The First Ever Vacation Bible School

Did you go to Vacation Bible School this year? Was it pretty fun? I really liked going when I was your age. 

VBS has been around for a long time, the first one was way back in 1894, over a hundred years ago. Your VBS was probably 4 or 5 days, but the first one was more than a month long! That’s a lot of water balloon games. 

Mattie Pritchard Miles is known as the first person to start a Vacation Bible School. She was the wife of the Methodist minister in Hopedale, Illinois, and she thought it would be a great idea to use kids' summer vacation to teach them about Jesus.

Miles planned a day of Bible teaching and activities “for all children of whatever church—or no church at all.” Even from the beginning, VBS has been about reaching out to the community to any kids that don't know about Jesus yet, and about 37 kids showed up. Pretty good for a brand new idea!

They buried a time capsule where the first VBS happened, and I really want to see what’s in it. I just have until the 200th anniversary in 2094. That’s not long, right?

Source: Illinois Baptist Header photo credit: Eric Reed/Illinois Baptist. Other photo credit: Mi Pham/Unsplash

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