In the July/August issue, we printed an article, "Praise for Country Churches," by Don Dilmore, in which he shared his opinion about why he likes country churches better than big-city churches. Then we asked readers, "What do you love about your place of worship?" Here are a couple of the responses we received.
Love, Friendship Abound
"Enter to worship, depart to serve" reads the sign above the archway leading to our sanctuary at Brilliant Christian Church. These words are not taken lightly. Everyone goes the extra mile to help others.
We have many outreach programs, such as collecting school supplies for students and food for the area food bank. The youth also get involved by visiting hospitals and helping distribute food.
Area residents know all they have to do is call and request prayers, and they will be added to our prayer list. When someone passes away, members of our church prepare and serve a meal to the family following the funeral.
Each Sunday, birthdays and anniversaries for the week are announced, and there is a jovial atmosphere as we sing. After service, everyone mingles and visits. Hugs are as common as handshakes, and babies and toddlers are passed from one pair of loving hands to another.
We have lost several members over the past decade, but the love and generosity is greater than it’s ever been. The extraordinary friendship and compassion is why Brilliant Christian Church has been my church for more than 60 years.
God’s love is radiated through His people, many of whom attend my church.
Judy Hanlin - Brilliant, Ohio
Everyone Welcomed at Old Country Church
Sixty-three years ago, my husband, Keith, and I were married at a peaceful old country church in the Albany, Missouri, area.
The church was organized as a Christian congregation in January 1854. Over the years the building was moved to a new location, and, in 1879, it was formally dedicated by H.W. Williams, with many well-wishers in attendance.
Improvements and additions have been added, including electricity. Central heat was also installed, doing away with the wood stove that once stood in the sanctuary, and a basement was added when the building was relocated many years ago.
In 1882, Mary Peery, a member of the Dorsey community, came up with the idea that there should be a Sunday school class. Determined, she rode horseback from house to house, knocking on doors to see if people in the community would be interested in a Sunday school. They were, and the first class was held in May that year. The choir director used a tuning fork to lead the choir.
We moved to other communities through the years, but after my husband retired, we moved back to the Albany community. Once again, we are members of the Dorsey Christian Church, where my husband now teaches the adult Bible study class.
The entire congregation is dedicated to keeping the church open for everyone in the community. This special country church is witness to many sojourners looking for comfort, guidance and fellowship.
Lettie Siddens - Albany, Missouri