Weavers help with Community Bible Study

Gib and Sarah Weaver are volunteers for Community Bible Study, which is held 7-8:30 p.m. Thursdays at Oakwood Baptist Church. (Photo by Luke Backus)

A lifetime of secular teaching in public schools, as well as some teaching for church, has led Frenship Community residents Gib and Sarah Weaver to become involved in Community Bible Study, a non-denominational group meeting in Lubbock that has other groups around the world in 71 countries.

Gib is now the teaching director of the Community Bible Study group that meets at Oakwood Baptist, while Sarah is the coordinator of the group.

The group meets 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday nights.

While the group meets at Oakwood Baptist, the Weavers stress that it is not a Baptist group — they are actually members of a different church, Bacon Heights Baptist Church.

“There are all kinds of Bible studies. This just happens to be a non-denominational one,” said Sarah, noting that God would prefer that his people not be broken up into opposing groups. “It’s just whoever’s hungry to study God’s word.

“In our Bible study, we try very hard never to even mention specific churches.”

The group does pray during its meeting, but the main focus of the group is studying the Bible, Gib said. Each lesson is broken down into four parts, including individual reading at home, small group discussions, a lecture on the text and a review of the text.

“It takes a person, I would think, at least a couple hours at home,” said Gib. Each of the four parts of the lesson is addressed from a different perspective.

Sarah said the four-part format makes it easier to understand the full meaning of the text.

“This makes it easier for it to become a part of you,” she said.

Gib’s role in the group is giving the lecture.

“My lecture is short and concise, just 20 minutes long,” said Gib. But Sarah pointed out that it takes him much longer to write his lecture at home.

“It takes him days to put his lecture together,” she said.

Sarah was the first to get involved with Community Bible Study, an international group out of Colorado Springs, Colo. She joined a daytime group after she and Gib moved back to Lubbock in 1996 after her retirement from a lifelong career as an American history teacher. As a former working mother, she never had time to study the Bible before and relished the opportunity to do so.

The daytime group had been praying for a leader of the nighttime group, which was about to have to stop meeting due to the lack of leadership. Sarah said she had prayed and prayed, but on a retreat, the answer that had been sitting before her all along finally dawned on her. Gib would make a great teaching director, she told the other women.

When Gib arrived to pick her up from the bus, Sarah said he seemed bemused at all of the attention from the women, who were trying to get to know him before she asked him to lead the nighttime group.

When she asked him to lead the group, “First of all, he was shocked,” she said. But after a bit, he told her she was right, and that he would like to lead the group.

It wasn’t Gib’s first foray into teaching the Bible — he’s been teaching Bible classes in different churches for more than 50 years. He also can draw on his career experience as an educator — first as a math teacher for 10 years and later as an administrator for 27 years. He was a Lubbock Independent School District assistant superintendent before becoming the superintendent of schools in Greenville. He now works for the Texas Tech University College of Outreach and Distance Education.

The Weavers are currently focused on getting the word out about their Community Bible Study group. Since each session follows the school year from August to May, the group is just getting started on this year’s study of 1st and 2nd Kings. They alternate each year between the New and Old Testaments. Although people may join in at any time during the year, students would get the most out of the Bible study if they begin with the group in the early fall, the Weavers said.

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