The Great Reveal of 2011

This blog post may not draw as much media attention as Apple’s much anticipated new product reveal scheduled for March 2, but LifeWay has a reveal that we think is just as newsworthy – the reveal of our new VBS Blog Team.

It took a little arm twisting, the promise of chocolate – especially M&M’S, and even the threat of being framed, but members of LifeWay’s VBS Blog Team have finally agreed to The Great Reveal of 2011! Of course, as you see, the threat of being framed was the clincher!

While today you are receiving only a brief introduction, in the days and weeks ahead you will have the opportunity to learn more as each shares the gift of his or her passion and heart for VBS. LifeWay’s VBS Team has the skills and talent you would expect from any publishing team, but the team also has an extreme love and dedication for the work. For each member of the team producing VBS resources and events is a personal and as well as collective mission.

Angel Ortiz (10 extra points if you pronounce his first name correctly) is editorial project leader for all childhood resources published in Spanish which of course includes VBS. Angel, one of the newest members of the team and the only one who speaks the Heavenly Language (Spanish), brings an out-of-the-box perspective (as you can tell by his photo) to the world of VBS.



Courtney Baker, social media sweetheart and the newest member of the team, is our VBS marketing strategist. Courtney brings an infectious “can do” attitude to the team. In addition to trying to figure out how to keep you informed on the latest and greatest VBS resources and events, Courtney has the task of keeping the rest of us on task when it comes to this blog. Of course that is no small task. Did I use the word task enough?



Obviously not everyone has agreed to the reveal. Candace Powell, queen of all things related to VBS and M&M’S candy, serves as production editor forĀ  Grades 1-6 resources. Candace serves as our team archivist and is always around to photographically record both the celebrations and mundane moments of our work.



When it comes to preteens (VBX) and crafts nobody knows the subjects better than Carol Tomlinson who serves as the content editor for these resources and more. Stopping by Carol’s office is always an adventure since you never know when a new snack recipe or craft is being tested. She brings her former life and love as a school teacher to the pages of our leader resources as she fine tunes directions and recipes to make them understandable by all.



Darlene Parrish, the girl who is always smiling, serves as content editor for among other things missions and Grades 3-4 Bible study resources. Whether helping create a theme, hammering out Bible content, or advising writers, Darlene’s passion for both VBS and God’s Word is obvious at every turn.



Debbie Ruth (no that really is her last name) has brought a wealth of experience and background to her role as lead content editor for all things preschool. Debbie has the true gift of combining the right words, pictures, and learning activities that turns Biblical truth into age-appropriate and understandable bite-size morsels.



His name may be Brown, but he is one of the most colorful and creative members of the team. Gordon Brown serves as a graphic designer and has the responsibility for making VBS themes come to memorable life. Whether he is designing a cover for a leader guide, promotional poster, or the sampler bag Gordon makes an extremely complicated and sometimes frustrating process seem easy as pie.



If patience were a picture you would be looking at it right now. Joyce Frazier, production editor for all things preschool, has the job of making sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed. Joyce works with the precision of a surgeon and the encyclopedia knowledge of a librarian.




Jerry Wooley (a.k.a. the vbsguy) serves as LifeWay’s VBS ministry specialist in the area of training and events and the writer of this introductory post. My primary responsibility is the planning and coordination of the VBS Institutes and Previews which are held each January. The best part of my job is getting to hang out with the extremely talented and fun people on the VBS team.



Keith Tyrrell (a.k.a Kangaroo Keith, Button Meister) serves as a graphic designer and is the creative mind behind a large variety of resources including the many decorations and promotional items. While seemingly quiet and introspective VBS events and costumes reveal Keith for the fun-loving showman that lives inside.



Lights! Camera! Action! It’s VBS video producer Lynne Norris. Master of a thousand details, Lynne turns scripts into worship rally drama as she leads the team that travels the world filming and recording the sights and sounds of our many theme destinations. Lynne also serves as content editor for worship rally, music rotation, and musical resources.



A woman with her own toolbox – what’s not to love about that? Melita Thomas serves as content editor for all things preschool and Decorating Made Easy. Melita not only utilizes her editorial skills, she pulls out her hammer and saw and creates the prototypes for the sets described in the book. And then if that is not enough she turns around and teaches others, by way of video, the step-by-step processes for building their own sets.



Pam Goodwin, graphic designer in our VBS marketing department, has the responsibility of making us all look good. Whether it is the cover of the catalog, the sets for photo shoots, or the pictures of this blog team, Pam has applied her creative genius. As one of her coworkers said, “Pam makes the magic happen!”



Roberta Lehman is our marketing specialist extraordinaire. Berta, as she is known around the office, is project manager and video producer for such things as the VBS catalog and promotional videos. If it comes out of LifeWay’s marketing department and has to do with VBS you can be assured Berta has made it happen.



Rhonda Van Cleave, editorial project leader, serves as the captain of LifeWay’s VBS creative ship (or in the case of Big Apple Adventure, LifeWay’s VBS subway train). A master of words – many of which she invents – Rhonda expertly leads the team to transform concepts into fun and challenging themes and learning activities.



Becky Loyd, formerly lead marketing strategist for VBS, pioneered LifeWay’s VBS social media presence and served as the chief writer for this blog since its inception. While she will continue to write occasionally, Becky has moved up to the deluxe apartment (office) in the sky and has recently been promoted to director of LifeWay’s Childhood Ministry Business Team. In her new role Becky coordinates all things childhood including publishing, CentriKid Camps, and training and events. Congratulations Becky!

4 thoughts on “The Great Reveal of 2011

  1. We love each one of you and are so grateful for all the hard work you do to make VBS so easy for those of us in the real world!

  2. New Product reveal? March 2nd!? Oh, and you are all incredibly gifted. I thank God for putting you together :D

  3. Pingback: Foto Friday. . .the Mini faces of Keith « LifeWay VBS Blog

  4. My son Trevor played the role of Brian in the LifeWay Backyard Explorers series. We absolutely loved our experience. He continues to be an actor, but really would like to work for LifeWay again. Are there any roles he might audition for? He is now 14. Look forward to a reply.

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