Stories

" We knew immediately that Bethel was where we were supposed to be. We felt right at home and welcomed. The pastor was a fighter for Truth and we were excited to hear and learn from him.
It took us a little while to find our groove (or for us to be obedient!). We slowly became involved with VBS and the youth group. Mike became a deacon and we serve on the baptismal team. We are definitely learning and growing as we go! We are blessed to be serving in a church where there is obedience, love, and truth being lived out by its staff and congregation.
We are also grateful for being surrounded by people who love us for who we are. It is reassuring to know that we are not the only ones who make mistakes. Bethel is full of real people. It's that "humanity" thing. That's what makes a family--- love and forgiveness. Isn't that the example we have been given?
Bethel has become our home. We are truly blessed to be working with the staff and leadership of Godly men and women who have chosen to be obedient to the call that which God has given them. We admire Pastor John for his tenacity and obedience, for his passion and his love. We love the young children and the young men and women in the youth group. Our hearts grow in love for them as we get to know them more. We are grateful to have them in our lives. We are also thankful that our son, Jack continues to learn from teachers who love the Lord and sacrifice their time for future generations.
Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with your whole heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 1Samuel 12:24. We pray that those words become our lives in our home, our community and our church, for He has done great and awesome things for us.
We are blessed to be home at Bethel."

- Mike & Jeanette Simme

"At the time we had chosen to have Jeremy and James attend Noah's Ark Daycare and Preschool, Bethel had placed information about the Financial Peace University in the boys cubbies to offer the course even to non-attendees of Bethel. I had talked with Alan about going to the class and he did not seem interested. I eventually told him that I was going with or without him because it is what our family finances needed. Before the class began, I had been thinking about visiting Bethel Baptist Church because of not feeling "fed" from our previous church and would truthfully sit in church thinking about all the things that I needed to be doing elsewhere. Our boys time at church was really just playing and not being taught the Word and we saw this as a missed opportunity, and we were not being mentored how to train our children up in the Word and the importance of it. I didn't know what my husband would think since we had been going to church together for about 9 years at the church he had grown up in . I ended up telling him the Saturday before the boys and I's first visit to Bethel, that I was planning on going there since he was going to pull a tractor at the Ashland county fair just to see what it was about. He was disappointed in my decision but looking back now it was God who was tugging on my heart to make this choice. That Sunday I sat in church at Bethel while the kids were in children's church listening to Pastor John talking about the importance of children's ministry and just how important it was for our children to get in the the Word and learn it as well as how important our children our. I cried and even went to the alter that day crying because of what my children and I were not getting. I had reaffirmed my salvation that day and could only think of what was going to come next for us. I then went to the pull after church and didn't talk much to Alan about it until we got home. He then asked me if I was going to "THAT" church again and after much discussion about the sermon, the Saturday before he asked me if we were going to Bethel for church and so we did. We have since grown tremendously in our faith, family, marriage, finances and placed God where He should be in our lives. Our children know more about the bible then I have ever known and have taught me! I look forward to Sunday's and don't even like missing church now because it has become part of me. We have connected in so many ways with our church family inside and outside of church. Not only have learned so much in Sunday service but also from being counciled from our Pastor and friends as well as classes that we have taken over the last couple years. I am now also able to help teach other families children through Gopher Buddies and even enjoy learning the bible from a child's perspective! We are so blessed to be a part of Bethel and to call it church family. "

- Tiffany Esbenshade

"My experience at Bethel started with my wife Tiffany letting me know that she wanted all of us to attend because she felt feed and loved by the people at Bethel. At the time we were attending a the church I had grown up in and was familiar with. She also at this time had gotten us involved in Financial Peace which I was also reluctant to attend because I felt that I was able to get us out of our financial situation, which had noting to do with the church and God. The more I attended the classes through Financial Peace and followed the teachings the more I seen changes happening in our financial lives and our spiritual lives as well, I became more interested in what the Bible had for my life. This was happening in small spurts that I would read and attempt to apply Gods word to my life. The change came for me from attending Wednesday night men's Bible studies and Sunday school, where we get into Gods Word and see were my live is not lining up with what God wants for me and were I need to make changes. The moment I most felt this was this past winter study on Wednesday night, we were completing a series on "Men Stepping Up", there was one class that shook me to my core and exposed my sin and I was unable to shake off the teachings from that class. I was ashamed to ask for help until I was at the end of my road and was no were to turn besides God and his Word. I reached out for help from God and the church family and have made it through the struggle and walked towards God and now can feel his Love and Forgiveness. My Joy now is to pass the Love of God on to others and to lead my family to Jesus through Gods Word which has shown me the way out of sin."

- Alan Esbenshade

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