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The History of Shepherd of the Valley Church of the United Brethren in Christ
In a Tent
The Logan Church of the United Brethren in Christ really began when a mother prayed for her wayward son. Others joined her in prayer. For several years they united their efforts. It was not in vain, for God heard and answered their prayers. Raymond Goss was saved.
For thirteen years, Raymond Goss and his family drove twelve miles from Logan to West Pleasant Hill to attend the country church of the United Brethren in Christ. Deep within their hearts there became a desire for a church like that in Logan. Again, people prayed. This time they prayed that a Church of The United Brethren in Christ could be founded in Logan. And once again God heard and answered their prayers.
It was a humble beginning, but a thrilling story! In the year 1949, at the Mid Year Council Meeting, a tent meeting was discussed for Logan. The corner of Church and Riff Street was available. This seemed to be a satisfactory and strategic location.
On July 4, the tent was set up and ready for the first service. The evangelists were Rev. Burnworth and Rev. Herbert Householder. People came to the tent services and some were converted. Among those who accepted Christ was Lloyd Beavers who later accepted the call of God and went out to preach the gospel.
The success of the tent meeting tat July encouraged the Logan people to keep on working to establish a United Brethren Church in their Community. Since the Annual Conference was to be held the following month in August, much haste had to be made to organize a membership to permit Logan to have a minister for the coming conference year 1949-1950.
So it was that in the tent one evening, a list of charter members was made. These were as follows:
- Rev. P. O. Householder
- Alonzo Unger
- Mrs. Charles (Anna) Buckingham
- Mrs. James (Betty) Goss
- Wavelene Barney
- Raymond Goss
- Dorothy Goss
Now, the Logan Church had members; but they had no church building, no
Parsonage and no money. Here was a real challenge!!!
A Garage Glorified
With the stakes high and facing these many obstacles, Rev Burnworth agreed to accept the Logan ministry. So began the first conference year of August, 1949. Rev. and Mrs. I. N. Burnworth were appointed to the Logan Station.
With the courage and dedication of a missionary, the Burnworths stored their furniture and moved to Logan to live with their daughter and son-in-law Betty and James Goss. More people were coming to the tent services. Offerings were beginning to come in, enough to make a Sunday school possible. There was real evidence of growth in the church.
With autumn chill in the air, Raymond and James Goss offered their place of business for the church services. On Wednesdays, after the men had finished their work, they would clean up their mechanics garage for prayer meeting to be held that evening. Again on Saturday evening, the garage would be cleaned for Sunday's services.
In September, Betty Goss learned that the house at 1208 Church Street was for sale at $6000.00. The church still had no money, but the people had faith and prayed. The challenge was overwhelming. In October, 1949, they ventured forth on their faith. With much sacrifice they purchased the property, and Rev. and Mrs. Burnworth moved into their "new" parsonage.
On the back of the lot was a one car garage, TAKEN FOR GRANTED BY EVERYONE. But one day Rev. Burnworth and Mr. Unger stood looking at the garage and they saw, not a garage, but a United Brethren Church!!
A special board meeting was held to consider the possibility of this new vision. Mr. Unger knew where there were some blocks available like those used in the original building. They were not new blocks because that style of block had been discontinued, but they matched!
Immediately Rev. Burnworth and Mr. Unger went to work. They extended the building some few feet longer, using all of the space to the back of the lot.
The blocks, all covered with mud and dirt, cost $100.00 which was paid by Mr. Unger himself. It was a privilege to clean the blocks and Mr. Unger and Rev. Burnworth worked long hard hours with never a complaint that anyone ever heard.
Neighbors and friends were becoming interested. The zeal of this infant church was contagious. Money was donated by many for the furtherance of the work. Very soon the little building was ready. It had no regular pews or fancy furniture, but the members had an abundance of love and determination. "Make-do" items were accepted and used with gratitude and appreciation. For pews, old chairs were used that had been donated by the Leonard Funeral Home. For music, an old piano was pressed into use. A home-made alter was constructed to provide a place where people could come to pray and find their way to victory in Christ Jesus. Rev. P. O. Householder was honored by preaching the first sermon in the new house of worship.
The first church trustees were:
- Mr. Unger
- Raymond Goss
- Rev. P. O. Householder
The first parsonage trustees were:
- Mr. Unger
- Mrs. James (Betty) Goss
- Mrs. Raymond (Dorothy) Goss
"And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be
Dedicated to the Glory of God
Later, an interesting item of business came before the Annual Conference which provided a blessing to the Logan congregation. Some property in the conference area was to be sold; the Sharon Church had to be disposed of. The decision was made to give the contents to Logan and to use the money from the sale of the Sharon Church to help pay for the Logan Station. Back home, in Logan, a board meeting was called to make plans. On December 9, 1949, a group of men went to Sharon and moved the pews, pulpit stand, ECT to Logan. The little building took on the look of a real church!
