Community Bible Study (copy)

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The Community Bible Study has brought together hundreds to pray and study together for years.

A Community Bible Study that has drawn together hundreds of women from across different denominations and races to study the word of God will begin Sept. 9, 2021.

The CBS was first developed in 2011. It is part of an international ministry based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Orangeburg group has drawn women from across the country with its 30-week program, especially last year when the class was forced to go virtual rather than in person because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“They gleaned fellowship from that fellowship in a whole new way. Last year virtually we had someone from Atlanta, California, Kansas. That’s been the most amazing thing, how it opened the doors really everywhere,” said Diane Williams, who serves as the group’s teaching director.

“They were seeking the same truths we were seeking. They were also benefiting from the same fellowship we benefited from, which was huge last year. Everybody needed that. I stepped in last year not knowing what in the world would hit our world but, through it all, it has really been a gift, a beautiful ministry,” she said.

The teaching director said more than 200 have already signed up for CBS this year, a number which includes children.

“We’re going to have a busy year, but it’s a great Bible study, and a great opportunity for relationship building with sisters in Christ. They are all of different ages,” Williams said.

“The classes are mixed ages so that the young ones get the wisdom of the old ones, and the old ones get wisdom by being in with young people and getting to hear what they’re going through, what their concerns are about something in scripture and how it applies to their particular life today. A lot of people say the Bible is out of date, but this study just shows that it’s very relevant in every age,” she said.

The class is available both in person and virtually this year.

It will be held in person on Thursday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church. A virtual morning class will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Thursdays. Two virtual evening classes will also be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Williams said her lectures will be recorded and placed online where “everybody can get it.”

“Even those who are in person will get it so they can watch it again if they want to,” she said.

All children’s classes will only be held in person from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursdays.

“Homeschoolers attend, but we don’t offer a homeschool educational program. It’s just for anyone in the area, or surrounding areas that are homeschooling. Their children might opt to use Thursday morning as a special emphasis lesson day, where they come in from their homeschool group, or bring their homeschool group and study this lesson that we’re doing,” Williams said.

Williams’ lessons for the group will be taken from the biblical books of Philemon; Jude; First, Second and Third John; First and Second Peter and James.

“It’s nondenominational. All races are welcome. We have even had people of other faiths as members of this Bible study. The best thing about Community Bible Study is that it’s all prayer drenched. It’s just saturated in prayer from the very beginning to the very end,” Williams said.

The group has a 50-member leadership team.

“Everyone who becomes a member of Community Bible Study automatically has a shepherd praying them through the year, praying them through each week. Their shepherd will be praying for them every day, which I think is kind of an unspoken gift to know that there’s someone praying for you daily,” Williams said.

There is a $35 registration fee. Individuals can register for CBS online at orangeburg.cbsclass.org. The deadline to register for CBS is July 15, after which Williams said the names of individuals will be placed on a waiting list.

“We close registration July 15 temporarily to be able to have time to make our core group. Then, of course, by September it will reopen as there are spots available. This year our registration has been filling up and doing really well,” Williams said.

Women can obtain registration forms for the Bible study class online at orangeburg.cbsclass.org or by mailing: PO Box 897, Orangeburg, SC 29116. The registration fee can be paid online or by mail at the same address.

Contact the writer: dgleaton@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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