Eleventh Journey- Vienna Assembly of God


100_3755Our eleventh visit took us to a small church in Vienna, West Virginia called Vienna Assembly of God. I was invited there by an evangelist who recently started attending this lovely little church. I am always going to say it, when we pull up in front of a small church my heart beats a little faster. There is something to be said about almost every small church (whether small in the building or the congregation) and that something is most usually positive. There always seems to be so much love and heart in these small places, it was no different in this one either.

We were greeted by several walking in and I think everyone within the building came up and spoke to us and even in the services themselves the pastor welcomed us and even thanked us for coming at the end. Maybe it is just my human nature but I just love the welcome we have felt in all of these small but big hearted places. It was very family friendly and not only that the spiritual feel was remarkable.

So we started into the worship services and the music was lovely. It was not overdone it wasn’t like walking into a concert but it was natural and very lovely. The most instruments used were a keyboard and piano and that suited me just fine. The singers who were leading the praise and worship were a lovely woman and young girl and they both had beautiful voices and listening to the coming together of voices without instruments still to this day strikes me. I liked it and it touched me.

When the music stopped the pastor began to preach about Jesus and the peace He brings. He spoke from the Bible and quoted a lot of scripture so to say it was Word inspired is right on. He spoke on how faith brings peace and how the peace we receive from Jesus can bring you to a place of harmony with others. It was also a sermon on defeating the devil and his army and how the peace of God allows us to deal with attacks set upon us by Satan. He was an impassioned preacher as I have said before it seems most in these small big hearted churches usually are. It is a humble feeling you get, where egos and pride have not taken over as there are in many huge churches out there, not all but many.

When the services ended we got to speak with our new found friends and the pastor himself actually walked me out and spoke with me, extending an invitation to come back and if anything was ever needed to not hesistate to call. That was a first for me and can’t say that particular invitation has ever been handed my way so it made a lasting impression.

I will tell you we have met so many nice people and so many places I would really love to visit again. It just makes the fact that we are blessed come to light in so many ways. Every time I visit a new place I come away having learned some more and having met more wonderful people. It has really been an amazing journey thus far. I look forward to many more.

If you would like to know more about Vienna Assembly of God please see their contact information below.

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https://www.facebook.com/ViennaAssemblyofGodChurch

http://ag.org/top/

Tenth Journey- The Rock


100_3757Our tenth journey took me back to another church I used to attend frequently, The Rock. The Rock is affiliated with four different churches in Ohio and West Virginia. We attended the one in West Virginia.

I have to say this is a fairly big church. It was the same when I used to go as well, though it is now located in a different place. The people were nice that we met and were greeted by people at the door. Upon entering we were given a packet with all sorts of information about the staff and the church itself. I also got to sign up for email alerts about the goings on at the church so that was also nice.

I didn’t recognize many people from where I went before but it had been many years since I was there so there were a lot of new faces. The atmosphere was nice, the music was good, people were lively, and enthusiastic about worshipping God.

There was time for praise and worship and also time to reflect. There was a lot of younger people there which it is always nice to see so many young people so enthralled in church activities and being present there to worship God.

This service is not one that stays to a time limit which I do like but we were also not able to stay for the entire service because of this reason as I had to be somewhere else at a certain time and couldn’t get away from that. We did end up leaving probably halfway through the services.

I am not really sure how to give this a good rating or experience based on the fact that we were unable to sit through the entire service but may go back at a later date to be able to witness a full on service. I didn’t want to not add it to the journey list though because we did go, but hopefully at a later time we can visit again and take some time to really enjoy what The Rock has to offer.

They do have a lot going on there from my reading. There are several groups and ways to connect. The groups are for kids, women, men and seniors and others within the congregation. Not only that they do offer ministry to World missions, hospital visitation, prison outreach, and nursing home outreach. They also offer an academy for kids. There is a lot going on there for sure.

They also have live videos via Youtube and also archived videos if you want to check them out on-line or before you attend.

If you are interested in finding out more about The Rock please see the contact information below.

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http://www.liveattherock.com/pkb/

https://www.facebook.com/TheROCKParkersburg

Ninth Journey- Sunrise Church of Christ


100_3767This weekend I decided to go back home, to my home church that is, Sunrise Church of Christ. I had been missing seeing the people I regularly worshipped with. I also missed taking communion and you all know how I feel about that.

