The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Feb. 22, 2019

VW independent/submitted information

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, corner of Washington and Sycamore streets, invites area residents to participate in its “Ashes to Go” program on Ash Wednesday, March 6, from 7-9 a.m. 

As part of the program, an easy drive-through or walk-up prayer station will be placed in the church parking lot. Those wanting to participate will be met by Pastor Will Haggis, who will pray with them and offer to mark their foreheads with palm ashes in the sign of the cross. 

All are welcome to participate in this community outreach event that begins the season of Lent. If inclement weather prohibits this outdoor event, all are welcome to attend Ash Wednesday church services at noon and 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s.  

For more information, access the church website at

POSTED: 02/21/19 at 8:03 am. FILED UNDER: Church

VW independent/submitted information

Local Gospel group Trinity would like to invite the community to join it at 6 p.m. this Sunday, February 24, at Trinity Friends Church in Van Wert for a night of great gospel music.

The Master’s Own

Trinity will be hosting The Master’s Own from Fairmount, Indiana. The Master’s Own was formed back in 1982, after originally starting out as The Master’s Four, and consisted of Allen Stout, Dan Stout, Craig Stone, Bernie Nelson, and Jeannine Black. The group took a break around 1991 as God led each member in a different direction. After a six-year hiatus, and plenty of prayer, The Master’s Own was reorganized with Bernie Nelson (original member) and two new members consisting of Bernie’s sister, Dottie Rhoades, and his brother-in-law, Chuck Rhoades.

Over the course of The Master’s Own history, many miles have been traveled in the group’s ministry. Group members have sung in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and also in Canada. The group looks forward to traveling to many more states and foreign countries in the future.

Both Trinity and The Master’s Own are part of the Willowood label and are produced by John Darin Rowsey.   

POSTED: 02/19/19 at 8:39 am. FILED UNDER: Church

VW independent/submitted information

MIDDLE POINT — Whitehorse Biker Church will welcome Marine Corps sniper Chico Simich as its guest speaker during a Men’s Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, February 23. 

Simich went from the physical battlefield, where he was decorated with two Purple Hearts, into the spiritual battlefield, where his prison ministry worked with criminals most people believed were beyond redemption.  

Hear how Simich’s capacity to love and the power of God brought death row inmates to Christ. Doors open at 8 a.m., with the discussion starting at 9 that morning. Don’t miss a great opportunity to meet some good honest folks for great food, friendship, and fellowship.

Whitehorse Biker Church is located at 303 S. Adams St. in Middle Point.

POSTED: 02/08/19 at 6:49 am. FILED UNDER: Church

VW independent/submitted information

Van Wert Council 121, Catholic Ladies of Columbia, met December 11 in the Holy Family Room at St. Mary’s Rectory for the annual Christmas dinner and gift exchange.

Shown are CLC members and guests present a $250 check to Deacon Andy McMahon. photo provided

Ashley Showalter prepared a spaghetti pasta bar, with spinach salad and chocolate peppermint poke cake for dessert. Twelve members and nine guests attended.

The gift exchange was “open and take another person’s gift if you want it”. Many laughs were shared during the exchange. As a holiday gift, the group presented a $250 charitable gift to Deacon Andy McMahon, the chair of the local Habitat for Humanity group. The money will go towards the front door of the home being built.

POSTED: 12/19/18 at 12:58 am. FILED UNDER: Church

Members of First Presbyterian Church of Van Wert recently visited the YWCA of Van Wert County to deliver items the congregation collected for the resident store. Items include new board games and gift cards to local establishments to see a movie, go bowling, or have a meal out, as well as other popular items. These types of things are a budgetary splurge for those living at the YWCA; however, through the resident store, they gain access to some these desirable items. Shown are (from the left) First Presbyterian Church members Gloria Parrish and Harriet Schaadt, YWCA Victim Services Director Jamie Evans, and First Presbyterian members Barb Everidge and Michelle White. 

