By Sharon Mager
REISTERSTOWN, Md.—AWANA attendance has almost doubled and VBS enrollment is up, new families are visiting Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown and the church attributes most of that to Good News Bible Clubs.
Colonial partnered with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) last year to begin the club at Hernwood Elementary School. Good News Bible Club volunteers teach children Bible stories, encourage scripture memorization, present the Gospel and encourage attendance at local churches. The first six-week session drew 42, the next session 32 and the most recent spring session brought 63 children to the club.
“Five kids have accepted Christ as their personal Savior,” Vinson McKennie, a deacon in training at Colonial and the director of the church’s Good News Club Ministry, said.
McKennie said the church became involved with CEF after a representative spoke at one of Colonial’s missions conferences and told listeners that it was legal to share the Gospel in public schools.
He said, “I was surprised. I didn’t think we could go into schools to talk about Jesus Christ.”
McKennie discovered that his church was in the process of forming a team. He volunteered and went to training.
“I came away really excited about it,” he said. He was asked to become the team leader. Sixteen volunteers have served so far. After a recent presentation at Colonial, other members have stepped forward to say they want to be involved. School officials, students, parents and church members have all testified how God has blessed them through the clubs.
“Every volunteer that has gotten involved has grown spiritually. They also get a lot of energy from the kids” McKennie said.
Cathy Gantz, principal of Hernwood Elementary School, is very enthusiastic about the clubs. Gantz reported that since the club began, the suspension rate has dropped from 11.5 percent to 2.5 percent.
“That’s hard data. The Good News Club works,” Gantz said. “It has a very positive impact.” Gantz said she’s also seen higher report card grades.
“The Good News Club has just brought peace to Herndon,” Gantz said.
Gladys Turner’s granddaughter, Jasmine, attends Good News Club at Herndon Elementary.
“It’s a long time since they tried to get Jesus out of the house but because of the Good News Club, He is back in the house and He is filling these children’s mind with the love of God. I praise the Lord and I praise the Good News Club.
“They have really influenced my baby because a lot of change has come over her since she she’s been going to this club. I know that God is good and God is moving. I want each and every one of you continue to pray that GNC spread their blessings all over.”