Virtual success: Church uses homegrown talent for VBS videos

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (KT) – An in-house media arts specialist made Gano Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School a doubly fun experience.


Emmy Gillis, a church member and recent Asbury College graduate, put together a VBS program that has proven successful to use both in person with about 25 participants and virtually with another 50. She was the producer, writer, director and filmmaker of an entire VBS. She’s also made it available to anyone to access on the church’s website.


Children’s Director Scott Collins said he had looked online for some programs, although they typically do their own programs. “We had found one we really liked and she said, ‘I wrote one.’ I said, ‘Let’s see it!’ It was like getting one from LifeWay. It’s called Fearbusters and is loosely based on ‘Ghostbusters.’”


Collins said the in-person students are socially distanced and must wear masks unless they are sitting in their seat at the table.


“We tried to do the kids from the church in person and the video goes up on YouTube every day at 5 p.m.,” he said. “We tapped out at 30 kids and usually have about 25. They sit in the same seat every night. I’ve been so surprised at how well they did with the masks. It’s a really good bunch. They’re well behaved and listen.”


Because of the low number, they have participants from starting kindergarten to finishing fifth grade in the same room with the same program.


“We’ve kept it simple for them but they’ve had a good time and said they like staying in the same room (as opposed to moving around),” Collins said.


Pastor Rob Muncy said the church welcomes others to use the well-done video program for themselves. There are drafts, skits, music and different stories from the Old Testament. He said VBS was always in the plans, even with the pandemic.


“That’s the biggest outreach we’ve got is Vacation Bible School,” Muncy said. “I’ve always loved VBS and usually do something crazy like shave my head or dye my hair pink.”


Muncy said Gillis’ top-notch effort made VBS that much better during a year when everything had to be a little different. “It’s just really good,” he said. “All the music is contemporary and it was all prerecorded two weeks ago. She did a fantastic job.”


Collins said last Saturday they passed out bags of VBS materials to those who were going to attend virtually. They passed out 42 bags, he said. “Online it goes for about 20 minutes and if you do all the crafts you might add another 10 or 15 minutes.”


Collins said the youth from the church were the actors in the video.


The church website is ganobaptist.net and look for the Gano Kids link to access the YouTube channel.

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