A Gorilla in K-villa
Kenny Thompson is known as Kernersville's famous “Dancing Man” for the moves he cuts atop the business I-40 east exit ramp for The Vault.
But Thompson’s dirt dance floor had some hairy-footed company this summer: the Radiate high school ministry’s Alex Caudle—in costume as the gorilla featured in the 2014 Vacation Bible School video, “A Gorilla in K-villa.”
Filmed by videographer Bill King, and based on a script written by Wayne Thompson, the video featured Caudle as the gorilla and Radiate’s Logan Johnson as his friend, Professor Livingston. Featuring slapstick action and sound effects but no dialogue, the video told the tale of how gorilla and friend got separated and eventually reunited while trying to make their way to Triad’s “Jungle Jaunt“ VBS.
Along the way, they stop by Lowe’s, Harmon Park, Musten & Crutchfield Food Market, and meet one of the Kernersville Police Department’s finest — officer and Triad member Derrick Crews. TBCers Fred Marks, Kathy Smith, Austin Needham (assistant director of children's ministries), and Amy King also played roles in the serial-style video that ended with a live drama for both final VBS sessions.
There, Tim Gerber, executive pastor for children and ministries, connected the fictional journey to return “home” to the jungle to our eternal home and forever family in Christ as the characters helped children sing “How Great Thou Art” to close the program.
“What I enjoyed most was being used by God through Vacation Bible School to impact the lives of the kids, even in a gorilla costume,” Caudle said. “It was a great week and exciting to see the kids so pumped to see us come in live. It was cool to see them wanting hugs and high fives as we made our way to the stage.”
“You could tell the video caught the kids’ attention by being really funny,” added Johnson, whose character ran into trees and had trouble driving and parking his jeep. “With the kids’ attention locked on the characters for the VBS closing ceremony, it allowed a good setup for Mr. Tim to talk about our home in heaven and how that’s where we belong just like Koko (the gorilla) in the jungle.
“It was heartwarming for our characters to come in live and help lead the kids in the final song.&rdqo;
Needham, who played the role of the TBCer who meets Koko while shopping in Musten & Crutchfield, made the contact to make the script’s encounter with the “Dancing Man” a reality. He also secured the props and costumes.
“It was so much fun working with Kenny,” Needham said. “He’s like a Kernersville celebrity and he had such a willing heart to be a part of our VBS video. He even taught us some dance moves we will be sure to use.”
While not a member of Triad Baptist, Kernersville’s Dancing Man said he was more than happy to oblige, and add his talents to a VBS ministry that featured professions of faith, involved more than 1,200 children and workers daily, and raised $12,479.38 for the week through the popular boys versus girls penny march.
Said Thompson, “I think it’s great what you do for the kids each year, and I was glad I could help.”