MainKids Camp Out 2016: Part 2

June 23, 2016

By Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Camp Out is coming to a close and we are filled with sadness to leave our
friends and this beautiful, beautiful place! It has been such an amazing
camp filled with God’s presence at every turn. Here are a few highlights
from me and then highlights from the boys!

Since worship is our central theme to Camp Out, we have one worship
service each day we are here. On Tuesday, Rachel Moore was our preacher
for our midday service and the girls lead in every aspect of the service
from tolling the hour to singing “Little Lamb” as the offertory anthem to
praying, reading scripture, and ushering. On Wednesday, Suzann Herrmann
and the boys led the evening service at the water. Suzann preached on
looking up and finding God wherever we are. The boys sang Amazing Grace
and ended the service with a joyful “I’ll Fly Away”. As is our tradition,
on the morning we leave, we will have our final Camp Out worship service
outside at the giant cross here at Artesian Lakes. Anna Rader is our
preacher and the camp counselors lead in worship. All of our worship was
based in Psalm 92 this year.

MKCampout2016FWe played at the playground, played capture the flag, hiked, swam, flew
down the slides into the lake, and shopped at the gift shop for candy and
souvenirs. In between all of the fun, we talked about and practiced
different disciplines for personal worship. Amanda Villasenor talked to
us about what the Bible says about personal time with the Lord and how
she practices journaling. We made our own journals and journaled
throughout camp. Emily Westerburg talked to us about the importance of
devotion time and how she and Mr. Trey do this together and separately.
We also talked about ways to ask for prayer from our friends and ways we
can pray when we can’t find the words and when we only want to share our
thoughts with God. We made teeny, tiny prayer boxes, lit candles, and
prayed for each other.


And now highlights from the boys:

I loved everything about this camp. My favorite parts though were playing
with my friends, swimming, free time, and seeing wildlife. –TrevorMcLaughlin

I love camp because we can have fun. My favorite part in camp is the
slides and seeing wildlife. -Ulysses Paredes

I liked naming the wildlife. That is my favorite thing. -Cody Sawyer

I love swimming with my friends and spending time with my friends. For
swimming, I love the slide! -William Fowler

My favorite thing here to do is Circle Time and free time. -Timothy Kutz

Quiet time is my favorite time at camp. -Marco Campos

My favorite part about MainKids Camp Out is hanging out with my church
friends. I love playing tag, swim, and do a bunch of other stuff. -Lee


MainKids Camp Out 2016

June 23, 2016

MKCampout2016DBy Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Our fourth and fifth graders are at a point in their lives when they are ready to exercise their gifts of leadership and to dig deeper into the practices of corporate and personal worship. Camp Out at Artesian Lakes is the perfect place to safely and boldly lean into these two ideas. Below is a sentence or two from each of the 9 4th and 5th grade girls on what their favorite aspect of Camp Out is, but before you read on to their favorites, let me briefly share some of my favorites.

I love that we bring high school youth to serve as the perfect role models to the children in how we lead with a servant’s heart. They work REALLY hard and at the same time swim and play games establishing relationships to ease the transition to the Youth Group, sing songs around a campfire introducing them to Youth music and traditions, and sit side by side in worship praising and praying together.

One of my other favorite elements of Camp Out is our tradition of “Circle Time”. Every child, youth and adult gets the opportunity to sit in the middle of a big circle surrounded by all the rest of us, where we each, one by one, sisters and brothers, boys and girls, best friends and new friends, offer a sincere blessing which begins “What I like about you is…”. It is a beautiful gift of affirmation to receive and a empowering gift to give. This tradition is life giving and life transforming.

I could on and on about all of my other aspects of Camp Out, but for now hear straight from the kids and counselors themselves…


My fav part of camp is riding the horses. It’s fun. #horses

Gillian Tinsley

I love to ride things mainly horses, and Lily G. Hot coco in my mouth is the best! J Playing games in circle time is great!

Isabella Campos


During camp, everyone has a secret helper. Their secret helper is extra nice to them and pushes them in the right direction.

Elaina Mays

The absolute best thing about camp out is the opportunity to watch each and every child be authentically and completely themselves! We have the BEST kids!!

Amanda Villasenor

I love the outside space at Artesian Lakes. Our house is huge, and I love how big our living room is. #lake

Lily Gribble


I loved the pool another favorite is the slide and finally the store the best of all the three!

Kiran Harper

One thing that I love about Camp Out is swimming. I also love the Gratitude Cafe. I also love circle time.

Lily Durden

The absolute best part of camp is quiet time when all my friends come in my room and we have a snack party and talk. It is nice being new to the church and getting to know everybody. I love circle time a lot. I also enjoy swimming.

Jessie Horton

One thing I like so far in camp is hanging with my friends. Another thing I like about camp so far is Gratitude Café. The last thing I like so far in camp is the swimming and the alligators.

Kayden Nickel


One of the many things I love about Main Kids Camp Out is Gratitude Café. First thing in the morning, everybody in the house gathers to make crazy drinks – topped with sprinkles and whipped cream, and talk about the many blessings for which we are grateful. Gratitude Café allows us to really reflect on the joys in our life, from tangible objects to our friendships and opportunities. This daily morning ritual fills our hearts with thanksgiving and prepares us for the day.

Anna Rader


My favorite things about Camp Out are:

-Swimming in the lake

-Circle time outside

-Free time

Rachel Kee

My favorite thing about Camp Out every summer is watching the development of every child’s leadership skills! I have especially loved so far this week seeing both the fourth and fifth graders be and grow into incredibly mature and thoughtful members of our church family, and I am so excited for the future of the youth group and the church in the hands of such open-minded and knowledgeable Christians. The respect and care for which each and every child treats their peers and counselors and their unrelenting curiosity and joy has made Camp Out this summer an unparalleled experience!

