By DUNCAN DENT
Each week, more than a dozen women gather in a room at Madison United Methodist Church to study the Bible.
Amanda Sullivan is the local representative for Community Bible Study, an organization that began in Maryland in 1975 and now has groups represented across the country and around the world. Sullivan said the organization had groups all over Mississippi, including Vicksburg, Greenville, Southaven, Olive Branch and now in Madison County.
âIt is designed for friends to study the scriptures and encourage one another to draw closer to Christ each day,â said Sullivan.
They meet from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Madison United Methodist Church at 100 Post Oak Road in Madison.
Sullivan was a member of the Greenville Community Bible Study Group for 25 years before moving to Madison County. Sullivan said she had been in church for most of her life, but soon realized how important a thorough Bible study was to her growing faith.
âI can tell you that the first time I sat in this circle of 12 women, I realized how little I knew about the Bible,â Sullivan said. âSoon I felt more comfortable participating and to this day I’m still learning.
She said that by attending more groups and reading on her own, she began to feel more comfortable sharing with the group and saw improvements in her daily life and relationships.
Susan Dykes, a friend of Sullivan’s from the Greenville group, runs the factory and comes to the area once a week to lead the Madison United Methodist Church group. Dyjes said the group has around 24 women and is currently following an eight-week unit to study the book of Nehemiah which began in September.
The group began meeting in mid-May at Sullivan’s house over coffee before moving to Madison United Methodist, where Sullivan is a member who allowed them to use the classroom space. .
The goal is continued growth. Dykes said she would like to see a group of men, a group of couples and a group of children in addition to the established group of women. She said the Vicksburg group had up to 150 members and her Greenville group currently has around 100 members, but was as strong as 200 members in the past.
The group is designed to come together as a group and then split into small groups of 12 or 15 people. Dykes said in a week’s time, group members will cover the material at least four times through workbooks, small and large group readings and reviews of the material.
Sullivan said the group grew through word of mouth and that she recruited four women as part of her water aerobics class.
One of those recruits is Lana Anderson, who said she was looking and praying to find a good Bible study group.
âI was looking for something just for me and got a quick response,â Anderson said.
Anderson was also excited about the prospect of being a part of something new.
For more information, contact Sullivan at [email protected].