Reopen: Community Bible study makes a comeback |


A community Bible study that brought together more than 300 women of different races and denominations to study God’s word last year will start again on September 7, 2022.

CBS was first developed in 2011. It is part of an international ministry based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. What started as a single class in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1975 has grown to include thousands of people around the world.

The Orangeburg Group has attracted women from across the country with its 30-week program, attracting 348 women last year from as far away as California, Kansas and Delaware.

“It’s non-denominational, and you can use any Bible translation you prefer. The books are written in the standard English version. Anyone can come. The denomination doesn’t matter. Even people of other faiths are welcome to come and participate and explore the Bible with us. We embrace that idea,” said Diane Williams, who is the group’s educational director.

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Williams said CBS enrollment this year has been robust and includes children. $1 for the first 26 weeks

The course is available in person and virtually this year.

It will be held in person Thursday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church. A virtual morning class will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Thursday. A virtual afternoon class will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Two virtual evening classes will also take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

An in-person evening class that will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursdays at Cameron Baptist Church in Cameron has been added this year.

Williams said his lectures will be recorded and posted online where anyone can access them.

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

Karen Ford, assistant director of education, said a home education program is also offered.

Williams said: “It’s Bible class, and a lot of homeschoolers fit it into their schedule during that time slot each week. But we have a teacher who takes every age. Whatever books we study, they study. The mother must also be in an in-person class.

Williams’ lessons for the group will be drawn from the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation.

The group has a 50-member management team, which includes an eight-member servant team.

“This leadership team is made up of key leaders. Each of them has their own group, or either they are back-ups to be available if a leader has to be out,” Williams said.

Ford said the Orangeburg CBS is one of the largest CBS classes in the state. She and Williams serve as servant leaders in addition to their teaching duties.

“It brings me to my knees. I can’t do it myself. I sure had to rely on the Lord to get me out. I mean, Diane’s been gone three times this year, and I’ve had to do the conference. Talk about shouting ‘God, help me! Help me prepare for this conference. This is a big deal,'” Ford said.

Williams said the entire program was infused with prayer, including from the moment registrations rolled in. She also said that everyone who becomes a CBS member automatically has a “shepherd” praying for them daily.

There is a $35 registration fee for adults, as well as a $10 registration fee per child who participates in the program. Individuals can register for CBS online at The deadline to register for CBS is July 15, after which people’s names will be placed on a waiting list.

Williams said registration will be temporarily closed on July 15 to allow time to develop the program’s core group. It will reopen in September as there are still places available.

“It’s open and people have signed up,” she said.

Women can obtain registration forms for the online Bible study class at or by mail: PO Box 897, Orangeburg, SC 29116. Registration fees can be paid online or by mail at the same address.

Contact the writer: [email protected] or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD


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