The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023

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Join Trinity and special guest, Tom Kennerk for a great night of gospel music at 6 p.m. Sunday, January 29, at Trinity Friends Church in Van Wert.

Trinity has been sharing the gospel through music for over 40 years. The group was formed in the early 1980s by Gary Adams and at that time was a male trio. Through the years Trinity has seen their ministry change from trio, to quartet, and back to trio and from an all male group to and mixed trio.

For the last 24 years the group has consisted of Cheryl Burk, Kim Mason and Gary Adams. God has opened so many doors for Trinity and has allowed them to share the stage with some of Southern Gospel’s best. One of their favorite parts of their ministry is the Gospel Expo and they will be hosting their 22nd Gospel Music Expo on April 21, 22 and 23.

Trinity first met Tom Kennerk at their first Gospel Expo in 2001 and there was an instant bond. Tom is from Monroeville, Indiana, and is a fantastic saxophonist. His blend of jazz, gospel & country adds a special touch to southern gospel classics, hymns and patriotic songs. Tom and Trinity are both produced by Dove Award winner John Darin Rowsey at Hitmakers Studio.

The concert is free and open to the public.

POSTED: 01/24/23 at 1:47 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

Commemorating First Baptist Church’s 175th Anniversary, the congregation took special offerings to present a gift to the community. The total raised was $6400 and this gift was given to support three organizations promoting the Gospel in the Van Wert community: PLC Health Clinic, Van Wert LifeWise Academy, and Lincolnview Bible Board. Pictured is Mark Fast, deacon chairman of First Baptist Church presenting a check to Deb Mongold and April Gray of Lincolnview Bible Board. Photo submitted

POSTED: 12/30/22 at 10:20 am. FILED UNDER: Church

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CONVOY — The Convoy United Methodist Church would like to extend an invitation to a community Christmas Eve Candlelight Service to be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 24. This will be a service of word, music and light, with the message by Pastor Bill Thomas, and an Advent reading by the Hammons Family. The evening service will conclude with the singing of Silent Night by the congregation while the church is illuminated by candlelight.

Christmas Sunday Service will be at 9:30 a.m. December 25. The Sanctuary will be adorned with beautiful red poinsettias, a decorated Christmas tree, lighted garland, and wreaths as we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. There will be Christmas readings, scriptures, songs, and prayer. The adult choir will sing “The Birthday of a King” under the direction of Keith Bowers and accompanist Linda Holden.

A New Years Day service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Sunday January 1, 2023, in the church sanctuary. The adult choir will be singing “With This Bread” and Communion will be served.

Convoy United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Main and Sycamore in Convoy.

POSTED: 12/20/22 at 2:10 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

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First United Methodist Church Youth Group is conducting a shoe drive fundraiser now until January 7 to raise funds for their mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

The youth group will earn funds based on the total weight of the pairs of gently worn, used and new shoes collected, as Funds2Orgs will issue a check for the collected shoes. Those dollars will help cover the cost of the mission trip. Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used and new shoes at First United Methodist Church at 113 W. Central Avenue, Van Wert.

All donated shoes will then be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise (small business) partners. Funds2Orgs works with micro-entrepreneurs in helping them create, maintain and grow small businesses in developing countries where economic opportunity and jobs are limited. Proceeds from the sales of the shoes collected in shoe drive fundraisers are used to feed, clothe and house their families. One budding entrepreneur in Haiti even earned enough to send her son to law school.

“We are excited about our shoe drive,” Youth Director Teresa Shaffer said. “We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets they would like to donate to us. By doing so, we raise money for our mission trips, and we have the chance to help families in developing nations who need economic opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

By donating gently worn, used and new shoes to the Youth Group at First United Methodist Church, the shoes will be given a second chance and make a difference in people’s lives around the world.

Anyone in grades 6-12 may join the youth group. They meet on from 12-1:30 p.m. each Sunday until May. They share a meal, have special events, local mission projects and lessons.

POSTED: 12/08/22 at 4:38 am. FILED UNDER: Church, News

VW independent staff/submitted information

The 24th annual Live Nativity Drive Thru has always been in the same location as the church that hosts it, the Jennings Road Church of Christ, until now.

This year’s event is a part of Winter Wonderland at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds Friday and Saturday, December 2-3. The drive-thru will be open from 6-9 p.m. each night. There is no cost, but donations will be accepted if offered.

The live camels are a big hit at the annual Live Nativity Drive Thru. Photo submitted

Director Deanna Ray said the church is excited about the new location.

