Lumbering herds of American Bison


Randy Rucker



Looking from a hillside where St. John’s Lutheran Church in Powellsville is located one can almost see the lumbering herds of American bison which once roamed this area. The last one in Scioto County was killed not far from here by Phillip Salladay and is believed to have been in 1801. (Scioto sketches: Account of discovery and settlement of Scioto County Ohio. Henry Town Bannon. 1920)

I think as a boy I learned the attraction to a good dirt pile. Such was my find upon exiting a side door of the church. Having once dabbled a bit in walking the river bottoms in search of artifacts I learned a bit about the habitat settings of native Americans. A recent addition and excavation by this church showed me a few things. When the white settlers entered the area Native Americans had long left the area but their signs remained. From this dirt pile I saw the probability that native Americans had habitated this hilltop surrounding the Pine Creek watershed. They loved the high ground and graveled their living sites somewhat and sprinklings of chipped flint were a give away to the past of this beautiful church setting!

However, we didn’t come here to see a dirt pile, but a church, its jubilant Pastor and it’s people! When joining God’s people we have never been disappointed. Toward a latter part of the service and a complete surprise to visitors (us) during the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer by the congregation the church, bells began ringing and it was a breathtaking moment. I imagined being in a home in the valley below hearing that beautiful chime. I think about wanting to come back and hear that next week but remember our commitment to move on.

The service opened with messages about a church event called Spring Fling and an Easter cheese cake fundraiser. Then the Pastor came forward with a grand question, “people of Saint John, what is our purpose”?

Song openers included “what a friend we have in Jesus” and “take it to the Lord in prayer”. Then there was a Glory to God reading with a song that published in their very nice church program. Following the Pastor said, “let us pray”!

The church program listed the next part as “A Lenton Walk” with a reading which included Matthew 4: 1–11 leading to a children’s service. Many happy children went forward and the minister asked, “who loves you”? “Mom and dad, your grandparents, aunts and uncles, the people of St. John’s”, answering his own question. Then he asked, “who are all the people back here…. the people of St. John’s church and they love you a lot”!

Let me stop here and introduce the interim Pastor of St. John’s, Carl Beck! Now let me tell you that as I understand he has been interim Pastor for five years which translates into, “he is loved by his congregation”!

To the children he also said, “be the kinds of boys and girls you want to be. All of these people back here are cheering for you that each will have the best possible life”. Then he said a prayer with them, “thank you Lord for all the people that help us”. Then he said to the congregation, “and all of God’s children said amen”! Amen was offered in unison by the congregation.

If you are looking for a church in a beautiful country setting with fabulous scenery and friendly folks why not consider checking out St. Johns Lutheran Church!

For a photographic view of our visit, check out medium.com. Search Randy Rucker.

As believers, let us share the good news of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world! Each one, reach one!

See ya in church!

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Randy Rucker

Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.

Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.