What Is Vacation Bible School
Why Vacation Bible School
Nearly 85 percent of people who make a decision for Christ do so between the ages of 4 and 14. Our greatest opportunity to lead a person to Jesus happens during the elementary years. And for many children they begin a relationship with Jesus Christ during Vacation Bible School. Which means, next to Sunday school, Vacation Bible School is one the most powerful tools the Church has to impact the life of a person for all of eternity. That’s why we believe the best Vacation Bible School presents Jesus every day. Gospel Light Vacation Bible School will help your kids grow closer to Jesus and discover how to love their world as Jesus did.
The History of Vacation Bible School: Real Success
Many times we judge our success by how many children attend our church. But how many children live in and around the neighborhoods near our churches who never attend on Sunday morning? How many more children can be reached in your area? Vacation Bible School is about reaching children who would normally never attend our churches on Sunday. Vacation Bible school provides a unique opportunity to reach children outside the walls of the church.
The origins of Vacation Bible School can be traced back to Hopedale, Illinois in 1894. Sunday school teacher D. T. Miles, who also was a public schoolteacher, felt she was limited by time constraints in teaching the Bible to children. So, she started a daily Bible school to teach children during the summer. The first Bible school enrolled forty students and lasted four weeks. A local school was used for classes, while an adjoining park was used for recess.
In 1898 Eliza Hawes, director of the children's department at Epiphany Baptist Church in New York City, started an "Everyday Bible School" for slum children at a rented beer parlor in New York's East Side. Hawes continued her efforts for seven years.
Dr. Robert Boville of the Baptist Mission Society, became aware of the Hawes' summer program and recommended it to other Baptist churches. Boville established a handful of summer schools which were taught by students at the Union Theological Seminary. During one summer, one thousand students were enrolled in five different schools. In 1922, he founded the World Association of Daily Vacation Bible School.
Today, Vacation Bible School has the same mission—reaching children with the Bible’s message of hope and love.