(ROCKWALL, TX — August 30, 2017) It may not be the biggest Bible study in town—yet. Community Bible Study (CBS) came to Rockwall quietly last summer when three women formed a pilot group for the nationally-known study.
Attendees began meeting at Kathie Lunsford’s house in June, 2016. The Rockwall resident and her husband moved here eight years ago and they’re members of a local Baptist church. But Kathie never forgot about the in-depth Bible study she’d enjoyed for 10 years in Tennessee.
Kathie plunged into the commitment of establishing a CBS group “after feeling the Lord’s leading,” and she also serves as its Prayer Group Leader. Meanwhile, she searched for a local church willing to host a non-denominational study and able to accommodate potential growth.
“I visited six local churches that all offer their own Bible studies,” Kathie said. “One of them, Our Savior Lutheran Church, said ‘yes’ anyway. They welcomed serving the community this way.”
The group began meeting at the Lutheran church last January and grew to more than 20 women representing several denominations. Some attendees come from outside of the county (CommunityBibleStudy.org lists seven studies within 25 miles of Rockwall, mostly in Dallas, but the closest is 15 miles away).
In July, the women received notice from CBS headquarters in Colorado: they’ll be an official group in the coming year. Their January 2018 study will follow the school-year schedule and will include a children’s program for infants through 12th grades—accommodating home-schooled students.
Since its beginning in 1975, CBS has grown to around 700 classes across the U.S. and in over 70 countries. The study complements the local church by helping believers to grow spiritually while respecting their various denominational or non-religious backgrounds. Study members are encouraged to belong to and support their own churches.
CBS offers studies for all age groups and stages of life, along with international and prison studies, and some for Special Needs adults. The yearly registration cost is $35, though it does not yet apply to the Rockwall group. However, CBS grants scholarships to those unable to pay.
Each class meeting includes individual study, group discussion and a short lecture given by the Teaching Director. A hand-out with commentary written by one of the organization’s team of Bible scholars provides further insights. Kathie appreciates that CBS has no strict attendance guidelines, saying, “It’s right up my alley!”
Another aspect of the CBS environment is that leaders—all volunteers—aim to make members feel cared for. Kimberly Cox, who oversees the Rockwall group’s Facebook site, testifies to the supportive atmosphere. She’s a widow of four years who also experienced tornado damage to her Rowlett home in late 2015. “This is one of the most loving groups of women I have ever met,” she said.
Women are welcome to visit the new CBS group any Thursday morning from 9:30 to 11:30 at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 3003 Horizon Road. For more information, contact Kathie Lunsford at 214-422-1156 or Kathie@lambco.com.
By Blue Ribbon News faith columnist Patti Richter of Heath. Photo by Patti Richter.
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