Pictured above: Trinity Baptist Church had 40% of church members engaged and serving an average of 50 children each night of VBS week
MARIANNA–Smiles, singing, crafts, praising Jesus and learning about His love and sacrifice fueled the summer for churches in Chipola Baptist Association.
Many church leaders begin preparing for Vacation Bible School months in advance. Starting in January, leaders at Trinity Baptist Church in Marianna began praying for 10 children to trust Jesus as their Savior during VBS week in June. After an extended gospel presentation during opening rally, 16 children prayed to receive Christ, including Pastor Danny Mann’s twins.
“It was an awesome, overwhelming response to the gospel,” said Mann. “Since mid-July, we have baptized 12 of these children, and I had the joy of baptizing my own children into the family of faith.”
Following VBS, the church added several new members, including a father, son and daughter who were all baptized together, with the entire family now plugged in and serving. “We set out to follow Psalm 78:1-8, passing on the same gospel to the next generation, being persistent in prayer and giving God all the praise,” said Mann.
“Each year we have a contest to see if the boys or the girls can raise the most money, and our incentive this year was to pie the pastor in the face on family night,” said Thomas Anderson, pastor of Lovedale Baptist Church. To sweeten the deal, Pastor Anderson’s wife joined the fun and offered to be pied if the children raised $750 by the end of the week. The children rose to the challenge and raised $1,044.
Chipola Family Ministries received more than 400 food items from Eastside Baptist Church in Marianna during VBS week. About 50 workers and nearly 100 children participated in VBS, where they learned about Jesus, had a messy time of “organized mass chaos” and contributed to an associational ministry that provides food and clothing to families in need.
“Chipola Family Ministries feeds 35,000 people every year,” said Michael Hilliard, director. “It takes a community of helping hands to do what God has called us to do in Jackson County and surrounding areas. We appreciate the little ones at Eastside Baptist and the other businesses, banks and individuals who so generously give.”
Coba Beasley’s heart for service is a powerful witness in the Panhandle for our Savior.
The summer was cause for celebration within the association as Coba Beasley marked 20 years as Chipola Baptist Association missions strategist.
“Coba has faithfully served our association and helped build up Chipola Family Ministries which reaches thousands of people each year,” said Mann. He has been a mainstay in disaster relief, and his heart for service is a powerful witness in the Panhandle for our Savior.”
Anderson echoed the sentiments, stating, “I can always count on Coba to help with a listening ear, encouragement or any church needs. To spend 20 years in a single ministry is a big accomplishment, and only the records of heaven will truly show how many have been touched by his ministry.”