There may be some churches I revisit on my journey from time to time. I may not mention going back “home” a lot but this is one of the times I need to. Sometimes it just feels good to be back where you feel like you belong. Some things stick with ya. You may not always agree. There may be times that things don’t go the way each other thinks they should, but when things get rough there really is no place like home.

As always when we arrived we were greeted by a slew of people. Even before you walk in the door my home church is good about greeting you appropriately. You are handed a bulletin as you walk in and that makes it nice. Often we have found in this Journey of 100 Churches we have to ask for some type of memorabilia to say we were there for a visit. So, for me I am used to receiving a message in writing and I guess I am spoiled because I kind of have grown to expect it now when I go to visit. It is the little things you often take for granted, but it is also the little things that will bring you back.

Seeing that everyone truly missed our presence was another thing that makes you feel like you just belong. Of course you won’t get that mostly at a place you visit but the welcoming attitudes display a loving heart and atmosphere and again it is something you miss when you are gone.

The familiarity of how the service runs was also something that settled into my heart. Yes, the excitement of not knowing what is to come can be refreshing but knowing the reliability of how a church is run is also something to get excited about. I missed it and so didn’t my son who was with me that morning.

The singing though not done with the help of instruments or technology was melodious and soothing. The voices came together in music that soothed the soul and screamed we are one and here for You, God. The closest techno you will find there is the song lyrics displayed on a screen up where everyone can see it and the powerpoint also that goes along with the sermon and scripture. The simple things can mean so much.

The sermon was filled with scripture. The message was clear, I love my church. Many say it, but what proves that announcement. Scripture flowed from the pulpit and settled into the midst of the sermon and made sense and spoke to your heart. Why do we love the church, our church? What is the proof in that? It made you think and it stayed. Many say they love the church but was is behind the heart of the statement. It was a very thought provoking sermon for me considering I had been away for awhile.

During the service we took communion and my heart had to leap during. For over a month I had been craving the rememberance of Jesus and all that He did. It is what we have to say yes, we accept your sacrifice, we honor you in all that you have done. We value your life and death and resurrection. Church without communion just doesn’t seem right to me in many ways.

The service ended after the invitation and we caught up with the other members and nobody was in a hurry to leave it seemed. There was a genuine caring and thoughtfulness to how others were doing. As I said it was home and it was good to be back there. I will be coming back more during this journey because though we have met some wonderful people along the way and were able to be a part of some wonderful congregations, and services when it all comes down to it, there really is no place like home.

Sunrise offers a variety of services. We meet on Sunday mornings at 9:30 AM for Bible class. Sunday morning worship services start at 10:30 AM. Sunday evening worship is at 6:00 PM. Wednesday Bible class is at 7:00 PM. There are classes for all age youngsters both Sunday morning and Wednesday. We have some great teachers too. There is a song service at the beginning of every month and different activities going on each month as well.

If you would like more information please see the website and Facebook page and contact information.

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sunrise-Church-of-Christ
http://www.sunrise-church-of-christ.org

John 8:32


truth1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…

Today I took a day away from the Journey of 100 Churches. See, today I am seeking truth.

John 8:31-32- To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

I have been to eight churches so far. I can’t say we anymore because my own personal journey is what I am writing about here and I don’t want to influence anyone in my group and what they are taking away from this. I also don’t want to put words in their mouth. So, this is just me talking and only me.

A lot of things have been on my mind this week. I changed up my blog a bit to highlight the churches we have attended and have planned to. Twice now God has stopped me from going and just be with Him. Once, He got my attention in a big way.

I wonder have I been completely honest with myself and you in regards to why I wanted to do this. What was I really looking for by stepping away my home church and looking into other churches? In reality I did want to see how we were welcomed because it is a thing I consistently hear about, people not being welcomed or accepted. Another thing was trying to see how others worshipped God and if there was many different ways. I wanted to see if congregations were being fed the Word or a portion of it. I had my own personal reasons and others going along had their reasons. There was and is something to be taken away.

I said I would only write about churches who spoke God’s Word and if I didn’t have anything nice to say then I would say nothing. My heart is a little torn right now though. I was still having questions and each church I went to I could sit here and say I would like to know this or that. The things I set out to know became more questions for me.

