The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 160 W. Sycamore Street in Van Wert is happy to announce the return of “Christmas At The Manger” from 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, December 11. The St. Mark’s family invites everyone to participate in some favorite Christmas traditions, including decorating Christmas cookies, creating ornaments for the Christmas tree, meeting “Flower”, hearing the Christmas Story, and having pictures taken at the manger. All activities are free of charge. For more information, call 419.238.6336.

POSTED: 12/06/21 at 8:49 am. FILED UNDER: Church

Submitted information

Trinity Friends Church will host the very first annual Christmas Wonderland, a community wide event to kick off the holy season from 5-7 p.m. Sunday, December 5.

Everyone is invited to join in on free fun for all ages, including food, cookie decorating, a hot chocolate bar, games and stockings for the kids, and Christmas carols led by the Trinity Friends Church Worship Team.

The halls will be decorated with Christmas trees and wreaths entered into the church’s Christmas Decorating Challenge. Those who attend may vote for a favorite tree or wreath with a minimum $1 donation, with all proceeds benefiting 2022 mission trips to Mississippi and Alaska. The winner of this decorating challenge will be given a “traveling” prize until the 2022 Christmas Wonderland, when that person will have a chance to compete again.

Trinity Friends Church is located at 605 N. Franklin Street, Van Wert.

POSTED: 11/29/21 at 7:00 am. FILED UNDER: Church

The Jennings Road Church of Christ will host its annual live nativity drive-through event from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, December 3, and Saturday, December 4, at 1124 Jennings Road in Van Wert. Those who attend will be able to see live animals, including camels, creative costumes, and the manger scene, all from the car. The event is free to the community, though donations will be accepted. Photo provided

POSTED: 11/29/21 at 6:53 am. FILED UNDER: Church

Van Wert independent

Trinity Friends Church at 605 N. Franklin Street in Van Wert will host a Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 12-4 p.m. Thursday, November 25, in the Family Life Center.

Anyone in need of a warm meal, pleasant company or both this holiday is welcome to enjoy the dinner or carryout free of charge.

Home delivery options are available by calling the church office at 419.238.2788 by 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 24.

POSTED: 11/19/21 at 4:42 am. FILED UNDER: Church, News

Submitted information

The Newcomers will bring their singing act to Liberty Baptist Church on Friend Day.

Dave and Arvida Newcomer

Dave and Arvida Newcomer live in Hoagland, Indiana. Dave was born and raised in Marion, Indiana, and Arvida was born in Hutchinson, Kansas. After the loss of both of their spouses to cancer, God blessed them by uniting them in marriage nine years ago this month. Dave just retired in February from 36 years as a minister of music. Arvida is an anointed singer and has traveled many years sharing the gospel through song. One of Arvida’s highlights has been to have the honor of singing the National Anthem at a Cincinnati Red’s baseball game.

The Newcomers will perform a mini-concert at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, November 7, at the Liberty Baptist Church, 501 E. Third Street in Van Wert. The performance will take place during the worship service in the church’s main auditorium.

“Our Friend Day will start out with a light breakfast in the church lobby at 9:15 a.m. then Sunday School for all ages at 9:30 a.m. and the Special Friend Day Service at 10:45 a.m. followed by a free Fried Chicken Dinner in the church’s Fellowship Hall,” Pastor Jim Burns said. “The public is invited to attend and everything is free.”

Liberty Baptist Church is located just five blocks east of the Van Wert Historical Museum in the former Horace Mann School building.

For more information, check the church’s Facebook page at

POSTED: 10/28/21 at 1:19 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

Submitted information

Area musicians and actors will be performing in a Halloween themed extravaganza titled, “A Little Fright Music” which will be held at The First Presbyterian Church of Van Wert on from 7-8:30 p.m. Sunday, October 31.

“A Little Fright Music” will include more than just macabre melodies. Poetry, acting, costumes and visual arts will also set your spine a shiver. Take in the spooky sights and sounds on Halloween night in the fully decorated gothic sanctuary! Masks, costumes and cosplay are ENCOURAGED so dress up along with the performers and be a part of the eerie action. The sanctuary doors will swing open promptly at 6:15 p.m. before the concert at 7 p.m. for your viewing entertainment.

Organist, Harriet Schaadt will usher the audience into All Hallows Eve 2021, with Bach’s “Toccata” from his Toccata & Fugue in D Minor on the Schanz pipe organ whilst video clips from silent era horror films will be flickering on the screen. Karen Koch will be at the piano keys for a little “Addams Family” themed fun followed by the ensemble, In Spiritu with Jill Jeffrey, Stacy Rife, Seth and Anna Baker, Joe and Mary Ann Falk, Scott Turner, Adam Ries, Dee Fisher, & Sheila Chilcote-Collins performing a ghoulish and amusing medley, “In the Sorcerer’s Hall”.

Many musical “treats” will be offered by several fine instrumentalists from our area: Rod Sroufe and his dreadful double bass accompanied by his son Evan on piano, Cindy Gardner and her venomous violin with Melissa Clay as her accompanist, Seth Baker will be at the spooky Schanz pipe organ and Anna Battle-Baker will be playing her blood curdling bassoon. We might have a couple of “tricks” up our sleeve as well.

