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Category: Church Signs

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of northwest Ohio, southern Michigan, and northeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

apostolic fellowship church plymouth ohio

Apostolic Fellowship Church, Plymouth, Ohio, Steve and Kathy Luna, pastors. (No web presence)

all believers in christ church mansfield

All Believers in Christ Church, Mansfield, Ohio, Russell Stanford, pastor. (Facebook) The church’s website says its mission is:

Minister: To minister restoration to the lost and downtrodden through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus the Christ and to a meaningful relationship with Him.

Luke 14:23  “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Jesus loves you and wants to meet your needs.

Come as you are

Everyone is Welcome

apostolic christian church paulding ohio

Apostolic Christian Church, Paulding, Ohio. Apostolic Christian is affiliated with the Apostolic Christian Church of America.

The church sums up its doctrine this way:

The doctrine of the church is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, which is recognized as God-inspired, infallible, and inerrant. New Testament teachings are carefully followed, and counsel and advice are sought from examples found in the Old Testament.

We believe salvation is obtained by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. True faith is evidenced by obedience to God’s Word, which instructs a soul to do as the Lord Jesus emphatically taught, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The biblical pattern of repentance is observed, which includes godly sorrow for a past sinful life, confession of sins, restitution for past wrongs, and becoming dead to sin. The wonderful and matchless grace of God is given to those who are humble in heart, along with peace and forgiveness from God.

Following conversion, which is manifested by a new walk of life in Christ, the convert gives a testimony of his or her faith and conversion experience to the congregation. This is followed by water baptism by immersion. Baptism symbolizes the burial of the old sinful nature into the death of Christ, and the subsequent rising of a soul out of the baptismal waters as a new creature in Christ Jesus. This is followed by the laying on of hands, whereby a church elder prays over the new member. This prayer acknowledges and entreats the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s heart, and consecrates the new child of God into a life of service for him. The new member is thus formally united with the church, which is Christ’s body.

Self-denial, separation from sin and unfruitful works, and nonconformity to worldliness are integral parts of the Christian walk of life and they lead to a life of peace and joy.

This new life in Christ is exemplified by sincere effort to reflect his virtuous character in one’s thoughts, words and deeds. Despite trials, temptation, and potential sorrow, God’s grace is sufficient for humble hearts to walk with happiness and contentment in the love of Christ and to rejoice in the hope of heaven-if they are true and faithful until life’s end.

A cursory reading of their doctrine leads me to conclude Apostolic Christian is King James-only, pacifistic, and requires women to wear head coverings. Their beliefs seem to be a mix of Church of Christ/Baptist/Mennonite doctrine.

ashley love divine baptist church ashley indiana

Ashley Love Divine Baptist Church, Ashley, Indiana, Phillip Lucas, pastor. (Facebook) Ashley Love Divine is Evangelical in doctrine. On the church’s FAQ page, the following question is asked and answered:

What should I wear? Anything is fine, we do ask that it is apportiate [sic] attire though.

If “anything” is fine, why does it need to be “appropriate?” Isn’t this the exact opposite of “anything?”

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of northwest Ohio, southern Michigan, and northeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

a rope of hope ministries leipsic ohio

A Rope of Hope Ministries, Leipsic, Ohio, Curtis Jackson, pastor. Jackson describes his vision for A Rope of Hope this way:

Pastor Curtis and prophetess Deborah Jackson mission and vision  is to love God, And to love others, and to magnify the name of Jesus Christ. The vision of our church is to glorify our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, to make true disciples throughout all the nations by means of missionary activity and support, to minister the ordinances, to edify believers, and to do all that is sovereignty possible and biblical permissible to magnify the name of Jesus.

abundant love church fort wayne indiana

Abundant Love Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana, G.L. Bush, Sr, pastor.  (Facebook) Abundant Love’s disaster of a website says:

The Abundant Love Ministries pray that our Members, Friends,  and Visitors are Anointed, Healthy, Wealthy, and more than Conquerors in every area of their lives.

Pastor Bush’s church bio page says:

After seeking the Lord for direction with much prayer and fasting, in November 1993, the Lord gave Pastor, Elder Gary L. Bush, Sr. the vision for a church in the Fort wayne area. The first initial meeting of the new church was on November 11, 1993.

After securing a building for worship, Pastor Bush, set the first service for a “Watch Night Worship” on December 31, 1993 and the Opening Service was announced and planned for January 2, 1994.

God began sending the “such as should be saved” into Abundant Love Church with signs and wonders of the Lord. The ministry began to grow and the Pastor formed the choir and named it the Abundant Voices of Love.

During these past twelve years the “Anointing of the Lord” has been removing burdens and destroying the yoke of sin our city.