One question is why doesn’t anyone take communion every week like the apostles did?

Acts 20:7- And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

This very thing has bothered me for weeks. I even wrote to my minister and told him I missed our church because of that reason. Jesus said-

Luke 22:19-20-And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Yes, it doesn’t say how often we are to do this but if it is good enough for the apostles, then should we not follow?

During my own Bible study program I found that the key to success is through the Word of God. To know the Word and to do the Word is that key.

James 1:22- But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Not only that but we are supposed to study the Word.

Joshua 1:8- Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

The churches we have been to have read from the Word of God, and I was pleased to see this.

Another thing that has been on my mind a lot these past few months, it is in regards to asking Jesus to come into your heart and be Saved and waiting to be baptized or not even pushing the issue of baptism. I have been greatly concerned about this thing.

What makes all of this even more strange is that this past week I removed some of my articles. I removed the music sections as well. I formed an archives for the articles I wanted listed and did so based on the traffic to those articles. Yet, am I here to please everyone else or am I here to please God? That is how it started, by me wanting to reach people for God. I wasn’t here for entertainment purposes. Why would I do that this particular week? Why also would it be my home church who would be the one to send me a book that was on the very thing I was so intent on finding the truth about? The truth about man-made rules and traditions and those following after their own heart’s desires.

2 Corinthians 11:12-15-And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

I used to believe that was only for those that were under demonic oppression. That could very well still be true but it isn’t necessarily just referring to those people but people within the church who believe that they are doing the right thing. Those people, some who are good people, but who choose to not follow the outline of the Bible. There are those who believe what they are being told without finding the truth out for themselves.

2 Timothy 3:1-5-But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

2 Thessalonians 3:6-In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

1 Timothy 4:1-2-The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

I am searching for the truth. That is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

John 8:32- Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 16:13 -When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

John 14:6 -Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 17:17 -Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Psalm 145:18 -The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

1 Timothy 3:15- If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.

John 18:37-38 -Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.

This very thing takes me back to last year in 2013 when I was hit with knowing the truth on a whole different level. This was when I was trying to find out the truth about marriage and divorce and I found it out but it wasn’t with the help of many preachers. My own minister gave me insight but also was insistent on me finding the truth for myself.

I already went over that though before but the number of preachers and congregations that were feeding into the lies that they were being told was immeasurable and the amount of people who became angry with me was just as equal. The truth is the truth, yet some want to deceive themselves by being blindly fed heaps of lies that they become addicted to.

Philippians 3:17-19-Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

So, back to the baptism question. I always believed that baptism was all a part of the Salvation of Christ and being in the church I grew up in it was never an issue for me until as of late. I only saw one church perform a baptism and that was after people were “saved”. My confusion is this, why do so many people wait to be baptized? I have been told because there is no baptistery in the church. Or it takes a lot of water to continue refilling the baptistery. I have heard many excuses over the years though. I also know churches and different congregations who do not believe this is a necessary part of the Salvation process. This not necessarily coming from the churches we have been to but just things I have heard when asking the question.

How can we accept Christ and not be made aware that the baptism is a necessary and detrimental part in accepting Christ as our Savior? That is my question. That is again my source of confusion when you read over and over in the Bible how we are instructed to do so.

Acts 2:38-And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 22:16-And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.

1 Peter 3:21-Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…

Mark 16:16 -Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Romans 6:4 -We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

John 3:5 -Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Matthew 28:19-Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…

Colossians 2:12-13 -Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses…

Baptism and Salvation go hand in hand and to be baptized is a necessary condition of Salvation. So why are some churches not preaching this very thing? Why are Words of the Bible twisted or not used at all?

Revelation 22:18-20- I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

So, here I sit and many things are going through my mind. The confusion I feel is based upon my own thoughts and not those of God. Is it really confusion though or an awareness of how far we have fallen away from God? It is no more those of the world that I am concerned with but those within the church. All I can think of is a moment in time where I prayed to God to please not allow me to fall into false doctrines, to protect me from the things of the devil within the church. As time goes on the reality of the Bible and the prophecies spoken within are coming true. As time goes on my prayer as well is this very thing.

