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6/26/97 VBS attracts almost 3.2 million; more than 53,000 accept Christ

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Vacation Bible Schools in Southern Baptist churches in 1996 attracted almost 3.2 million people and resulted in more than 53,000 professions of faith in Christ, according to statistics recently released by the Baptist Sunday School Board.
According to the Annual Church Profile, 28,431 churches reported conducting VBS last year with a total attendance of 3,197,074. That’s up slightly from the 1995 total of 28,196 churches and 3,146,054 enrolled.
According to Becky Martin, VBS consultant for the board, 15,350 churches also mailed in more detailed VBS reports for 1996. According to these records, 53,379 people accepted Christ and 450,767 Sunday school prospects were discovered during last year’s Bible schools. Those numbers are down slightly from the 1995 totals of 54,067 professions of faith and 485,862 prospect discoveries.
However, Martin said the actual numbers of decisions and prospect discoveries were likely “significantly higher” since many churches did not return their VBS reports. Using the VBS enrollment for 1996 from the Annual Church Profile, the BSSB estimated the number of professions of faith in last summer’s Bible schools totaled 87,008 with 734,750 prospect discoveries.
“It’s important to note that 25 percent of the baptisms that Southern Baptists report come during the VBS experience,” Martin said. “That shows VBS continues to be a vital tool in reaching people for the Lord.”
Martin is urging churches to turn in their VBS reports for 1997 so the BSSB can continue to monitor the impact Bible schools are making across the country.
In other statistics from the ’96 VBS report:
— 2,104 people made decisions for church-related vocations.
— 41,957 students were enrolled in Sunday school through the VBS transfer plan.
— 56 percent of Bible schools were held at night, 38 percent in the morning, 2 percent in the afternoon and 4 percent were a combination of times.

    About the Author

  • Chip Alford