What began with only four boys and was to last only one summer is now a program that serves from 80-90 young men each week. Advertised by word-of-mouth, Bible Study Two focuses on support, caring, concern and development of Bible knowledge for each attendee.
“Our society has lost sight of what the role of men in our society should be,” explained Bob. “We try to instruct these young men about being responsible members of their family, society, and leaders in their environment.” He says that teenagers today have many distractions and the support and encouragement that they receive at Bible Study Two helps them to better cope with the challenges that they face on a daily basis.
Tyrone Brown said that he really enjoys Bible Study Two because, “we get together as a family.” And with Tyrone, it’s a family tradition. “My brothers came to learn more about the Bible so I’m following in their footsteps.”
Jayven Petty shared that, “Bible Study Two makes me want to read the Bible more and learn about how to apply the lessons to my daily life.” The atmosphere in Bob’s home, which the group is outgrowing rapidly, is comfortable, inviting and relaxed. With the smell of food that Bob’s preparing, the activities that the young men can enjoy, and the positive approach to changing their way of thinking about life in general, dramatic results are just beginning to show up. The first group of “alumni” has now entered higher education and the work force. Bob has former members that are now law enforcement officers, involved in banking, successful in finance, and even a teacher that is helping to mold young lives.
“If they hadn’t come to Bible Study,” says Bob, “they still may have been successful but they give a lot of credit to their time spent in studying the Word.” Recently, Bible Study held a benefit dinner to help raise money for the program. One young Marine, Drew Wilson, sent his story to be shared. “When I arrived at Bible Study, I was an arrogant atheist. Through Bible Study and Bob’s guidance, I was saved and now use the faith that I learned to help lead other military members to Christ. Bible Study is the most important thing that happened in my young adolescent life.”
That’s the typical response from the members of Bible Study Two. Carter Poore adds that, “Bible Study Two has brought me closer to God. Bob is a good role model; what he does for us impresses me as a young man.” Neheimiah Britton adds, “Bible Study Two has made me think about the world in a different way. It’s made me more mature.”
Only one third of the group attends church regularly but 80 percent of them return once they’ve been at a Bible Study Two session. “They need to feel important, see that someone really cares about them, and know that we genuinely listen,” Bob explained. “Our goal is to get across to them that there is a God, that He created everything, and that their best life will be in Him.” With Colossians 4:5-6 as the cornerstone of Bible Study Two, each young man is encouraged to make the most of every opportunity.
This 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization always welcomes help from the community. They accept monetary donations, food, and help with transportation. “We need a lot of help with transportation,” Bob added. “We have to transport about 40 kids when the Bible Study has ended because many of them don’t drive.”
Two additional ministries have spun off of Bible Study Two. The group now has Bible Study Girl’s Edition and Bible Study Xtreme which combines physical workouts with worship ministry. “We’re working on finding a larger facility where we can combine everything into one location,” Bob said. “We hope to expand our services to include ministry to the families of the young men as well as local educators who see them daily.”
With its focus on positive attitudes, solid knowledge of the Bible, and leadership qualities for young men, Bible Study Two is changing Kingsport one life at a time.