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Back Yard Bible Club a tremendous success

Seventy-three children attended the BYBC last Wednesday. Photo by Rick Tobin

The Back Yard Bible Club (BYBC) held last week at Pinckney Park, was a huge success considering the fact that the event was held for the first time this year. The event was held in collaboration with the World Changers coming to town.

First Baptist Church, located at 124 South Memorial Street, and Saint Peter AME Church at 300 Fishburne Street, collaborated on the five-day event.

As the camp progressed as the days passed, the number of children in attendance grew. “On Monday, we had 26 children come to the camp; on Tuesday, there were 54, on Wednesday, 73 children attended and Thursday, there were 84 children present,” said First Baptist Church Youth Pastor Jeff Leopard. On Friday, there were fewer attendees, because, due to forecasted rainy weather, the camp moved to St. Peter Church.

Pastor Leopard said that he has been at First Baptist Church for 11 months. His wife, Cat, helped with the week long camp. “This is the first one I’ve done here,” he said. He noted he put on his first BYBC Camp at the First Baptist Church in Tipton, Georgia, in 2005. Since that time, he has held the church camps at different churches.

At his position in Walterboro, Pastor Leopard is working with youths from sixth grade to college level. He also noted that First Baptist Church has been without a senior pastor for just over a year, but a permanent replacement is tentatively scheduled to start in September.

Pastor Leopard said the main reason the two churches held BYBC was to get involved with the community, and to minister to youth who may have no one else to talk with. He added that he also wanted the children to have fun and learn about the Bible, as well.

Pastor Leopard said he approached St. Peter Pastor Leon Maxwell about collaborating together to make the BYBC happen. “I approached him because I wanted to do this with St. Peter because of its close proximity to the park, and we were hoping that a result of the event would be to bring more people in to his church.”

Because of this year’s huge success with the program, Pastor Leopard definitely wants to hold the BYBC on an annual basis, and perhaps even more often and at a greater level. “Next year, we hope to involve even more churches.”

“We held this in conjunction with the World Changers, and their motto this year was ‘Change the City, Change the World.’ I approached (local World Changers Coordinator) John Barnes about the idea, and he loved it.” He added that Pastor Leon Maxwell of St. Peter did most of the footwork for the event.

Pastor Leopard said the main objective of BYBC was accomplished. “We came out here to have fun, and to learn about Jesus. Very few of the kids raised any questions when asked about Bible-related matters when they first got here, but they learned during their time here. They left more knowledgeable, and took religious-related crafts they made here home with them.” Pastor Leopard noted the children learned about Creation on the first day; Daniel and the Lion’s Den on Tuesday; the birth of Jesus on Wednesday; the ‘Good Samaritan Parable on Thursday; and Jesus’ death and resurrection on Friday.

Pastor Maxwell, who resides in Charleston, said Friday, “I believe that this was very successful, being the first time that it was done in the city. More and more children came every day, with the exception of Friday, and I think that was due to rain.”

Pastor Maxwell said he thanks God for the outpouring of support, and was very pleased to see the children learning more about the Bible and God. He added that plans next year might involve the use of more than one park so that more children can participate. “I thought that this year’s BYBC was just a great success.”

Rick Tobin, Editor (434 Posts)