Revelation 22:20-He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

What once started out as a quest to learn more about churches and the people within. What started out as a way to learn about this or that has now become a quest for the truth. Not truth in part, or a representation of it, but the truth-God’s TRUTH. Not a quest for man made traditions, rules, policies and procedures but the truth found in God’s Word and to find that for myself and to show it to other’s, not my version of it or a church’s version of it but what God says within His Word.

The further I go in life and the more I continue to grow in my spirituality I am more aware of truth because without it we are basing our lives around lies. We are basing our eternity on the same lies. How shocked we would be on judgment day. God help us! God help me to not step away from the one thing I believe you are calling me to do. Direct our steps, guard our minds, guard our hearts in Jesus’ name.

I suggest that all of you do the same. Are you holding onto what you were taught based upon the feelings and thoughts of people or are you holding onto what you know, believe, and have meditated on yourself?

Knowing the Bible to me is now the most important thing a Christian can ever do and it’s the greatest weapon against the enemy. It is not just the knowing though, it is also the studying and the doing. Be concerned with your soul to the point that you discover the information on your own. Be willing to give yourself that gift, because you are worth it. Don’t allow traditions made by men influence you. Let the Word of God do that for you!

God bless you, keep you, and protect you, and may you always search for the truth.

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Eighth Journey~ Christian Baptist Church


christian baptistOur eighth journey took us to Christian Baptist Church. We started out a nice little country road. Not only was the drive quite beautiful but the church was settled in our area one may not expect it to be. I was invited to this church last month by a friend I went to school with. I have not seen her in years. It was a lovely little church with a really big feel. It was an older church with a lot of history and you could tell that pulling up to the little lot on the side of the church.

I have to stop there and say this was not the church that we intended to go to this week. All week I had “plans” to go to another church in town but a few days before I got a little inkling about Christian Baptist Church. The thought pressed on so I listened and the night before I decided this was where God wanted us to be. This like every other time was one that I was thankful for, and also for an obedient and open heart.

We walked into the church and were greeted clear up the aisle on each side from everyone there. This may have been an easy task because in total there were eight people there today. What they lacked in numbers they made up for in heart and a spirit to serve the Lord.

I have said before how much I love attending small churches and I doubt very seriously that will ever leave me. There is something so spectacular in the way God leads these small congregations and their love for God is outstanding. It was no different here and we felt honored and blessed to be apart.

The one sweet and vibrant lady that led the teaching today was not a pastor by calling but she was filling in for the pastor there because he has been ill. Not only that but we were made aware of the fact that this man drives three hours to come to church and preach. That is a dedicated soul! This church was built in the 70’s and was lead by what must have been an amazing woman of God.

I found it interesting that a few of the past churches we have attended have been somewhat smaller and have either been founded or overseen by a female pastor. What is also something special for me is that I could almost feel my grandparents surrounding me today. Maybe it was because of it being Father’s Day and how much my grandpa was that for me (a father) in so many ways when my own dad couldn’t be.

The wonderful lady told us a great deal about the history and how the church came to be and there was a beautiful painting and a lot of old time church memorabilia. It had a wonderful feel to it and really made you go back years ago when church was not so modernized. I loved it and it was awe inspiring to step back in time like that.

The pastor being out today didn’t take away from the service from what I saw and sensed. They had a wonderful praise and worship service and the singing was something you would hear on a cd, record, or cassette. Do those last two still exist today? I don’t even know but this music was angelic and the sisters singing and even the piano player and even the other members there sung their hearts out and it was beautiful. YES! This is what it is about. Don’t you think for one moment that God isn’t present when there are few people there because the heart wow, I really just don’t have words.

The sweet lady who spoke was speaking on Abraham and Sarah and then moved onto the sacrifice that Abraham was willing to make of his son, Isaac because he trusted in God. It was a memorable reading. She read from the Bible and the message was clear in trusting God even when you don’t know how you will even get through.

People read poems, we prayed together even citing the Lord’s prayer. This is the third place we have don’t his. I wrote earlier this week with this Bible verse. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” This is taken from Joshua 24:15. This is also the third time this week I have heard this verse. I think it is just God’s way of saying- you are right where I want you to be.

