by Lisa Tome
When Julie Dulski was a child, Phyllis Peterson taught her Bible lessons at Baldwin United Methodist Church Vacation Bible School.
Peterson also taught Dulski's daughter, Chelsea Davis, 20, and is now teaching Bayle Herr and Tierney Brown, Dulski's granddaughters.
For about a half century, Peterson, 81, has been leading the VBS at the church.
"We still have Phyllis in charge. She was in charge when I was here. My mom, Louise Hamilton, volunteered here," said Dulski.
"It's still the same. (Attending) is a family tradition," said Davis.
For Peterson, the key to running a successful Bible school is planning and preparation. She starts working on the program each year in January.
"I look forward to it. I love the kids. They are so cute one little boy keeps kissing me," said Peterson.
The VBS at Baldwin is unique because it is held during the day. This year the theme was "Workshop of Wonders" - a program which the church bought prepackaged for Bible school. The activities include opening exercises in the sanctuary with singing. That is followed by lessons, activities both indoors and out, and crafts. There is also a snack everyday. Thursday night a culminating program was held. A Bible school picnic was held on Friday.
"We have a younger group here. We call them the future of our church," said Peterson.
Lydia Klukewicz and Susan McGrady are longtime volunteers who help Peterson. Klukewicz has worked during VBS for more than 40 years. Peggy Shertz, Adelaide Mahan, and Krysten Mahan signed on more recently to help.
Rev. Charles Rossiter, the pastor of the church, was signing VBS certificates. He said that Bible school is important.
"It allows us to minister to children - to serve them, enjoy them, and feed them," he said. "We have a lot who come here from different churches. They come back year after year. Some have an affiliation with us. And we have multi-generations of families."