Happy New Year!

New Year’s Resolution Traditions

By Warren Coenew-year-resolution

 A New Year’s resolution is a tradition reaching around the world and back to ancient times.  The Medieval age saw the Christmas season as a time to make vows for the coming year.  The ancient Middle East made promises to their gods beginning each New Year.  I wonder if Adam and Eve made a few New Year’s resolutions after they were denied the Garden of Eden.  Are yearly resolutions an echo or longing for when we walked with our Creator: A time of perfect union, a sin-free world and God’s perfect peace?

The Bible says that Jesus is coming again (Revelation 22:12, 13) but until that time we continue to make our resolutions each year.

The Best of All Resolutions

The best of all resolutions comes from the pen of King David.  “My soul languishes for your salvation; I wait for your word.  My eyes fail with longing for your word, while I say, ‘When will you comfort me?’ Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your statues.” (Psalm 119:81-83)

The greatest resolution a believer can make is to know God’s Word and obey God’s Word.  Our mission at Village Schools of the Bible is to teach God’s Word and transform lives because we believe that God’s Word is God’s power and God’s power is God’s Word.

Village Schools of the Bible Can Help You Keep that Resolution

On January 3, 2017 brand new discipleship classes begin.  We invite you to enroll in a campus near you.  Cover-to-Cover Bible Survey is a journey through God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation consisting of 16 weeks in the Old Testament and 16 weeks in the New Testament (the New Testament Cover-to-Cover begins this January).  It is intense but life transforming.

Another discipleship offering is Practical Guidelines for Everyday Faith.  How do we live out the gospel at work and in the public square?  If you are a manager, a company owner or a stay-at-home mom what does living the gospel look like?  Warwick Alcock, our Director of Strategic Operations, will be leading an eight week discipleship class.  Contact us through our website  or by phone at 952.540.9460

Cover-to-Cover Bible Survey can be experienced online.  In the comfort of your home you can journey through God’s Word.  Your guide is Pastor Warren Coe, executive director of Village Schools of the Bible.  You will be assigned a mentor who will help you along the journey through the Bible.  Go to our website for more information.

We pray that your 2017 will be a year of feasting on God’s Word.


Happy New Year!

Silent Night!


Bysilent-night Warren Coe

Christmas Hymns

I enjoy singing hymns especially at this time of the year.  “Oh, Holy Night”, “Angels We have heard on High” and “Joy to the World” put me in the right frame of mind for Christmas.

Perhaps my favorite is “Silent Night!  Holy Night!”  The lyrics capture what might have been sung that first Christmas morning.

Silent night!  Holy night!  All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child, Holy Infant, so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.

The Story Behind the Song

The author of this famous Christmas carol is Joseph Mohr.  He lived from 1792 – 1848.  He was from the same city as the Von Trapps—Salzburg, Austria.

Joseph believed that the perfect Christmas song had never been written.  In the winter of 1818 high in the region of Tyrol in the beautiful Alps, Mohr wrote the lyrics to “Silent Night.”

He gave it to Franz Gruber who put melody to the words.

Rather than play the organ (the organ was broken), Gruber played the guitar as Joseph Mohr sang the hymn.  In the words of Kenneth Osbeck, “The hymn made a deep impact upon the parishioners, even as it has on succeeding generations.” (101 Hymn Stories)

In time, this simple tune would appear in most hymnbooks around the world.

Why?  It is the beauty and power of the incarnation—God with us.  Immanuel!


Silent Night!

Roots: History of Village Schools of the Bible

1982 l Monty Sholund l Village Schools of the Biblemonty-edited

 Village Schools of the Bible was founded in 1982 to assist newly converted Christians and older Christians in their growth and maturity in Jesus Christ.  The goal was to help people know and apply God’s Word to their lives.

Monty Sholund, the founder of Village Schools of the Bible, was born in Gothenburg, Nebraska and spent 35 years in Africa (Zaire and South Africa).  In 1982 Monty returned to the United States and became the Director of Christian Education at the Village Evangelical Free Church in Maple Plain, Minnesota.

Several people asked Monty to help them study the Bible systematically from cover-to-cover.  Village Schools of the Bible began in September of 1982.  Soon invitations came from other locations and little by little the Village Schools of the Bible grew.

1999 l New Executive Director l Max Fraziermax-frazier-2013

 In August 1999 Max Frazier became associate teacher at Village Schools of the Bible.  In early 2000 when Monty retired, Pastor Max became director-principle of the school.

Max Frazier graduated from Wheaton College in 1969 with a BS in Biology. He studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and earned his MA degree (with honors) in Old Testament Studies, at the Wheaton Graduate School of Theology.  He had pastored four Evangelical Free churches in Illinois and Iowa and taught at Moody Bible Institute Evening School, Community Colleges in Fort Dodge and Ankeny, Iowa and Des Moines Christian School.

Max was principal of the Village Schools from early 2000 to June 2011.  Under Max’s leadership Village Schools of the Bible continued to grow in enrollment, campuses and outreach.