We are Spirit Fed, Spirit Led and Spirit Bred! The Word of God is our foundation, strength, and standard of faith and practice.

archbold united methodist church archbold ohio

archbold united methodist church archbold ohio 2

Archbold United Methodist Church, Archbold, Ohio, Jim Nathan, pastor. (Facebook) According to the church’s website:

Archbold United Methodist Church is known for its welcoming hospitality, come as you are nature, offering opportunity to engage with others. We recognize our need as broken people to be in relationship with God and in relationship with each other. We believe in that living, active Spirit of God that guides, encourages,strengthens, protects and sustains us in the midst of all of the trials. We follow in the example of Christ, seeking to be His disciples as we reach out beyond the walls of the sanctuary in mission and ministry. We act as the hands and feet of Christ others might know that same saving grace through Jesus and that we might build the Kingdom of God in this place and in this time. We believe that the Bible contains all things necessary for our salvation and is a living book that has life and meaning for every context of time and place.

I wonder where Archbold UMC stands on the LGBTQ issue that is currently vexing its denomination? If they welcome LGBTQ people as they are and treat them as equals, then the above statement carries weight. If not, then the statement is little more than subterfuge. As of the writing of this post, I know of only one area church that is open and affirming towards  LGBTQ people — St. John’s United Church of Christ, Defiance. Many local churches say “we love gay people, yes we do,” but their love is anything but. The goal is to evangelize LGBT people and cure them of their sexual deviancy.

bethel brethren church berne indiana

Bethel Brethren Church, Berne, Indiana, Joseph Nass, pastor.  (No web presence) Bethel Brethren is affiliated with the Charis Fellowship (formerly known as The Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches).

arcadia united methodist church arcadia ohio

Arcadia United Methodist Church, Arcadia, Ohio, Erma Metzger, pastor. (Facebook) Pastor Metzger posted the following on Facebook about the LGBT controversy:

Yesterday the General Conference of the United Methodist Church concluded with the approval of the Traditional Plan. This maintains a prohibition on LGBTQ clergy and prohibits same-sex unions from being conducted in UMC churches and strengthens penalties for offenders. There is still work to be done from a judicial/legislative perspective as parts of the plan are questioned to be unconstitutional. There will be a simulcast with our Bishop, Gregory Palmer, this Saturday, March 2 at 10am in The DOCK at St. Mark’s UMC in Findlay when he will address what this means for the church. There is a great deal still happening among church leaders to work through how our denomination will move forward. Some people today are very happy with the outcome – but many others certainly are not. While the conclusions of this Special General Conference were not what the council of bishops preferred, may not be what I had hoped for, and many clergy and lay people alike are hurting at this time – I want to make something absolutely clear. Arcadia UMC welcomes, includes, loves, values and cares for EVERYONE. That absolutely will not change. We are about Building God’s Family Through Faithful Christian Service – and that will continue. We will continue to offer grace and love, and make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world. Please be in prayer for all of those who are hurting, for our church as we move forward in ministry, and for the leaders of our denomination as they seek God’s guidance to faithfully lead us all. I love you all!

Pastor Metzger seems to say that LGBTQ people are welcome at Arcadia UMC. But, what if a gay couple wants a church wedding? Will Arcadia UMC and its pastor break canon law prohibiting such marriages? True justice demands such action.

 

 

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

The Gathering Place, Defiance, Ohio, Richard Buttermore, pastor According to its website, the church’s mission is:

To present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that turns non-Christians into converts, converts into disciples, and disciples into mature, fruitful leaders, who will in turn go into the world and reach others for Christ

This church wants passersby to know what exactly? As I read their message, I thought of a light bulb that has been dropped and shattered. How “bright”  is this bulb’s light? Just saying… Life teaches us that people can be crushed and harmed in such a way that there is no hope of their “light” shining brightly again. War, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence. and a host of other light-dimming acts of violence we humans afflict on each other — often in the name of God — often cause irreparable harm. And despite what Evangelicals say, Jesus isn’t very good at gathering up the pieces of shattered bulbs, re-affixing their elements, thus allowing them to shine brightly again. As a humanist, my hope is that we work to end violence against not only each other, but that which we commit against our planet and other animals.

the gathering place defiance ohio 2018 (2)

The Gathering Place, Defiance, Ohio, Richard Buttermore, pastor

My only thought was this: not if you wear a condom.

signs rt 49 south of edgerton ohio 2018 (1)signs rt 49 south of edgerton ohio 2018 (2)

These signs are from a residential yard just south of Edgerton, Ohio on State Route 49.

