Your Story

I want to know your rural church story.  Do you have a story about how God is using your rural church?  Has being in a rural church made a difference in your life?  I want to know your ups, your downs, your struggles and your victories.  Please share with us!  Who knows your story might help another rural church somewhere?

Published on January 2, 2009 at 2:13 am  Comments (8)  

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  1. I have attended a small, rural church for 62 years. I was saved and baptized in the same church along with my sons. My husband of 44 years was baptized when he decided to join from another faith. He has been a deacon of the same church for 29 years. My church has been my fortress in peace and turmoil in my life. My son was hospitalized for over 70 days and I felt strength I can’t explain on Sundays and Wednesdays when many prayers were lifted on our behalf from my church. I have buried my beloved son, mother, father, and grandparents with a pastor from this small church as my shepherd and consoling friend. It has withstood many things over time expecially a devastating fire of a newly constructed building. I feel it stands on the principles of God’s word and believes strongly in the Great Commission to go and tell of God’s love as practiced in my small, rural country church who is led by a faithful,knowledgable, loving pastor. I wish all mankind could experience the Christian love that I have from my church.

  2. Thanks for getting the ball rolling C.A.

  3. I am thankful to be a product of a rural church. I grew up in a small, rural community in Northeast Tennessee. My family attended Wallens Bend Baptist Church, which was a “quarter-time” church. That meant that our pastor only came one weekend a month to preach for us. On the other Sundays we only met for Sunday School. If we had thirty people in attendance on Sunday morning we felt we had a big crowd. Most everyone in the church was related by either blood or marriage. It was in the context of that community of faith that most all of the significant spiritual events in my early life took place. That tiny group of believers constituted my earliest role models for what it means to be a Christian.

  4. The Sunday following my birth my parents took me to church at the Elm Street Baptist Church in Murphysboro, ILlinois. I have missed very few Sundays since. Most of my church life was spent at Temple Baptist Church in Centralia, Illinois. I have been a pastor for 30 years. I have pastored five rural churches during that time.
    For a brief time I pastored two churches at the same time. The only large church I was ever a member of was the First Baptist Church of Jackson, Tennessee while I was attending Union University.

    Among other things pastoring small churches has strengthened me and built character. It has been a priviledge to serve in this venue although it has often felt like a punishment.
    Hundreds of miles of driving to and from church three times a week plus visiting in homes, hospitals and nursing homes, cars wearing out and breaking down, taking lower paying secular jobs in order to have Sundays off to preach are just a few of the hardships endured by many rural bi-vocational pastors.

    The thousands of small rural churches are an itegral part of God’s plan and if they were all to close it would be a very dark spirtual landscape in our country.

    I recently returned to the Ashley Baptist church where I was pastor for over ten years. It was establised in 1862 and there is still one of the original oil lamps left in one window. We have a food pantry that has served the area for over 15 years.

    I have written devotional articles for Midwest news papers for many years and have a book “Just Thinking Out Loud” a compilation of some of thois articles.

    To learn more about me and my ministry visit my website at

    I like the resource I’ve found on your web site.

    • Thanks for your Story Ken. My wife and I both went to Union U.

  5. I am a pastor/chaplain of over 25 years seeking God’s direction for a change in ministry. I am currently in full time State Prison Ministry (PA) with a good share of Hospice Chaplaincy and “Church Minister of Visitation” thrown in as well. My wife and I are trusting the Lord to get us back to our rural roots. Any suggestions on how to link with rural churches in need of a pastor?

    • David,

      If you are affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention you could start by contacting your State convention office. They may have a list of churches who are seeking a bi-vocational or full time pastor. You can also contact local associations who can point you to churches seeking a pastor. I will be praying for you as you seek God’s direction for your life.

      • Thanks very much for the rapid response. Sorry, I’m not Southern Baptist Convention although I do pulpit fill-in at several local Baptist churches. I have contacted my denominational headquaters and am following up several leads. One thing my wife and I have learned over the years, PATIENCE.
        Again, the Blog is a blessing!

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