Familiar faces in unfamiliar places

Randy Rucker

On a Sunday morning Beverly and I attended the Minford Nazarine Church with a 10:30 a.m. start time. We first headed over to Mt. Carmel Church but for some reason they didn’t have a service that day.

As we walked into the country Nazarine church thirty some adults were still in their Sunday School Class. We joined in quietly as the sign on the entrance door suggested. Looking at a church program we sadly noted that had we arrived at 9:00 a.m. there would have been coffee and donuts. Beginning to learn there is a penalty for not arriving at church timely.

With the entrance of teenagers and youth from their classes and walk ins the beautiful sanctuary showed a relatively large attendance.

One thing very cool about attending unfamiliar churches is that in each case so far we have seen a few familiar faces in each one. Even more interesting here was learning that the guy who brings you gravel “Calvin Seibert” is a great singer and we enjoyed his solo song, “I Love Jesus”!

The youth leader went forward and talked about the teen fund raiser, Pucker Up Youth. The object is to get a large pickle jar filled with coins and upon conclusion they would have to drink pickle juice to the height of the removed coinage.

A choir draped in robes entered the stage while at the same time a praise band came forward complete with a keyboard, steel guitar and banjo prayer.

As they all got in their places the pastor Mark Bales led a prayer offering and then there was a very long version of the song “I feel like traveling on”! The Pastor then introduced visitors which included the Ruckers! A couple new babies were introduced as well.

Then the choir sang, “Power of the Blood” with the pastor serving as the choir director. Beverly and I loved the old hymns!

I don’t make this stuff up, things just happen to make the reading more interesting. As the choir began singing “Hallelujah, We’re the Cross”, two microphones had batteries go out within minutes of each other. Such is life! But batteries can be replaced.

In that Beverly owns a daycare a highlight of the service was the little boy about 4 (verified by a pro- Beverly) bounding up and down across the front below the stage — heart touching and gave us a chuckle.

The pastor spoke of a Jamaican mission field where he was with his dad as a boy. The locals would come out of the Mountains carrying lanterns getting there early for the morning mission worship service. He said he didn’t know where they got all those tambourines they would be shaking as they came along. He said that when they would begin singing they might sing the same song for an hour. On the lighter side, then I knew where his dad got a knack for leading a long song. Don’t get me wrong, the congregation loved it to the end!

Then the choir went about singing another song, “He Knows My Name”! A lead singer stepped out in parts of this one, very beautifully done!

Enthusiasm increased at this point and brought some in the congregation to excited testimony. And next was the song “Amazing Grace” which was sung in a nontraditional manner. What I saw then was something I may have seen for the first time, someone going to the alter Midway through the service. So then the pastor proclaims, “ain’t God good”! And the crowd answered all the time!

The choir referenced that they had another song, so the pastor said they have another song request, is anyone in here in a hurry? Pastor: “He Saved Me” and I’m glad for it. When I look about the Cross and see all I see I stand amazed. This little song being sung by the pastor. The last line went, “I stand amazed, Lord you saved me”!

So the choir was going to sing another song, turns out it was the last one. But as I look at it, if you are going to have a very talented choir they might as well be singing, right?

The pastor said it reminded him of another such time that when a service ran long a guy said, “next time I’m going to bring my lunch”! Anyway the next song was “ Lord I need you”!

The pastor asked a question, “do I get nervous when I don’t know what I’m going to do”? “No, I just let him tell me what to do”!

Well actually the choir offered another song at this point and it was One Day, or was it Glorious Day? Anyway it went, he loved me, saved me and sent my sins far away on a glorious day.

A thought came to my mind at this time before I go on. As I looked around I had the thought, I may have never thought I would go to various churches and take notes. Beverly is a great church note taker, but I have not been before now. Never say never!

Pastor Bales started preaching at 11:51 referring to the unusual length of the service. “Some of you might go away and say the pastor didn’t have time to preach due to the long song service”! “But that’s not going to happen, hang on – I have a few words to say!”. And so his short but very sweet sermon was built around Luke 9:59. In summary he said to not look back! Because as he pointed out in a final song, “I’m a child of the King!”.

The Theological and doctrinal foundation of the Church of the Nazarene lies in the preaching of the doctrines of holiness and sanctification as taught by John Wesley in the eighteenth century revival in England. So my reading pointed to the Nazarene Church having some background to the Methodist Church adhering to the original Wesleyan Ideology. And that my friends is all I have to say about that.

Beverly and I had another lovely experience attending the Minford Nazarene Church. As you might imagine, putting together the material we gather can be a lot of work. It’s not a monetary payment but a joy to the soul Beverly and I are experiencing in our visits to Scioto County Ohio Churches.

Beverly and I invite you to follow our steps and drop in to see the Minford Nazarene Church.

If you go to medium.com and search Randy Rucker you can get a pictorial review of our visit. As believers let us share the good news of Jesus Christ as 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]