If you haven't already, please refer to my introduction entry regarding our church journey. The New Hartford Baptist Church, a new start-up church, was our first visit on this odyssey. One Sunday in August my husband learned about this church because he was cleaning the fire department on a different day than usual and got finished just as they came to set up. So, when we were deciding what church to visit, this one came to mind first.
We have been to start-up churches before and had an idea of what to expect. We figured bare bones--just a seat to sit in and a preacher preaching basically. In this case we were wrong. There were hymnals and Bibles on the seats. They even printed a program and had other handouts including church giving envelopes. I thought of larger churches that we have attended that would need months to decide what type of hymnals to purchase or any other decision. I admired their commitment. They certainly were going forth similar to, "if you build it they will come."
Pastor Solomon Parmar had thought he was retiring, but this congregation of believers convinced him and his wife to stay in the ministry and to help them start this church. There was a table in front with decorations and to my husband's delight, a small American flag along with the church flag. The songs were traditional--more points with my husband, especially when they sang one of his favorites, "A Mighty Fortress". The sermon was Bible-based.
The Pastor recognized birthdays of the congregation. We are finding that this is either a new trend, or just stumbling across a few churches that do this lately.
The service itself, was typical to what we are used to...traditional songs, scripture readings and time for prayer, silent reflection and a Biblical based sermon. The Pastor stood in his stocking feet, which I would have thought would have been cold on the cement floor. I never found out why. Children's church was held in a separate room during the sermon. There was coffee and special homemade goodies afterward. We got to speak to the Pastor and his wife along with other parishioners. Everyone was very friendly.
The question, would we go again? Yes, this is a possibility since the Bible was preached and the atmosphere was comfortable and the people friendly.
What I took away from the sermon: In the world, religions carry God, our God carries us. God is our stronghold, our source of inner strength, our refuge, He is a satisfying river, we will never thirst (John 4:14). If we know the Doctrine first, we will know God's will and Duties second. He is to be exalted among the nations, by doing His will, people will recognize something different in you (Acts 21). Be the passenger, let God drive.
The quote that I liked best, "He who has helped you hitherto, will help you your whole journey through."
The New Hartford Baptist Church website: http://www.newhartfordbaptistchurch.org/index.htm. They have one service at 9am and Bible studies in homes during the week.