TRIAD BAPTIST CHURCH VBS:
BY AMBER MABE
Every day, the campus of Triad Baptist Church bustles with activity. From their thriving Christian School to counseling, outreach, and dozens of other ministries happening on a daily basis, Triad Baptist has been an active, integral part of the community for three decades. For one week every year, however, the campus undergoes a dramatic transformation into a place of adventure and excitement during their yearly Vacation Bible School. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Vacation Bible School at Triad Baptist Church, and team members and volunteers have been working nonstop to make sure this VBS will be truly monumental.
Tim Gerber, Executive Pastor of Ministries and Children’s Ministries, came to Triad Baptist in 1994, and the following summer the church held its first Vacation Bible School. The VBS was a western theme and reached over 100 children from the area. One of those children was Mr. Tim’s own daughter, Meagan, who was just five years old at the time. Today, each year’s Vacation Bible School ministers to over 700 children ages 3 to 5th grade from all over the Triad and is put on by a team of over 500 church members who volunteer their time. “It takes a village,” Mr. Tim says, “from media to parking, it is a vast process that takes a lot of people and a lot of effort, but it is worth every minute of it.” Core team members begin preparing for next year’s VBS sometimes before the previous one has even ended. These members spend months planning and adapting curriculum, developing themes, songs, and decoration plans, and ironing out all the details. Throughout the year, the number of volunteers grows into teams with specific tasks.
One of the best things about VBS, according to Mr. Tim, is the opportunity for the whole family to be involved. In fact, he says that he could not have done everything God has allowed him to do without the help of his own wife, Kim, and family. “She is my rock and I could not imagine doing this without her.”
There is a place for everyone during VBS at Triad Baptist Church. Senior citizens serve on the prayer team or help count offerings, parents and teens serve as teachers, activity leaders and guides, and even children too young to participate in VBS have a place in the staff nursery. “We kind of take them along a journey, and the end of 5th grade is not the end, it is just the opportunity to serve instead of be served,” Mr. Tim says. “We have something we want to share with the community. We want to meet our community, we want to share the gospel with our community, we want to help our community. And it is a way for our folk to make sure that we are not just focused inward, but we are thinking outward.”
Mr. Tim and his team hope that this year’s VBS will be a testimony to God’s faithfulness over the years, and the many lives that have been changed through Vacation Bible School. Their hope is not only to reach children through the special programming, but to impact entire families. Mr. Tim’s grandson, Jackson, is three years old and will be attending VBS for the first time this summer. As Mr. Tim sees his grandson anticipating his first VBS experience exactly 25 years after his daughter Meagan first attended, he is reminded of the fact that Vacation Bible School is much more than a summer ministry. Rather, it is an investment in the future. “That is part of why we do what we do,” says Mr. Tim. “We just want everyone to feel welcome and have an experience that will excite them and be high energy, but at the same time have a definite impact on their life and their eternity.”
In celebration of 25 years of ministry, the 2019 theme is entitled “Monumental: God is Good.”
This year’s program will take a look back over the 25 years of God’s goodness through VBS and will feature not only the western theme from 1995, but four other original themes written and produced by members of the church. Unique, handmade sets will convert Kids Street, their weekly children’s ministry platform, into a journey through the history of the church’s VBS with lessons on God’s goodness and the importance of giving God the glory for everything He has done. This year will also include the 25th Penny March: a voluntary penny offering that is another way that TBC uses VBS to reach children for Christ. Every year, with Penny Captains cheering them on, boys and girls compete to bring the heaviest offering of pennies. Each year the stakes are even higher, with consequences for the losing Penny Captains ranging from kissing a pig to “walking the plank.” The money from the offering goes back into the funding of Vacation Bible School, and any proceeds left over are designated for outreach ministries such as purchasing Bibles for children in other countries or supporting missionaries. Mr. Tim says the offering gives children a chance to be excited about giving. “I always tell the kids every penny that is put in these buckets will go out to helping children.”
As the team at Triad Baptist Church prepare for VBS coming up July 15-19, their focus is on taking the spotlight off themselves and letting the testimony of God’s work shine to the community. “It is a journey.” Mr. Tim says in summation, “We just want to say, ‘look what God has done,’ and as long as we can do it we are going to continue.”
To register your child or learn more about Vacation Bible School this summer, or to discover the many other exciting ministries happening at Triad Baptist Church, visit their website: www.TBCNow.org, or stop by and experience God’s work firsthand during one of their weekly services.
“We just want everyone to feel welcome and have an experience that will excite them and be high energy, but at the same time have a definite impact on their life and their eternity.”
– Tim Gerber, Executive Pastor of Ministries & Children’s Ministeries