Temple Baptist Church

Randy Rucker



“The Story of Us” has become an Icon event conducted by the Friends of Greenlawn Cemetary! After having attended the wonderful Saturday session Beverly and I were setting at a restaurant with Christopher and Stephanie Neff.

Then Stephanie brought up a question of the hour, where are we going to church tomorrow. That decision is usually left to me and sometimes I have an idea and sometimes I just wait to see what happens.

I mentioned my thought on going to a rural church when Chris said have you been to Temple Baptist? I said well we have headed that way before but never made it. With the Neff’s offer for a great dinner afterward in their home and with the fact that Beverly had long desired to see the interior of this beautiful church our decision was made to attend the Temple Baptist Church.

Arriving home I noticed that Temple Baptist Church had liked my post about attending the Greenlawn Cemetary event. This is funny because they have rarely done that. Later I found that it is Pastor Gowdy who occasionally likes my posts after I once friended the church to learn their meeting times.

As Millard Fillmore was becoming the 13th President of the United States following Zachary Taylor’s death in office, a beautiful new church was being built in Portsmouth Ohio. It has held the test of time remaining a Baptist Church through the years.

And so on a beautiful day for a drive to the corner of Gallia and Portsmouth, Ohio, we found ourselves among a most friendly congregation who regularly attend the Temple Baptist Church!

The church youth leader who we also met is Chaz Horsley, the Secretary I learned is Elisabeth Bell and I noticed some familiar names within the list of Deacons.

I don’t usually mention a lot of church names as it just makes room for more error.

As well as being a wonderful church in our community it serves children in many ways. As well as their church youth programs it is well known for the church Temple Tots Preschool and Day Care!

As I recall the service was opened by Pastor John Gowdy. There was no surprising him about our mission and he personally welcomed each of our party personally saying, “We are so thankful for our visitors. We pray each week that new people will come visit us!”

He opened pointing out some scripture from Acts 23:11-13! I am going to the transcript from my Illustrated Bible for two reasons, one the print is larger for these weak eyes and the other being, as I have said before… I like pictures!

Acts 11: That night the Lord stood beside Paul and said, “Don’t worry, Paul; just as you have told the people about me here in Jerusalem, so you must also be in Rome.” 12-13: The next morning some forty or more of the Jews got together and bound themselves by a curse neither to eat or drink until they had killed Paul!

He explained that in this point of the conspiracy the Lord stepped in to save Paul in a most unusual way.

Acts: verse 23-24 says, “ Then the commander(Roman Officer) called two of his officers and ordered, get 200 soldiers ready to leave Caesarea at nine o’clock tonight! Take 200 spearmen and 70 mounted cavalry. Give Paul a horse to ride and get him safely to Felix (the Roman Governor).”

Much of the Pastor’s sermon discussed Divine providence both then at the time of Christ and even today on our lives.

There is of course much more to the story of Paul and I have scratched out only a portion of Pastor Gowdy’s message.

Pastor Gowdy at one point mentioned their church sponsors over 70 missionaries around the world. On the day of our visit, a husband and wife team explained their work to expand the Gospel through the development of new churches and through the distribution of tracts.

Some of the hymns on this day included a number of beautiful choir selections such as “Build my mansion”, as well as others. John Collins sang a special song called, “It may be today.”

Some messages of the day included information on the numerous Christmas Child boxes that were prepared by the church ladies. The Pastor spoke of the McCaine’s family efforts to once again bring together a church-sponsored Trunk or Treat which last year was visited by over 1200 youth.

He also shared that an air rescue helicopter recently landed at the church sharing the story of their work in rescue situations. He said it was probably the first time since 1850 for a helicopter to land here.

Also discussed was the upcoming Gideon Ministry Sunday. He thanked the organization for their ministry in sharing Amazing Grace throughout motel rooms across this country. Lastly, he said, “thank you for the Lamb that was slain.”

During the morning I also found that the church has a widespread radio ministry. Also, I learned that my friend Don Moritz (a fellow member of Battery L and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) is one of possibly several to maintain the sound system and electronics necessary during each church service.

At one point Pastor Gowdy pointed out Romans 8:28; ll that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans”. He asked all to think about this story in Acts and thank the Lord daily for his providence.

Our greatest gift is Jesus Christ and our prayers extend to him asking that his will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven!

We enjoyed very much our day at the Portsmouth Ohio Temple Baptist Church and hope that some of you might drop in and pay this wonderful family of faith a visit.

As believers, 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 Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.

Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.