Franklin Furnace Independent Baptist Church

Randy Rucker



The American Bald Eagle is a regal bird. I never get tired of seeing one. But if Benjamin Franklin would have had his way, the wild turkey would have been our National bird.

But that didn’t happen and there are several places in Scioto County where one is most likely to view one of these great birds! There is always a possibility of viewing one in the vicinity of our recent church visit in Franklin Furnace.

We were welcomed at our seat by several including Tommie Jacques Sr. I enjoyed his kind remarks amidst a bit of humor, telling a story he said he brought from Alabama. “We treat you so many ways you are bound to like at least one”!

It didn’t take long to find out that the Franklin Furnace Independent Baptist Church has a strong youth program. Mark Nichols is the youth pastor and Assistant Pastor who filled in today for 35 year Pastor Dr. Dennis Hankins who was out of town on our day of visitation.

We learned of the churches Youth Master’s Club that has been led by Glenn and Beth Fitzpatrick for 11 years. Glenn announced on this day that Andrew and Renae Campbell who have six boys of their own will become new leaders of this youth program.

An Evangelist Bob Holmes spoke in Sunday School and again during the church worship service. Bob’s ministry is directed toward combating teen suicides.

He goes into schools challenging students, teachers or others associated with schools to a volleyball game. Following his games, he follows up using his experience to interact with the youth and parents in the schools he is asked to serve. Obviously, his ministry has saved the lives of some children at risk.

Holmes’ message seeks to encourage students and discourage bullying within schools. He pointed out the magnificence of the problem with various numbers including the fact that there were over a million attempted suicides last year in United States Schools. He shared email letters from students who wrote him following his visits testifying that they had given up thought toward suicide.

At one school his very mention of suicide brought the students to weeping. He learned of several recent incidences within that school.

Also, he discussed how God uses light throughout the Bible. He mentioned Corinthians 4: within verse 5 it says, “When the Lord comes, he will turn on the light so that everyone can see exactly what each one of us is really like, deep down in our hearts.”

He pointed out that God wants light in a dark world while Satan is in the blinding business. Jesus wants our body to shine as a vessel in this dark world. He said a short prayer that each in the congregation would see the light in this dark world, amen!

Then Holmes spoke of John 12:46 where it says, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who put their trust in me will no longer wander in the darkness!”

This day’s speaker said there are five ways to turn on light in our lives. 1) turn your lights on, 2) have compassion toward others, 3) by not excluding ourselves from others and the world 4) by not excluding ourselves from those who sin and 5) while at the same time separating ourselves from the darkness of sin. We have to separate from darkness to show the true light.

Lastly, he said that in a crooked or sinful nation we should shine our light! We should each be a blessing and let our lights shine as a blessing to others. God wants light in a dark room.

A very lovely choir helped with the hymns of the day. On the piano was Travis Pierce and his wife Heather, who played the organ. A violinist was Angie Risner. Hymns of the morning included “As the deer, Victory in Jesus, His way with thee and lastly Trust and obey!”

Tommy, who I mentioned earlier is also a head deacon and he took a little more time explaining to me the importance of a Family Life Center, another youth associated project going on within the church. Funds have been raised and more will be needed to meet the $50,000 plus building project. The project theme reminds me of Kiwanis as it is the same, “making a difference, one child at a time.” This project will benefit children of Franklin Furnace, as well as the church. All financial contributions are tax deductible. Darrell Thomas, head deacon also spoke with me a bit as well.

Being this was the day Franklin Grahm had requested a day of prayer for our country and President Trump this was included in the final prayer. In his final words, Nichols said to his congregation, “The Lord lift his countenance on you and give you peace!”

Why not visit this wonderful church and its family of faithful believers at the Franklin Furnace Independent Baptist Church. Tell them the Ruckers and Neffs sent ya!

As believer, let us share the Good News! Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world! Each one…reach one! See ya in church.


Randy Rucker

Reach Randy Rucker at [email protected]

Reach Randy Rucker at [email protected]