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

bruised reed ministries lima ohio

Bruised Reed Ministries, Lima, Ohio Facebook

deliverance temple of joy miracle outreach lima ohio

Deliverance Temple of Joy Miracle Outreach, Lima, Ohio, Doris Newby, pastor No Web Presence

god's house lima ohio

God’s House, Lima, Ohio No Web Presence

in faith ministries international lima ohio

In Faith Ministries International, Lima, Ohio, Michael Lyons, pastor. Lyons’ church bio states:

Michael D. Lyons is the Senior Pastor of “In Faith Ministries International”, a rapidly growing, non-denominational, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural congregation located in Lima, Ohio.

A native of Dayton, Ohio; he was raised in a Pentecostal spirit-filled church and surrendered his life to Christ at the tender age of 10 years old. However, his journey quickly led him to a valley that included drugs and alcohol. After spending several years wandering in the wilderness, he found his way back to the righteousness of Christ under the prophetic teaching of Bishop Ted Willis of Second Baptist Church in Piqua, Ohio, where he was ordained a Minister of the Gospel.

Pastor Michael attended Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio where he received his Bachelors in Business Administration. He has been a frequent guest on local Christian television and radio. His heart to help make a difference in Lima has caused him to serve on the board of community agencies to being the chaplain for the high school football team.

His God-inspired mission is to tell the world how to walk by faith in the covenant promises of God’s word through Christ Jesus. His thirst for kingdom manifestation along with Gods anointing and favor has allowed many doors to be open for him to preach and teach the gospel of the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Lyons’ wife Kim is the church’s co-pastor.

According to In Faith’s about page, the church is:

We are a progressive, Christ–centered, culturally diverse Church committed to training disciples for the Kingdom of God. Our God inspired mission is to tell the world how to walk by faith in the covenant promises of God’s WORD through Christ Jesus.

lighthouse church of god elida ohio

Lighthouse Church of God, Elida, Ohio No Web Presence

new creation lutheran church elida ohio

New Creation Lutheran Church, Elida, Ohio Facebook

New Creation is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). According to the ELCA website, New Creation averages twenty-two in attendance.

It is not uncommon to see church signs that say, Everyone is Welcome. Come as You Are. While congregations believe in their heart of hearts that they are welcoming, accepting people, I have found that every church has a limit as to whom they will accept.

sharon mennonite church elida ohio

Sharon Mennonite Church, Elida, Ohio No Web Presence

st pauls united methodist church elida ohio

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Elida Ohio, Paul Scannell, pastor.  Website  St. Paul’s describes itself this way:

We are people who gather for worship, friendship-building, and service to others both locally and on a larger scale through the network of the United Methodist Church.We are young. We are old. We are everything in-between. We are related by blood or related by faith. And we welcome anyone to become part of our family.

 

 

On the Road Looking for God’s True Church

road trip

As Polly and I travel the roads of Northwest Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Southeast Indiana, we are always on the lookout for God’s True Church®. Here are a few of the churches we stumbled upon during our travels.

deerfield united methodist church deerfield michigan

Deerfield United Methodist Church, Deerfield, Michigan, William Kriechbaum, pastor Facebook

I wanted to go inside to find more information about this Christ who died and rose again for the people of Deerfield United Methodist, but alas the doors were locked. The church wants passersby to know that it supports the United States and it armed forces. Good to know…

light of catholic church deerfield michigan light of catholic church deerfield michigan 3 light of catholic church deerfield michigan 2

Light of Christ Catholic Church, Deerfield, Michigan, Jeffrey Poll, pastor Website

Light of Christ Catholic wants passersby to know that they wish them peace, love, love and happiness at Easter and always. The irony here is the memorial to a dead soldier; an emblem of violence and death, and not peace, love, love and happiness.

deerfield free methodist church deerfield michigan

Deerfield Free Methodist Church, Deerfield, Michigan, Bill Fix, pastor Here’s what the church wants you to know about them:

The beautiful sanctuary of Deerfield Free Methodist Church is shown below. It is even more beautiful in person and I want to invite you to attend. Our campus is located at 572 East River Street in Deerfield, Michigan. We are part of the Southern Michigan Conference of the Free Methodist Church of North America. Our conference is a coalition of churches desiring to advance God’s Kingdom by including people from all walks of life. We invite you to join our church family this Sunday at 10 am. Prior to the church service we have complimentary refreshments in Aunt Bethel’s Cafe located in our Heritage Hal [sic]. Come as you are and enjoy a service that might change your life in a really good way!

I thought Christianity was all about Jesus? Evidently, at Deerfield Free Methodist the star attraction is its beautiful sanctuary, and not Jesus.

 

Bruce Gerencser