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 Geek of the Week

I can’t remember the first time I met Clyde. As the Leadership Development and Church Growth Ministries Director for the Hawai’i Pacific Baptist Convention, he’s been a part of LifeWay’s VBS training for several years. One thing I love about Clyde and his team is the fact that they always (and I do mean ALWAYS) bring gifts from Hawai’i for their conference leaders! Chocolate covered macadamia nuts . . . Kona coffee . . . yum! Sharing the Aloha!

I have a fun Clyde story to tell before I turn this over to him. When we were preparing VBS 2008, Outrigger Island™, Clyde agreed to appear in a video we shot to help explain that Outrigger Island was not a Hawaiian theme, but an island theme in general. He did such a great job, and we had so much fun putting that together!

Shooting "Wiki Wiki"

After we finished shooting that clip, we asked Clyde to stay and participate in our choreography shoot with Jeff. During what is one of my favorite ABC songs, “Wiki Wiki,” Clyde is the person who caught the ukelele each time Jeff tossed it offscreen! Then, Clyde had to toss it back to Jeff with perfect timing (and perfect aim) as well!

This year, as we were shooting the Amazing Wonders Aviation™ Worship Rally DVD in Hawai’i, Clyde and his team were there to help—ready to assist in any way needed. They helped us find bicycles; provided us with a cooler, a generator, bottled water, and A TRUCK!

Keeping the radiator full!

(I was a bit concerned when Clyde offered the truck and then said, “The gas gauge doesn’t work, but I’m pretty sure it’s full. Also, you’ll have to stop every once in a while and fill the radiator with water.”)

And now, I turn this over to a great friend of the VBS Team, Clyde Kakiuchi.

1. What are your VBS roles (state, association, church, etc.)?  

I take our State team for VBS training, host a state VBS clinic, assist with church VBS, VBS training with summer missionaries.

2. What is your “geekiest” VBS moment?  

Boomerang Express theme – During a training event I threw the sponge/nerf boomerang out toward the audience while commenting that “It All Comes Back to Jesus.” Well, I missed the boomerang and it hit me in the head. The boomerang actually worked. I’m counting my blessings that the boomerang was made of sponge.

3. What makes you continue to do VBS year after year?  

Two things: 1) Seeing how excited the people are when attending the VBS training. It’s a fun way to share Jesus.  2) It translates into salvation decisions, Sunday School prospects, follow-up discipleship, and more trained leaders.

4. What is your favorite VBS theme to date?  

Ocean Odyssey. The songs are still in my head. We can relate with an ocean theme since we’re on an island.

5. You might be a VBS Geek if . . .

A. You know all the VBS themes from the last 10 years in order

B. You still have all the VBS T-shirts and music CDs from the last 10 years

C. You check the VBS web site every day to see if there’s something new

D. You give Lifeway suggestions for improving different aspects of VBS (like different craft ideas….)

E. You have a countdown till the next VBS

F. You wear a VBS T-shirt every day of the week (even to work)

G. You burst into your hip-hop routine of “Yes to VBS!” when someone merely mentions VBS

H. You buy out Walmart’s stock of craft supplies or decorations

I. You buy out Lifeway’s supplies at the training clinic

J.  You “want” to sign a 10-year contract with the State office to be on the VBS training and traveling team

K. You dream about VBS

6. Will we see you at one of the VBS Previews in January or February? (Which one?)

Yes. January in Ft. Worth.

MAHALO NUI LOA!!!

First Official Geek of the Week – Debbie Muller

I am so excited that I get to introduce one of my Illinois friends as the First Official VBS Geek of the WeekDebbie Muller works for the Illinois Baptist State Association in Springfield, Illinois and is a MEGA VBS FAN. She got our team’s attention at previews with her custom designed VBS jewelry. (Check out that subway token bling on her ears! Debbie is the one on the right.)

Debbie's VBS Bling!

Illinois hosts one of our earliest early bird conferences and Debbie volunteers every year to get things ready… in a BIG WAY!! Jerry Wooley often comes “back to the ranch” with tales about how they outdid themselves again this year. Here’s evidence of one of his IL trips! According to Debbie, this fully operational bull ride was given to one of the IL cowboy churches after Saddle Ridge Ranch was over. I guess VBS rides again!

Ride 'em, Jerry!

I asked Debbie some questions about her passion for VBS. Here’s part of our interview:

Me: What has been your “geekiest” VBS moment?

Debbie: For Arctic Edge we borrowed a moose head and hauled it all the way across town in the back of a pick-up truck. Oh, the looks we got!! We had to work to hang the thing with moving straps, then carefully suggest that folks might not want to stand under it… just in case!

(She also had great stories about big foam medical boxes she got for free, but covered up so much of the windshield, she could hardly see out. Or driving all over Illinois with a car filled with surfboards… think about that one for a minute and it’ll hit you! Or driving down the interstate with a Ramblin’ Road Trip travel trailer in the bed of her pickup truck! She had me laughing so hard I think I disturbed all my hallway office neighbors!)

Me: What is your favorite VBS theme to date?

Debbie: That’s hard because I like them all. But, I really like Ramblin’ Road Trip because I had actually been to all those places and had pictures and stories to share.

Me: What makes you continue to do VBS year after year?

Debbie: I just love it. It’s hard to explain – it’s like chocolate, you just gotta have it! I just have that much fun with it.

Me: How would you complete this sentence? You might be a VBS Geek if …

Debbie: You can sing ALL the VBS songs. My knees still hurt when I sing “Jehovah Jireh.” I don’t do rap, but I rapped John 3:16!

Love that VBS music!

Me: Will we see you at one of the VBS Previews?

Debbie: I’m bringing a van full to Nashville! I’m helping as a volunteer in Expo! Woo hoo!

Debbie (on the right) loves takin' it to the streets!!


Debbie’s enthusiasm was contagious as she talked about past VBS experiences and the “it’ll do everything but fly” airplane her husband is building for Amazing Wonders Aviation next year. But, what really impressed me the most was her true spirit of what VBS is all about – telling kids about Jesus. Debbie not only volunteers to help with state and local training of workers, but she works!! Debbie volunteers at 3 or 4 VBS’s every summer in addition to working in her own church’s VBS. Now THAT’S passion!

Thanks, Debbie, for all you do for the Kingdom! And for saying, “Yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh- yes! to Vuh-vuh-vuh-VBS!!”