When you want to get a bang out of your church service you might want to attend the Rubyville Community Church Patriotic Service. That is exactly what Chris and Stephanie Neff plus Beverly and I did recently. We found the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of America all under one roof! Outside after dusk the sky’s lit up with as fine a fireworks display as one would find anywhere. This year the fireworks were a memorium to Bob Patterson, a well known community member and a hero/Veteran to his family and his church.
Rubyville Community Church was organized with their first service being held in the old Rubyville School on October 3 of 1971. Approximately Fifty three were in attendence.
This current property was purchased in the Spring of 1972. On the first Sunday each October the church celebrates with a homecoming service. This year will be the 46th Anniversary celebration.
The present building was completed in 2011 with the old one being torn down at that time. The old building which used to set in front of this one was the old Long Run Grade School which was built in 1923 as a two room school house and was added onto later. It was used as a grade school until 1959. The building was then used as a community center, and housed Faith Bible Center. From 1959 to 1972, an appliance store served the Rubyville Community from this location.
Well known local and TV Evangelist Calvin Ray Evans became Pastor in 1983 and another well known community member/Minford resident Brian Baer became Associate Pastor in 2005!
The Patriotic Service began with the Pledge to our American Flag and the congregation was led in the singing of our National Anthem and prayer by Brian Baer. Then was the song “American Veteran” as all of the attending Veterans were invited to the front of the room. Something like seventy attending Veterans went forward for a very inspirational moment. In the background the choir and congregation sang, “My country tis of thee!” Robert Patterson was loved by his family, friends and church, having passed away in this last year. Bob Patterson, whose wife Denise graduated with me at Clay High School was attending and singing in the choir. I understand that the family was surprised by the church having arranged this evening to be a memorial to Bob who did much for the youth and others within the Rubyville Community Church.
Howard Richard came through the crowd with his locally famous presentation, “I am the Spirit of America!” It goes something like this, “I walk through the corns of Iowa, Idaho potatoes and all the faces of Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon and ole yes, to those Ohio State games”.
He said, “Who could ask for more! Although our ole flag has been destroyed by cannon shots we have been left a legacy and we dare not destroy their trust. I’m glad to be an American, the Constitution makes us proud. As we listen to the fireworks flashing high, let’s give thanks as we all live in the USA”! If you have never heard the Howard Richard Spirit of America presentation I recommend you try to catch one!
The congregation then sang “America the Beautiful!” Then a Mrs. Davis sang, “I am a Christian.” Following, the offering was passed to a very generous congregation while the choir was singing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic!” The Pastor later mentioned the many worthy causes the church supports. Chris Neff pointed out that church count was being done using clickers by those taking up the offering. We have seen this before.
Guest speaker for the evening was Evangelist Andrew Phipps who opened by discussing a date on March 23 1775 when Patrick Henry walked to the front of a new Continental Congress. A war for Independence from the British had already begun. Next would be the resounding crash of his voice, “But as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
A doctor’s prayer to the Continental Congress exploited the call for a new choice in governing. A red headed Virginian, 34, a genius who designed the University of Virginia and designed his house, came forward. He said, “when in the course of human events….. We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” He pointed out the infamous words in the cause of, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” (Thomas Jefferson)
Then the sermon shifted toward more biblical interpretation. Mr. Phipps quoted the present state of the world quoting from 2nd Timothy 3, verses 1 to 7. I will translate these verses through my Patriots Bible. “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, blasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of Godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
He pointed out 73 years of observation. He discussed having a life that included beef, cornbread, fried potatoes and beanie weenies, saying “I know what it is like to wear rummage clothes.” He said he was wearing those tonight and that his house (speaking of his christianity) was built on solid rock. “God wanted to save me more than I wanted to be saved. The Lord was merciful to me a sinner, and saved me of my sins. After 75 years of gaining perspectives I have learned grace.”
He stated that the USA is the most exceptional country in the world and we shouldn’t have to apologize for it. “We have done more for the world than anyone else.”
He pointed out the question directed to Benjamin Franklin, “will we be able to keep this country?” He replied, “mam, we have a Republic if we can keep it!”
One hundred and two people left Ireland and England on the Mayflower. They were tired of the church / state in those countries. When they arrived in America they thanked God.
After all of these years, we are told this country was not built on religion.
He also shared a story about his cousin who was one of the last WW2 medal of honor winners who died three days before his 95th birthday. Speaking on his Christianity he said, “I want to be in that number,” then concluded, “I will be in that number, amen.”
He spoke that he was glad to have found the lowly Nazarene, sweet love and honey, the all sufficient one. It was a very charged and interesting delivery fitting for a Patriotic service.
Someone told me that John Bennett runs the sound system for this large church but I am sure we are leaving off credit to a lot of individuals who help carry on the numerous responsibilities each week. It has a very dedicated choir full of talent. We had a wonderful time meeting this larger than usual congregation of believers. It was a very Christ filled service followed by an alter call that brought forward a number to accept Christ as their Savior.
But it wasnt over, as dismissal meant the congregation would exit to join the possibly thousands who had already lined up along Rt. 139 and community yards to enjoy the gift of fireworks bestowed.
Our chairs, already in place awaited us outside. We greatly appreciate the hearty greeting and opportunity to share in this service of the Rubyville Community Church.
As believers let us share the good news of Jesus Christ as savior of the world. Each one reach one…..see ya in church!
Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.