McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

July 2, 2013

Louisiana youth group brings mission to McAlester

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — For the last 14 years, members of a Christian youth group from Louisiana have made it their mission to share the gospel with McAlester area children.

Tina Spencer of Hebron Baptist Church in Bush, La., said the group of 47 pre-teens, teens and adults has been hosting a vacation Bible school in this area for 14 years, three years at Park Place Apartments.

“We do it to share the gospel of Jesus through love and serving others,” she said. 

She said the youth spend all year raising money and sometimes use their own money to make the trip to Oklahoma.

“They would rather come to Oklahoma every year than go to church camp,” Spencer said.

She said the mission to Park Place Apartments was especially important.

“We care about those children, she said.

“They need to know someone loves them.”

She said the trip from Louisiana didn’t go exactly as planned.

“We just bought a used bus so we could all travel together but about three hours into the trip, it broke down,” Spencer said.

She said half the group made the trip the first day; the other half spent the night at a gas station and came up the next day, after renting three cars.

“But we made it and the kids were happy,” she said.

She said the group held VBS actives at five locations every day from June 24 to 28 at Park Place and four Baptist churches: Haileyville, Hillcrest, Emmanuel and New Hope.

She said to be at all five locations each day, the group split up into eight small teams.

“We slept at Hillcrest church and then split up each morning and went to the other places then gathered again for dinner each night and taught at Hillcrest after dinner,” Spencer said.

At each location, she said the Louisiana youth provided Bible story time, games, crafts, music water-fun games, fellowship and lunch with snacks for the children take home.

And she said they’ll be back again later this year.

“We are planning to come back in December to present gifts and host a Christmas party for the children at Park Place,” she said.

For more information, contact Spencer at

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at