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World Bible School is a passion for South Carolina church

No doubt — WBS, World Bible School, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, would win the prize. The prize, that is, for the church-related ministry that has the largest reach and impact, has the most grassroots participation of church members and draws the least amount of attention to itself.
At any given time WBS, Cedar Park, Texas, has an estimated two million students in 172 nations taking Bible correspondence lessons in 36 languages, says Tex Williams, WBS director.
More than 2,000 churches are involved in the process with about 25,000 to 30,000 church members participating.

All of which relates to the dedication of churches such as the 400-member Summerville, S.C. congregation and its work with WBS under director Bill Dorrity.

The congregation began its work with WBS seven years ago. In 2003 their crew of 70 church members sent out more than 75,000 lessons.

They point to more than six congregations started by their efforts and of three church buildings constructed as the results of their week-in — week-out work.
Dorrity says Summerville’s WBS ministry began one night seven years ago when a member brought a package of World Bible School materials to the Wednesday service to prepare a lesson to be sent to India. Another member, Kevin Appleby, came by and asked, “What are you doing?”

Today, Kevin Appleby is the deacon in charge of the ministry. Dorrity is the director that makes it all come together, but is quick to say that the entire ministry depends on the work of a few dedicated members — exemplifying that WBS is all about individual involvement.

Tammy Ford, Dorrity says, who is raising a family of three, “has thrown herself into the program and maintains all the supplies. Without her we would be on the rocks.” Then there are “really dependable workers” Jean Hibbs, Jean Hardiman and Bobby Pierce, who work at home as well as on Wednesday evenings.

Dorrity also can count on his wife, Alise, who heads up the sending of the introductory lessons and Bob Bennett, who administers all the advanced lessons.

Every Wednesday night the entire worker contingent meets at the Summerville building to do the tasks necessary to support sending out 67,000 lessons: packing, addressing boxes, mailing, preparing diplomas, ordering supplies, preparing letters and attaching them to the lessons.

Dorrity is adamant that no lesson is sent unless it has a personally-addressed letter, personally-signed.

The work is aided by the ladies’ Bible class and by some of the children’s classes.

All of which supports WBS as a grassroots, high-impact ministry operating often under the radar.

As Dorrity says, “Our motto has been, ‘What He wants done, gets done,’ and our mainstay Bible verse has always been 2 Cor. 2:14, ‘But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him … .”


Filed under: National Staff Reports

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