The journey of many miles continues with each step. We wanted to attend Bonser Run Christian Baptist Church while they are still in their old church. A new one sits beside it, and the congregation is hoping they will be in that one before Easter. Beverly grew up on Bonser Run, and some of her family goes there today. Chris and Stephanie Neff joined us during a Sunday morning service recently.
Bonser Run is one of Scioto County Ohio’s earliest settlements.
The county was part of Virginia until 1788. In that year, Virginia ceded all the land north of the Ohio River to the United States, calling it the Northwest Territory. Though it was not admitted to the Union by Congress until Feb. 19, 1808. Conquest of the Indians was now complete, and the Ohio River was safe for transport and commerce.
Isaac Bonser lived in Pennsylvania at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. Having been employed as a hunter for survey parties, he had gained much experience as a woodsman. In 1795, he had set out for the Ohio country at the request of some neighbors to seek a new home for them. He located at the mouth of the Scioto, and began blazing trees to mark his selection of land. This was actually the first evidence of someone marking land for settlement in this county. Upon returning in Pennsylvania to record his land holdings, it was not until five years later that he led the new settlers to their home. Travel was via a large flatboat, arriving on Aug. 10, 1796. It was in 1798 that Isaac Bonser built a gristmill along the small stream (creek) running in the front of the church we attended on this day.
Our visit here was special in that Beverly had grown up on Bonser Run with many of her friends and cousins living close by.
As we walked in, the pastor’s grandson was finishing up teaching the morning Sunday school service message. We later learned the pastor was not in attendence, as he was with a church member being treated in a local hospital.
Willie Ruggles, who is a church Sunday school teacher, opened morning worship, speaking on Daniel 10:1-19. It was a sharing of a devotional reading covering the area of divine faith. He referred that angels can touch us and strengthen us in that we can be used by God to teach others. He also suggested that we should pray to bring God back into our churches, and we should always remember our children in our prayers.
With an opening song that may have been called “It is a grand and glorious feeling” (I’ve been wrong before!), Willie Ruggles also shared his talent on the guitar along with John Holbrook. Ruthann Bender played piano throughout the service.
It was fun seeing Beverly enjoy her visit with second cousins Martha Lee and Judy and several other friends she grew up with in the neighborhood this day.
Other songs in the service included, “Here I am to worship,” “Our God is an awesome God,” and the song, “Thank God I Am Free.” The latter going something like this, “Thank God I am free, so glad, I found out. I have been washed by the blood of Jesus. He showed me a way.”
Another song was called “Blessed.” This song was requested by a choir member who gave a testimony saying, “I am so blessed, love Him so much.” The song said, “His grace has set me free, and some day I will sit by His side. I have shoes for my feet, I have plenty to eat and a home up in Heaven. I am blessed, I am blessed, everyday that I live I am blessed. Every day I wake up in the morning til laying my head down at night. I am blessed!”
Then Willie leading this part of the service called for more testimonies and there were many congregation members who shared. He went on to say that each and every one of us have opportunities to come together and grow together in church. It is all about each of us getting close to Christ. If we strive to get closer with Christ, we can take that into our everyday life. Willie said, “One thing for sure, we are just passing through. My dad said, don’t wish your life away. We are just riders in the sky. All we can do in our ride is lean harder on the Lord, help each other and He will bring us through together.”
Then it was time for Chase Holbrook to deliver his sermon. He started out by saying that some Baptist ministers do not believe in following notes. I believe his sermon may have been a combination. He did incorporate Bible verses as most do. He first pointed to Psalms 119:17-19, though exclaiming that verse 19 stood out in his thoughts this morning. It says, “I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide your commandments from me.” Pastor Chase added that many want to call themselves Christians, but want to hide their head in the sand. Born-again Christians should bear evidence of things not of this world. There are those things which separate us from God. Until we believe in God, we are going to lead separate lives from Him. We have to live following His commandments, giving Him the glory and walk away from sin.
He went on to say that the Lord prepares us and takes care of us. Psalms, Verse 20 says, “My soul breaks with longing for your judgments at all times.” Then the pastor pointed out that one should look to the Lord and give Him priority. We should fall on Him at all times. Then he quoted verse 21, “You rebuke the proud — the cursed, who stray from your commandments.”
He then said we should live a life pleasing to God, and that we should dig into His book and learn what it says and God will speak to us through that effort.
Lastly, Chase pointed out that he had taught from Daniel in Sunday school that we as Christians should not hide our heads in the sand, but should live our life washed in the blood and forgiven. He pointed out that none of us are perfect and each one of us has room to grow. He asked if any would want to come forward to pray and many did.
If you are looking for a new church, then let us recommend the Bonser Run Christian Baptist Church. You can join them as they prepare to enter their new church this spring.
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.