LifeWay Christian Resources, formerly known as The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, first created what became known as the Daily Vacation Bible School Department in 1924 — so we’re CELEBRATING 90! Ninety years of history, but more importantly 90 years of transformed lives, families, churches and communities.
VBS started as an evangelistic outreach and has stayed true to the mission. Millions upon millions of people have professed faith in Jesus Christ as a result of being exposed to the Gospel through VBS.
LifeWay’s VBS team is proud of the heritage that we stand on. Here’s a glimpse at our history.
- Dr. Homer Grice, a pastor from Washington, Georgia, was hired as the first Secretary in Charge of the Daily Vacation Bible School Department and Editor of Daily Vacation Bible School textbooks.
- The first guides, or textbooks, for leaders were published in 1925 and contained 20 “daily programs and appendices of music, games, handwork patterns and other necessary material.”
- The first extensive manual for pastors and Bible school leaders, The Daily Vacation Bible School Guide, was written and published by Dr. Grice in 1926. A small pamphlet outlining the need and purpose of Bible schools had been published by The Sunday School Board in 1922.
- Daily Vacation Bible Schools were designed for four weeks, five days a week, for children over five and under 17 years of age.
- The most dramatic change in the 90 year history of LifeWay’s VBS curriculum occurred in 1997 with the introduction of The Wild and Wonderful Good News Stampede: Telling Others about Jesus. Both the curriculum and the format of VBS was revolutionized centering around a theme that permeated every aspect of the VBS day.
- Prior to Good News Stampede, themes were Go for the Gold (1996), Windows on the World (1995), Trail of Treasures (1994), Summer Shine (1993), Fantastic Journey (1992), Celebrate Jesus (1991), and Share Hope: Reach Through VBS (1990).
- In 2003 LifeWay introduced a Spanish translation of the VBS theme and resources.
Celebrating 90: LifeWay Christian Resources began publishing VBS resources in 1925 under the leadership of Dr. Homer Grice. We would love to celebrate your VBS memories. What do you remember about the first VBS you attended?