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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017

Willowood recording artists Trinity will host a night of gospel music on Sunday, August 27, with guests The Shane Brothers (above). The Shane Brothers are from Bluffton, Indiana, and many gospel fans know them as the host of the Bluffton Gospel Barn. The concert will be held at Trinity Friends Church, 605 N. Franklin St. in Van Wert, at 7 p.m. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 08/19/17 at 6:44 am. FILED UNDER: Church

VW independent/submitted information

Moms come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing’s for sure — all moms need to connect with other moms. MUMs, or Moms Uplifting Moms, is a unique group that brings women together and helps them connect naturally, through faith-based discussion and fun. No matter where a mom is on her journey, she’s welcome at MUMs.

The group’s kick-off is at 9 a.m. Tuesday, August 29, at Calvary Evangelical Church, 10686 Van Wert-Decatur Road in Van Wert, with a meet-and-greet and a discussion of the MUMs itinerary for this year will be held.

MUMs meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month during the school year from 9-11:15 a.m. A group bible study will be “Address this Mess” by Andy Stanley, while the group also will be doing some fun crafts, learning new skills, and enjoying other moms.

There is free child care for all MUMs participants, with children also having a bible lesson perfect for their age. There will also be a carry-in brunch for each meeting.

This group is open to the community and all walks of life and age. Fore more information, contact Calvary Evangelical Church at 419.238.9426.

POSTED: 08/16/17 at 7:20 am. FILED UNDER: Church

VW independent/submitted information

Christian singer Kathy Troccoli is bringing her concert “Comfort by Candlelight” to Van Wert. Troccoli felt led to offer a limited number of these concerts to churches throughout the country for a free-will offering. Her music throughout her career has been about encouraging, motivation, and offering hope.

Kathy Troccoli

Troccoli’s singing career includes 24 recordings, 18 No. 1 radio hits, 19 Dove Award nominations, two Dove Awards and three Grammy nominations, making her one of the most successful Christians singers of her generation. She is also a gifted song-writer and author. Her newest CD, entitled Better Days, is a groundbreaking project fully produced and co-written by Troccoli.

“Comfort by Candlelight” is a concert and ministry she hopes to offer hope to those who are hurting from many situations in life.

“There are many people hurting because of so many things in our world and Jesus Christ can offer healing, hope and peace,” Troccoli said. “Some may have lost a spouse or a child, or are dealing with divorce, abortion, or a myriad of other things.”

Troccoli noted she hopes to minister through her songs and spoken word.

First United Methodist Church in Van Wert is hosting this concert on Sunday, September 10, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Teaming in ministry with First UM Church is Calvary Evangelical, Trinity Friends, Trinity United Methodist, and St. Mark’s Lutheran churches, all of Van Wert.

Free tickets may be obtained at the offices of each sponsoring church, while a free-will love offering will be accepted. Anyone is welcome to attend, but Troccoli encourages people to bring someone who could use comfort and healing.

Seating is limited, so be sure tickets are in the hands of someone who plans to attend. Doors will open at 5:45 p.m. For more information and for I-tickets, go to

First United Methodist Church is located at 113 W. Central Ave. in Van Wert. Coordinator of the event is Paul Hoverman, music director at First United Methodist Church. He can be reached at or at 419.513.0123.

POSTED: 08/05/17 at 6:50 am. FILED UNDER: Church

Patti Cox

Submitted information

First United Methodist Preschool welcomes back Patti Cox as one of its pre-kindergarten teachers.

Mrs. Cox was hired in 2015 after teaching first grade at Lincolnview Local Schools for 37 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education, as well as a master’s degree in teacher leadership. Her education, combined with her experience, bring invaluable expertise to the First United Methodist Preschool team.

Those who would like to register a child for preschool can contact Administrator April Ellerbrock at 419.238.0631, extension 308, or register online at

POSTED: 07/30/17 at 10:39 pm. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth

Submitted information

Roger Peugh

Dr. Roger Peugh, professor of intercultural studies and world mission and campus prayer coordinator at Grace College and Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana, will be speaking at Trinity Friends Church next month.

Dr. Peugh has spent 20 years church planting in Germany, and the past 26 years as professor at Grace College and Seminary. He has a deep passion for discipling leaders and mentoring young men, according to the directives of 2nd Timothy 2:2. His classroom teaching is aimed at kindling a passion for Christ and encouraging students to follow Jesus with total abandon.

As of nearly 10 months ago Dr. Peugh is a widower, after more than 51 years of marriage. He has four children and 15 grandchildren. He is on a leave-of-absence and living in Van Wert until the end of this year. Dr. Peugh will be sharing relevant messages on the four characteristics and practices of the person God uses at crucial times in history as shown us in the person of Ezra. Bring a notebook every Wednesday night in August at 7 p.m. to hear Professor Peugh speak.

Trinity Friends is located at 605 N. Franklin St. at Van Wert’s northeast edge.

POSTED: 07/25/17 at 9:00 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

Dianna Early (left), First Presbyterian Church Mission Committee member, presents a financial donation to Sue Wehage, Crisis Care Line board member. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 07/25/17 at 8:55 pm. FILED UNDER: Church

JaNahn Evans

Submitted information

First United Methodist Preschool welcomes JaNahn Evans as the new 3- and 4-year-olds teacher for the 2017-2018 school year.

