PRINCETON, Ky. — When it comes to missions and evangelism, Southside Baptist Church Pastor Kyle Noffsinger doesn’t mind taking one on the chin — or in the case last Thursday, on his entire face.
Noffsinger was the recipient of a pie in the face in a fun event the church had in connection with its Vacation Bible School. The goal was to raise money for mission work in Haiti, setting the stage for a boys vs. girls competition to see who could bring in the most money for missions. On the day before VBS ended, church member Eric Faughn asked the question about what “bragging rights” could the winning side claim.
That resulted in a decision for Noffsinger to represent the boys while Erin Hughes, a 22-year-old church member teaching fifth graders in VBS, agreed to be on the firing line for the girls. When the missions contributions were tallied at the end of Bible School, the winning team’s representative would get to smash a pie in the face of the person representing the losing team.
News of the competition spread quickly through the VBS camp, leading to each of the two donation buckets having a $100 bill dropped in. But the Hughes’ bucket had far more $20 bills than the Noffsinger bucket. The final tally showed $1,412.56 ($849.27 by the girls vs. $563.29 by the boys) going to missions — almost triple the amount donated in the 2019 VBS. Ministry assistant Shea Hughes (Erin’s mother) told the pastor that people were “throwing in money to see something happen to you (Noffsinger).”
That money will go to a Haiti orphanage with strong ties to Southside. One of its church members, Janie Fraliex, ministers to children there. Last month, Noffsinger and fellow church members Doug Roger and Scott Hughes took a mission trip to work in that orphanage. Also, two families at Southside have adopted children from Haiti.
When time came to announce the results, the crowd of about 130 children cheered when it was learned the girls’ team won and that the pastor would be the one with pie in his face.
“Church members really gave to see it happen,” Noffsinger pointed out. “And the ladies in the kitchen made sure they kept the pie in the freezer so it was good and cold. I’ve had glasses fog up, but when I got the pie it was the first time my contacts ever fogged up.”
That culminated a highly successful VBS for Southside. “We have around 70 adult volunteers every night,” Noffsinger noted. “We had a number of new members and first-time VBS workers participating. I told them Sunday that I almost felt bad, because there was so little I was required to do at VBS.”
There were four professions of faith during the five-night event, and another five who asked questions and expressed interest in knowing more about committing their lives to Christ, so the church is following up with those children and their parents.
The return to the pre-COVID model of VBS resulted in a larger than normal attendance and favorable comments from parents. “We heard that people’s kids absolutely loved it,” Noffsinger said. “The kids raved about the food, they loved the games and we had a lot of compliments on the teachers as well. I think everybody is ready to get back to doing things. The church has a tremendous opportunity now. People are ready to do things around other people.”