The Eastern District Association of Primitive Baptists convened in its 166th annual session hosted by Clear Springs, Fairview, Macedonia and Rose Chapel churches meeting at Clear Springs Church in Spring Valley, Ohio.
The Clear Springs Church had its beginning on Easter Sunday of 1966 when Elder Harold Shaw and other interested people rented a one room schoolhouse on Clear Springs Road a mile south of Spring Valley, Ohio.
The church obtained an arm from the Fairview Primitive Baptist Church. It was organized with nine charter members, and lettered in at the 114th annual session held with Fairview Church in 1966.
Having outgrown the school house, the decision was made to build a new house of worship. Five acres of land was purchased and after having raised the money to build the church, the first service was held in the new building on Thursday before the first Saturday in May, 1971.
The Church has had as its pastors: The late Elders Harold Shaw, Ray Jackson, and Claude VanHoose, Elders Bill VanHoose, Joe Pitzer, and Josh Robinette. Elder Roger VanHoose pastored the church from 1982-1997 and currently has been pastoring since 2011.
God has truly blessed the Ohio Sister Churches this year in working together in our endeavors clinging to the theme that was so apparent from the time we first met to pray about hosting the 2018 Association. Hebrews 13:1 “Let Brotherly Love Continue.” We give all honor and glory to God for His many blessings and for meeting with us each time we gathered throughout the year.
Over 80 years ago, people from various mountain sections of Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky began to migrate to this area of Ohio as they sought a more prosperous way of life. Many found employment in industrial plants in this area and established their homes and farms in the vicinity.
Although they were enjoying their new homes and better means of earning a living, there was something not quite to their satisfaction. They visited various churches and sought to worship with them, but there was a spiritual atmosphere they had known previously that was missing from them here. They started having services in their homes, in groves, or wherever a building could be found when weather conditions prevented them from meeting outside. As they enjoyed these services, a need for a church building of their own was felt.
The location where the church now is was offered to them and arrangements were made for it to become the permanent location of a band of Primitive Baptist people. This was made possible with the help of George Driskel, who owned the land. Although he was a member of another organization, he was a true friend of this church.
The original building was erected and in August, 1938, the church was formally organized with the help of Elders E. A. Robinette, W. H. Burke, H. V. Hall, and J. H. Sybert with a total of 18 charter members. The building was dedicated and the first Union Meeting was held. The church lettered in to the Eastern District Association in October, 1938, with 37 members on the roll.
Elder Clarence Slagle, who was the first Pastor, served in that capacity until 1976. Others who have served as Pastor include: Elders Joe Dean, Frank Brown, Rolan Callahan, Charles Roller, Luther Abrams, Bryan Moore, Elmer Parsons, Crawford Sage, Ron Bledsoe, Kenneth Mitchell, and Hasco Jenkins. The current Pastors are Elders Jason Robinette and Joseph Robinette.
The first Deacons included Brothers Orbin Barnett, Lewis Joyner, and Bryan Moore, who all rest with the Lord. Others who have served as Deacons include: Brothers Owsley, Leonard Davis, Homer Lovins, Jim Osborne, Crawford Sage, Bobby Taylor, William Vanover, Kyle Vanzant, Ron Bledsoe, Kenneth Mitchell, Emerson Browning, Morris Giles, Ray Eldridge, and Eldon “Sonny” Wallen. Current Deacons are Brothers Jake Fairchild and Bobby Graham.
Brother Lewis Joyner was the first Clerk/Treasurer and served the church until 1966. Other Clerks who served the church are: Sisters Virginia Hall Osborne, Berneda Moore Vanover, Betty Barnett Livingston, Brother Kenneth Mitchell, and Sister Charlene Mitchell. Current Clerk is Sister Jennifer Robinette with Sister Erin Harkleroad serving as her Assistant.
In 1950, Sister Georgia Moore Sage was elected as Treasurer and served until her death in 2008. Current Treasurer is Sister Shelley Wallen with Sister Kristy Fairchild serving as her Assistant.
May God bless you!
In 1993, Elder David VanHoose had a calling to start a new church in the Wilmington, Ohio area. After much prayer, God led a small group of people to a small church on Macedonia Road, south of Wilmington. After receiving an arm from Clear Springs Church, the Macedonia Church was organized in 1994 with 13 members. In 2004, the building was deteriorating badly so the members began searching for a new building. God opened another door in December 2004 in Wilmington at the Columbus Street address, in which God wonderfully blessed and the congregation began to grow. In the beginning of 2018, the church saw a need to move again and again God opened a new door! In March of 2018 the church moved to a beautiful building in downtown Wilmington at 160 N. South Street. Many years have come and gone and we have seen many souls saved! God's mercy and grace has blessed us with a lot of preachers that have helped pastor with Elder David VanHoose - Elder Garry Carter, Elder Harold Shaw, and Brother Troy Beaugard. There are still a few of the original members but one in particular, even though her health is not good and she is in the nursing home, is Sister Vivian Stroud. She is the oldest member of the church. With God's grace we will continue to fight the good fight of faith!
