Pencils, glue and other items taught children attending First United Methodist Church’s vacation Bible school how they can impact others.

More than 225 children, age 3 to fifth-graders, could bring school supplies for the Salvation Army, VBS organizers said. The collection allowed even the youngest VBS participants to practice what they learned during the week, said the Rev. Jeffrey Miller, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Killeen.

“With all of the kids participating in the school supply drive, as well as our older children going on off-site mission activities, the kids see how small steps can make a huge impact on their community,” Miller said. “Mission projects are an expression of our vision to be an outwardly focused church that shares God’s unending grace.”

The church’s mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world, and the VBS themes of working, building and growing with God coincided with the mission, he said.

The VBS youngsters helped the church collect more than 1,000 supplies so far, said Abby Smith, the church’s communications director and VBS co-chair. They brought specific items — pencils, glue, erasers, scissors, rulers and crayons — on specific days.

“Through participating in the school drive, we hope that the kids discover the ways that small steps, a school supply a day, add up to make a difference in their community and impacting lives,” Smith said.

In addition to the drive, fourth- and fifth-graders participated in community missions by visiting Rosewood Nursing Home and the Killeen Food Care Center; cleaning parks; and working at Peaceable Kingdom, she said.

Church members are collecting backpacks, paper, notebooks, paper goods, markers, crayons and other items on Killeen Independent School District’s school supply list through Aug. 10, Smith said.

With more than 10 years of collecting school supplies, church members plan to continue with the program next year, she said.

People can find out about church programs and future community events, including the annual pumpkin patch in October, by going to

Contact Rachael Riley at or 254-501-7553

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