After accepting Christ, new members were added to the church. Growth was much in evidence. The writer of the church history recorded that the little group was united "in love, fellowship, and prayers, believing that there were greater things in store for the future." Whatever the future held, above all else, they wanted their church to be dedicated to the glory of God.
On Sunday, March 26, 1950, Logan Station was honored to have Bishop A.M. Johnson of Huntington, Indiana come to take part in a dedication service at 2:00 pm. One hundred and fourteen persons were present for the inspiring service. The meeting was called to order by the Rev. Burnworth.
Mrs. Edna Ogg, Pianist
Mr. Keck, Song Leader
Opening Songs - Higher Ground
Crown Him Lord of All
Prayer - Rev. P.O. Householder
Special Music - Brewer Trio, Greenfield, Ohio
Mr. and Mrs. Alpha Turner, Logan, Ohio
Introduction of Speaker - Rev. Burnworth
Message - Bishop Johnson
"Upon This Rock"
Offering - $465.00
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever".
A Larger Building
The years passed, the congregation grew, and God blessed in many ways. The congregation outgrew their little church. After much discussion, pro and con, they started a building fund. Again they united their prayers and waited for Gods answer. They firmly believed that "Except the Lord, build the house; they labor in vain that build it"Psalm 127:1
Eight years of preaching and working as pastor of the Logan Station had taken its toll on Rev. Burnworth's health. His request for a year's leave of absence was granted and Rev. Jacob Lehman filled the pulpit from August, 1957 to August, 1958.
He, too, saw the need for more adequate sanctuary. He joined the congregation as they continued to pray and discuss in each board meeting the possibilities of a new church building.
The next conference year of 1958 saw Rev. Burnworth return, rested, and with a new zeal to work. The people were still praying for a bigger church building.
Yet today, Rev. Burnworth relates fondly his dream of a beautiful church edifice on the empty corner lot of Riff and Third Street. Each visiting pastor or superintendent would be shown the empty lot and to each he would say, "Here is where we are going to build our new church." And each pastor or superintendent would turn to look at him with questioning eyes or wide eyed amazement. He knew their thoughts were: "How can this be? Are those the words of an ecstatic dreamer?" But not so, for with Rev. Burnworth was the conviction of the promise, "For with God all things are possible." Mark 10:27
And, lo! It came to pass that the property on the corner was for sale! However, a group of heirs had to be contacted before the property could be sold. Some of the heirs lived in other states and one boy was in the Navy. Many legal proceedings had to be completed. Such complications made everything seem impossibility.
The price was established at $6000.00. The congregation had a building fund of $3014.45. They sold their parsonage at 1208 Church Street, but still, they did not have the $6000.00 they needed. They inquired concerning a bank loan, but were refused because their congregation was not large enough.
The conference was unable, at that time, to lend any assistance financially. The men of the church went again to the bank to inquire about a loan. They learned that if they had security, they could get the loan. This was discussed several times at the board meetings. Always the nagging question was left to haunt them "was God again asking them to sacrifice? There was only one answer. Three members of the church gave all that they owned as a security and Logan Station got the loan they needed to build their church. Everything began to move rapidly.
Saturday, July 2, 1960
Grading for the new church on the corner of Riff and Third Streets began.
Tuesday, July 5, 1960
Footers were dug.
Wednesday, July 6, 1960
Footers were completed.
Thursday July 7, 1960
Cement was poured for the footers.
Friday, July 8, 1960
Blocks were laid for the footers.
Wednesday, July 11, 1960
The first $3000.00 worth of blocks was delivered.
Every day that the weather was suitable, block and brick were laid. Money kept coming in and much progress was made. With faith in God and just a little more than $3000.00, the people at Logan Station were building a beautiful church building.
During a ceremony on Wednesday evening of July 27, 1960, at 7:30, the cornerstone was laid. A goodly number of persons were present and the pastor, Rev. Burnworth, led the observance. Among those present at the ceremony were Mr. and Mrs. Ochel Rollins, the contractors, and Mr. Joe Brennick, the block layer.
The cornerstone was donated by Logan Monument Company, owned by George C. Shaw. Inside the stone was placed a metal box containing a bible, two hymn books, a copy of the United Brethren paper, a discipline, and a paper containing the names of: church members, building committee members, Sunday school superintendent, class leader, pastor, building contractor, and Ralph Dittoe of Lancaster who drew the plans for the new edifice. This metal box was donated by Kenneth Johnson of the Johnson Plumbing and Heating Company of Logan, Ohio.
After the ceremony, the crowd went back to the little church (which they later called the "Mission Building") for a prayer and praise service. Surely they had much for which to give thanks.
Following this service the Administration Board met and accepted Rev. Burnworth for another year as their pastor.