Feeling a move of God, a group of God fearing people felt a need to start a church in Miamisburg Ohio. Finding a property on Saxony Road in Coleman Platt, Miamisburg, Ohio they began having services. The late Hasco Jenkins was the first pastor of the church. Receiving an arm from Fairview Church, they lettered into the association and were accepted as a sister church in 1958. Over a few years, the church house suffered from flood waters so they began looking for a new building to hold services and moved to its current location on Shannon Drive, West Carrollton, Ohio. God has blessed over the years to see many souls give their lives to Christ. Several ministers have pastored the church over the years; most noted the late John Turner, who served the longest amount of time. The current pastor is Sam VanHoose.
Anxiously awaiting this time, everyone came together with smiles of joy as they gathered for the 166th session of this grand body. Just think for the last 166 years, people have come in this same manner. Their mode of transportation may have been different, but they came for the same purpose as we are here today, to worship our heavenly Father. What a joy and privilege to be a part of this tradition. As I read the pastor’s names mentioned above, images of past services come to mind. Brother Steve Minton and Dennis Stewart led us in singing songs of praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It won’t be very long till here we’ll cease to roam, but we’ll receive our crown to shout and sing with the angels around the throne. Earth shall pass away, for Jesus has prepared us a happy dwelling place. They tried our Lord with no one to defend Him, so let us be a friend to Him. Though the world turn against Him, let us be a friend until our years shall end. To all who need a Savior we gladly recommend Him. When the redeemed are gathering in oh what music we’ll behold, for we’ll be washed like snow and free from all sin. He whispers sweet peace to the Saints who sing redemption’s story. As the redeemed gather in, His invitation is come ye blessed of the Lord. I am so glad that Jesus loves even me. Our thought as we remember His blessings is that Jesus loves us.
Our moderator, Elder Terry Sizemore, welcomed everyone to God’s service, the 166th gathering of this grand old body. God continually blesses His children and we are thankful for all the work that has been accomplished by the four churches hosting the association. Our main business is to worship our Savior. If you are lost this morning, you can be saved. We miss Sister Zula McCollough who could not be with us this year. The moderator also reminded everyone to turn in church letters, obituaries and financial contributions. He then appointed the Committee on Religious Exercises which consists of Dennis Stewart (chairman), David Horton and Gary Hall. During this past year, two of our Elders have gone to their reward: Richard Seiber and Donald Lowell Johnson, so please remember their families in prayer. Thank God these men stood for the Lord.
Elder Sizemore came forward to lead the congregation in singing the association’s standard song, “Brethren We Have Met Again.” We have met again, let us join and sing. Are you waiting for your King when He shall return again? When our work below is done, we shall go to be with Him; for all is vain unless the Holy Spirit comes down.
Elder Joseph Robinette welcomed everyone to today’s service by thanking everyone for coming this way. Let brotherly love continue as we step up and move in God’s direction to worship our Lord. Let everything be done to honor His blessed name. He will save our people if we call upon our blessed Redeemer.
The children of Bellbrook Church blessed us with their songs of praise. We are soldiers bound for glory, just soldiers going home. He walks among us, but the world cannot contain even in part what He has done for us, for we are truly blessed. He is the reason why we sing, shout and praise His Holy name. Please continue to encourage our young people for true peace only comes through Him.
The Moderator asked all of our ministers to sign the minister’s book, including ministers from other associations and church affiliations. He reminded each delegate to get their ribbon for the afternoon service.
Prayer requests were made for the lost, our churches and association, those serving in the military, our country, leaders of our and other nations, Angie Sybert, Elder Burnice and June Sybert, Jenna and Jade, John Shelton, Roy Jones mother and his brother, Lewis Baker, Madison, David Moody, Cliff’s sister, Naomi Adkins, August Robinette’s grandson, Andy Wallen, Kay Short, revivals, and many others shown with uplifted hands signifying countless unspoken prayer requests. Elder Curtis Hale blessed us with his prayer as he took us to the throne of grace.
Sister Kim Robinette blessed us with her song of praise and wonderful testimony. This life is almost over as the curtain of time swings low and we are so glad we have a better place to go. Continue to pray for the preaching service.
