PHOTO ESSAY: Calvary Baptist Church finds success with spring VBS


DAWSON, Ga. – At Calvary Baptist Church, vacation Bible school isn’t just a summertime initiative.

The Terrell County congregation, with the help of a mission team from First Baptist Church of Moultrie, pulled off a three-day VBS over spring break.

It was Calvary’s first VBS since the COVID-19 pandemic reached Georgia more than two years ago.

Calvary Pastor Alan Sanders said the spring VBS worked well for his church, which serves an economically distressed area in southwest Georgia.

“We were thinking people probably don’t have a lot of money to go off on spring break trips,” Sanders said. “We thought parents would be happy to have a place their kids could go, and that’s why we decided to schedule VBS.”

It worked well with 20 to 25 kids each day.

In fact, Sanders said, spring worked better for his church than the traditional summer VBS.

“If you have a lot of churches in your community, it’s almost like you’re competing against each other for VBS kids,” he said. “That wasn’t an issue during spring break.”

Sanders commended the 12 to 15 volunteers from Moultrie who came to work with the Dawson children.

“They did a great job,” he said. “We had a great time. This has our church spurred to restart our children’s ministry that was shut down during COVID.”

Sanders said First Baptist Moultrie's  missions and discipleship pastor, J.R. Neal and the mission team he led were instrumental in the making the VBS a success.

"We would not have been able to pull this off without the mission team ," Sanders said.

Sanders said the church had purchased a VBS curriculum, Rocky Railway, shortly before the start of the pandemic.

“We had been sitting on the curriculum about two years,” he said. “The Lord worked it out, and we were able to put it to use.”