Although the teachings of the Bible never changed, the way people were able to receive this information changed dramatically. It was once widely taught in schools and is what some explain as the basis of a good home.
Since moving to Onslow County in 2005, Debbie Dewart and her sidekick Cherry the Resurrection Rabbit have traveled to different churches to teach children about the Bible through songs, books and devotion.
There are many things she is grateful for that have not changed in her 30+ years of spreading the word of God to children, one of which falls under the most important part of her teachings; writing.
“There are differences in how children are able to see and hear things when it comes to teaching things they may not have a vested interest in. Using the bunny and being silly helps get their attention, but ultimately the scripture will never change,” Dewart said. “That’s the most important thing to remember, it’s still relevant.
After starting in the late 80s in California, where they began performing for abused children through one of its ministries, the couple began their pilgrimage across the country and kept the act going. alive in local churches such as Blue Creek Baptist Church, Pine Valley Methodist Church and Presbyterian Harvest.
At the turn of the decade, songwriting needed to advance to entertain children. Dewart eventually landed a recording contract in Nashville with music producer Dennis Dearing and was able to bring his vision to life, recording CDs for different holidays throughout the year, as well as some Bible lessons.
She explained that Cherry is in charge of writing the songs but one of the lessons when it comes to believing in Jesus Christ is that they are their best when they are together so she takes some credit at the end.
“The Resurrection Bunny struck me in the early 2000s and throughout our songwriting we use alliteration and word associations between a bunny, the resurrection of Jesus, the Easter Bunny, etc. , so that children understand the true meaning of holidays involving Christ,” Dewart added.
Like everything else this year, their lives have been altered due to the pandemic, as the couple have not been able to perform live since. Convinced that normalcy is fast approaching, she strives to continue her work and seeks to get involved by recording videos to reach children virtually via Facebook and YouTube.
Building a foundation of faith early, especially in today’s world, has been a focus for the couple with lessons on how the world was created, as well as one she calls “God is on the throne”, which means even if there are uncertainties surrounding day-to-day life, God is still in control.
“There is never a better time than now to reassure faith in religion,” Dewart explained. She says that during her life she saw a decline in moral values. A burning issue she sees is lobbying to change the way sexuality is taught in public schools. His view is the biblical belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.
“I am terribly concerned about what can be taught to children in schools and when it comes to me and Cherry, we make sure we follow the scriptures. We don’t belittle or despair anyone, we just stick to what the Bible says, while celebrating that children are a blessing,” Dewart added.
Through this foundation, the couple hopes they can continue to connect with the children early on to instill a strong sense of values that everyone can follow, regardless of their personal beliefs.
Journalist Trevor Dunnell can be reached by email at [email protected]