Having been chosen to preach the introductory sermon, Elder Jason Robinette came forward thanking God for all His blessings. Someday we’ll stand in God’s city where we’ll kneel once more just to thank Him for what He has done. Reading from I John 1:1-7 he used as a thought, “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” When He created this earth, it was dark until God said let there be light. Our Heavenly Father stated “This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.” God’s light is love. One day we met a Man that showed us all things and removed our stony heart and replaced it with one of love. We must love our brother or there is no love of God in us. He loved us while we were yet in our sins. He loved the world enough to send His Son to die that we may have everlasting life. We are surrounded by darkness, but our God is light. May our joy remain full at all times. Only God can do the things that can help this world come to know Him. We should never get downhearted because of what is happening in the world, for God warned us of these times. We have control over our joy, because Jesus wrote to us to tell us these things that our joy might be full. Let us rid our lives of the darkness that surrounds us such as jealously, envy, malice, and strife, then joy will abound in our lives. We have power in the Lord. Time is short, so it is time to do God’s will, not ours. He has power to forgive sin and He will do it when we come to Him in truth and spirit, to confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us. He hasn’t changed one jot or tittle and we are the same in the eyes of God. Don’t be downhearted; look up for our redemption draweth nigh.
Elder Roger VanHoose followed with another wonderful message from our Lord and Savior. He led us in song, telling us about the two coats made for us. One was ugly and stained with sin, so let us lay off this old coat and put on the new. Our forefathers overcame many obstacles, just as God gives us a way to overcome the things of this world. The power of God in us will overcome anything this world throws at us, if we will get under subjection to Him. Preaching comes from God, not what man thinks about or dreams up. We must get ourselves out of the way so God can use us for His glory. Man has always been in darkness until Jesus brought us into the light. The light in Jesus is sufficient for every need. His glory cannot be destroyed in the hearts of His children. He is everlasting to everlasting and no one or nothing can change it. He is the light we need to overcome the trials of this life. Some say they took His life, but they did not take His life, for He willingly gave it so we could have eternal life. Cry for those that don’t know Him and pray that somewhere, somehow they can realize their need for Jesus in their life. We have been translated into a new world of God where we will shed the trials and troubles of this world. Many spirits are in this world, but we have one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. The horror of our people dying all alone without Jesus, pray without ceasing that the lost will see their need for Christ in their life. Your testimonies are the greatest things we can ever do to stand up for the cause of Christ. It has not entered into our hearts or minds what awaits us in that city built foursquare. When we get home we will see Christ, for He will see the blood. Our prayer is for someone to be saved in the setting of this association.
Brother Dennis Stewart led us in a song of praise as we were adjourned for lunch. We have a home prepared to be by our Savior’s side, just over in the Glory Land.
The host churches served us a magnificent lunch as God’s children rejoiced in this glorious day. Brother Steve Minton and Dennis Stewart led the congregation in singing several songs of praise as the congregation gathered for the afternoon service. Misgivings often darken our day and the world would o’er whelm our soul until He whispers sweet peace to us. Let come what may if Christ for me doth care, let us press along, ever looking unto Christ, for anywhere is home sweet home if Christ our Lord is there. By faith we can see the land that is fairer than day as our Father waits just over the way. In the sweet by and by we shall meet on that beautiful shore. We’ll sing and shout and praise our blessed Redeemer.
Further blessings were bestowed upon us with special singing and testimony from Leona Kester, Walter Bales, Bradley Brown, Peggy Sizemore and Terry Sizemore. This world offers us nothing but sin, but we started out to find a better home where the trials of this life can never come, for in His presence we will ever be. We see the stars, we hear the rolling thunder and we realize how great our God is. Just think that God, His son not sparing, bled and died to take away our sin. One day soon He will take us home where we can proclaim, “My God how great Thou art!” Such precious memories are only possible through our Savior. They linger and they flood our soul, for in the stillness of the midnight these sacred scenes unfold. Trials are many and we may stumble and fall, but we are still lead by His steady hand. He has prepared a place where we are headed and we will make it after all. Keep trusting and believing for someday we’ll stand on the top of the mountain looking into that city. He came from Heaven our sins to atone, but He didn’t come here to stay, just to show us the way, then He got on a cloud and went home. Just think we may be living when He comes to get us.
Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone to the afternoon service as he thanked God for His presence here in the midst of His children. Thank God for everyone that came this way to gather with us at this blessed event. He thanked the host church for the bountiful lunch. It is in Him that we live and have our being, but turn to the Lord for true comfort and peace and that joy we so desire. He is no respecter of persons. The joy of knowing our blessed Redeemer is beyond anything we can imagine in this world.
Prayer requests were made for the unsaved, all those made during the morning service, our churches, Angie Sybert’s successful surgery, Henrietta Adams, Elder Frank and Juanita Gilliam, Billy Walton, Linda Lucas, Ben Stewart who had open heart surgery, Jack Osborne, Joe and Emma Jean Robinette, Frank Osborn, Teresa Tipton’s sister and brother-in-law, John Shelton, Bobby Story family, Darrel Ratliff’s family at his passing and numerous unspoken requests signified with many uplifted hands. Elder Scott Tipton led us to the throne of grace in a soul stirring prayer.