Elysa Tulek

Sharing our Stories…Vincent Bellone

April 28, 2010

By Vincent Bellone, South Main Member

Vincent Bellone is a new member at South Main Baptist Church.  Vincent is a member of the Prime Timers Sunday School Community and enjoys participating in missions work.

When I moved to Houston in March of 2009, It was important to me to find a church that preached the Bible and practiced unselfish love. When I tragically lost my son and wife three months apart in 2002, it was my church family in Los Angeles that got me through it and whom God used to heal my pain and restore my faith. This is the reason the church is so important to me and why I looked for another church family in Houston.

I visited over eight other churches before I visited South Main, but felt no warmth or love when I walked into them What drew me to South Main Baptist Church was the heartfelt emotion and passion Pastor Steve Wells had in his sermons. I also enjoyed the children’s sermon and seeing Dolores Rader bring the children to the altar where they heard about God’s love. So experiencing all this unselfish love, I decided to fill out the visitor’s card. Then two days later Tom Williams called and introduced himself. Also, I received twenty three letters from people I didn’t know who were telling me to come back and be a part of their church family! They didn’t know that I had been grieving the loss of my wife and son for eight years, and how I still needed to receive unselfish love.

But I also know that when you receive love, you have to give it back two fold. So when I saw the list of all the possible ministries that were available at South Main, I knew I was home, and that God had guided me to this church for a reason. I love Steve’s Bible Study on Wednesday and sitting around the dinner table with friends. I also love all my church family in the Prime Timers’ Sunday School Class. This is why I joined South Main Baptist Church and will never leave it.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010

Sharing Our Stories

April 10, 2010

Joseph Kelsay, Soutth Main Baptist Church Member

By Josephy Kelsay, South Main Baptist Church Member

When I was on my way to Houston, there was no direction for this hopeless addict, only pain and misery. I came on a whim, after speaking to a counselor at a homeless shelter; this poor soul hopped a bus to Houston, TX. Sure there was a relationship with God. I talked to Him daily, but possessed no strength nor had I acquired deliverance from spirits that oppressed me. Faith was the only thing that kept me going. Christ said, “I go before you to prepare a place.”

In Houston, under orders from my counselor, I had to join a church. A friend invited me to South Main Baptist Church. I had no idea what was in store for me. God’s servants were strategically placed right behind me in church; there to show the love that God so wants humanity to have for each other. In my mind, I’m hoping that they see the markings in my Bible. I’m proud of what I know even though it wouldn’t fill a thimble. These angels, to this day I can’t remember who they are, they saw alright, yet they saw more than some underlined verses. They saw a child of God visiting this congregation. I’ve never seen two ladies so happy to love on me. That precious moment is engraved in my mind for eternity and when the roll is called again, I will meet these two messengers of grace and love and I will stand there with them in the presence of our Lord and Savior.

There is so much about South main that I love I could fill a book with experiences I’ve had in just this last year. South Main is my home, my church, my family, and I wouldn’t change one thing in my past that caused me to be right here, right now.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE….   As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010 – Learn more at

God’s Hand in the Common – A Prayer

October 26, 2009
Dolores Rader-web-0678-thumb

By Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

We have a sense that there is something great waiting for us. A particular event or opportunity which when unveiled will enable us to change the world. Are we not meant to make a singular difference – amazing and incredible? Were we not born to accomplish the impressive and grand? We carry inside us a burden – our children’s children and their children’s children as well should know of our deeds and our deeds should be big.

But does the anticipation of greatness, the expectation of hand waving and pomp blind us to our true calling? Like Naaman, do we stand at the door of God’s word angry, disenfranchised, and oblivious to the ordinary? Lord of wisdom and vision, reveal to us the healing powers of the common. Humble us to the menial and grant us the peace to experience the joy and curative powers that accompany the everyday.

Is there anything more restorative than:

  • rocking a sleeping baby
  • causing a child to giggle
  • seeing a caterpillar change into a butterfly
  • waking to see a sunrise
  • hearing the crashing waves of the ocean
  • preparing a meal
  • doing satisfying work
  • reading a worn bible

Each of these happens everyday across the globe , many in our own homes. Lord, open our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts so we will not miss You in our midst and spur us to follow your commands, no matter the scale.


KidQuest = Exhausting and Exhilirating!

July 21, 2009

We just wrapped up KidQuest week which brought us 182 children from around Houston to our church for camp.  Some have described it as Vacation Bible School on steroids!  It’s a massive undertaking but a joyous one.  For a week our campus was overrun by kids yelling “Fear Not” and learning how to shine God’s light into the world.

This year’s theme was “Crocodile Dock” and our church was transformed into a murky swampland.  The kids made crafts, attended Bayou Bible Blast (a fun take on Bible Study), Dockside Drive-In (with videos featuring the adventures of Chadder the Chipmunk), Adventure Encounters and much more.  A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers that make KidQuest possible.  It is amazing to see people using their gifts in making KidQuest a smashing success.  But, of course, without Dolores Rader’s, Minister to Children, strong, enthusiastic and nurturing leadership, none of it would be possible.  Thank you, Dolores!

I urge you to read more about it at:  There are some really neat perspectives on the week.  Whether you were able to be a part of this or not reading the daily updates gives one an insight into the family of grace that is South Main.

Live.  Laugh.  Love.

Jennifer Gribble

Want to know more about South Main?  Go to