Summer passed into autumn as the work on the new building rapidly progressed.
Saturday, October 29, 1960
Designated as Grade Day. A day that all could work to beautify the lawn.
Thursday, November 3, 1960
Grading of the lawn was finished and the seed was sown.
Monday, November 7, 1960
The money was exhausted. The contractor took his departure and moved his equipment away.
There was still much work to be done: inside finishing, painting of walls, hanging doors, building of the platform and alters, ECT. There was only one solution, the members themselves agreed to do it.
Each evening after the men had left there regular places of employment, they would begin gathering with the women and children to work late into the hours of the night on their beloved house of God. There was a sense of real fellowship and blessing as the sound of their laughter and joy mingled with the harsher sounds of toil and labor.
Thursday, November 17, 1960
Cleaning day: A day of rejoicing and Christian fellowship.
Saturday, November 19, 1960
The new pews were delivered. This day really proved the truth of Gods promise in Malachi 3:10 "Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven,and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Plans had been made to use the chairs from the little church for pews, but God provided a better way. Various individual families brought the purchase price of a single pew. Individual Sunday school classes did likewise. Memorial Gifts were given in memory of deceased loved ones. And one by one there were enough pews to fill the sanctuary!
Thursday, November 24, 1960
(Thanksgiving Day) An all day church service was held in the new church building to give thanks to the Lord who had made the building possible.
Sunday, November 27, 1960
Just four months and twenty five days after the first day of grading, one hundred and four people marched from their little church to the new one led by the Sunday school Superintendent James Goss and the pastor Rev. Burnworth. This first Sunday service in the new church was a memorable one with two converts kneeling in earnest prayer.
Bill and Shirley Rafferty found peace and forgiveness at the alter that they had both helped to build!
The week from January 15, 1961 to January 22, 1961, the first revival was held in the new church with Bishop Carlson preaching the gospel.
The week was climaxed on the final Sunday, January 22, 1961, when the dedication service was held for the new church.
In addition to the Bishop, other important personages of the conference were in attendance together with the former pastor and visiting ministers from the area. They included: Bishop Carlson, Rev. Burnworth, Rev. Paul Middaugh, Rev. Herbert Householder, Rev. H.E. Harwood, Rev. Clyde Gibson, Rev. Lloyd Beavers, Rev. Robert Sanders, Rev. Jacob Lehman, Rev. Robert Blaine, and the District Superintendent Rev. E.H. Martin. Each gave a short testimony after being introduced to the congregation. Bishop Carlson gave the dedication message using the theme, "The Church is the Center of Prayer."
After the message, the Bishop called to the Trustees of the church, Herbert Becker, Raymond Goss, and James Goss, to the front and told them of their duties. He then presented them the keys of the church.
Rev. Burnworth pastured at the Logan Station until conference time August, 1963. The church that had begun in a tent meeting with a charter membership of seven, now numbered seventy-two. He had pastored at Logan for 13 years and he felt he should step aside for a young full-time pastor. He had seen the faith of his congregation rewarded. Their dream had come true.
As Time Goes On
For the conference year of 1963-1964, Rev. Harold Meyers was stationed at Logan. He, his wife Carol and their young son Timmy moved into the parsonage. Later God blessed them with another son, Andy.
Rev. Meyers pastored at Logan for two years. In 1965 Rev. Meyers was called by the Mission Board for missionary work in Africa as a teacher of agriculture. In the fall of 1965 he accepted the call and left for Africa. This was a memorable event in the life of the Junior Choir of the church.
The young choir members had grown attached to little Timmy and Andy. A group of 57 children and adults from Logan gathered at the Columbus Airport to see the Meyer family off. The land of Africa seemed so very, very far away.
Mrs. Ella Price, choir leader, recalls how they arrived at the airport about one hour before the scheduled departure, hoping to see the family one last time to visit with them awhile. But evidently the Meyers were late. The choir waited. Time passed, 30 minutes; 40 minutes; 50 minutes.
The choir could not know that the Meyers were stranded along the highway with a flat tire! The spare tire had been left at home in the garage so luggage could be packed into the extra space. But now, precious moments were ebbing away while someone sped homeward to obtain the needed tire. All the way to Delaware and back they moved frighteningly slow while the hands of the clock were unbelievably fast. Ten minutes before departure time, while their flight was being called, the Meyers and their families arrived. What a scramble it was to get the missionary family aboard and farewells said!
Two weeks before, the Junior Choir had composed and sung an original song for their pastor and his family. They had planned to sing it again at the airport. The words were sung to the tune of "Beautiful Savior":
"Go ye into all the world,"
This our Lord has said,
Going to Africa
Telling of Gods love,
Truly whatever may come
His love will be with you
Every step He will take with you each day
Rev. and Mrs. Meyers,
Timmy and Andy too!
God bless you.
God bless you.