The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, May. 30, 2023

VW independent staff

The Gospel Heralds from Appalachian Bible College will sing at 7 p.m. Monday, June 5, at the First Baptist Church, 13887 Jennings Road, Van Wert.

POSTED: 05/30/23 at 12:21 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

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It is Gospel Expo time, and Trinity Music Ministries is preparing to host their 22nd Southern Gospel Music Expo April 21-23 at Trinity Friends Church/Family Life Center in Van Wert.

Over the last 22 years, Trinity has hosted groups from 14 different states and Canada for a weekend full of great music and fellowship. This year’s line up features 20 different gospel artists/groups and will feature a special tribute to Trinity’s founding member, Gary Adams, on Saturday night. Gary, along with Steve Placke and Terry Amstutz, started Trinity over 40 years ago and before that he sang in a group with his mother and mother-in-law. Gary passed away on March 4 at the age of 86. Altogether he had served the Lord in song for over 60 years.

The Guardians Quartet and a tribute to Gary Adams will be part of Southern Gospel Expo 2023. Photos submitted

Things will kick off at 5 p.m. Friday, April 21 4 p.m. Saturday, April 22. The doors will open approximately one hour beforehand and the always popular food court will be open. A different gospel artist will take the stage every 15 minutes, so the audience can come and go throughout the night.

On Sunday, April 23, Trinity will open for the the Guardians Quartet. Dean Hickman, Paul Lancaster, John Darin Rowsey, Pat Barker and Scott Mullins, collectively known as the Guardians Quartet are a southern gospel quartet with a unique sound, tight harmony and a passion for sharing the gospel through their music. With three Dove Award nominations, multiple No. 1 songs and fan awards, the Lord has blessed the Guardians Quartet with an incredible journey since their inception. Each member of the group brings a sincere commitment to glorifying Jesus Christ. Therefore, their mantra remains echoing John the Baptist’s words in John 3:30: “He must increase but I must decrease.”

The finale concert will start at 6:30 p.m. with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. and the food court open. With the help of generous sponsors and nightly offerings, the Gospel Expo is free.

POSTED: 04/12/23 at 6:21 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

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Parents are invited to the First United Methodist Preschool Art Show from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at the church, 113 W. Central Ave Van Wert.

Join the little artists as they display their masterpieces. Parents are invited to enjoy pizza with at 6 p.m. Also, parents can collect their student’s work of art they have created. Optional freewill donations will go toward the church’s scholarship fund.

POSTED: 04/12/23 at 6:20 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

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Easter Services at the Liberty Baptist Church, 501 E. Third Street, Van Wert, will be held on Sunday April 9.

A free hot breakfast will be served between 9-10 a.m. A video of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ will be shown in the main auditorium at 10 a.m. and the church’s Easter service will begin at 10:45 a.m. with resurrection music and a sermon on Christ’s resurrection will be presented by Jim C. Burns, the church’s senior pastor. No Sunday School or Sunday night services on Easter Sunday. The public is invited to attend.

For more information see the church’s Facebook page.

POSTED: 04/05/23 at 2:35 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

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The Van Wert Community Good Friday Service will be held at First United Methodist Church in downtown Van Wert at 12:05 p.m. Good Friday, April 7.

A procession of the cross will begin at the YWCA on the corner of E. Main and S. Cherry Streets at 11:45 a.m. Anyone wishing to walk the cross down Main Street to the church is encouraged to gather before 11:45 a.m. to join the procession. Area pastors will be participating in the Good Friday service along with Pastor Chris Farmer, preaching.

The greater Van Wert community is invited to this service which has been a Van Wert tradition for many years.

First United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Central and Jefferson in downtown Van Wert, just across from Fountain Park. There are three entrances to the sanctuary, one off Jefferson Street and two off Central Avenue. The church is fully handicapped accessible and handicap parking is also available.

POSTED: 04/03/23 at 3:49 am. FILED UNDER: Church, News

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The public is invited to attend Holy Week Services at the Convoy United Methodist Church, starting with the 12 p.m. Friday, April 7, Community Worship Service at Convoy UMC with pastor Bud Walls bringing the message and special music by Don Duncan and Josh Thomas.

The Convoy UMC worship service will begin at 7 p.m. on Good Friday with the choir singing “To Calvary.”

The schedule for Easter/Resurrection Day, April 9, goes like this:

Easter celebration of the risen Jesus Christ will begin with a sunrise worship service at 7 a.m. Breakfast will follow in the fellowship hall, followed by Sunday school for all ages at 8:30 a.m. The Easter Worship Service will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the sanctuary with the adult choir singing “Open the Gates of the Temple” then the 11 a.m. informal worship service in the Fellowship Hall.

The church is located at the corner of North Main and Sycamore Streets in Convoy.

POSTED: 04/02/23 at 7:58 am. FILED UNDER: Church

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First United Methodist Church, located at 113 W. Central Avenue in Van Wert, will be presenting Randall Goodgame’s ‘Slugs & Bugs’ live at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 16. Slugs & Bugs creates music and stories full of faith and silliness for families to delight in and sing for years to come.

In 2006, Randall Goodgame and Andrew Peterson released the album Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies, and in 2010 Randall released new music and began the Slugs & Bugs live concert tour. Slugs & Bugs music is among the most revered and critically lauded series in Christian family entertainment, garnering multiple Dove Award nominations and millions of streams online.

