Turkey Creek Lake finds it’s way into the Roosevelt Lake. In the early days of the Portsmouth trout derby, old-timers will remember that trout stocking was once made into the riffles and water holes of Turkey Creek. Turkey Creek eventually flows into the Ohio River.
Historically and by tradition, it has been said that Shawnee State Forest was hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians. That being the case this creek in a more natural drainage uninterrupted by man-made lakes would have been a natural trail into the heart of today’s Shawnee State Forest.
It was adjacent to this stream today that we visited a beautiful church occupied by joyous people in this Township. Not surprisingly it is known as the Nile Township Community Church.
Recently Beverly, Stephanie, Chris Neff and I decided we would cross the flooded bottoms of the Ohio and Scioto Rivers to visit this church and to experience their service.
We found this to be another very friendly church. Handshakes and hugs were the norms. I thought for sure by the reactions of some I must know them. But mostly we did not. They were just a joyous and friendly church. I had just said to Beverly, do you see the joy, joy, joy when the Pastor said, “what do we have here, a joy for living.” We certainly could see that!
Pastor Danny Smalley and his wife Stephanie have a history of their own. They had once been associated with another church which ministered to homeless people in the Lucasville area. He and his family had become associated with the Niles church singing for their services but he had no thought that he might become their Pastor. However, the Lord had another plan and here they are today.
I noticed it was a church without walls or quarters as those who wished to stand or walkabout did so freely. Testimonies and prayers were frequent throughout the service.
A day prior to our visit we passed the church and noticed something going on. The next day in church we learned a very exciting wedding had occurred.
Jeanie Wilson in testimony thanked those within for all they did to make the day special. She later explained to me more about what she shared in church with permission to relay her joy in being a part of this church family. She had faced many difficulties in her youth and had experienced an abusive relationship and had issues involving her long depression. The unnamed lady sitting at her side has long been like a mother in her life. Her past problems are no more! Her happiness is now a beacon in this church and all within share that joy with her and Rick Wilson, her new husband!
The church music relay was unique in that they seemed to have the ability to wifi their music into an excellent sound system. The Pastor had said they were not a church wanting to bring rock and roll into church. As we find in our journey, all churches are different in how they experience their faith.
There was Robin Trooper who shared a beautiful voice with an opening solo in the song service. She began saying I love the Lord so much, even if he never does another thing for me. She said she was thankful for the beautifulness of God.
And then Robin sang a beautiful hymn, “Don’t that sound like heaven”! A verse of my choosing goes like this, Now there’s a special place in heaven where those unborn babies play, and their rock in the arms of mama’s whose chance had slipped away; All those unwanted children can say, “My daddy He’s the king”. And there are smiles on all their faces as they spin around and sing, Now don’t that sound like heaven.
I loved the gentleman’s testimony which was a story. He spoke of tater churches. He said a church that may be full of spectators or it may be full of sweet tators! The sweet tators church would be my classification for this one.
Smalley spoke of the disciple John being on the Isle of Patmos having an out of body experience going up in the spirit to see the new Jerusalem coming down. As the salvation of Jesus was then it is today. He spoke at times on miracles. He said that even in this time we should think God, think of his power and expect miracles.
He pointed out it is our job to get people into this church to hear the Gospel of Jesus. We don’t have to change it compromise for anyone. We were not created to live here all the days of our lives. We should feel like the city of Heaven exists just on the other side of the hill.
Another beautiful song selection was offered by Marie Lindamood! The song, “Just a closer walk with thee”! It begins with a familiar verse, “I am weak, but thou art strong”! Marie said she has always had a family that steps right in and she is thankful for that family.
Smalley shared a story about his Mamaw and Papaw and an aunt filling an aisle of the church. He said they would keep the bench jumping during church and his aunt would slide down the bench and would slide around the room in praise for the Lord. One time he went to her house sitting there with only one leg. I was surprised. She said, “you didn’t know I had a prosthetic leg”? The Pastor apparently did not. But that never stopped her in the joy of praising the Lord in her life.
Another loving story and a beautiful day to be in the lovely Nile Community Church. Though we noticed a nice crowd I saw some room on those benches. Why not stop by and get your hug and handshakes from these wonderful people.
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.