Rehobeth Mission, with it’s beautiful red roof and friendly folks was our Sunday church visit! What made it so special to Beverly and I was that it is the church of my aunt, Cheryl Adkins! Just over the hill from here the Adkin’s 239 Auto has served Scioto County and the West Portsmouth area for many years. Also the old Rehoboth Church can be seen through the trees below. The current church was built in 1947.
As we began this trek to visit the people of faith in Scioto County we never imagined that it would be so much fun and that we would be so welcomed everywhere we go.
We do have some trouble pinpointing the correct start times at each church as I’m not always good with the fine details. We arrived at Rehoboth somewhere in the middle of Sunday School which allowed us to catch the full church service which pleased us. The fact that I carry a side pack loaded with cell phone cameras, a crazy looking cell phone zoom lens and who knows what might be a little scary to congregates. Especially since most seeing us come in have no clue as to who we are and why we are here. But aside all of this we (Beverly and I, Stephanie and Chris Neff) don’t want to overshadow our purpose of wanting to join the people of faith on their own terms and in their own churches, which importantly to us today, this is our church as well!
Oh, and there are always things to learn, beautiful messages, songs and music. But we learn even more, standing in the church walkways and in the driveways talking with the regular church attendees.
For instance, Gene Johnson (husband of Facebook friend Mary Jane Johnson, a Clay High School graduate) told me the story of Merle Haggard and his CD, Land of Many Churches. I hadn’t known this that Haggard had dropped into churches unannounced across the country recording songs with the people of those churches. I have been looking to secure that CD.
So here we were at Reheboth. There is always something unique about each church we visit. Here it was the young boys with the adult leader sitting on the bench to the right, guitars in hand. The choir sang, the preacher picked his guitar and sang as did these boys. My Aunt Cheryl told me that one boy wanted to learn the guitar and he got one. The other’s decided they wanted to as well so they are all learning to share the gospel with pick and strings. So really neat!
As we first arrived Ray Mctheny, Sunday School teacher quoted Matthew 23, then began to sing the song “Jesus paid it all”. Shortly the congregation knew to join in without being told. He read verse 37, “this is Jesus, King of the Jews”. He quoted from the gospel Luke concerning the crucification of Jesus, “the earth turned dark”. Then he sang the song, “A crown for me”.
Gary Johnson came forward and introduced the children coming forward to collect for their penny march as they had just been released from their classes. Then was the call for general offerings. After this,. The old hymn, “Old Account Was Settled” was sung as all rose to walk about greeting and shaking hands.
Dave Lute has been Pastor of Rehoboth Mission for over 10 years. Today he began on his guitar leading the hymn “Glorious Day”! Though he opened with, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. As the Pastor strums, he and the congregation sing, “there is coming a day”. “when he takes me by the hands and leads me through the promise Land, what a glorious day that will be”!
The he went to the hymn,. “Some Morning”! “You’ll find me in the streets so pretty. Some morning you will find me touring that city. Where the son of God resides. With Jesus, the one who gave me the victory”!
Next was the hymn “Redeemed”. “Jesus has changed my whole life. If anyone asks you just who I am, tell them that I am redeemed. I’m walking with my Jesus, I am a child of the King and it is all because I am redeemed. I’ll tell of his favor and love, I’ll tell of his goodness to me. Because I am redeemed”! The song service concluded with the hymn, “The Dearest Friend I Ever Had”.
Pastor Dave opened his message speaking from the Gospel Hosea and the first chapter in Solomon. He spoke of the relationship between a man and his wife, and spoke of the love God has had for us from the beginning of time. God did it all and placed a man in the garden, coming down to walk with Adam. It broke God’s heart when Adam and Eve were deceived. God made a way for us that we could come into a relationship with him. This tells us how much he loved us. He made us brand new, the church of God should be thankful today. The Lord doesn’t see our blemishes. God loves us and wants us to be what he sees us as, perfect! All the while the devil comes at us from every direction.
The Pastor discussed the love of a mother and compared that to Christ’s love for us. He said, “my love cannot compare to the love of the one who carried our child in the womb”. He spoke of his long relationship with his wife and spoke also of Song of Solomon, first chapter. He said, “no matter how hard the work is there is someone at home who loves you”.
He went on to say that there is no greater love or relationship than that of a God and his people. “You saved me when I was unsavable, you loved me when I was unlovable. The church says that we need to present the love of Christ, this this will drown every weakness and shortcoming. Realize how much God loves you. His love is one that will last for an eternity in which God will take your past and sins, drowning it in his love.”
“If you submit to me,. I will make you brand new. God is as faithful now as he when I first became a Christian. Jesus laid down his life for you. He came back to us in a divine plan that we could be saved into this relationship with the Lord.” There were closing comments and an alter call with final words being, “Thanks for coming. We love ya. God bless ya”!
See ya in church!
Reach Randy Rucker at [email protected]