By Penny LeLeux
For the Record 

"Varmint Hunt" in the new children's building at Cowboy Church of Orange County


Last updated 7/6/2021 at 9:59pm

Adult volunteers will guide children at all times while on horses at "Varmint Hunt" VBS. Courtesy Photo

The pandemic may have cancelled last year's vacation bible school, but it is almost time for the "Varmint Hunt" at Cowboy Church of Orange County. This year's curriculum focuses on helping kids learn how to spot that varmint, Satan, and how to deal with his "hog wash." 

Varmint Hunt VBS is scheduled 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., July 13-14 at Cowboy Church of Orange County, located at 673 FM 1078, Orange. Registration is still open. You can register online through Facebook: Cowboy Church of Orange County Children's Church. A YouTube video in the online enrollment link provides additional information.

"It's Cowboy Church of Orange County's first Vacation Bible School in our new Children's Building," said Sherry Porterfield of Cowboy Church.

"Our children's building was erected by volunteer workers from the Baptist Church Builders of Texas in the summer of 2019," said Porterfield, but because of COVID-19, last year's VBS plans had to be scrapped.

Volunteers from Baptist Church Builders brought their kids and grandkids with them to help with the build, so it is truly "a kids' building; that kids helped build," she said.

Porterfield said the church building was such a blessing because they had not asked for the help, Baptist Church Builders contacted Pastor Dale Lee after hearing about all the storm damage to our area and knew the church was hit, too. They asked him what the church needed. The group came in with about 200 volunteers and had an old fashioned "barn raising" for a week. They dry everything in and complete as much of the plumbing and electrical as they can in that week. It is up to the church to do the finishing work.

"The classrooms are huge with lots of windows, kid-friendly wall murals painted by local artists, plus lots of runnin' room for stick-horse ridin' by the littlest of wranglers," said Porterfield.

Wall art also includes 20X30 rodeo photo enlargements of children from Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana competing in the church's summer youth rodeo series.   

All Baptist Church Builders asked in return, is to send a team to the next project build. The 2020 project was put on hold because of the coronavirus, but members of Cowboy Church just returned from Savoy, Texas, fulfilling that obligation as volunteers, helping to build a church building at Joyful Light Baptist Church.

Porterfield said there was a couple volunteering in Savoy, that also helped with the Cowboy Church build. They visited Orange the following week to see the finished building.

Porterfield is excited to finally be holding vacation Bible school in the new building.

The curriculum for "Varmint Hunt" was created by Ron and Francine Singletary of Wrangler Church in Cookeville, Tenn.

"Everything we develop is based directly on Scripture. Typical programs off the shelf tend to be shallow or generalized in substance and light on Bible doctrine. Our methods and vision are far removed from the typical children's church program of cookies, Kool-Aid and crafts," states the Wrangler Church website.

"In my short time working in our Children's Church, I have been blessed with meeting and teaching a vast assortment of children," stated Francine Singletary in a Facebook post. "They all have various motivation for coming, individual little personalities, varying skill sets, but they all have one thing in common. They are the future of our churches, our country and our world. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to teach them about Jesus."

Sherri Porterfield

Mural artists Felicia Shelton and Lexie Copeland sharing their talents to help prepare the Garden of Eden classroom for Cowboy Church VBS. RECORD PHOTO: Sherri Porterfield

Indoor activities for the "Varmint Hunt" include music, games, photo booth and crafts. This year's outdoor activities include supervised horse riding and a waterslide both afternoons. It is suggested youngsters wear their swimsuit under their clothes. Modest swimwear for all ages is appreciated.

Cowboy Church VBS for ages 4-12 is always free. All are welcome. They are preparing for about 150 participants, currently 90 have signed up. Porterfield said no one will be turned away. Children do not have to be members of Cowboy Church of Orange County to participate.

Lunch and snacks are provided. Please advise of any food allergies upon enrollment. The kid friendly menu includes hot dogs and pizza, plus "hog slop" and "varmint vittles" snacks. Sno-cones will be served day two.

Hand sanitizer will be available in all rooms and the building will be sanitized daily.


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