Brother Bradley Bowen, Chairman of the Committee on Church Letters, came forward to give the report of our state and standing. 36 churches total. The letter from Osborne’s Chapel was not received, but should be here tomorrow. With the exception of Osborne’s Chapel, it was motioned, seconded and voted to accept the recommendations of the committee and seat those delegates duly elected or appointed by their respective churches as the voting body of the association. With the receipt of Osborne’s Chapel letter, the committee will review it and report to the delegation.
The delegation was seated in order to conduct the business of the association.
The moderator asked for nominations to serve as moderator pro-tem during the election of the association officials. Elder Oscar Irvin was nominated. No other nominations were made. It was motioned, seconded and voted for nominations to cease. Elder Irvin came forward to serve during the election.
The moderator asked for nominations to serve as clerk and treasurer of the association. A nomination was made and it was seconded for Brother Danny Lawson to serve as clerk and treasurer. It was motioned and seconded for nominations to cease. Through the vote, he will serve for the ensuing year. Elder Irvin asked the congregation to raise their hands as recognition of their confidence in the clerk and in so doing they would pray for him.
The moderator asked for nominations to serve as moderator of the association. Elder Terry Sizemore was nominated and it was seconded for him to serve as moderator of the association. It was motioned and seconded for nominations to cease. Through the vote, Elder Sizemore will serve as moderator for the ensuing year. Elder Irvin asked the congregation to raise their hands as recognition of their confidence in the moderator and in so doing they would continue to pray for him.
Elder Sizemore thanked Elder Irvin for standing as moderator pro-tem during the election of the association officials. The moderator thanked the delegation for their vote of confidence. Continue to pray for your association officials; we desire and need your prayers as we go forward into another year.
Dennis Stewart read the report from the Religious Exercise Committee which includes:
Thursday night: October 4, 2018
Wiley Lampkin, Jerry Johnson and Terry Sizemore
Friday morning: October 5, 2018
Stand: Oscar Irvin and Scott Tipton
The moderator asked for a motion and second to allow him to appoint all committees necessary to carry on the business of the association. It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the moderator to appoint any and all such committees. As part of the motion, it was noted that Elder Sizemore be part of the Circular Letter committee for 2019.
The moderator then appointed the following committees:
Committee on Electrical and PA System: Delmer McPherson (chairman), Scott Mellons, Eric McPherson, Clifford Bledsoe and Danny Lawson.
Committee on Newly Constituted Churches: Ministers: Oscar Irvin (chairman), David VanHoose and Jerry Johnson; Deacons: Roy Jones and Doug Willis; Laymen: Doyle Odell and Robert Brown.
Committee on Finance: Greg Hill (chairman), Joseph Robinette and Chris Salley.
Committee on Obituaries: Scott Tipton (chairman), Sammy VanHoose and Kevin Cross.
Committee on Arrangements and/or Queries: Ministers: Burnice Sybert (chairman), Jason Robinette, Roger VanHoose, Eddie Malone, John Banks, Charles Bernard and Daniel Hurd.
The moderator reminded the delegation that Excused Absence forms are available at the clerk’s desk, as well as a Community Service form.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the clerk to replenish the necessary forms to properly perform his duties.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to have all things which are standard printed in the minutes.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the clerk $2,000 in appreciation for his services.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow the moderator $1,000 in appreciation for his services.
Brother Delmer McPherson, chairman of the Electrical and PA System Committee came forward to give the report, stating it was a pleasure to be here. He thanked the Lord for salvation and all the blessings of this life. He thanked his wife Ada for helping manage and store all the equipment. This being the first time the new sound system has been used in the tent, the committee is well satisfied with the overall performance of the new system.
The clerk reported all financial transactions of the year to the delegation.
The clerk spoke concerning the Ayers Chapel Church property. With the repairs needed to the church property, it was decided to take the current offer to avoid encountering all the expenses associated with the repairs.
The moderator reminded the delegation that we voted to purchase new chairs once the Ayers Chapel property was sold. The committee, formed at the time, consists of Elder Oscar Irvin (chairman), Steve Minton and Clifton Horne. Elder Oscar Irvin, chairman of the committee, came forward to explain. It was agreed to sell the old chairs at $5.00 each, with churches having first choice. Once all churches have had a chance to purchase chairs, then all others can purchase any remaining chairs until all have been sold. Of the approximately 360 chairs, 201 have been sold at this time.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to help Roy Jones with a gift of appreciation for his willingness to work with the Ayers Chapel property. It was motioned, seconded and voted to give Brother Roy $1,000 in appreciation for all his work in taking care of the church property.
The business being concluded, the delegation was dismissed in prayer, led by Elder David VanHoose until Friday morning, October 5, 2018.
