Always known as ‘New Church’

Randy Rucker

The ninth President of the United States was the last President born in this country as a British subject. He was a military officer famous for victories against the Ohio Shawnee Indians and the famous Chief Tecumseh as well. Reserving some of this story for another day he became friends with father and son Bennett during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He came on several occasions to visit his soldier friend’s families in Minford Ohio. Today a Township and the Harrison Freewill Baptist Church include his name. Recently Beverly and I visited a service and were blessed to worship with the wonderful folks who attend this church.

For all of my life I have known this church as New Church. My Aunt Ruth Arthur always called it that. I recently learned, so does everyone else. So my first question was why!

The answer was a surprise as it has been called that for over a hundred years plus when two local church congregations came together to make one church at this location. It had nothing to do with the fact a modern new church would be built on the site years later. Anyway I found we have not been alone in knowing it as New Church. Question answered! Anyway, it was another great day to be in a wonderful Scioto County Church surrounded by believers of Christ.

The service opened with the singing of “My country tis of thee”. This was like the fourth church we have attended that began with the Pledge of Allegiance, Christian Flag Pledge and Pledge to the Bible. The only difference here was that this tradition is reserved for Patriotic holidays.

Mike Mounts, church Pastor opened the service with a reading from second chronicles 7:14, using the King James Version. My translation is using the Patriots Bible. “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land”!

Following the offering service was the singing of America! Then there was an extensive prayer list with memoriums for several. There was also mention that church youth camp would begin at Camp Tarhee (many already being there) in the next week. Teen camp would follow.

The Pastor then expressed that God desires that we bring our petitions and requests to him and there was prayer delivered by a congregation member for those in need. Following was a walk about greeting.

The Pastor then requested members open their bibles to First Peter. Sermon title for this day was, “Living For Christ In A Cynical World”!

Pastor Mount’s introductory notes point out that First Peter is pre eminately an epistle of triumphant faith through suffering. It exultantly proclaims the Christ Centered hope of the believer in the midst of an unbelieving and antagonistic world…. Down through the ages, the persecuted church has always treasured it as a priceless possession.

The Pastor expressed that Jesus and the New Testament writers all remind us that as believers we are in a spiritual battle, yet a real battle. Although it is of cosmic proportion, it is also a battle of close encounters. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6–12).

Believers in the Bible Belt of Scioto County Ohio are not exempt from such spiritual warfare. Right now, before we are ever faced with an ultimatum, we must determine in our hearts, just as Peter admonished us, to “stand firm in the true Grace of God (5:12). Before Daniel was ever deported to Babylon, he had already purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with their Pagan practices, even if it cost him his life.

As believers, we must now be prepared as to how we will respond and react to escalated threats in our lives. Our faith, priorities, and where our treasures truly lie, are right now being put to the test.

Points made in the Pastor’s sermon were, “We must remember who we are….but in the eyes of God as that’s what really matters). He said, “we should remember what we have. Our inheritance in Christ cannot be touched, tarnished or taken away by this corrupt and sinful world”.

He said, “We should remember why we are here”. We are always to be ready to give an intelligent, verbal defense of the hope that is in us. We should not only know what we believe, but why we believe it.

“Lastly we should remember how we must live.” Continuing to speak from First Peter, he said, “The more plentiful and visible our good works become, the more influence we have”. Personal holiness, not political dominion, is what causes men to glorify our Father who is in Heaven!

The Pastor pointed out, “you are God’s holy people, live a holy life. We are the salt of the world. We are the only light in a dark world”!

Alter call was given to the hymn, “just as I am”! And thus concluded our wonderful visit to the Minford Ohio Harrison Free Will Baptist Church or should I say, New Church?

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

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