In a region known for clergy collaborations, faith leaders representing 150 congregations across North Central Ohio held a press conference January 15th at the BibleWalk Museum outside Mansfield, Ohio.
Leading the news conference were: Reverend Randy Raynes of Mansfield Fellowship Baptist, Reverend Jerry Laudermilk of Ontario Abundant Life Tabernacle, Reverend Mark Cobb of Mansfield Providence Baptist, and Reverend Steve Brenneman of Mount Gilead Awakening Christian Center.
With other clergy and elected officials standing inside the entrance hall of the museum, Pastor Raynes declared “as leading clergymen of 150 congregations across North Central Ohio, we formally reaffirm the Bible as being living, active and GOD-breathed; and demonstrating thru history to be the anvil that has worn many hammers out.”
Raynes explained the purpose of the joint statement by saying that “Bible illiteracy is plaguing our politically-correct society, the Bible is being censored by governments and cultural institutions, and that the authority of both the Old and New Testament Scriptures of the Bible are being subverted by some religious circles.”
Prior to the clergy declaration, Raynes described how the Richland Community Prayer Network (RCPN) in 2018 completed a survey of 58 local Bible-based churches and their respective outreach ministries.
“RCPN found that not only did these churches provide valuable support ministries to their local community between the years of 2014-2017, these goodwill ambassadors (churches) also supported missions to an astounding ninety-three different nations around the globe. It is important to note that the generosity in this time period occurred despite being located in the seventh most economically-challenged metropolitan region in the nation.”
The study discovered significant local volunteerism with church members visiting the elderly, the hospitalized and the incarcerated, and with litter pickups and maintenance of parks improving of quality of life. The labor of love by these Bible-based churches also included the donation of their facilities for neighborhood watches, election polls, community health screenings, and blood drives. Concerts, dramas and sports leagues also provided cultural enhancement.
SOURCE:Benjamin Mutti, Richland Community Prayer Network