Good News Matters: Vacation Bible school leader has had the whole world in her hands for 50 years

Good News Matters

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – This week hundreds of kids were at Immanuel Baptist Church for Vacation Bible School.

“We do Bible stories, crafts, games and all kinds of fun things,” Lindsey Venters with Immanuel Baptist Church explained. “It’s a sweet time to love on kids in our city and area.”

This year was special for the volunteers and students as VBS took on an Olympic theme.

“We kind of play on the torch idea where we shine bright for Jesus,” Venters said. “We want to be a light to our community and our to city.”

This week is also a big one for preschool director Susan McClanahan, because, as she explained, “This is my 50th year doing VBS.”

McClanahan has been on staff with Immanuel Baptist for 41 years but started working at VBS long before that.

“I have kids now that I had when they were babies. I get to see them in the role of parents and I’m taking care of their kids and it’s the greatest thing ever,” she said.

Since she will be retiring later this year, McClanahan is soaking in every moment of weeks like this one.

“These little ones get so excited about learning about Jesus. It’s just great,” she said.

And although VBS has changed over the years, McClanahan explained the message never changes.

“It’s still the same. The world has changed. It’s harder now,” she said. “Our whole goal is to get these kids in God’s house and to let them know Jesus loves them and we love them.”

McClanahan is beloved in the church and in the community and is thankful for the blessings she says she has had in a life of service.

“God always leads you to where He wants you to be. It’s an incredible journey to be able to be here this long.”

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