Giggles and more giggles
waft down from upstairs late Tuesday afternoons in the
southwest Lubbock home of Richard and Pam Morgan.
That is not unusual, considering they are the parents of
three daughters, Claire, 16, Gabbi, 11, and Kathryn, 8.
But the giggles are interspersed with singing, prayers,
serious talk and Bible study. Sixth-grader Gabbi and friends
meet weekly for a Bible study that she designed and
implemented when she was a fifth-grader. She is a sixth-grader
at Preston Smith Elementary School.
It was a book, "The Prayer of Jabez for Kids," that
inspired Gabbi to invite friends over for Bible study.
The book started her thinking "about what God wanted you to
do with your life," she said. "So I called friends and got a
The Bible study has grown from three or four girls to a
regular attendance of 10 to 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays at
"The hardest thing is getting them not to talk during the
lesson," Gabbi said.
She has developed her leadership techniques out of
time I gave them food, they were all quiet," she said, "and I
thought, 'OK.' "
Gabbi Morgan leads a weekly Bible study in her home for
her friends. She initiated the project and plans the
Snacks became a regular part of the program, along with
games and other activities.
Jasmine, the cat, goes from girl to girl for a generous
dose of petting while the girls quote Scripture or talk about
how their faith can help them deal with school or family
They wear matching pink T-shirts that say "God's Girls" in
blue on the front and a print of small angel wings on the back
with "I'd rather be praying" underneath.
"We all go to different churches, and some don't go to
church," Gabbi said. She and her family attend LakeRidge
United Methodist Church.
On Tuesday afternoon, Gabbi read from Romans 8:31: "What
then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can
be against us?" and other selections. Then, she invited the
girls to quote their favorite verses.
This year, other members of the group take turns bringing a
Bible lesson and planning an activity.
The Bible study is not about church or what adults might
think a group of girls should do.
Madison Taylor, 11, was one of the first to join Gabbi's
Bible study. She attends Slide Baptist Church.
"I knew God before I came, but now I'm a better person,"
Madison said. "It's fun, and Gabbi's a good teacher."
Leah Albers, 11, said, "We do skits and we do like to
sometimes sit down and read from the Bible."
Leigh Holder, 12, began attending the Bible study this
"I always liked going to church and doing Christian stuff,"
She's a member of First Bap tist Church. The Bible study
reminds her of a girl's missionary study group at church.
Leigh's favorite activity with the Bible study group was a
visit to a nursing home. The girls sang and told about their
"I feel like we made a difference in people's lives," she
Emma Itria, 11, also began attending the study group in
"I don't go to church, and I've always wanted to," she
said. "It's so much fun here."
Leigh added, "We all come from different churches, and
that's really neat."
One of the advantages of coming from different churches is
that they teach each other new songs.
Lauren Ashley Owen, 11, said her favorite activity is the
singing, and her favorite song is "Every Move I Make." She
attends First United Methodist Church and is looking forward
to being able to travel with the church's youth group when she
is in seventh grade.
"I like when we all get together and pray and share about
how to let God take control of us, Lauren Ashley said. "It
helps me think (that if) some people don't like me, God still
Sarah Suggs, 11, who also attends LakeRidge, said she is
surprised at how the group has continued. Three of the girls
met a little during the summer, she said, but the group came
back even stronger for the fall.
For the nursing home visit, Sarah said the group took
decorated pumpkins, painting "God loves you" and "Have a great
At school, "we look to see if anybody's left out, and we'll
go talk to them," Sarah said.
The hardest thing in the group is that "when we are talking
about when we met Jesus, we all start talking at the same
JeNea Puckett, 12, who attends Calvary Baptist Church,
likes "the fact we can be all together and learn about God and
learn about other people's bad experiences. I like the songs
and the worship."
For Leigh Anna Logsdon, 11, being with friends and being
able to talk about God is important.
"If someone isn't a Christian yet, we help them come to
God," she said.
Kadie Quimby, 11, said she heard Gabbi talking about the
Bible study group at school. Gabbi sent her an e-mail
invitation to attend. She enjoys being with girls she knows to
praise, worship and read Bible verses.
Kadee Cagle, 12, said the group helps her to "learn how to
care and think about people who don't have as much as most of
Kendra Ezell, 11, said she especially likes the Bible study
since she attends church but does not go to Sunday school.
"I've learned how to appreciate people better, to take a
chance and get to know them," she said.
One thing is certain, whether singing, talking, playing
games or doing a Bible study, God's Girls have a good time.
Gabbi enjoys the process of planning and teaching. She might
become a youth minister, she said.
Taking to heart the prayer of Jabez that God would enlarge
her territory, she has reached out to her peers, proving it's
not only adults that God calls to minister.