Now I have to tell you something else very powerful that happened. As this woman was speaking on her mother starting this church so many years ago, I had a vision. It has happened in church before but it has been a while since it has. I didn’t mention it but as soon as we got in the car and were heading down that lovely windy country road my friend said I saw something in church today. I asked them what and they said when she was talking about her mom being a pastor, I saw you standing up there. I am like wait a minute, what? I had the same vision. We talk a lot and they have never mentioned that ever happening and I can tell you without a doubt I have never saw myself as a pastor or preacher until today. I have had other’s say they have seen me talking to crowds, spiritually but we were both seeing the same thing at the same time and there is something very powerful in that.

All I can say is, I don’t know how or when but God has a plan. I think for now He is breaking me of man-made rules and traditions of the church and I need those things broken. I need rewired so to speak. A lot of things I have been taught has been off not from God but from man. I plan to write about it this week.

God has a purpose for each of us. They said today in church that no matter what, even if it is only 4 people and has been, they are going to give to God what He deserves. I would like to ask you to pray for this church and for the members and ask God to bless their socks off. I will be keeping this congregation in my prayers.

It has been a blessed Father’s Day! I hope you fathers out there and those who step in to be and even you mothers who work at being a mom and dad to their little ones have a wonderful and blessed day. I pray your day is filled with lots of love and that you are surrounded by all those whom you have loved and continue to love. God bless you!

P.S. Plus my crew member that day who also is a dad was given a gift certificate also. What a sweet thing to do!

I have no contact info for this church but the pastors are: Ron Little and James Wilson.

 

Ponies in a field right near the church.

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Seventh Journey- Tri-County Worship Center


old_barn_and_a_church_tower-1366x768Our seventh journey took us to Tri-County Worship Center. I was invited by a friend there so we traveled to Rockport, West Virginia to attend a morning worship service. Rockport is one of my old stomping grounds, so it was nice to be back to the country and take in the beauty that surrounds the area.

We arrived a little early and was greeted by many. A handshake and a smile can go a long way and there was plenty to go around at this church. My friend came in after us and we went to be seated. This is a nice church with a great feel. Not only that but there was a lot of members involved and that always makes for a homey and warm feel. It is always nice when members want to participate and take building up the church to heart.
The service was great, music was great and the sermon was also wonderful. They had a graduation ceremony so to speak. They honored those who were and who had graduated this year and there were several who were honored. They also did a slide show/video with pictures of those who were now to set out on their paths. It was a really nice and touching celebration of the church’s young adults.

There were fun and funny parts to the worship service. We were greeted by the pastor which was really nice and I think that has happened at every church we have been to so far.

The sermon was about prospering and how to do so. The pastor was very impassioned. He spoke with heart. He was a pastor on fire and it showed in the way he spoke. He spoke from the Word of God. There was lots of Bible verses and passages. He even spoke on those who are prosperity preachers and as I have said before in the past, prosperity preacher’s are one’s I tend to not follow, especially when that is all they preach. The pastor was also in agreement. The message being God wants you to prosper but to do so in spirit first and the rest will follow. So more or less, follow God, put Him first and all the other will be added to you.

Something else that stuck with me was that on the front of their bulletin was this verse: For I know the plans I have for you. Plans for your welfare not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

You all know I use that verse quite a bit because for this year, 2014, that verse has been with me constantly in prayer. I even heard it this past week posted to me from another pastor from the last church we attended-Bethel. This is one God obviously wants me to get in a big way. I am listening and I hear you Lord! I am so thankful for it!

If you are interested in knowing more about Tri-County Worship I will add the contact info is below. This is a great church, with big hearts and the Word of God present. This is one we will revisit in the future. God bless you on this Sunday and the coming days ahead. The picture used is not a picture of the church. I was unable to get one before this post but will post one asap. Thank you!

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Contact:
(304) 474-3643
Pastor Everett Snyder

Sixth Journey- Downtown Bethel


1911139_670331183024779_638575824_oI was invited about a month or so ago to attend our church of the week. We finally made it today. Our sixth journey took us to Downtown Bethel. What a great place!

Before I even start I have to tell you for three weeks I had been planning to attend this church. I had also planned to attend a women’s Bible study through Bethel and never did make it. That was early on in the year, after a friend of mine suggested I go. I haven’t made it to the group yet but I sure do plan to now!

So as I said, three weeks we had the plan to visit. Every time, something happened that wouldn’t allow for me to get there, so I made up my mind I am going this week. I am glad that I did and everyone with me was also.

