On October 28, 2018, Oak Hill First Brethren Church celebrated its 116th anniversary and homecoming.
Prior to our celebration service, Pastor Rickey spoke to the football teams and cheerleaders on Friday evening. First Brethren feeds the Oak Hill High School football team prior to some games. This Friday, we hosted both teams (Midland Trails, too) for dinner, then Pastor Rickey spoke to both squads prior to the game. He shared great thoughts about both football and life, adding a gospel presentation. The most poignant principle for me was “follow-through.” He spoke about the importance of keeping your feet moving whether blocking, tackling, running with the football or following Christ. [Very powerful!]
We celebrated 90 years of ministry in our current building during our celebration service. We also honored Paul Fox for 65 years serving as our pianist, 47 years as moderator, and 38 years as a deacon. Current moderator Jason Crouch recited a brief history of the First Brethren Church in Oak Hill. We rededicated our building in light of some major repairs and many important but less critical repairs, too.
Included were: removing a failing mini-wall behind the church, replacing it with a new sidewalk and adding footers to a missing section of the wall. During construction, we discovered a leaking gas line and replaced it. A new guard rail completed that project. We replaced worn carpeting on the outdoor steps and sidewalks going into the church with “nature stone.” The front entry floors were repaired and new flooring installed. We painted our auditorium and re-carpeted the floor and stairway to the basement. We installed new wooden banisters on every stairway throughout the church, even where none existed previously. Trustees added a new restroom. They also restored hot-water heat to the Sunday School wing (huge savings and improved comfort). The congregation bought new rocking chairs and a crib for the nursery, replaced ceiling tiles, repaired a damaged stained glass window and added new safety and security locks. New, more readable signs were added in front and back of the church building.
CVS provided special music during the service. They hail from the Midland Trails area of Fayette County, WV. Cameron, Victoria and Griffin sang beautifully. They blessed us greatly.
Pastor Rickey affirmed our rededication of the building as a new dedication on our part to spreading the gospel in Oak Hill, WV. He brought his message from John 5: the pool of Bethesda. He spoke of the types of people present. The main character in the story started as an invalid and whiner. Another type of person may be one who sincerely wanted to be healed, but couldn’t get to the pool. A third person, perhaps blind, could get to the pool, but couldn’t find it. The man who was a “whiner” became one who placed his faith in Jesus, finding healing and salvation. Pastor Rickey re-emphasized the need for follow-through in faith. Then he applied the message to us with our new dedication to ministry from our “new” ministry center.
We completed our homecoming by remembering those from our fellowship who passed during the last year and enjoying dinner in our Fellowship Center.
Love this congregation! And I love Ricky too! Thanks for sharing.
Been at Oak Hill , Love it also, I am from Beckley, Great news that you are doing there. I now go to Jefferson Community Church, in Goshen, In. God Bless, Your Church, And May the Kingdom Grow.