Randall has toured Slugs & Bugs live extensively throughout the U.S. including in 25 states, playing more than 350 shows. Slugs & Bugs now has released eight albums including the popular Sing the Bible series. In 2019, Randall released his first four picture books in partnership with Lifeway and that same year the all-new Slugs & Bugs show released – good times, good music, and Good News share the stage in the 26-episode TV series.

Consider this an open invitation to enjoy an afternoon of free family fun in a casual, relaxed setting. Contact Cristi Laukhuf at or phone 419.238.0631 ext 306. for more information.

There are three entrances to the sanctuary, one off Jefferson Street and two off Central Avenue. The church is fully handicapped accessible and handicap parking is also available. If you are looking for a church home or haven’t been to church in a while, the loving congregation of First United Methodist and Pastor Chris Farmer invite you to worship weekly with them. First United Methodist’s weekly services are as follows: 8:15 a.m. casual and 10:45 a.m. traditional service on Sundays. Several Bible studies and activities are offered throughout the week.

POSTED: 04/02/23 at 7:46 am. FILED UNDER: Church

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Kylie Owens, Children’s Ministry Director of Trinity Friends Church, has achieved one of her goals in working for the kingdom of Christ.

She is developing a children’s biblical curriculum for teachers and parents alike called “Raising Unashamed Kids.”” So far, three of the discipleship workbooks, Genesis Part I, the Gospel of Mark, and James, have been published and are available on Amazon.

Kylie Owens

Kylie is passionate about giving kids a solid foundation to stand on, especially today. That passion and the Lord’s blessing is what led her to create “Raising Unashamed Kids.” The curriculum was founded to teach, cultivate, and instill life skills in children so they know how to stand up in a world against them.

Raising Unashamed Kids wants to assist parents and teachers in equipping our youngest generation of disciples. These workbooks will help kids refresh their minds on what we have learned, be used as a prayer journal and testimony formulator, and be a memory maker for them to reflect on. They contain printed pages for them to cut and paste into, or they will directly write into them. The “hands-on” experience these books gives will help kids quickly remember what they are learning.

Owens has also published a new testimonial book called “Send Me” this is the third and final book in her Isaiah Testimonial series. Send Me is her fifth book publication (not including the Raising Unashamed Kids workbooks). She has been invited to present the curriculum at TFC’s Eastern Region of Evangelical Friends Churches’ yearly meeting this July in Canton.

POSTED: 04/02/23 at 7:37 am. FILED UNDER: Church

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West Central Ohio Youth for Christ is pleased to present its second annual “Be the Story” fundraising banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at Calvary Evangelical Church, 10686 Van Wert-Decatur Road, Van Wert.

The purpose of the event is to share dynamic new developments happening in the ministry that are impacting the lives of students in West Central Ohio. Featured will be an update from Executive Director Brad Petrie, as well as youth who will share their testimonies and pastors will highlight their experiences with Youth for Christ. There are many ways to be part of the Youth for Christ Story.

Students will be among the speakers at the Be the Story fundraiser, scheduled for April 13. Photo submitted

Any member of the community is welcome to attend and see what Youth for Christ is up to. To RSVP, call 419.238.1370 or visit by March 30. If you are unable to attend the event but would still like to support the Youth for Christ ministries in Van Wert, Convoy, Parkway, and the surrounding areas by making a financial gift to the organization, you can contact the Youth for Christ office or visit their website, Event Sponsorship is also available by contacting the Community Engagement Coordinator, Kirsten Brunswick, at the Youth for Christ office at 419.238.1370.

West Central Ohio Youth for Christ is a relational ministry that reaches young people everywhere, working together with the local church and other like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus who lead by their godliness in lifestyle, devotion to prayer and the Word of God, passion for sharing the love of Christ and commitment to social involvement.

West Central Ohio Youth for Christ is currently hosting Campus Life Programs at Crestview Middle School, Crestview High School, Lincolnview Junior High School, Parkway Middle School, Van Wert Middle School, and Van Wert High School. To learn more about their mission and their work, visit or their Facebook page.

POSTED: 03/20/23 at 12:48 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

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Trinity Friends Church will host “Christ in the Passover: An Interactive Experience” on Maundy Thursday, April 6, in the Family Life Center Auditorium, 605 N. Franklin St., Van Wert. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the event will begin at 6:30 p.m. This powerful interactive experience, led by Greg Williams of Jews for Jesus, will illustrate the link between the Jewish feast of Passover and the last supper Jesus shared with His disciples.

Join us for a sensory exploration of the beautiful Jewish ceremony called a seder. As we taste the traditional symbolic foods, we’ll weave the story of the exodus and freedom from slavery together with the messianic hope realized in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. The words “do this in remembrance of me” will take on an even deeper meaning to Christians as we learn the significance of the tradition Jesus observed the night before He died and give us a closer look at the very Jewish life He led.

Jewish or not, religious or not—this is an unforgettable, thought-provoking experience.

Tickets are free but seating is limited, so preregistration is required at Tickets are transferrable with the name of original registrant. Printed tickets are not necessary at check-in the evening of the event.

POSTED: 03/20/23 at 12:40 pm. FILED UNDER: Church