2011 l New Executive Director l Pastor Warren Coewarren-headshot-square-copy-2-751x800-601x640

Then in July 2011, Pastor Warren Coe took over as Executive Director.

Warren has a strong background in Bible teaching. He holds a Masters of Divinity Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago. He has served as Senior Pastor of local Evangelical Free Churches in Illinois, Iowa, and Minneapolis for the last thirty three years. In fact, it is interesting to note that Warren and Max Frazier served in neighboring churches in Iowa.  As a Bible conference speaker and a founding member of the Forum on Expository Preaching, Warren has promoted the power of God’s Word—the Bible, among God’s people.

 2016 l God’s Work l God’s Word

 At the end of 2016 we will finish with 607 enrollments.  Our campus expansion now includes Rochester, Minnesota and Des Moines, Iowa.  We have 20 staff, teachers and mentors serving the body of Christ and the local church.  And we now offer online Cover-to-Cover Bible Survey to the body of Christ around the world.  We anticipate enrollments to reach 770 in 2017.

How do we explain our beginnings under Pastor Monty?  God did it.  How do we explain the growth under Pastor Max?  God did it.  How do we explain the remarkable growth today?  God is doing it.  All credit goes to Him.

Village Schools of the Bible is a faith-based ministry.  We rely upon the generosity of God’s people to underwrite the ongoing financial needs at VSB.  Student tuition covers only 20% of the cost of the ministry.  God is using you; your faithfulness and generosity to reach and disciple the body of Christ.

This is the appeal season at Village Schools of the Bible.  Your contribution will help us fulfill the great commission—‘Go and Make Disciples’.  Thank you.


Roots: History of Village Schools of the Bible

Village Schools’ Impact: Moving in a New Direction Starts Here

A Personal VSB Testimony by Kelley Johnson, Director, NCD Pastoral Care

Editor’s Note:  Kelley Johnson is the director of Pastoral Care at the North Central District of the Evangelical Free Church.  His testimony is a powerful reminder of the power of God’s Word in the life of God’s people.  James 1:21 exhorts believers with these words.  “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

This is the appeals season at Village Schools of the Bible.  We seek the Lord and His people for the financial assistance that allows us to teach God’s Word and witness transformed lives.  We invite you to join our financial team this year.  Thank you and God’s richest blessing.

Pastor Warren A. Coe, Executive Director of Village Schools of the Bible

Persistence of a Friend

In 1998, at the persistent insistence of a friend and to fill in some gaps in my biblical knowledge base, I reluctantly signed up to take a Village Schools’ Bible Survey course offered at Shalom Baptist Church (now Crossroads Church) in Hutchinson. It was there that I first met Monty Sholund and came to greatly appreciate his vast biblical knowledge and his gentle, encouraging spirit.

Cover-to-Cover Bible Survey and Writing Papers

 As some personal background, I graduated from college in 1983 and had not written a serious paper in 15 years, so stepping back into the routine of reading, study, and writing a weekly paper was a stretch, especially with a full time job (deputy sheriff), a wife and two small kids.    Due to the course schedule and my procrastination, I ended up starting in the middle of the Old Testament.  The study was hard, the papers were a challenge, but each week, when the papers were returned, I would flip immediately to the last page to see Monty’s encouraging notes. Even when I had completely missed the point of the text or teaching, something that happened more often than I care to remember, Monty would always gently correct and then draw me toward the next week.

At the end of that session, the rest of the group took a three-month break, but I was so engrossed in the study and hungry for more solid teaching that a friend, Glenn Wenninger, agreed to facilitate a video course on the first half of the OT and Monty agreed to continue to grade the papers.  This allowed me to maintain my momentum and to catch up with the rest of the students when they started the New Testament session.

A Change in Direction in Life

In 1999, I finished the Bible Survey course in 9 intense months, patted myself on the back and said, “OK, I have checked the Bible Education box off my list.”  Little did I know that God had another plan. Less than a year later I found myself in the Registrar’s Office at Crown College registering for classes that would become a Master’s Degree in Ministry Leadership in 2003. This led, in 2008, to leaving my Law Enforcement career after 24 years for a year-long internship with a small church plant as an associate pastor and with the North Central District of the Evangelical Free Church in a ministry of pastoral care. In 2009, both those became half-time ministries.

In 2011 the associate pastor position ended and the NCD position became full-time. In 2015 I became the Director of Pastoral Care for the NCD, overseeing the spiritual health and well being of 350 pastors in 150 churches in 127 communities across the state. I am also a licensed pastor with the Free Church currently pursuing full ordination.

And all of this Started at Village Schools

And all of this started at Village Schools, with solid Bible teaching and the encouragement of a quiet, godly man who faithfully followed the Lord and encouraged others to do likewise. Thank you, Village Schools of the Bible for helping me and many others move upward and forward to be…

In Humble Service to the King and the Kingdom,

Kelley Johnson

Village Schools’ Impact: Moving in a New Direction Starts Here