The Lord blessed His people as they gathered for the second day of this 166th association. Brothers Steve Minton and Dennis Stewart led the congregation in singing several songs of Zion. In seasons of distress and grief our soul can often find relief to escape the tempter’s snare as we seek that sweet hour of prayer. We’ll sing a nobler, sweeter song, until this poor lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave. We’re bound for a land of peace and joy and wonderful light and having been saved by grace divine, we are going that way. They tell of a home far beyond the skies, of a home not far away, of a home where no storm clouds rise, oh they tell us of an unclouded day.
Elder Sizemore welcomed everyone to today’s service. Thank God for His leadership and all those that came this way. May God continue to bless in our services.
We were blessed with special singing from the Copper Creek singers, Peggy Shaw-McBee and the Clear Springs Church singers. Wilt thou be made whole, do you want a new life? Believe in Christ and be washed as white as snow. No matter how rough the way, the old ship of Zion continues to sail on, for at the stern of the ship is our Captain. When He bids you get on board, you must obey, for it may never pass this way again. Storms beset us through this life, but beyond lies a better way and we can go farther, still farther for it is truly better farther on. If it wasn’t for the Lord what would we do, for He’s everything to us. Deliverance will come, and we shall wear palms of victory and crowns of glory.
Thank God for the memories and our heritage He has blessed us with. We thank all those that came before us, how they lived their life, what they taught us and how they showed us the way of the Lord. Let us be as bright of a light to others as they were to us.
Prayer requests were made for the unsaved; all the requests from yesterday, those serving our country in the military, our association, our country, revivals, young people, our churches, Ben Stewart, our churches, Pauline Lawson, Hershel Baker, Betty and Earl Dodson, Eugene Sullivan, Nadine Horne, Harmon Willis, Brandon Williams, Joe Robinette, and Vivian Stroud. May each of us ask ourselves if there is something we can do, somewhere we have failed, something more we can do to further the cause of Christ. Many unspoken requests were signified with uplifted hands. Brother Mark Newkirk humbly took us to the throne of grace in a soul stirring prayer.
The delegation was called to order to transact the business.
Brother Bradley Bowen, chairman of the Letter Committee, came forward to give his report. The letter committee reviewed and now recommends accepting Osborne’s Chapel letter. It was motioned, seconded and voted to accept their letter and seat their delegates as part of the voting body.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to adopt the business proceedings of yesterday as read with the change noted by the clerk.
Elder Oscar Irvin, having been chosen by the Committee on Religious Exercises, came forward to take the first part of the service. Elder Irvin read St. John 19:1-7, using as a thought, “Behold the Man.” Christ was there before the mountains were made and before God separated the water and land. God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost existed before the beginning of time. He was before and He will be when this earth comes to an end. He didn’t come down here to be the Son of God, He is God. When we met Jesus, we were made whole, translated into a new kingdom, not bound to this earthly world. Who is Christ that anyone should question, but the unbelievers often do. How could a young boy having never been to school know all the things that He taught them? We can never put any other gods before Him and we need to be sure none slip in unawares. Believe in the only begotten Son of God and that He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Keep reminding ourselves that it is not our will, but His will be done, because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Think of what it meant when Jesus asked God to let this cup pass from Him. It is not His will that any should perish, but that all might come to know Him in the free pardon of sin. He went through the shame, not because He was the Son of God, but He went through it because that is what we deserved. He did it totally for us because He loved us so much, that He willingly laid down His life. Now sitting at the Fathers right hand, He makes intercession for us. He did it for you and He did it for me because He died for all who will believe.
Elder Scott Tipton followed with another wonderful message from the Lord. Behold the Man, it does not matter who we are, because it is all about Him. Never be afraid to feel the spirit of God in your life. This is the best we will know in this life, but our hope is in Jesus. Come see a man that told me all things I had ever done, is this not the Christ? We can do all things in Christ Jesus who strengthens us. There is no place for selfishness, so Jesus said let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Aren’t you glad you know this man called Jesus? We might think sometimes that it might be easier to run, but knowing Jesus is the most important thing we can ever do. All we needed was to ask Jesus to save us, we don’t want to go to hell. Don’t believe Satan’s lies, because when Jesus bowed His head, He said it is finished. This same Jesus they saw going away, will come again in like manner. Whatever day we were touched, we know it was the hand of our blessed Redeemer.
Thank God for the liberty He gave these men to preach.
We were dismissed by Sister Kala Hale with a song of how His amazing grace will lead us home. We were glad to see the precious soul come to pray that he could help lead someone to the Lord. Just after this, another precious soul made his way to the altar. Just a young man, Brother Joe Brown was made a new creature when he accepted Christ as his Savior. He testified, “the Lord saved me.” No greater words can ever be spoken. There was singing, shouting, and praising God all over the grounds. We know Jesus saved us and that’s enough for us. We owe it all to you, Lord, for you are truly the best thing that ever happened to us. It was difficult to adjourn for lunch as God so wonderfully blessed His children.