As soon, as I entered the building I felt that wave. You know the one I am referring to, Holy Spirit power all around. We were greeted as soon as we went in but the pull towards the worship area was strong. We met the Pastor and she is great. I will say it again, she is wonderful and so welcoming. The fact that the pastor is a woman well- that inspires me even more. As soon as I sat down I told my friend that I get it why I was so distracted from this church. I sure did get it. The devil sure doesn’t want you to go where you will be blessed.  I knew I would be lifted, I wasn’t wrong in that thinking either.

I have said before in my writing and even here recently that smaller churches (or big doesn’t matter the size) that have a passionate and spirit led pastor are the best. This church completely reinforced that thought. I was moved during the service. Not only was I but all with me. My son even had a comment about it which he is often quiet about where we go unless asked but he volunteered his own opinion. I even ran into someone I knew, a friend of my sister’s. This always makes it nice as well. This church felt like home and I felt blessed in the worship service. I felt blessed just being apart, we all did.

Downtown Bethel is not only an open and welcoming church but they spoke a lot on God’s love. They got the message across. Their music was great. The members were awesome. The pastor spoke directly to people so you felt that you were apart and I feel that is very important to opening up hearts. It was inviting. The message today went off course from what she planned to speak on a little but it was rewarding and the message of love was clear. She spoke on Memorial Day and in regards to those who lost their lives fighting for the freedoms of others. She spoke back about the sacrifice Jesus made willingly for all of us. She spoke on how much He loves us and wants us. He does! He wants us all. He will be all that you need if you just let Him. Jesus laid down His life for us willingly. It was not taken from Him. He gave it willingly.

Downtown Bethel is there to help those who are just saved to give them direction and guidance. Something I believe I mentioned last week, having a place to go after. A lot of people don’t know what the next steps are except the obvious. A lot of people need that added attention and direction. I know I did and many others I know needed the same. One of my friends speaks on this a lot, having that added support.

Downtown Bethel is also known as the Equipping Center. It is for just that- to give you the things you need (equip) to continue following on the right path. Their mission is-‘to demonstrate the Kingdom of God on the earth so that all may be saved and experience truth!’

The church is also very involved with helping those in need through Father’s House Ministry. They provide: friendship, prayer support, breakfast on Sunday mornings, non-perishable groceries for the needy, clothing for those in need as donations provide, and hygiene items as donations provide. There is also a women’s group as a mentioned before and also a men’s group.  If you would like to check out Downtown Bethel please see the links below.

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http://www.downtownbethel.org/

https://www.facebook.com/downtownbethelwv

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Fifth Journey- Porterfield Baptist Church


PBClogo-colorThis week’s journey actually involved two different churches.  I attended a seminar, called, Sharing Hope in Crisis, through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Rapid Response Team. The seminar was hosted by the Porterfield Baptist Church so we actually got to be involved with two church organizations this week.

We didn’t actually attend a worship service but did get to learn a lot and it was a rewarding experience. I also met several people and the church was beautiful and the members that were present were very friendly and accommodating. I am so glad we got to be apart of it.

The seminar was an 8 hour long event with I think 200 people attending. Sessions covered were: Mission to Respond, Look at Suffering and Trauma, Message to Share, Communication to a Diverse Community, Ministry of Hope, and Messenger to Serve. We were able to watch several videos during the presentation. Our speaker was Jeff Naber and he was very well spoken. There were lots of emotional messages, lots of laughs, and a lot of heartfelt sharing involved.

If you are planning to or thinking of getting into mission’s work or if you have thought about becoming a Chaplain this is a wonderful seminar to prepare for this area. We got to take a look into the lives of those who are out there making a difference and get a look into the lives of those affected by crisis situations including natural and man-made disasters. It was a real eye opening experience.

Since we didn’t actually get to attend a service at Porterfield I did some research on the church.  I did get to speak to an Associate Pastor there and plan to attend an actual service in the future.

Porterfield does offer several things. They offer special events throughout the year. They offer life groups (small groups for friendship, Bible study, discussion, prayer and support).They also offer special classes on occasion. They have a children’s church. There are several outreach services as well: checking on shut-ins, giving to the needy. They also have a choir and praise team. They support the mission’s field as well.

If you would like to get in touch with Porterfield Baptist Church or the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association you can see the links listed below.

