Three years ago, Lee Stoker was looking for a new church for her family to attend. She wanted to hear from pastors who “fully preached the word of the Lord with nothing held back.” For her six children, she wanted a positive community that would teach them the lessons of the Bible. Stoker found the Sunday school program she desired at Heartland Baptist Church in Ames.
Sunday school for all ages takes place every week at 10 a.m. between the two morning worship services. Classes are held in different classrooms, allowing children, teens, young adults and parents to conveniently attend their respective classes during the same time slot.
Stoker says the church staff take the program seriously, and it is a personal thing for all of her children.
“(The instructors) really bring to life what the Bible wants children to do,” Stoker says. “The classes challenge the kids to apply it to their lives.”
Stoker says her kids are able to understand the lesson at whichever age level they are, whether it’s her third- or fourth-graders or her teenagers. Messages taught through songs, lessons and crafts are presented in a way to motivate children to do the right thing.
“The kids love the challenge of it. They come home singing the songs about what they learned that day.”
Children and teenagers aren’t the only ones who benefit from Sunday school at Heartland Baptist. About 150 adults attend Sunday morning classes in more of a fellowship Q&A setting, according to Pastor Randy Abell.
Rev. Abell grew up in a traditional Sunday school church program in Indiana and learned the Bible twice through before graduating high school. Now he has found a way to pastorize his experience for the people of Ames. At any age level, Heartland Baptist will take someone through the Bible from start to finish over the course of five or six years.
“I believe with all my heart the Bible is the ultimate source of morals, ethics, character and truth,” Abell says. “The Bible gives a lot of wisdom on how to handle things in life.”
Abell encourages anyone, including non-church members and those of different religions, to attend Heartland Baptist’s Sunday School services. The program is hosted every Sunday at 10 a.m. at 3504 Grand Avenue. Visit www.heartlandbaptistames.com for more information.