing as “Liz the Taxi Cab Driver” was fun and crazy, but I never realized that there was such a title as “VBS Geek”. I am a person that is not surprised easily and this time someone got me. I know that God made me special, but what a privilege and honor to be called a “VBS Geek”. [...gotcha Liz!]

What makes you continue to do VBS year after year?
I need to give a little background in this area. Two years ago our
VBS director, Gwen Stockdale asked if I would teach the 3-4 year old class. I said yes and the first night of VBS I had 12-15 little ones. It was total chaos for my helper and I. After class I went to Gwen and told her I felt I was not capable of teaching (as this was the first time I had every taught VBS) and explained what the class was like. I tried so hard to teach the children about Jesus, but things were out of control and I felt I had failed. Gwen said it would all work out and hang in there. We discussed what had happened and come to find out I had received the wrong lesson plan book for my class age. I know now why it is so important to have age appropriate lessons. That night I prayed to God and thanked him for what I thought was a disaster and asked for wisdom to teach my class. Each night thereafter I received blessing after blessing from my little ones.

The reason I continue VBS is the joy in the children’s faces when the bible story clicks with their lives and their love to learn about Jesus. It is a blessing to have children who have been in my class in previous years wanting to come back to learn more. I love teaching the little ones about Jesus and after VBS is over I sit and reflect on the week. I find that I have learned more about my savior and have grown in my Christian walk during this time. My husband said that God and Gwen have me teaching in the right age group, as I can relate to them, as I am on the 3-4 year old level.

Another reason I love VBS is the love, excitement and joy my VBS director and her husband, Gwen and Byron Stockdale, have for the Lord. They are dedicated to our Lord, not only on a daily basis, but when VBS rolls around they are wide open. They are such an inspiration to me. I try daily to be like Jesus, but when you have a good Christian example (as is all our VBS group) to follow, it helps make your Christian walk straighter and stronger.
I plan to continue working with VBS until the Lord leads me in another direction.

What is my favorite VBS theme to date?
I have only been teaching the past 3 years and out of these years my favorite VBS theme is Big Apple Adventure. When we were at the Tennessee preview last year, I saw the shirts and thought what does “I HEART (Love) VBS” have to do with the NY theme. It wasn’t until late that evening it clicked with my brain. My VBS director had so many great ideas for this theme and made it exciting. Gwen is truly Blessed with ideas and teaching others of Jesus. The Sunday after the preview she dressed like “Pearl of Praise” and no one in the congregation recognized her. Everyone, especially me, was excited to see what she had planned for VBS and what God was going to do. I loved how the theme expressed that God loves us all no matter who we are. We are to reach out and teach others about Jesus from every background no matter their circumstance.

I cannot wait for VBS to come this year and see what Gwen has planned, what I will learn, and what God has in store for us.

You might be a “VBS Geek” if ______?
I never thought myself as a “VBS Geek” but I guess I am. After every preview I begin praying, thinking about ideas/decorations, looking for items, and starting to work on lesson plans for my 3-4 year old class. My mind is in VBS mode until after VBS. And now that I know that the next years theme will be announced on June 2nd, I will get in VBS mode even earlier.

Every opportunity I get between now and VBS, I will wear my Amazing Wonders Aviation logo and airplane, my VBS button and bracelet to tell everyone about VBS and God. The other night at my grand-daughters Up Ward basketball game I wore my black vest with the VBS logo on the back. A lady asked me who I worked for and what I did, as she had never seen that logo before. I told her that “I worked for Jesus” and strove to do what He wants me to do. Then I explained about VBS and the theme this year. I love talking with others about Jesus, what He has done and VBS.

Who would have ever thought a girl from Lake Martin Baptist Church, Dadeville, Alabama could be voted as “VBS Geek”. It truly has been a Blessing for me and our VBS group, not to mention the opportunity to tell others of Jesus. I thank God and want to thank you again for this opportunity and experience.

Will we continue to see you at one of the VBS previews?
Lord willing and the lake doesn’t rise!

Paula Royal (aka Liz)
“2012 VBS Geek of The Week”
Lake Martin Baptist Church
Dadeville, Al