“We love providing this experience for the community each Christmas,” Ray stated. “When the fairgrounds asked, we met with them and the 4H team that provides the fantastic light show each year. The church is honored to be asked to join in with so many other great local events.”

No longer located in the church parking lot, the new spot is the dairy barn at the fairgrounds.

“This is different for us,” Ray explained. “We had this down to a science. What used to be a drive around the scenes is now a drive straight through an actual dairy barn.”

Something that has not changed, she said, is the overall experience. Sets, costumes, centurions, a marketplace, shepherds, and the manger are all the same.

“Everyone loves the live camels,” Ray said.

To directly access the new location, Gate No. 2 of the fairgrounds will be open. Or, Ray added, there are directions in place to drive through the light show and then head to the Live Nativity or vice versa.

The Jennings Road Church of Christ is a contemporary, non-denominational church that can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

POSTED: 11/27/22 at 11:26 pm. FILED UNDER: Church, News

VW independent staff

Trinity Friends Church will offer a community Thanksgiving Day dinner from 12-4 p.m. Thursday, November 24, at the church’s Family Life Center, 605 N. Franklin St., Van Wert.

Anyone who is homeless, alone or in need of a helping hand is welcome. Rides will be available and delivery is being offered as well. Call the church at 419.238.2788.

POSTED: 11/14/22 at 4:52 am. FILED UNDER: Church, News

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OHIO CITY — Beginning Sunday, November 20, the Ohio City United Methodist Church services on Sunday mornings will begin at 10:30 a.m. Please come join us to worship with Pastor Gary Ginter and fellowship with us. All are welcome.

POSTED: 11/09/22 at 4:05 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

The Van Wert Area Minister’s Association is planning a community-wide Harvest Thanksgiving service, Sunday, November 20 at 7:00 pm at First United Methodist Church in downtown Van Wert. It is a revival of services which used to be held where the entire community would gather to give thanks for God’s blessings throughout the past year.

Local ministers and lay people will lead the service as they recognize the many agriculturalists and farmers in our community and thank them for their long hours of diligent work. The entire community of Van Wert County is invited to show our gratitude to our farmers and our God.

This service has sprung from the numerous churches in our community who have hosted and supported an ongoing Thursday noon community prayer gathering over the past year and a half. Every Thursday at noon, prayer warriors have gathered to diligently pray for the safety, health, and spiritual welfare of our Van Wert Community, State, Nation, and the World. Each month, it has rotated between Trinity Friends Church, First UM, Pentecostal Way, Church on the Horizon, The Apostolic Church of Van Wert, Salem Presbyterian in Venedocia, Kingsley UM, and Trinity UM. The ministers, leaders, and congregations of these churches invite all to join in this celebration service.

A special offering will be taken with proceeds going to the Christmas decorations in downtown Van Wert’s Fountain Park.

POSTED: 11/07/22 at 1:44 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

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The Homelighter’s Quartet from Circleville will be singing a mini-concert at the Liberty Baptist Church, 501 E. Third Street, Van Wert, at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, November 13, in the church’s main auditorium. Sunday school will precede the anniversary celebration at 9:30 a.m.

The Homelighter’s Quartet is a Southern Gospel quartet proclaiming the name of Jesus in their ministry and was founded in 1973. The faces have changed but the will to serve God is still the same.

Pictured from left to right is the Homelighter’s Quartet: Greg Cline, Kermit Haddox, Jack Davidson and Dennis Glascock. Photo submitted

According to Sr. Pastor Jim Burns, the occasion for the guest quartet is the 40th anniversary of the Liberty Baptist Church. Pastor Burns will preach a brief message after the quartet sings. A free turkey dinner will be served after the celebration service to all who attend this special event. Everyone is welcome to attend and everything is free.

For more information please check out the church’s Facebook page.

POSTED: 11/02/22 at 1:32 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

VW independent staff/submitted information

CONVOY — The Convoy United Methodist Church Election Day Supper will be held from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, November 8, in the church fellowship hall.

The menu will include baked steak and turkey with cheesy potatoes or mashed potatoes, green beans or fresh corn, and cole slaw or applesauce. There will be homemade pies and cakes and carryouts will be available. A freewill offering will be taken with proceeds going to the church roof repairs.

Convoy UMC is located at the corner of North Main and Sycamore Streets. There is handicap accessibility at the north door.

POSTED: 10/24/22 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: Church, News