Church using old bus as puppet stage

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 17, 1999

Members of McNeely Road Church of God are taking their faith on the road — literally. The church is turning the inside of an old school bus into a puppet stage.

Starting Jan. 8, church members will use the bus to minister to children at various apartment complexes around Natchez.

&uot;There are a lot of children that don’t go to church, and they’re the ones we really want to reach,&uot; said Tina Rollins, church puppet director.

Email newsletter signup

Rollins, who has worked with the puppet team for seven years, said the church has been working on this project for about five years.

The puppet team has gone on several mission trips outside the area, but it decided it needed to do the same for the Natchez community.

&uot;It’s always been our goal to make a children’s church and take it to the neighborhoods,&uot; Rollins said.

The church bought the bus two years ago and church members have worked together to refurbish it.

The bus has been painted blue and the name &uot;Kingdom Express&uot; painted on the outside.

The church named the bus after a former children’s church program called Kids Kingdom, Rollins said.

The inside of the bus is being decorated and has been stripped of its seats to make room for the puppet stage.

&uot;It looks like we’re going to have everything ready to go by (January)&uot; Rollins said.

For a while church members got a bit discouraged because the preparations were taking so long, she said.

&uot;We’re excited now because it looks like we’re (ready) to start rolling,&uot; Rollins said.

The church hopes to take the bus out at least two Saturdays a month. Church members will visit children in Holiday Apartments and Susie B. West Apartments first and consider expanding to other areas later.

&uot;We’re not going to target them for them for our church,&uot; Rollins said. &uot;We’re hoping to be more or less non denominational.&uot;

Church members have already visited Holiday Apartments to see if the adults would be open to the program.

&uot;Most of them were very receptive,&uot; Rollins said. &uot;Some of the older folks were really excited about it.&uot;