I was up in Gallia County, Ohio recently with my oldest daughter. We went on a day trip because she had an exam to take at the testing center at Rio Grande University. While she was taking her test, I took a short drive just beyond Rio Grande. The Old Pine Church (established 1847) is located just off of the side of the road in Raccoon Township. There is a cemetery by the church also. A congregation no longer meets regularly in the building.
I took a few photos and the inside of the church was striking. The dust on the pews was thick and various things were piled around in the building. Yet I envisioned the countless generations of people who gathered there over a century and a half of ministry. I could see families sitting together, and children running around with joy. Think of the hymns that were sung there, the souls saved, and the lives transformed for eternity.
Of course the building is not the church. The people comprise the church. But the building represents where the people meet to worship God. At one point in its history people joyfully gave, gathered and worked to see the Old Pine Church built. No doubt, significant sacrifices were made to see the church building built. Picnics were certainly held on the grounds, and a community was ministered to in a variety of ways. Then, probably because of changes in the area, regular services stopped and the last songs were sung on a weekly basis.
I am sure the history of that community and church is available somewhere. Every church has a story and part of that story is told each Sunday when the people gather. I want to be part of a story of lives being changed. The full story however, will not be known on this side of eternity. When our story is told, may it be one of people joyfully serving God with their whole hearts!