Porterfield%20Baptist%20Church

http://www.pbcexchange.com/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/PorterfieldBaptistChurch

http://billygraham.org/

http://billygraham.org/what-we-do/evangelism-outreach/rapid-response-team/about/

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Fourth Journey- Cedar Grove United Methodist Church


100_3521bestWe visited our fourth church this Mother’s Day morning. The church is called, Cedar Grove United Methodist Church. What a great place to worship. Being it Mother’s Day, I received a really nice pink pen with a stylus on the end. I love the color pink so this was a lovely surprise. We were also greeted by a few people coming in which was nice.

The service was lovely and there is a great deal of interaction between all members during the services. Lots of prayer time, lots of everyone being involved which makes for just a warm, open, and home type of feeling. During the service there was a children’s message. Open time for prayer requests and also a testimony time. I find that completely bonding and welcoming. I was rather impressed I have to say.

The message today was in regards to Mother’s Day. The message spoke from the Bible about the bond between Jesus and His mother, Mary. It was a message about when Jesus turned the water into wine, with the prompting of His mother. The pastor spoke on how Mary knew who her son was even before others realized. It was a wonderful sermon. It gave a glimpse into the bond that Jesus had with his mother and how that in turn led Him even closer to God, His Father.

The choir was nice and we enjoyed the music. There was also a greeting between everyone and we had lots of people come up and shake our hands and introduce themselves. Everyone said the Lord’s Prayer together towards the end of the service. It was a very nice place to visit and we all left feeling blessed.

Cedar Grove offers a lot of different things for the community and deals with several outreach programs. They are offering a children’s church, praise team, Bible study on Wednesdays. They are working with different organizations and are involved in supporting our troops. They also have a food pantry and come together for a community lunch I believe it is held monthly. They are also planting a community garden. They also have had in the past different days for community events. They also offer a child protection standards training and are involved in relay for life.

This has been a very nice visit and we will visit again in the future. If you are interested in finding out more about Cedar Grove United Methodist Church please see the links below! God bless and Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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https://www.facebook.com/cedargroveumcwv
https://twitter.com/CedarGroveNews
cedargroveumc.org
cedargroveumc@cascable.net

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Third Journey-New Harvest Community Church


10012953_229655603898570_5379584665128681988_oToday was another blessed day on the Journey of 100 Churches! We were invited by a very good friend of mine to attend New Harvest Community Church. First time being there! We walked into the building and were greeted by several people upon entering. I could tell right away this was going to be a good service. It has great Holy Spirit energy. I have to admit I was a little nervous at first. It is a huge place but actually portioned off for the church itself. We made our way to the worship area. There were a lot of people, all were speaking with each other and as I said it had great energy.

I waited for my friend but didn’t see her till right as the services were starting so it would be after that I would actually get to speak with her. So, we were out of the loop as far as knowing what would happen next. Then it began!

It was like being at the best Christian concert ever! The singing and the worship with the music alone was awesome! Now let me just tell you the previous week I was actually trying to hold back some with the Holy Spirit moving me. I held back as much as I could but this week, I could feel the hands and feet moving into accord. I don’t know if it is this journey, the church, or both. I am thinking the latter- both! I was moved with the worship service just in the music which saying just in is really negating the whole thing.

The Associate Pastor gave the sermon today. The message being about, what a friend we have in Jesus. The Word was preached. The position being, to allow Jesus Christ to be your best friend. The Pastor spoke about his own struggles and how being reminded in faith the love Jesus gives helped move him onward. I related a lot to this sermon. Dealing with my own struggles this totally spoke to my heart. Not to mention no matter what we always have Jesus. Everything can happen to us but we are NOT alone. Jesus is closer than a brother and the message rang out loud and clear. Amazing sermon! It was touching, full of the Word, which means full of truth.

Then we got to go back to that wonderful music worship. We were thrilled with the service, the congregation, and everything about it. For the amount of time you have with this church, you take a whole lot in. We are all so thankful to have been a part of it and witnessing God moving. This is one church I will be revisiting.

The church follows steps to spiritual maturity: reaching up, reaching out, giving back and moving forward. There are videos listed on the site that you can watch also to catch up or check them out.

If you are interested in attending New Harvest Community Church check out their website and Facebook page for times, directions, and updates.

 

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http://www.itsharvesttime.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Harvest-Community-Church/136762606521204

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