Jesus Said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Luke 18: 16 RSV).
Little children were not left out in the beginning of WMU Convention activities. Mrs. Mojola Agbebi was the first President of Baptist Women’s Missionary League. She had special interest in little children. She gathered little children together in her house and sometimes under the shade of a tree to teach them scripture verses and choruses.
Egbe Irawo (a society for children) was included among the five societies organized in 1916 by the Rev. A. Scott Patterson, southern Baptist Missionary from America. Mrs. George Green, wife of the first Baptist Medical Missionary to Nigeria, had great interest in little children and did a lot to encourage young people.
When Baptist Women Missionary League was organized in 1919, Egbe Irawo was recognized as part of this league. So the Sunbeam Band has grown up with Women’s Missionary Society.
Gradually, groups of children were brought together in villages and towns and they were taught scripture verses and choruses. A director was appointed to take care of Sunbeam.
In 1976, Mrs. Novella C. Bender, a Southern Baptist Convention Missionary became the Convention Sunbeam Director. She was a kind and patient person. She worked successfully with the Sunbeam leaders in Churches for a number of years. She wrote beautiful and interesting programmes for Sunbeams in Nigeria. The Sunbeams had wide knowledge of Mission activities and they became mission minded.
After Mrs. Novella C. Bender retired, Deaconess E. K. Laosebikan became the Convention Sunbeam Director in 1982 and she traveled far and wide to places in Nigeria to establish Sunbeam Band in churches, associations, Conferences and Mission fields. Mrs. J. O. Ogunjide became paid Convention Sunbeam Director in May 1992. She builds progressively on all that the past Sunbeam Directors had done through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
She created a section for young people’s group in the Year Book, which was primarily a Programme Book for WMU. There were also references to Bible stories and selected Bible verses to be studied every month. Sunbeam programme book was published and the demand for Sunbeam weekly programmes is now very great.
Sunbeam Band is divided into 2 groups:
• Beginner sunbeam for ages four through six years.
• Primary sunbeam for ages seven through nine years.
Presently we have Mrs. Ekundayo I. Olalere as Convention Sunbeam Director and God has been using her tremendously among the children.
Sunbeam Programmes includes:
1. Sunbeam Memory Verses Contest held each year with awards for First, Second and Third winners. This memory verses exercise helps the Sunbeams to do well academically and spiritually.
2. Sunbeam Day Camp: Every Sunbeam member invites their unbeliever friends to a Day Camp.
3. Sunbeam Weekly Programme: This a weekly programme introduced in 1997 in order to have uniform activities in various churches.
4. Sunbeam Week: This is a yearly and weeklong programme of activities for Sunbeams.
5. Sunbeam Band Mission Study: It is a yearly study of a character in the Bible.
6. Sunbeam Prayer Calendar: It was introduced in 1994 contains Monthly prayer points for sunbeams
7. Sunbeam Magazine: Titled – Kingdom Children Magazine is published yearly
8. Evangelism: We go out for evangelism/Outreach once in a month.
9. Visitation: We always go for visitation every last Saturday of the month to homes of Disabled, Motherless and Abandoned Babies and the sick.
We have our meeting every Saturday evening at 5 O’clock.
The Sunbeams have their own uniform (White and Cream Color), Badge and Cap, which are used on special occasions.
Sunbeam Band Watchword and Hymn
Jesus Said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8: 12)
Jesus Said, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5: 14)
. Therefore, “Let your light so shine” (Matthew 5: 16)