Student Animations Are a Unique Mission Tool

At Georgia-Cumberland Academy, they are giving teens a voice, helping to reach others.

Georgia-Cumberland Academy, for Southern Tidings
<strong>Student Animations Are a Unique Mission Tool</strong>
Deacon Higginbotham (left) and Draysen Self, students at Georgia-Cumberland Academy, are creating short videos of Bible stories using animation and stop motion. [Photo: Georgia-Cumberland Academy]

God has given His people unique talents to share His love with the world, which is exactly what two freshmen at Georgia-Cumberland Academy (GCA) are doing in their work with GCA’s Magnify Worship video ministry.

Deacon Higginbotham began making stop-motion Lego® videos when he was in elementary school. Over the years, he has gotten more serious about the process and has honed his skills as a videographer and storyteller. From writing the script to building the set, animating it, and editing the final product, Higginbotham enjoys all aspects of the project.

He has written and produced two stories in the past few months — “David and Goliath” and “The Three Hebrews and the Fiery Furnace.”

“At the end of every children’s story, I tell what the moral is. I hope that people will apply what they learn from these Bible stories to their own life,” Higginbotham said.

GCA’s Magnify Worship is a ministry at the academy located in Calhoun, Georgia, United States. The institution seeks to train teens to be worship pastors, teaching them about who we worship, why we worship, and how to lead in worship, school leaders said. In addition to the worship class, the program includes song writing and producing videos in an effort to give students a creative outlet on their spiritual journey.

“It’s great watching the guys do what they love, and seeing the end result of their work,” Magnify Worship director Mark Torsney said.

“This new video ministry endeavor has a twofold impact on our students and the viewers. Not only does it teach our students practical skills of writing and video production, but it gives them a voice to share biblical truths with the world. It’s our desire that these stories would reach a broad audience and serve as a ministry resource for our churches, whether that’s Sabbath School classes, Vacation Bible School, Adventurers and Pathfinders, or children’s stories [in church],” Torsney said.

Daniel and the Lions’ Den is an animation video by Draysen Self, a freshman at Georgia-Cumberland Academy. [Image: courtesy of Draysen Self]

Both students are extremely humble and reserved when it comes to their talents. “I honestly don’t think this deserves that much attention, but I love being able to do what I love as a job,” Draysen Self said. He has been animating for about three years but has been doing art for as long as he can remember.

“I hope people who watch my stories will realize that it’s our job to spread the message of the Bible, and anyone can be creative in how they do that,” Self added. He animated the story “Daniel and the Lions’ Den.” The goal is to continue adding more videos as time goes by.

In addition to the video stories, GCA’s Magnify Worship is producing lyric videos and original and cover-song music videos.

“We want to empower students to lead in worship and the creative arts to serve our church and spread the message of God’s love,” Magnify Worship co-director Kalie Kelch said. “Too many young people leave the church because they don’t feel like they fit in or have anything to offer. We want to change those odds by giving our students a platform and guidance to use their gifts in church ministry.”

The original version of this story was posted by Southern Tidings.

Georgia-Cumberland Academy, for Southern Tidings