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On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

You can tell a lot about a church without ever attending a service. All you have to do is read the sign in front of the church and it will tell you all you need to know. I love taking photographs of church signs, and now that I have an iPhone, I no longer need to take my DSLR with me every time we go out to eat or shop.

The iPhone camera is quite adequate for snapping photographs of church signs, so I plan to publicize, through my blog, the theology and message of some of the Evangelical churches Polly and I drive by on our trips to here and there.

Tonight, we drove to Findlay, Ohio to eat at Texas Roadhouse. After we finished our meal, we drove over to Dietsch Brothers Fine Chocolates and Ice Cream, an establishment I first frequented in 1970. Here’s three of the signs we saw along the way. Enjoy!

The first sign is from Ottawa Missionary Church 2031 E Main St. Ottawa,Ohio. Marshall Metzger is the pastor. The church is affiliated with the Missionary Church denomination.

ottawa missionary church
Ottawa Missionary Church, Ottawa, Ohio

The sign begs the question, how can we know God, not just any God, but the God of the Ottawa Missionary Church, inhabits our future? No one has ever seen or lived the future, much like no one has ever seen God. All we have to go on is words written down in a book by unknown authors thousands of years ago.

The next church, Faith Assembly of Believers, located at 1604 E Main St Ottawa, Ohio has a double-faced sign that catches passerbys coming and going.  The church has no website.  Larry Bibler pastors the church.

faith assembly of believers 3
Faith Assembly of Believers, Ottawa, Ohio

This sign is believable only if you think the earth is 6,000 years old and believe it didn’t rain for the first several thousand or so years. Noah was 600 years old when he entered the ark. Noah’s father Lamech was 182 years old when Noah was born, lived 777 years , and died 5 years before the worldwide flood of Genesis 6-8. Noah and his father account for almost a millennium. And we still have to account for the ages of Methuselah, Enoch, Seth, Cain, and Adam to name a few.  So quit your whining Californians. Your drought? Nothing compared to no rain for over two millennia.

faith assembly of believers
Faith Assembly of Believers, Ottawa, Ohio

While I couldn’t find a church website, God, also known as Google, did tell me a few things about Faith Assembly Believers and its pastor, Larry Bibler.

From a 2009 Putnam Sentinel article:

In George Washington’s farewell address, he declared that two pillars were sustaining the nation, keeping it strong and free; one is religion and one is morality.

Pastor Larry Bibler, of Faith Assembly of Believers, sees this sentiment as absolutely true, yet something the country has gotten away from. That’s why he and his wife Jan, along with other concerned citizens, have formed the Ottawa Patriots and held a Tea Party on the Courthouse lawn July 4.

“People are frustrated about what’s happening in America and this gives them an opportunity to do something about the condition of America,” said the Pastor. “We wanted to come up with something local going out to communities” in and around Putnam County.

Bibler said the whole purpose was to make the people realize that they need to get back the Constitution, back to God and back to prayer…

Bibler says the efforts of the group are based on the principles and values of Glenn Becks 912 project, found at The project promotes the sacredness of family, justice, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, faith, and values like honesty, charity, courage and personal responsibility to name a few.

So, if you are lost, Pastor Bibler and Faith Assembly of Believers have just the road map for you. For those who want to freely travel down the road of life without Jesus GPS (gospel positioning system) plotting your way…beware…the road you are on leads to death, judgment, and hell. But, the ride sure is fun.

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    We have signs like these (and a healthy number of fundamentalist billboards) in Pennsylvania too. I keep telling myself that I’ll snap photos of them for my blog, but I never get around to it.

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    We have all kinds of kooky church signs around here, too. Seems like no one really pays attention to them that I can tell. Do these Christians seriously expect these signs will win converts or at least attendees to their services? I guess they do, and I guess it has worked at least once or twice, or no one would make these signs? I used to laugh at almost every church sign I saw, but now the material is getting pretty old; they need some original stuff. I do like rephrasing the signs in my own head, though. Like, taking “Jesus Saves” and mentally adding underneath what I read online once, “By using triple coupons on Tuesdays!”.

    Bruce, what is your take on Genesis 2:6 about the stream(s?) coming up and watering the whole face of the ground in the time before The Deluge? I sometimes wondered as a Christian what that would have looked like. And what happened to them afterwards. Sounds almost like a divine gardening sprinkler system to me!

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    I’m not bible literate and don’t know the nuances of bible stories. I did get my son the two volumes of Awkward Bible Stories, so now a little more literate.

    Was the Noah’s ark story mainly about a failure to plan? Was Noah the Chicken Little in the story? Could the multitudes who drowned simply have planned ahead and built a survival raft or paid someone a few sheckles to build them a seaworthy vessel for them have escaped peril?

    I would be interested in hearing from formal fundamentalists who deconverted which bible stories were the tipping point for them. I had a conversation with my mother who was in a mainstream Presbyterian church as a child. The stories that bugged the heck of her were the Prodigal Son and the story of Job. It bothered her that the son who stuck around and cared for his father was tossed aside when the good for nothing prodigal son returned.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away!

Bruce Gerencser