Grace Community Church @ Bigelow is another Scioto County Church on the historic roster. Over the years I have known many of the Pastors who have served here. It was originally formed during the circuit preacher days by a man with the name, you guessed it, Bigelow! It is said that the church at one time Methodist, served as a hideaway location in the underground railroad. One of my old photo copies shows the effect of local flooding in 1937. As we came in on the day of our visit (10:45 a.m. church start time though the doors opened at 8:45 a.m) we were informed by several that with schools just ending a number of parisheners were vacationing today. Also both Pastors were in conference or such and absent today. I could sense a great disappointment in our having missed hearing them but I quickly understood that they are very well respected for the messages they deliver. However, with not a lot of planning in where we are going from week to week we have come to the conclusion that our hands might be guided and regardless of everything we are where we need to be on any given Sunday. Today’s church program said it best!
As we found that the message was being delivered by a deacon who represented a body of Deacons, Pastors, etc . Today at the Grace Community Church of Bigelow we were hearing a well developed plan reaching into the next three year direction of the church. It is a plan to sharpen the focus of this church and they call the plan, Grace 2020.
Looking at the number really is hard to fathom because it doesn’t seem that long ago to a guy like myself that we were crossing that great divide surely full of calamities that we called the year 2000.
But here we were in a historic church that has crossed that divide several times. Beverly said it must have been a big deal when the Church came to a decision of changing the church name. Bigelow was creatively maintained as I understood it to be a requirement of its designation as a historical church.
It is hard to imagine the resolve of a people worshiping in an early Portsmouth Ohio coming together with monetary resources and the skill to construct these churches that today take your breath away as you look at them!
But every time it is the people within these structures, the family of Christ who greet us with jubilation and make each of us so happy in our decision to visit Scioto County Ohio Churches.
We started out as a delegation of two, Beverly and I. But then along came our good friends, now dear friends Chris and Stephanie Neff. Despite their maintaining attendance at two other churches they wanted to take part in much of our journey. So now with something like 23 visits wrapped up Beverly and I may wonder if we ever will want to lock into one church again. So far we have known someone everywhere we go. But then we learn that a smile is a smile, whether we are seeing an old friend or making a new friend.
Rick Warner (a church elder) delivered the worship segment entitled, “worship through the word”. This was a complete summary of the Grace Community Church of Bigelow 2020 plan for the church mentioned earlier. It began…. To glorify the God of scriptures in promoting worship, evangelizing sinners and edifying saints. ‘To this end we are committed to proclaiming God’s perfect law and his glorious Gospel of grace in Jesus Christ throughout the world and to defending the faith once delivered unto the saints”.
He discussed that worldviews are in conflict. Such is the same in Christianity. In science and philosophy God has been placed off limits. The definition of reality is in the balance. He discussed reality versus fantasy and no God equals no higher authority. The question becomes whose rules rule. Larry King said, “if Jesus rose from the dead this changes everything”.
Rick went on to say, “the consequences of unbelief is God’s wrath and being given over to lusts of the heart”. “Then there are increased levels of cultural conflict”. He discussed the church plan and vision in more depth. He said, “we realize the vision by repenting and staying steadfast in prayer. We do the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way”. Lastly he proclaimed, Christ alone is the cornerstone, the weak are made strong in the Savior’s love and through the storm he is Lord, Lord of all”! Perhaps I liked best Rick’s quote: “The only worldview that supports the highest aspiration of the human heart is Christianity”. (Nancy Pearcey)
During this days program Rick Carrington opened with prayer and congregational songs, “Tis so sweet and O to see the dawn”. Offertory was conducted and closing prayer was delivered by Sam Hawley. Another lovely day to be in Church.
As believers let us share the good news of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world. For a complete pictorial of this church go to my blog site at medium.com/Randy Rucker. As always, see ya in church!
Reach Randy Rucker at [email protected]