The congregation assembled in the tent after a superb lunch served by the host churches. Steve Minton and Dennis Stewart led us in more praises to the King. When in service for our Lord dark may be the night, but our Lord leads us on and through Him we will win. Jesus will keep us near the cross if we trust Him. There is rest beyond the river, as the morning star sheds its beams around us. Earth holds no treasures to God’s children for there is another country to which we are going. Joy without measure will be our treasure, so why long for the world and its sorrow? What a privilege we have to carry everything to our Lord in prayer. Don’t let the trials of this world get us down, just take it to the Lord in prayer. Oh tis sweet to sing this story, will you be ready when He comes? Do not risk delaying, but be ready when He comes, so continue working, watching, and waiting till He comes to take His children home.
We were further blessed with special singing and testimony from Millie and Kala Hale, Jake Fairchild, Bobby Graham and Joseph Robinette from Bellbrook Church. If you’re happy and you know it, say so by praising our Lord and Savior. Why did we stop the things of this world? Looking at the outward body is one thing, but what you really see before you is a new man, for the old man is dead. We were lost in darkness, searching for the light, but we gave our heart to Jesus, now the old man is dead.
Elder Sizemore thanked the church for the bountiful and delicious lunch. Such a wonderful time in the Lord and a precious place to be. Words cannot express how wonderful it is to serve our Lord.
Prayer requests were made, along with many wonderful testimonies. Always remember the unsaved, all those serving our country in the military and their families. Tommy Meade’s friend, Howard Perry, Edith Knowle, Kyle Robinette’s friend’s son, man’s sister with cancer, Charlotte Horton, Steve Minton, Larry and Judy Turner, Jennifer who needs the Lord, lady’s son with medical problems, Charlene Smith, Ada McPherson’s brothers and sister, Linda and Tom Baker, Steve Osborn, Steve Hunt’s brother and grandson, Myra’s husband, Nick, 2-1/2 year old grandson that needs a heart, Dennis Stewart’s family, revivals, John Shelton, Kay Short, Andy Wallen, Cora L. Neeley, Eddie and Donna Williams, Brandon Williams, Lewis and Phyllis Williams, Leonard, Luther and Freddie Williams, David Horton’s sister and Wayne Gibson, Elder Kevin Cross blessed us with his humble, soul stirring prayer as he took our petitions to the Lord.
The delegation was seated in order to transact the business.
Brother Dennis Stewart read the report from the Committee on Religious Exercises.
Friday night: at stand: Curtis Hale, Kevin Cross and Daniel Hurd
Saturday morning: October 6, 2018:
Stand: Burnice Sybert, Greg Hill and Terry Sizemore
The moderator appointed the Church Letter Committee for 2019 which includes: Steve Hunt (chairman), Steve Minton, Robert Brown and Gary Hall (alternate).
The clerk read the Resolution of Thanks that he had prepared. It was motioned, seconded and voted to print it in the minutes as read.
The Committee on Newly Constituted Churches reported that none had been received. Let us examine our lives to help the cause that new churches might come in.
The Committee on Finance reported $5,030 in receipts for the year. The chairman thanked each church and individual for their contributions.
The moderator noted that all committees are dismissed upon delivering their final report.
The Committee on Arrangements and/or Queries reported that no queries had been received.
The Committee on Obituaries reported that 23 have been received at this time. The committee recommended that obituaries be sent through the church clerk. It was motioned, seconded and voted to follow our original standard that was developed in the 1990’s and print these in the minutes.
The men chosen to write the circular letter for 2018 were Elders Sammy VanHoose, Jason Robinette and Oscar Irvin. All came forward as Elder Sammy VanHoose testified of how the Lord helped him. Elder Oscar Irvin read their letter. Its message to each of us was that our forefathers laid up markers for us to follow. God knows all about our hardships and like the saints of old we must walk in the old paths, and just as God directed them, He will direct us. Hold steadfast to the old paths. It was motioned, seconded, and voted to print the letter in our minutes as it was read.
The moderator appointed the Committee on Circular Letters for 2019 which includes: Elder Terry Sizemore, Deacons: Ronnie Leonard and Clifton Horne.
Everyone sang praises to the Lord as they fellowshipped and took up an offering to help with this cost of the new chairs. A donation of $960.00 was received.
A new point of business was brought before the delegation involving several of our Primitive Baptist churches that host Bible Study sessions. They would like to host the association, but none of the churches marked this on their church letter to the association. These churches include: Rollers Chapel, Cadet, Wallen’s Creek, Blackwater Lick and Davis Chapel. It was motioned, seconded and voted to allow this group of churches, known as the Southwest VA churches to be allowed to ask to host the association.