Evans is a mother of four with years of experience working with children while substitute teaching, coaching, and volunteering in her church children’s program. She is an advocate for education and Christian beliefs, and is committed to creating a respectful and caring environment where children are encouraged to learn, become powerful thinkers, and have confidence in their own abilities.

First United Methodist Preschool is currently accepting registrations; contact Administrator April Ellerbrock at 419.238.0631, extension 308, to register or register online at

POSTED: 07/24/17 at 7:30 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth

Submitted information

A team of adults and teens from the First Baptist Church of Van Wert returned recently from a week long mission trip near Sao Paulo, Brazil in the town of Campinas.

Members of First Baptist Church’s Brazil missions group with some Brazilian friends. (photo submitted)

Team members were John Rager (team leader), Ryan Rager, Mark, Bethany, and Rebekah Fast, Cindy and Allison Bowsher, John, Tricia, and Haydn Ridenour, and Sandy Klinger. The team left Van Wert on Sunday, June 18, and flew through the night to Sao Paulo to begin a busy week of ministry with missionary Jonathan Mathews of Brazil for Christ church-planting ministries (for more information, go to Brazil for Christ’s website at

The team was involved in helping a new church plant spread the Gospel in the neighborhoods via door to door, street evangelism, in-home Bible studies, public and private school presentations, and in-church outreach.

The team presented a skit in several school assemblies and in classrooms called “Stuck in Sin” to over 600 students. The skit, along with testimonies and songs, shared the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Several thousand tracts of the Gospel and invitations to attend the new church plant were spread across the city as the team walked many miles going door to door and meeting people on the streets.

The team will be sharing its experience, along with a slideshow, this Sunday night, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, corner of Mendon and Jennings roads. Refreshments will be provided following the presentation.

POSTED: 07/08/17 at 7:28 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth

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CONVOY — Convoy United Methodist Church welcomes Pastor Bill and Kimberly Thomas and family to Convoy. The Thomases are coming from Grace United Methodist Church in Gallipolis.

Pastor Bill Thomas poses with his wife and three of his five children. (photo submitted)

Pastor Thomas is from Beaver, Pennsylvania, receiving his undergrad degree in engineering from Purdue University and earning a Master of Divinity degree at United Theological Seminary, where he and his wife met. They have been serving churches together for 20 years.

Convoy UMC will be the fourth church that they have served. Pastor Thomas has been involved in Disciple Bible study, Stephen Ministries, the Emmaus Walk, and WCA as well as the Wesleyan Covenant Association. He has a passion for serving people of all ages and he is looking forward to getting to know the community and being in ministry in Convoy. The message Pastor Thomas proclaims is “Preach the Gospel Always; When Necessary Use Words”.

Together Pastor and Mrs. Thomas have five children and three grandchildren: daughter Wendy and her three children will be staying in Gallipolis, while son William III will be moving soon. Convoy UMC welcomes the three youngest children, Joshua, Sarah, and Caleb, to Convoy.

Convoy United Methodist Church worship service is held at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Main and Sycamore streets and the 11:11 a.m. contemporary service at Hall Lumber Company on Vine Street in Convoy.

Meet and greet Pastor Thomas and his family at a church picnic being held, starting with a gathering, at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at the Richard Miller residence. Food will be served at 5 that evening. Bring lawn chairs and a covered dish to share.

POSTED: 07/01/17 at 7:22 am. FILED UNDER: Church

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It was an epic battle of boys versus girls. As the moment of declaring the winning team approached, the lights lowered, the cheers got louder, and the drum roll intensified as both Craig Alix (boys team) and Carrie Pauquette (girls team) were armed with a pie, awaiting the announcement.

Craig Alex and Carrie Paquette react after receiving pies in the face as part of a fundraiser at Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert. (photo submitted)

Craig Alex and Carrie Paquette react after receiving pies in the face as part of a fundraiser at Calvary Evangelical Church in Van Wert. (photo submitted)

Then it happened: the girls were pronounced the penny war champions and Alix’s face received a pie in defeat. As Paquette gloated in victory, though, Alix greeted her with a face pie of her own.

The kids and volunteers of Calvary Evangelical Church’s Summer Bible Venture — Gadgets and Gizmos: Uniquely Wired and Wonderfully Made, were challenged to bring in coins to donate to the YWCA Summer Lunch Program. Whichever team brought in the heaviest amount of coins was declared the winning team. The boys collected 124.2 pounds of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, but the girls outweighed them in change with 151.2 pounds. Collectively, the kids and volunteers of SBV17 raised a total of $1,024.37 to give to our local YWCA.

The YWCA Summer Food Program has 225 boys and girls registered and will be providing breakfast, lunch and weekend backpacks filled with food through August 4. Besides food, the YWCA also offers recreational activities to these boys and girls of Van Wert.

“Because of donations like this, we can take the kids on field trips like bowling and going to the movie theater that otherwise would not have been possible,” said Jordan Dettrow, supervisor for the Summer Food Program.

He noted that, in addition to monetary donations, the program also needs playground equipment, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, sunscreen, books, and games.

Craig Alex (left) and Carrie Paquette present Jordan Dettrow with a check for $1,024.37 for the YWCA's Summer Food Program. (photo submitted)

Craig Alex (left) and Carrie Paquette present Jordan Dettrow with a check for $1,024.37 for the YWCA’s Summer Food Program. (photo submitted)

POSTED: 06/17/17 at 7:28 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth