Charity Freewill Baptist Church

Randy Rucker



In Minford Ohio there is a tributary to the Little Scioto River. It is Rocky Fork Creek, a frequent Baptismal site before many churches found ways to bring this service into their sanctuarys.

Rocky Fork Creek flows into Long Run Creek. I guess it gets that name as it’s long run emptys it into the Ohio River. I remember my aunt Ruth Arthur speaking of Long Run, however she wasn’t speaking of the creek but the church that was elevated above the creek along Rt. 139, in Clarktown Ohio.

Aunt Ruth, was a piano player for Long Run Freewill Baptist Church and was remembered by many here. I remember learning the song “this little light of mine” during bible school in this church. Today two hymns were sung that reminded me of this, “Sunlight” and “Save the light.”

My welcome was warm on this day as I walked into the now Charity Freewill Baptist Church, Clarktown Ohio. There were familiar faces!

Charlie Harris opened the service with Jim (guitar)and Connie Goodson (piano) offering a beautiful instrumental hymn.

Guest Pastor was Dan Widdig with his wife Clara singing, “Heaven’s point of view.” “How big a mountain can look but to an eagle it looks like a hill. The Lord will help us turn their mountains into little hills. To soar like eagles!”

McKenzie Large, Jan Lott, Jim and Connie Goodson sang a very special song, “we’ve got the power.”

A choir of ten led a song service, then Brother Dan Widdig opened his sermon speaking on Luke Ch. 17.

Before beginning he joked that he and his wife Clara has been married for 54 years. That means we both have been married for 108 years. Also he said the sound workers (Dave McDaniel and Tim Large) did a great job.

Pastor Widdig exclaimed that he enjoyed the season of Thanksgiving. He said that it was amazing the kindness that is shared around a table by family members at this special time.

Pastor Widdig also said that he loves the Lord deeply in his heart and loves waking early each day to spend time with his Lord.

In his sermon he spoke of Jesus facing something like an eighty mile trek preaching his ministry along the way though knowing his executioners were awaiting him at journey’s end.

As he walked the Jordan Valley headed toward Jerusalem he sent followers ahead to make arrangements for a stay in Samaria. When they returned with word they had not been successful some called for him to set fire to a city with his power. Jesus told them he came not to set fire but to save.

He told the story of lepers healing ten and telling them to go tell the priests. He spoke of the hopelessness of those suffering leprosy, it was an aggravating death sentence.

But these men were healed by the glorious saving of Jesus Christ. Only one turned around in a moment of Thanksgiving to say thank you to Jesus. Galilee, Samaria, Jericho and all the way to Jerusalem Jesus was constantly ministering to others.

Pastor Widdig said it is hard for all of God’s people who often do not have time to reach out but the executioner is waiting.

His point was that in all lives Jesus can change everything. For those people in that time as Jesus walked by it changed everything and such is the way it is today.”

He asked congregation members to get a war room as in the movie and spend time talking to the master. This Thanksgiving remember my message. Remember the leper who showed gratitude.

Part of his closing remarks were “Father I thank you today for the spirit we have found here today, the spirit of God that is so close to us!”

Thank you to Betty Childer and Helen Raike and my long time friends Helen Allen for helping me at points during the service. See ya in church!


Randy Rucker

Reach Randy Rucker at [email protected]

Reach Randy Rucker at [email protected]