Church still thrives at 55
By Angel Perkins News-Mirror Editor
BOURBON - Fifty-five years ago, on Feb. 17, a group of the faithful met to worship in the basement of the Bourbon Public Library. Because they had no church of their own officially mandated as a Bible Church, the determined group held worship and Sunday school services on the upper floor of the Town Hall building. Reverend Nitz led the attendees on March 19, 1950.
Later, a business meeting was held and officers elected. The church trustees then met with the pastor and created a Church Constitution and official Articles of Faith for which to guide their ministry. While Rev. Nitz was serving the followers, a lot was purchased at Clay and Washington streets from Glenn Dillingham for $500 and shortly thereafter, a basement structure was constructed where services commenced for a number of years.
Following Rev. Nitz in faithful servitude were Rev. Bernard Ham, Rev. Nickolas Kurtaneck and Rev. Bernard Rambo. During Rambo's ministry in 1956, an upper sanctuary was built which featured a cathedral ceiling. Following Rev. Rambo as teacher of the Word were Rev. Edward Cockrill and Rev. Phay Plummer.
By 1969, the building's exterior was completed and sidewalks added. In 1975, a fellowship hall was built and the grounds landscaped by the pastor at the time, Peter Greenhow.
In early 1987, another lot was purchased at the corner of 12th Road and U.S. 30. A expansive structure for worship began construction and by 1988, was completed. Rev. Greenhow and his parishioners moved to the new facility and sold their first official place of worship to the group who presently gather at what is now named the Clay St. Amish-Mennonite Church.
Greenhow's strong influence and vision didn't stop with the new building being built by the generous congregation and donations. As a member of the Trinity College, Greenhow envisioned a life-sized display depicting the Biblical altercation between David and Goliath to be featured in the main narthex. A fitting place for such as display as a glass wall or, a large window, faces out to the busy highway from which drivers can be reminded of Scripture by the scene.
One student from Grace College airbrushed the display's background. Another from California constructed the uncannily realistic figures of both David and the Giant Goliath, which because of its size, had to be delivered as two pieces. Details in order, the replicas include facial and body hair and accurately made clothing and accessories.
Rev. Greenhow himself worked industriously to produce the headpiece, shield, spear, skirt, sling and other leatherworks, to produce the impressive and memorable featuring exhibition. After 18 years as spiritual leader of the congregation of, (at that time), 160 parishioners, Rev. Greenhow resigned in Jan. of 1992.
Pastor Phillip Platz served as the most recent religious leader of the Bourbon Bible Church followers and served them in the faith for more than three years. He gave his resignation in August of 2005.
Presently, with a membership of approximately 40, the church is led by an array of religious teachers from what is referred to as “pulpit supply.”
A Sunday School program begins each week at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Worship Service at 10:30 and an evening Worship Service at 6:00 p.m. On Wednesday evenings a Prayer Meeting is held for adults, at 7 p.m.
Bourbon Bible Church supports 23 ministries throughout the world including Africa, three in Brazil, England, Wales and several in the United States. Though the denomination is considered to be Independent, the doctrine followed is similar to Baptist.
Their compiled statement of faith is as follows: Bourbon Bible Church stands by the belief that every word of the Bible is true and the sole rule of faith and practice, that it is the primacy of the church in God's plans that believers should be baptized by immersion of water and that they observe the Lord's Supper. They believe that parishioners should live Godly lives full of good works as evidence that they are saved. They seek to separate from apostasy and sin in all forms and to remain evangelical in fervor, fundamental in doctrine and missionary in outreach.
The beliefs of the church do not approve of present-day Ecumenical Movement, the Charismatic Movement, nor the National and World Council of Churches.
From a dedicated start to a thriving present, the Bourbon Bible Church has continued by following what the followers believe. The strong message of the church can be realized by the large written exclamation on the building's face which reads, “Jesus Is Lord.”
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