Oak Grove Church Service review
The following article, written by Chris and Dale Fairchild, was published in the Holden Image newspaper after Midland's senior class of 2012 presented the church service at the Oak Grove, MO church in April, 2012.
The two writers of the weekly Kingsville SDA Church Image article were not in the Kingsville Church on April 28, but instead went to the Oak Grove Adventist Church at the invitation of their son David and his wife Darlene. Members of the senior class of the Midland Adventist Academy in Shawnee, KS, were having the preaching service, and Darlene, the registrar and secretary of the academy, wanted to be there to hear them speak. Highway repairs along the way held the group up for a time, but they did arrive before the church service began. It was garage sale day in Oak Grove, and there were dozens and dozens of garage sales in progress in town.
The Oak Grove Adventist Church is a very friendly church and extended an especially warm welcome to all the visitors. Their pastor, Ignacio Chaviano, spent three years of internment in a labor camp in a Communist country because of his faith. Several members mentioned close ties with the Kingsville SDA Church, with one even remarking that she kept up with the church news via its articles in the Holden Image! The sanctuary, all bright white within, has very large colored-glass windows, and was filled with singing by Louis Milam and his young granddaughter Brooke, and the sound of Louis’ guitar. Later, these two provided special music, singing “Hark, ‘Tis the Shepherd’s Voice I Hear.”
The period between Sabbath School and church was filled by a praise service, and the announcement period following indicated that this church is busy with many activities of all sorts. Among these are a food pantry, retirement home visits, home Bible studies, Vacation Bible School, and the Dorcas Society, in which help is given to the poor, the needy, and the indigent. The church is even planning a garage sale in May to benefit the Summit View Adventist Church School near Pleasant Hill. As the many church children sat on the floor ready to listen, a Children’s Story about the Trinity was given by Matt Atkinson and Annelise Perry. Then the children walked along from one aisle and row to another, taking up a Lambs’ offering. They turned in a full bowl of dollar bills. David and Darlene Fairchild both found themselves serving as pianists, Darlene as church pianist and David as accompanist for Melissa Willer, who played Amazing Grace on her clarinet.
The senior class students, prior to the four speakers, sang some hymns, along with the congregation. After the Scripture Reading from Psalms and Romans, read by Manuel Ugarte and Sommer Sharp, Mark Courtad, PE and Senior Bible class teacher, introduced the student speakers, pointing out that he was very proud of them when they agreed to preach from the pulpits of a number of area churches the group visited this school year. Gina Brazeal told the story of Gideon and his mighty men, who through God’s power, defeated their enemies. It makes no difference how powerful or honorable one might be. In order to win the battle, we must give up all of our plans to win, and trust God to do what is best. Becky Pech mentioned so many Bible people who supposedly could do nothing in the fight against evil, but with God’s power, came out on top. Noah was drunk, Abraham lied about Sara, David took another man’s wife, and Lazarus was dead! But God was in charge, and all turned out well.
Jordan Wiles told the story of two buckets of water carried by a rich man’s servant. He filled the buckets to the brim, but by the time he arrived at the house, one of the pails was only half full. Why? Because it was cracked, allowing the water to drip to the road. Being ashamed of his record, the pot apologized to the servant. “Don’t feel sad”, said the servant. “Have you noticed the flowers all along the path, but only on your side? When I noticed the water sprinkled there from day to day, I decided to plant some flower seeds, seeds which would be watered each time you went by. Now the flowers are growing bright and beautiful, and I pick some every day to grace the master’s table. You might think you are not doing your job, but nothing goes to waste.” And we today need to recognize that we are unique, and as the cracked pot did a good work, so God can use us, even in our imperfect condition, if we give ourselves to Him.
Collin Hoffman, in telling the story of Rahab, pointed out the fact that God uses anyone who says yes to His calling. We might say to one like Rahab, “You’re a bad woman! You’re not worthy! Clean up your act before we accept you”, but God says otherwise. He “has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”. I Corinthians 1:27. With our hearts given over to God, we don’t need to think back on where we’ve been, but rather on where we’re going.
After the service, a delicious haystack fellowship meal was served, to a large number of hungry visitors and members. This church is known for its good food, and even more for being very friendly.