Thousands embark on First Baptist Jacksonville’s Creation Quest VBS
Tropical Storm Debby impacts other churches’ Vacation Bible School
Jul 26, 2012

DINO MANIA Eight dinosaurs graced two museums at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville during Creation Quest VBS, an experience aimed to present children with hands-on approach to the Genesis account of creation. The life-size dinosaurs replicas were on loan from the Creation Truth Foundation in Oklahoma. Photo by Joni B. Hannigan

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—More than 2,900 children and volunteers were joined by eight dinosaurs, including the head of a Tyrannosaurus rex and other artifacts for First Baptist Church of Jacksonville’s Creation Quest, a biblically-centered, Creation-driven Vacation Bible School July 9–13.

INTERGENERATIONAL A huge block party ended VBS at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville where Andrew Miller (center), his wife Allison (r), and their children (l-r) Sophia 2, Alex, 5, and Jaheim, 7, enjoy visiting with other members Sunday night after traveling 70-miles round trip from their Julington Creek home each day of VBS and for preparation so Allison could teach and the children could participate. Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
Children and families journeyed downtown each day to embark on an adventure of discovery in which they were taught Creation according to Genesis 1-5. Children toured discovery museums themed for different aspects of Creation, including the solar system, the human body, Noah’s ark, dinosaurs, the earth and the sea.

Mac Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church, told Florida Baptist Witness the creation account is a “critical” one for children to know because of the ever-present “humanistic worldview message that you evolved from some type of lower animal which evolved from some molecule swimming around in a mud puddle somewhere.”

The very first day of VBS children learn differences between Creation and the theory of evolution, he said.

“We have the opportunity to impact children for Christ,” Brunson said. “We are giving children a foundation on which they will view the rest of life.”

In fact, Creation Quest came to Jacksonville at a pivotal time. The Museum of Science and History, (MOSH) a popular family museum in Jacksonville, is offering interactive exhibits May 6-Sept. 23 about a T.rex named Sue.

Unlike the exhibits at First Baptist Jacksonville, on loan from the Creation Truth Foundation in Oklahoma, the MOSH exhibit is based on evolutionary principles. According to the MOSH website, while children learn about “Sue,” they will be taught she lived during the “Late Cretaceous Period, 67–65 million years ago” (Field Museum).

Record Attendance

At First Baptist Jacksonville there were so many preschoolers enrolled in VBS, the church expanded the program to take over several floors in its administration building as well as utilizing its entire preschool building, according to Brunson.

Every building on its downtown campus was used for VBS activities which nearly doubled last year’s attendance. VBS at the Jacksonville church returned to a classic 5-day format in 2007 after 30 years of meeting on Tuesday mornings for five weeks to coincide with weekly visitation.

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