“Welcome to church! We’ll treat you so many different ways, you’ll have to like one of them!” This was a favorite greeting I received from Deacon George “Jack” Taylor, while I served at Second Baptist Church of Mechanicsburg, Ohio, during college. When I was a student at Cedarville University, my family learned so much from being a part of that small, loving congregation. We were there half of each month, and it truly blessed our lives. Now, 20 years later, pastoring in the community of London, Ohio, while also serving the Lord from the Office of the President at Cedarville, I understand the value that a small, loving, local church can have on young adults seeking a place to serve the Lord.
This summer, Adam Southerland served as a summer intern at the church he and his wife, Hannah, have been attending, First Baptist Church of London, Ohio. The Southerlands wanted to find a church that would welcome them as they sought to serve cross culturally, as well as align with their doctrinal beliefs and convictions and allow them to use their gifts and talents. Although First Baptist is 22 miles away from their home, it met their criteria. Adam and Hannah live and work at Cedarville University, as a Resident Director and Admissions Recruiter respectively, but when they aren’t working with the 200 young adults in the residence hall or introducing high school students to Cedarville, they are praising God with their church family!
First Baptist Church, like many local churches, loves Cedarville University! What Cedarville stands for is what the church also believes. This has made connection to the University an easy one. Around 12 individuals each week from the university typically attend, and this year the ministry group from Cedarville will assist with dramas, childcare, worship services, sports and outreach at First Baptist.
As you talk to people seeking to grow their faith in Christ, understand that many are struggling to find a “place” that they can call home and serve the Lord at regularly. I am thankful that First Baptist, along with many other fine ministries in the area, can provide real family connections for students, faculty, and staff from local colleges. Have you found a church to do more than attend? Check out First Baptist Church in London, Ohio.