Summer of salvations: 1000s of Georgia children turn to Christ during Vacation Bible School


FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Amid the fun and games of Vacation Bible School, serious spiritual business has taken place at churches across Georgia over the past two months.

“Thousands of kids have made salvation decisions,” said Jenni Carter, kids ministry consultant for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

Churches of every size and in every region of the state reported not only the highest attendance in years at Vacation Bible School but also large numbers of children committing their lives to Christ.

VBS, as it's known in the faith community, is one of the most popular events put on by churches.  Churches go to extremes to make sure  their week of VBS appeals to children and their parents.

“It takes a lot of man hours," Carter said. "It takes a lot of money. But, in the end, it's worth it because you see so many kids and families come to faith in Christ.”

At Fayetteville’s New Hope Baptist Church, more than 630 students attended VBS, 86 of whom responded to the gospel on the congregation's two campuses.

At the 1025 Church in Monroe and Statham, some 500 children attended VBSl. Of those, 45 made professions of faith.

At Pleasant Valley North Baptist Church near Rome, another 20 VBS children made professions of faith. And at Holly Creek Baptist Church outside Chatsworth, 10 students committed their lives to Christ at VBS.

Amid signs of revival, congregations across Georgia have been seeing people of all ages coming to Christ in large numbers this year.

At Holly Creek, Pastor Danny Cochran baptized an entire family on Sunday.

Levi Skipper, who leads the Georgia Baptist Mission Board's team that helps train churches in evangelism, talks often about the importance of VBS in reaching the next generation with the gospel.

“Most people who come to Christ do so before the age of 18,” Skipper said. 

Carter said churches are continuing to have Vacation Bible Schools even as the summer break nears its end.

“Everything has gone great,” she said. “Almost every church is seeing high numbers of salvation decisions. They’re in the process now of counseling, making sure the kids understand, talking with parents.”

Carter said Vacation Bible School — always an upbeat event that mixes fun, games, crafts, snacks and Bible studies — is typically the most effective evangelistic outreach for churches.

“It is the most evangelistic event that most churches have, by far,” she said. 

Carter said Vacation Bible School is an outreach that works for churches of every size and in every setting.

“It works in urban areas,” she said. “It works in really large suburban churches. And it works in little country churches. They all make it unique by putting their own spin on it.”