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3 Vanderbilt churches hold community Bible school

| Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 1:21 a.m.
Lori C. Padilla | For the Daily Courier
The Western themed Bible school program, Sonwest Roundup had the kindergarten class making their name tags out of a cowboy hat wearing horse as their craft. The popular summer program, three Vanderbilt churches combined to serve the children of the area with God's message through music, crafts and fellowship. Darius Prinkey (left) works on his name tag with his classmates on the first evening of Bible school.

Three churches in Vanderbilt have joined forces to provide a better vacation Bible school experience for area children.

East Liberty Presbyterian Church, Vanderbilt Church of the Nazarene and Vanderbilt Church of Christ are sponsoring a free community-wide Vacation Bible School from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. through Friday this week. A closing program will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Vanderbilt Church of Christ.

“The nice thing is with three different churches we can pull our resources to make it a more meaningful and effective ministry, so I'm looking forward to it,” the Rev. H. David McElroy of the East Liberty Presbyterian Church said.

The Rev. Glen Willis of the Vanderbilt Church of the Nazarene said the partnership is very beneficial to his church as well as the others. He said that with declining numbers in church attendance and many members aging, the church did not have enough volunteers to staff a Bible school, but they still wanted to help make an impact in the community.

“I hope this shows other communities that you don't just have to have a vacation Bible school by yourself, and when you work together, you can make a big impact on the community,” Wills said.

He said an unexpected benefit came from the churches combining their efforts.

“I think it's important that the community see the churches of different denominations working together for a goal. I think it makes an impact on the community to see all these churches able to work together,” Wills said.

This is the second year the churches have combined their efforts.

“We think it was a tremendous success. We had over 100 children registered, from preschool age through high school,” McElroy said.

The free Bible school is open to all children, ages 3 to 18.

“It is open to any child that would like to come from any area. They can come one day or all the days,” McElroy said.

Registration will be at the Church of Christ in Vanderbilt, starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by an opening program at that church. Then children will go to their age-appropriate classes.

This year, all three churches will be utilized for classes. Students in preschool through second grade will attend classes at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church. Third grade through sixth grade will take class at the Vanderbilt Church of Christ and junior and senior high students' classes will be at the Vanderbilt Church of the Nazarene.

“All of the churches are within a comfortable walking distance to one another,” McElroy said.

McElroy said since children will be walking between the different churches, the DL&V Volunteer Fire Department will provide traffic control on Route 201. Vanderbilt council will block off some of the borough streets during the Bible school hours for increased safety.

“So it will truly be a community vacation Bible school,” McElroy said.

For more information call 724-398-3138.

Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.

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