Vocal solos and duets from Mary Ann Falk, Dee Fisher, Adam Ries and Sheila Chilcote-Collins will include well-known selections from “Phantom of the Opera”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Anastasia” and several other macabre musical numbers. Musical and theatrical husband and wife team Joe and Mary Ann Falk, will join together to present the poem, “The Vampyre” with Chilcote-Collins narrating.

Benjamin King, actor & David Van Tilburg, pianist, will be performing an Edgar Alan Poe offering along with “Morte” (Death) by piano composer, Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Scott Turner will be performing the truly virtuosic clarinet solo “Bucolique” by Eugene Bozza with Maestro VanTilburg expertly accompanying him on the grand piano.

“I am very excited to produce and be able to share this one of a kind event with our community,” Chilcote-Collins said. “It is a wonderful chance for people to celebrate, participate and enjoy live music and theatre once again in Van Wert. I would like to thank the First Presbyterian Church for being our host and especially, Capital Advisory Services, LLC of Van Wert for being our premiere sponsor. Their generous financial contributions make this event possible.”

Please join us for a truly frighteningly and fabulous evening. This event is free, open to the public and is rated PG.

The First Presbyterian Church is located on the corner of Washington and Crawford Streets in downtown Van Wert and practices all state mandated social distancing guidelines.

POSTED: 10/25/21 at 8:13 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

Submitted information

The Community Noon Prayer Group scheduled for Thursday, October 21, has been moved from First United Methodist Church to Trinity United Methodist Church, 220 South Walnut in Van Wert.

POSTED: 10/19/21 at 2:35 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

Independent staff and submitted information

First United Methodist Church, 113 W. Central Ave. in Van Wert, announces it will be presenting a Christmas musical: The King and Me.

Children and youths from the community are invited to be a part of the musical and tell the story of Jesus’ birth in a fun and creative way. Youngsters ages kindergarten and up are welcome.

Rehearsals will be held each Wednesday. From 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the church, with Sunday rehearsals added in November. No auditions are required to sing in the musical’s chorus, while sign-up is available for speaking parts and musical solos. The musical will be performed at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, December 19.

For more information, contact Chris Gordon at 614.530.3516 or

The church congregation and Pastor Chris Farmer also welcome those looking for a home church or who haven’t been to worship for a while. Weekly services are also streamed live at

POSTED: 09/27/21 at 10:23 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

Independent staff and submitted information

In an effort to try to get the Trinity and North Union congregations to feel more united after all the COVID separation, to spark some new expressions of their faith, and maybe even start a new tradition, it was decided to use the fifth Sunday in August to put their worship into action. 

Over 80 volunteers started arriving in the Trinity UM parking lot around 8:30.   Donuts, fruit pieces and breakfast drinks were spread on two tables for anyone to consume.

Church members demonstrate their faith by helping a homeowner. photo submitted by Rex Dolby

A mini service began at 9:15 and at 9:30 the teams assembled, picked up their container of supplies and departed for their job sites.  Six of those sites offer assistance to adults and youth in the Van Wert area, two were school Bible houses, two were city parks and one was a home.  In addition, there was a prayer team and those who prepared food.

Everyone was at the North Union UMC on Rt. 127 North by noon for a fellowship meal prepared and served by the North Union cooks.

Following the meal, participants reported that they were pleased with the work they did and their interactions with their team members and the worksite host. They also liked the break with tradition, but were quick to add that the next one be scheduled when temperatures are cooler.

POSTED: 09/08/21 at 11:31 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

Independent staff and submitted information

Trinity Friends Church recently welcomed new Lead Pastor Matthew McGovern to the church staff and Van Wert community.  

Pastor McGovern

Pastor McGovern comes to Van Wert from Hughesville, Pennsylvania, where he served as the family life pastor for 11 years at Hughesville Evangelical Friends Church.  He is a graduate of Lycoming College (Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration) and Rawlings School of Divinity, Liberty University (Master of Arts degree in Christian Ministry and Pastoral Counseling). He has over 13 years of experience in ministry, including marital and parental counseling, divorce, grief and trauma recovery, and the organization of children and youth ministries. 

He also served as the director of the international youth organization, Young Life, for a number of years.

Pastor McGovern is excited for what God has in store for, not only his own family, but also for Trinity Friends Church and the Van Wert community. He and his wife, Amy, have been married for 23 years. They have been blessed with three children, their son, Ben, 20, and daughter, Laura, 17, who both attend college, and a daughter, Hannah, 14, who will be a student at Van Wert High School this fall.  

We would love to have you join us at Trinity Friends Church if you are in need of a church home. TFC’s Worship services are every Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m.  Kingdom Kids Children’s Ministry is offered at this same time for nursery through elementary grades. Worship services are streamed at  BRICK (Building Relationships In Christ our King) youth group is held each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The church campus is located at 605 N. Franklin St. in Van Wert. 

Area residents are invited to join the TFC congregation in welcoming Pastor McGovern and his family to the church and the Van Wert community. 

POSTED: 08/18/21 at 9:49 pm. FILED UNDER: Church