The moderator reminded the delegation that only those chosen or appointed by their respective churches as delegates were allowed to vote and the maximum number of votes per church was 4, if all delegates are present. Likewise, if only one delegate was present, then the church would only have one vote. There were 2 groups of churches that asked for the association to meet with them next year. These are: Ohio churches of Clear Springs/Fairview and the Southwest VA churches of Rollers Chapel, Cadet, Wallen’s Creek, Blackwater Lick and Davis Chapel. By a clear majority, the delegation sent the association to Southwest VA Churches, where the Lord willing we will convene on Thursday morning, (October 3, 2019) before the first Saturday in October, 2019 for the 167th gathering. The association will be hosted in the Blackwater Lick Schoolhouse. Those chosen to preach the introductory and alternate sermons will be chosen and the association clerk will be notified no later than October 19, 2019.
Elder Burnice Sybert dismissed us in prayer as we were adjourned until Saturday morning, October 6, 2018.
God blessed His children once again as they gathered for our memorial service. Brother Dennis Stewart led us in songs of praise for our blessed Savior. His amazing grace taught our heart to fear and grace our fears relieved that we might forever praise His Holy name. Through many dangers, toils and snares, He safely leads us through and His grace will endure till time is no more. We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun. We know we have another building not made with hands. On many days we wish to be all alone with Christ our Lord as He allows us to tell Him all about our troubles.
Elder Terry Sizemore welcomed everyone to our Saturday morning memorial service, thanking God for our wonderful services thus far. Joyous smiles were abundant all around as Elder Sizemore encouraged everyone to obey the Lord. The spirit of revival is among us, so we can strengthen and grow in the Lord. Knowing Jesus is the key and if you don’t know Him now would be a great time to ask Him to save you. Today we honor those going before us.
We were further blessed with special singing and testimony from Billy Marcum, Sammy VanHoose, Stephanie Pitzer and the Looking Beyond Quartet. Thank God for this great family of God’s children and this privilege to meet in a Heavenly place. Jesus heard and answered our prayer when He rolled the burdens from our sin-sick soul, so we can walk hand-in-hand, day-by-day with Jesus. When the time comes for us to leave, celebrate us home, celebrate us in that home prepared for the Saints of God. Great is the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father each morning, for He is all we have need of. Strength for today and hope for tomorrow in His new mercies that we can only see through Him. When the blood was applied, Jesus paid for each of us as He laid down His life to purchase us. More valuable than all the riches of the world, what a transition day that was on Calvary. It is joy to know that to Heaven we are going to see Jesus face-to-face. He saved us by His grace so we don’t have to fear chilly Jordon. When the angels step back, then we will sing our song while the ages roll. We’ll see Jesus split the eastern sky as He calls for His children to come home.
Remember in prayer the lost, the requests made in previous services, our young people, all those serving our country in the military and their families, Pleas Lawson, Dennis Stewart, Penny VanHoose’s cousin James and the family, Steve Minton, Clifton Horne’s sister, Mike NewKirk, our burden for lost souls, revivals, Janice Sturgill, burden to draw our people to church, Vicky Jones’s sister and family, Jerelene’s brother, Edna Bledsoe, Daniel Hurd’s children and grandchildren, and many unspoken requests signified by uplifted hands. Brother Roy Jones humbly led us to the throne of grace. What a grand reunion day when all the Saints of God come together to be with the Lord forever.
The delegation was seated in order to transact the business.
It was motioned, seconded and voted to adopt the business proceedings of yesterday as read.
Brother Dennis Stewart came forward to give the final report of the Religious Exercises Committee.
Stand tonight: Sammy VanHoose, Patrick Pitzer and Joseph Robinette
Stand, Sunday Morning: Daniel Hurd and Terry Sizemore
It was motioned, seconded and voted to print Sister Eileen Brown’s contact information in the minutes as she continues sending out revival and special service notices. Please let her know by the 20th of the month for the notice to be included in next month’s announcements. Individuals and churches should send a donation to help Sister Eileen with postage and handling. Her contact information is as follows: Please report to her via email.
For many years, the Saturday morning service has been dedicated as a memorial service for those saints who have passed from among us. The moderator read the names of those that have moved on to that fair city. Please remember their families in your prayers and thank God for their friendship.
Having been chosen by the Committee on Religious Exercises, Elder Burnice Sybert took the lead in our memorial service. He read Leviticus 17:10-11 and 6:53-54. He used as his thought: “It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” The natural blood is required to sustain life in our body. God made everything needed by man, but only He could breathe life into man that he would become a living soul. This breath of life, along with the blood, sustains us. We look back to Adam as he disobeyed the command not to eat of the fruit, and sin entered into the world. God knew man would do this, so He gave a remedy whereby man could be saved. That we must eat the flesh, drink the blood of Christ is a hard saying, because all the blood shed down through time cannot save anyone. However, the spiritual blood shed on Calvary’s tree is special and required if we are to see our Heavenly home. If the Lord is bidding you to come to Him, please step forward and receive Him into your life that you can say the Lord saved me. Remember June and Burnice and their family in your prayers.
