Valley Chapel is a beautiful little country Church of the “Church of Christ in Christian Union denomination”. It is located on Riddlebarger Rd. between Sciotoville and Minford Ohio.
Behind the pulpit is a beautiful large portrait of Jesus that we see in many churches but perhaps not so beautifully displayed as this one. Some of America’s most famous portraits of Jesus (including this one) were done by artist Warner Sallman (1892 – 1968). If one has grown up in church (Protestant or Catholic), they have seen these pictures. Perhaps they are in your home! His two best known paintings are: “The Head of Christ” and “Christ at Hearts Door”. Beverly and I just like the picture. Beverly has long said this this picture is her favorite church picture and at one time we had one in our house. Our son we lost to cancer bought it (Head Of Christ) for us but unfortunately we lost it in a home fire. Another Sallman painting, “Christ at the door” is based on Revelation 3:20: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Over half a billion copies of the (Head of Christ) portrait displayed at this church had been reproduced worldwide by the end of the twentieth century. I might add that this painting by Warner Sallman has been said to have become the most recognized visual picture of Christ for hundreds of millions of people.
With a little chill in the air but the promise of Spring we were sitting in the Valley Chapel Church where my first cousin Gary Arthur opened the service. Opening songs included “Jesus Loves Even Me” and “Marching to Zion”. During Zion the congregation walked around greeting each other while shaking hands. There was prayer with each congregate kneeling in place. Gary received a request for him to sing “It took a miracle”. This was in memory of Patty Reed and was requested by Becky Reed. Also attending on this day was Rita Arthur. Their mother had passed away recently and it was a beautifully sung solo.
Next was a bible count with each person present having a bible. Today’s Sunday School’s message was also the Pastoral message and was titled Manifesting God’s Love. It opened with the bible verse John 14–15, “If you love me, keep my commandments”. The church minister is Bernie Twinam and we are pictured with him though today’s lesson was taught by Curlene Pinson. The basis of the lesson was that we should listen to Christ so we can tell others, that we may bear fruit. Curlene quoted Matthew 28, verse 19: “Go therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost”.
Points made included that whatever connections a person makes in their lives, a relationship with Christ is most important. (John 15:1) Finally in the Golden text illuminated, today’s lesson directed that “This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you”. (John 15:12)
Just as disciples were chosen and given a mission, so have we been chosen with the expectation of service and spiritual production. We were chosen for far more than to just escape from hell; we were chosen to serve and bear fruit. As believers, let us share the good news of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world! Each one reach one! It was a beautiful day at Valley Chapel. See ya in church!
Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.