Eventually, the cumbersome name of "The Story of Jesus Children's Mission" was shortened to "The Children's Mission" to make things simpler and to lesson the distinction between the mission and the home church.
For the first four years services were held in a 12 x 12 room inside a building where Bro. Van operated a small business. Since this room was shared by the mission and the business, it was very crowded. As 2005 came to a close it came time for Bro. Van to close this business as he moved toward full-time ministry and the mission needed a more suitable home. On February 12, 2006 the Children's Mission held its first service at the new location in Valley, Alabama. This building houses the Mission and the office and headquarters of Evangelist Van Billingsley. This facility allows a permanent chapel or sancuary with padded pews and a pulpit with a separate area for Sunday School and refreshments where tables can remain standing. Before, Sunday School and Church was held in the same 12 x 12 room with a quick change over of tables and chairs between the services every Sunday.
With the growth and passing years, our mission work faced a new dilema. Some of our children were growing into their teens and nearing adulthood as we were also trying to reach the parents of the children, so it became increasingly troublesome to refer to the Mission as "The Children's Mission." With the possibilty that God could birth a local church out of this ministry, and the current changes in our makeup, we began to see the need to remove "Children" from our name and initiate a name which could follow us into whatever God does with us. We knew we wanted to keep the same theme as in our beginning. "The Story of Jesus" is the gospel and our purpose is to spread the glorious light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. With this we settled on "Gospel Light Baptist Mission." This new name became official on our Fifth Anniversay Sunday, October 15, 2006. If God leads this work to become an Independant Baptist Church at any time in the future, the word "Mission" can simply be changed to "Church." At the present time, we remain an outreach ministry of Oakside Baptist Church in LaGrange, Georgia.
Being an outreach ministry of Oakside Baptist Church of LaGrange, Georgia the Sunday School Class and Children's Church services are remote services of the church just as the Sunday School Classes, Children's Church, Youth Services, and Master Clubs programs which are held on the church grounds.
The children's Sunday School class is taught by veteran Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Brenda Billingsley. Mrs. Brenda has taught Children in Sunday School for over 30 years. She is the mother of Evangelist Van Billingsley.
When teens or even adults attend our service, a separate Sunday School Class will be taught by Bro. Van.
The children's Sunday School class includes a Bible lesson with activites and class participation. The children are encouraged with seasonal contest to be active and participate.
The Children's Church service is conducted by Evangelist Van Billingsley. Bro. Van is a graduate of Tabernacle Baptist Bible College and has worked with the Bus Ministry and Children's Church Programs over the past 20+ years. Through the years he has served as couselor and preached in numerous youth camps and retreats in as many as six weeks during a summer. His experience in working with children also includes 10+ years of work in the public school system where he has worked as an aide in special education and is currently certified and licensed as a substitute teacher and school bus driver by the State of Alabama. Although he has worked with nursing home ministries and preaches church revivals his life and ministry revolves around children.
The Children's Church service is conducted as a Church Service customized for children. Each service is opened with a hymn and pledges. The service includes prayer request and prayer, an offering, children's songs, and preaching. Children are taught the principal of rewards as taught in the Bible with our "Pressing Toward the Mark" monthly contest. Children can earn points for attendance, bringing their Bible, bringing visitors, saying their memory verse, and bonus points can be earned for learning things such as the Books of the Bible and the Ten Commandments.
Special effort is made to encourage parents to attend the mission with their children in our attempt to reach the entire family.
Activities are provided to offer good clean Christian fun for the children. In addition to rereshments served every week, we also have parties on holidays and special activities such as a Fall Fun Festival, Christmas Program, Picnics, and trips to Burgar King, McDonalds or the playground.
The summer will also include Vacation Bible School and a trip to summer camp for ages 8 and up.
A few trips a year will be planned to attend the services at Oakside Baptist Church, our parent church in LaGrange, Georgia.
For more information:
Call Bro. Van at (706)585-2026 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Mrs. Brenda at (334)644-4913 or send email to email@example.com
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