Elder Greg Hill took the next part of our memorial service. The clouds opened up and there stood Jesus. No more heartaches and no more tears will we know. Life is in the blood. While doctors can tell many things about us from our blood, we know it is tainted, we know that no good thing dwells in this flesh. The wages of sin is death. Adam sewed together the fig leaves and he knew of his sin, for he tried to hide from God. The voice of God came walking in the cool of the day. Adam then knew that he was still naked in the eyes of God. God knows our sin, but He will not look upon it with the least of allowance. We cannot blame anyone for our sin, but we must look within ourselves, for we will each stand and give an account before God. We cannot keep ourselves, but we must depend on God each and every day. There is a hell to shun and a Heaven to gain.
Elder Terry Sizemore came forward with another wonderful message from God. We all were sinners, but Jesus paid the sin debt for us. It is still the blood that saves from sin and cleanses within to give us the victory. Remember what the Lord said, take eat; drink this in remembrance of Him. He was the supreme sacrifice and nothing less will allow us to enter into the Kingdom of God. In the shedding of Christ’s blood, our sins were forgiven. There is a resurrection and through His shedding of blood we will be with God throughout eternity and we can embrace the throne of grace boldly. Thank God for those that came this way before us. Our spiritual heritage is precious to us and precious in God’s sight. Look up and know our redemption draweth nigh. Many saints we grew up around showed us Christ and without them in our life, we may not know our precious Redeemer. We must be a strong light for Jesus to those around us. Jesus wants to save you from having to go to that awful place called hell.
Thank God for these men and their willingness to stand firm and preach His word.
We were dismissed in songs of praise led by Sister Peggy Shaw-McBee. As poor wayfaring strangers we are going over Jordon, just over home. Such wonderful praises were made as we were adjourned until Sunday morning, October 7, 2018.
The Lord blessed us to gather out for our last service of the 166th annual session. Elder Roger VanHoose welcomed everyone and thanked them and God for meeting with us.
Congregational singing opened with “Hide Thou Me,” along with “Victory in Jesus,” and “The Love of God.” Three wonderful hymns sung in honor and glory to our blessed Redeemer. Praise His Holy name for the blessings, not only this week, but prior to it and the future blessings He will bestow on His children.
The young man that was saved Friday night, Brother Ben Stewart, had a desire to join the church at Fairview. Elder Jason Robinette seated the church in order for taking in new members. After Brother Stewart gave his testimony it was moved and seconded to accept him into the body. It was moved and seconded to close the session. While singing “Amazing Grace” brother Stewart was given the right hand of fellowship and the full right hand to be given pending baptism next Sunday, October, 14th.
The Looking Beyond Singers were requested to sing “He is Here.” As the Spirit moved and the power of God fell upon his children, all the ministers were called to the front and Deacon Bobby Graham spoke pleading for someone to come to the altar.
Elder Sammy VanHoose, Elder Joseph Robinette, and Elder David VanHoose extended the invitation while the singers were singing “Had It Not Been” and “I Want to Stroll Over Heaven with You.” Elder Roger VanHoose encouraged whoever the Lord was speaking to or calling on to “Just Trust Him” for yourself and not another. The congregation sang “Just As I Am.” The church is saying “Come,” the Spirit is saying “Come.” What can wash away my sin “Nothing But The Blood of Jesus.” A dear sister came forward asking for special prayer for a need in her life. We were blessed to have Sister Peggy Sizemore sing “Amazing Love.”
Elder Daniel Hurd came forth preaching about “The Real Thing” and how we need to be sure that what we have is “The Real Thing.”
Elder Terry Sizemore sang “He Got On A Cloud And Went Home.” Elder Sizemore then spoke concerning how there has been a presence here this morning, and preaching about when Paul was speaking to King Agrippa and the King replied thou almost persuaded me to be a Christian. The realistic truth of the matter is that without Christ, we are dead. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Satan will tell us that we’re not worthy, but when we surrender unto the Lord he makes us a fit subject. Faith is “simply believing.” Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
During fellowship handshake and singing “Are You Washed In The Blood” and “I Want My Friends to Pray for Me,” several Brothers and Sisters came to the altar one by one asking for prayer.
The service ended with many testimonies and thanksgiving, and Elder David VanHoose reading Hebrews 6 verse 10: “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have shewed toward his name and that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
The congregation was dismissed in prayer and lunch was served.
I want to sincerely thank Sister Penny VanHoose for her excellent write-up of Sunday’s service. I appreciate her willingness to help me with this. I pray God will continue to bless each and every one of you as time moves forward. What a time we have had in the Lord this week. Bless His Holy name!