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Garrett Hinson has been part of Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Salem Baptist Church in Apex for as long as he can remember. His elementary school days were spent singing the VBS songs and participating in the skits. As he grew, Hinsons involvement in the program grew too.
I love VBS! My experience didnt affect me right away. Later on, the silly songs, Bible stories and presentation of the Gospel message went from head knowledge to heart knowledge, said Hinson.
Salem Baptist Church began offering VBS in the 1940s as an outreach summer program for elementary students. Although the program costs approximately $7,000 to run, the church doesnt charge participants a fee. The program now includes morning and evening sessions as well as Vacation Bible Awesomeness (VBA) for students in grades six through 12.
If you go
Salem Baptist Church, 1821 North Salem St. Apex, will hold VBS for children in grades K-5 from 9 a.m. to noon June 18-22 and from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. June 17-21.
VBA for middle- and high-schoolers will be from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. June 17-21. For more information visit, www.salem-bc.org or contact Justin Carmona at 362-7327 ext 30.
Several area churches are holding VBS programs including the following:
• Peace Presbyterian Church will hold VBS from 9 a.m. to noon June 11-14 at 1777 W Chatham Street in Cary. The program, “Sonrise National Park” is for children ages four through fifth grade. For more information, visit http://peacepca.org/vacation-bible-school or contact Alisa Arslan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Summit Evangelical Church will hold VBS from 8:45 a.m. to noon June 11-15 at 590 Westhigh Street in Cary. The program, “Big Apple Adventure” is for children ages four to 10-years-old. For more information, visit www.summitnc.org/ministries/children or call 481-5525.
• St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will hold VBS from 9 a.m. to noon June 25-29 at 221 Union Street in Cary. The program, “Our Journey to Bethlehem” is for children ages three through rising fifth grade. For more information, visit www.stpaulscary.org or call 467-1477.
• Christ the King Lutheran Church will hold VBS 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 30 through Aug. 3 from at 600 Walnut Street in Cary. The program, “Babylon: Daniel’s courage in captivity” is for children ages three to rising fifth grade. For more information, visit www.christthekingcary.org of contact Kari Moncrief at email@example.com.
The evening VBA program had the most impact on Hinson because it helped him prepare for the Youth Group summer camp experience at Fort Caswell on Oak Island, N.C. VBA helped me get things right with God, and then I could focus on the camp program, said Hinson, now 19 years old and assistant to the Pastor of Music and Worship.
Justin Carmona, Pastor of Student Ministries at Salem Baptist, began the VBA program in 2007 to give older students something meaningful to do. The first year, VBA drew about 35 participants. Last year, more than 130 middle- and high-school students attended.
A typical night of VBA includes large group games. Some are high energy, and others are calmer team-building activities. Small groups led by members of the senior class follow the large group activities. Hinson helped lead the group activities when he was a senior in high school.
It is always great to have Christian examples for our students to look up to and Garrett provided that throughout his time in our student ministry, said Carmona, who created the Walk Boldly VBA curriculum with his wife.
This year the Justin Teseniar Band will perform praise and worship for VBA. Justin is a great worship leader and he and his band are great friends of the student ministry here at Salem and we are so excited to have them come and be a part of VBA this summer, said Carmona.
The Durham-based band was recently on tour with MercyMe and has an EP, Departing from Normal, available on iTunes.