POSTED: 12/17/18 at 9:55 am. FILED UNDER: Church

The Piecemakers of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Van Wert are members of a Thrivent Action Team. Thrivent helped the women purchase batting to make 50 quilts for Lutheran World Relief. Shown (from the left) are Barbara Reichert, Carol Greulach, Joan Holland, Yvonne Leaser, Myra Friesner, Karen Ottenweller, Susan McKanna, Carol Doner, and Lois Linser.

POSTED: 12/11/18 at 12:29 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Lifestyles

VW independent/submitted information

Join in the fun from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, December 8, when all children ages preschool through fifth grade and their families are invited to come and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

This free event will be fun for the whole family and will include Christmas crafts, cookie decorating, and having family portraits taken at the manger scene (costumes included).

A pancake breakfast will also be served.

Area residents can start this Christmas season with Jesus at the center of their activities.

The church is locatedat the corner of Washington and Sycamore streets in Van Wert. For more information, contact the church office at 419.238.6336 or visit the church website at

POSTED: 11/28/18 at 8:31 am. FILED UNDER: Church

VW independent/submitted information

Rev. Paul Miller

Pastor Paul Miller of First United Methodist Church in Van Wert has recently announced his retirement, effective October 31.

Beginning in 1996, Pastor Miller assumed the position of visitation pastor for the church. Since then, he has ministered to countless shut-ins and nursing home residents, along with performing requested funeral services.

The congregation of First UM Church invites the public to join it for the 10:45 a.m. service on Sunday, October 28. There will be a reception to celebrate and honor Pastor Miller after the service. All are welcome to come, enjoy, and reminisce.

First United Methodist Church is located at the corner of Jefferson Street and Central Avenue, across from Fountain Park in downtown Van Wert.  First UM Church regularly offers two Sunday worship services: a relaxed/blended service at 8:15 a.m. and a more traditional/blended service at 10:45 a.m.

Pastor Chris Farmer and the congregation invite area residents to come and worship with them.

POSTED: 10/25/18 at 7:29 am. FILED UNDER: Church

VW independent/submitted information

Southern Gospel singing group Trinity has announced its latest recording project on the Willowood label entitled Until Then.

Southern Gospel singing group Trinity. photo provided

The group’s newest CD is packed full of Southern Gospel classics arranged by Dove award-winning song writer John Darin Rowsey. Trinity also had the privilege of working with some great musicians and group members also thanked their recording engineer, Dan Ward at Hitmaker Studios.

Trinity will officially release the new recording at 6 p.m. Saturday, October 27, at Trinity Friends Church in Van Wert.

Joining Trinity for this concert will be Rowsey, the group’s friend and producer. It will be a great night of worship and fellowship and the public is invited.

POSTED: 10/25/18 at 7:25 am. FILED UNDER: Church

VW independent/submitted information

When the members of Trinity United Methodist Church in Van Wert heard about a need in the Van Wert community to help local public school students learn more about God, they jumped in to help

Shown are (from the left) Pastor Kurt Tomlinson and Mary Collins from Trinity United Methodist Church and Cross Over the Hill teachers Myrna Hamrick and Sarah Hostetler.

Cross Over the Hillis a community ministry that offers classes about reading the Bible to the students at Van Wert Elementary School. About 95 percent of students participate in this voluntary, parent-approved, off-property, independently-funded, completely-legal program that helps students learn to read the Bible during their fun, one-hour weekly educational classes.

The program has been so successful that the students needed new Bibles, as the ones they had been using simply wore out from usage. This is where the people of Trinity United Methodist Church stepped in with the purchase and delivery of 28 new Bibles.

“It is such a great privilege to be a part of this important faith-based community ministry helping our students learn the Bible and, in doing so, become better people and grow closer to God,” said Trinity UM Pastor Kurt Tomlinson. “Having this ministry in our community is a unique blessing that we celebrate. They will get years of usage out of these great Bibles.”

Those who would like to volunteer or support the Cross Over the Hill ministry should check out its website at The ministry is in need of volunteers to help kids safely walk to and from the Cross Over the Hill buildings from the school and in other areas.

POSTED: 10/10/18 at 7:03 am. FILED UNDER: Church, Youth