Odell Baptist becomes a 'ranch' soon for VBS

No more pencils, no more books ... no more teachers' ... well, you know the rest. Kids all around Cabarrus County are done with their classes, and summer vacation is in full swing.

Some kids, however, are excited about going back to school during their break. Of course, I am referring to vacation Bible school.

Susie Hobbs has been directing the VBS program at Odell Baptist Church for 10 years and remembers what it was like when she was a kid growing up on the West Coast.

"VBS was a high point of my summer as a kid. The summer programs available to kids today didn't exist back then," she said. "VBS was like a magical time for me. There were games, snack and stories - it was like a free amusement park."

Originally from Southern California, Hobbs moved to North Carolina in 1994. She first directed VBS in 1980 at Temple Baptist Church in Perris, Calif.

"An amazingly large portion of our population who call themselves Christians do not understand what Christianity is," Hobbs said. "Christianity is knowing, following and loving Jesus Christ."

Hobbs loves leading VBS. She said it is the perfect environment for having fun and learning important truths about Christianity.

"I don't know of anything that is more important than teaching children about God's love," Hobbs said. "The most effective way to teach children anything is to make it fun."

Odell Baptist usually gets 35 to 40 children from kindergarten through sixth grade. This year's program will have a western theme: "Saddle Ridge Ranch."

"We will begin each evening with Worship Rally Valley. Then we will rotate through stations like Crafts at Blazing Star Stables, Recreation at Mustang Mountain and Snacks at Big Sky Grill," Hobbs said.

On Friday night, the kids put on a presentation showing their families what they have learned. It's a week of music, singing, fun, friendship and learning that most kids never forget.

If you are interested in registering your children for Odell Baptist's program, go to and click on the VBS link.

Numerous other area churches offer vacation Bible school, on various themes and schedules. Check with your church or one that is convenient to you.