The Church of Oblong: Our Church, God’s Church

Hello Friends,

I’m praying this post reaches you in good health and good spirits. I have noticed recently that several people within our church and within our community haven’t been feeling the greatest lately. Have you noticed that some of your friends may have been absent from school a day or two? People’s tummies are upset, their head hurts, their ears are clogged, they are sniffling more than usual, and some of them may even have a fever. I don’t know what it is going around, but I am praying that whatever it is it doesn’t find you so that you can remain healthy and strong. You know what? Maybe just enjoying the bright sunshine and warmer temperatures will bring healing to those that aren’t feeling well? Maybe they just need to know that Jesus is shining in their life and that he is going to take care of them just like he takes care of you.

This “illness bug” that is travelling around has got me thinking. For the past several weeks, we have taken the time to visit seven famous Churches from the Book of Revelation that haven’t been feeling the greatest: they lost sight of Jesus and found themselves ill and in trouble. Just like us at times, these Churches needed a reminder to return to Jesus. When things weren’t going well, instead of doing things on their own, they should have returned to Jesus. When people were trying to convince the churches to do bad things, they should have returned to Jesus. When the church was forgetting to love Jesus with all their heart, mind, body, and soul, they should have returned to Jesus. When the church needed help making decisions, instead of listening to those around them, they should have listened to Jesus and returned to him. And when the church was lost and in the dark and feeling “under-the-weather,” they should have returned to Jesus. The church should have returned to Jesus, because Jesus was there waiting for them just like he is and always will be there waiting for us to return to him.

When a church becomes ill, it needs a gentle reminder of what many people have sang throughout the ages which can help them return to Jesus: “I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together.” When the church, as the Apostle Paul notes, “believes, hopes, endures, and bears all things” together it will become healthy. And what better way to share with you about a healthy church than to provide you with the history and hope of our own church, Dogwood Prairie United Methodist Church.

“Church historians indicate that in 1857 or there about, the first group of worshipers gathered in the Dogwood School building, which was a log building. Apparently some of the first families, charter members had first worshiped with the old Prairie Church—now since closed—located about two miles east of the Dogwood Prairie present site.

The present Church building was started in 1907, and was completed in 1908. Then the present Church was remodeled in 1945-1946: these remodels included moving the podium from the northeast corner to the south side of the sanctuary and the addition of wiring for electricity which came in late 1946. In 1997-1998, the east side addition was added giving two classrooms, an office for the Pastor, and additional seating. The youth building was built in 1950-1951. In 1958-1959, the Parsonage was purchased from the Ohio Oil Company, moved from one half mile south of the Church to the present location. A third bedroom, utility room, and one car garage was added at the same time.

Other appendages include: In 2003, Pastor’s office is finished in the church and Seed Chapel came on the charge. In 2004, new siding and two porches were added to the Youth Building. In 2004, the single car garage was built. In 2004, 2 stained glass windows were installed. In 2005, the leasing of the new parking lot and a new sound system was installed. In 2007, 3 stained glass windows on west side were installed. And in 2022 and 2023, the north entrance was remodeled, a storage building was purchased, a new piano was bought, and playground equipment was donated to the church.”

Over the years, Dogwood Prairie United Methodist Church has evolved, changed, adapted, welcomed many people, and continues to have visions for the future. Throughout the years, those at Dogwood Prairie have made this church their church: a place of love, friendship, family, community, laughter, smiles, faith, commitment to Christ, gatherings, and a place where people want to worship together. Throughout the years, Dogwood Prairie has faced challenges, trials, and tribulations, and has struggled, but from those challenges and setbacks the church became a people—a people determined to keep the doors of their church opened for generations to come.

From 1857 to 2024, approximately 167 years, this church has been a place where people choose, every Sunday, to attend and worship. Why? Because they feel as if they are part of a family; because they witness the love and faith of Christ; and because they see a church that lives in the present but plans for the future. Those who walk through our doors see the face of Christ on all of us and realize that this, this is where they are meant to be. What kind of church are we today? What kind of church do we want to be for tomorrow? What do you think Jesus would write in a letter to Dogwood Prairie United Methodist Church? Remember, this is your place, but God’s creation.

A healthy church is a church that looks like Dogwood Prairie United Methodist Church. It is striving to create a future for you; to be a place for you; and to be as healthy as it can so that you can experience the love of Jesus Christ. Those seven churches found in the Book of Revelation help us, as a church, to become healthy and alive, and we do together. All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together.”

I don’t know about you, but I am sure glad that I can call Dogwood Prairie UMC my church!

Your Friend, Holy Spirit!


Recommended Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *