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Area churches offer a variety of VBS programs for the summer
Melissa Hayes teaches a class for primary students at Bethany Baptist Church during Vacation Bible School.

Vacation Bible schools

“Cave Quest: Following Jesus Light of the World”

When: 9 a.m. to noon, June 6-10

Where: First Baptist Church of Gainesville, 751 Green St. NW, Gainesville

More info: Elementary school children and volunteers, or 770-534-7354; Preschool children and volunteers,;


When: 9 a.m. to noon, June 13-17

Where: Gainesville First United Methodist Church, 2780 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville

More info: or 770-536-2341


When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., June 5-9

Where: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 3650 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

More info:, 770-534-3108,


When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., June 20–24.

Where: St. Paul United Methodist Church, 404 Washington St., Gainesville

More info:, 770-532-2977


When: 9 a.m. to noon; Pre-K to first grade, June 13-16; second to fifth grade, June 20-23

Where: Blackshear Place Baptist Church, 3428 Atlanta Highway, Flowery Branch

More info:, 770-534-7058


When: 6-9 p.m., June 5-9

Where: Flat Creek Church, 5504 Flat Creek Road, Gainesville

More info: 770-532-0228,


When: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., June 20-24

Where: First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville, 800 S. Enota, Gainesville

More info: Ali at, 678-936-1053


‘Submerged: Finding the Truth Below the Surface’

When: 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., June 20-24

Where: Lakewood Baptist Church, 2235 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville

More info:, 770-532-6307,


When: 6-8:30 p.m., June 6-10

Where: Pinecrest Baptist Church, 220 Mountain View Road, Gainesville

More info: 770-536-9154,


‘Festival of Faith’

When: 9 a.m. to noon, June 20-24

Where: Grace Church Gainesville, 431 Washington St. SE, Gainesville

More info:, 770-536-0126,


‘Assorted saints and the virtues of hope, faith and love Catholic vacation bible school’

When: 9 a.m. to noon, June 20-24

Where: St. Michael Catholic Church, 1440 Pearce Circle, Gainesville

More info: Cost is $10 per child, registration June 4, 5, 11, 12 after mass,


‘Deep Sea Discovery, God is with Me Wherever I Go’

When: 6-8 p.m., June 5-9

Where: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 600 S. Enota Drive NE, Gainesville

More info: 770-532-2428,,


‘Ocean Connection: Diving into Noah’s Flood’

When: 6 to 8:30 p.m., June 12-16

Where: Riverbend Baptist Church, 1715 Cleveland Highway, Gainesville

More info: Jason Harrison 770-532-1125 ext. 1008.,,


‘Surf’s Up’

When: July 10-14

Where: Trinity United Methodist, 5622 Clarks Bridge Road, Clermont

More info:, 770-983-3177

Summer activities are gearing up as schools close for their break, but that does not mean learning is over. Many vacation Bible schools set to begin next month will teach children about God and Jesus in unique and fun-filled ways.

First Baptist Church of Gainesville is one of several area churches sponsoring a vacation Bible school with the theme “Cave Quest: Following Jesus Light of the World.”

Cave Quest is described as being filled with Bible-learning experiences that participants can see, hear, touch and taste with sciency-fun gizmos, team-building games and Bible songs. This VBS theme will allow children to explore the rock-solid foundation of Jesus’ love.

Kara Wheeler, First Baptist’s associate children’s pastor, said they chose the theme because of the exploration idea. Plus, the musical was especially good, she said. All crafts and snacks — everything throughout the week relates to the central theme.

“We also liked that the central focus of that was on Jesus,” she said. “The theme for the week, and the consistency and everything (points) back to Jesus. I hope (it) will help children to understand how important a relationship (with) Jesus is and how much it can transform their lives.”

Keeping with the cave exploration theme, First Baptist has reserved cave tours at the Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahlonega between 1:45 and 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 8. Each participant must provide his or her own transportation. The cost is $10 per person.

“For me, personally it’s a great fun week in church,” Wheeler said. “We have programs every Sunday and every Wednesday and it’s something that’s a little different.”

While several area churches are using the Cave Quest theme for VBS, several other options are available. Some churches are using the theme “Submerged: Finding the Truth Below the Surface.”

Lakewood Baptist Church is one of those churches, and the curriculum is produced by LifeWay.

“LifeWay to me just does a tremendous job incorporating good biblical content with a fun creative scene that you’re able to unpack,” said Elizabeth Ormsbee, director of children’s ministry at Lakewood Baptist Church.

The “Submerged” theme emphasizes a relationship with Jesus can change everything while still providing some science information and showing what it’s like under the sea as well.

“We’re taking on a deep sea adventure, Bible study time each morning happens in an observation station like a submarine,” Ormsbee said.

She expects about 700-800 people on Lakewood’s campus during VBS, which is for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. About 500 will be children and 200-300 students.

“Vacation Bible School is a tradition, however, we definitely see it as a week where we can focus and come together every day to work on these Bible stories on a theme-oriented approach,” Ormsbee said. “The children are so excited about it.”

Other churches with themes also related to water are Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gainesville, which is doing “Deep Sea Discovery, God is with Me Wherever I Go.” Riverbend Baptist Church in Gainesville is using “Ocean Connection: Diving into Noah’s Flood,” while Trinity United Methodist in Clermont is conducting “Surf’s Up.”

For more information on VBS, contact the churches.