Category Archives: OBF

May 2014 OBF Missionaries Update

Here are a few items for prayer from missionaries who are members of the Ohio Bible Fellowship–

  • Pray for a church discipline situation that hasn’t been going very well.
  • Pray for Goldfuss family as they are taking an almost 3-month trip to the States this summer to visit some churches and take our oldest son, Mikey, to BJ.
  • Pray for three individuals I am discipling on a week-to-week basis: Yute, Khame, Run
  • Pray for the beginning of a Saturday night 15-week class covering Genesis 1-3 that we are starting with a church here in Battambang town on May 10

Tom Zartman

  • Pray for the salvation of a young couple.
  • Pray for the Lord’s working in the spiritual, financial, and physical needs of a family.

April 2014 OBF Missionaries Update

Here are a few items for prayer from missionaries who are members of the Ohio Bible Fellowship–

Tom Zartman: Pray for new opportunities and contacts in the next months.  Pray for the salvation of a family.

Mike Goldfuss: Upcoming ladies’ brunch–April 12th.  The ladies are busy inviting friends, family, and coworkers. 

Chris Seawright: New work with an existing church in Battambang town that has recently ask me to function as temporary pastor.  Pray for wisdom and great patience with this.

News from OBF Churches, March 26, 2014

Here is this week’s roundup of news from some Ohio Bible Fellowship churches for prayer and encouragement—

Bucyrus Bible Church, Pastor David Layton

  • Pray for the spread of the Word in our area
  • Pray that believers would be faithful to the Lord and committed to the church
  • David works at a local school; pray for a good testimony and open doors for ministry

Eastside Community Bible Church, Pastor Nathaniel Pringle

This week, we are finishing the new space and plan to meet there on Sunday. Please pray for the following as we make these final preparations:

  • Smooth coverage of the last minute details
  • Chairs to arrive on time
  • Continued grace for serving among our members
  • Continued ability to do things none of us have done before!
  • An encouraging and blessed initial service in our new church

Middlefield Bible Church, Pastor John Howard

  • Pray for Pastor Howard as he goes on visitation on Thursday evenings.
  • The Middlefield area has the fourth largest Amish community in the world. Pray that they would repent of relying on their self-righteousness and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

Morrow Bible Church, Pastors Marvin Gassman and Stephen Howard

  • We held evangelistic meetings March 16-19 with Mark Kittrell preaching. Pray for fruit from the Word of God.

Orwell Bible Church, Pastor Dan Greenfield

  • We praise the Lord that Orwell Village has agreed to extend water and sewer services to our property. Pray that the Lord would help us as we work through this process.

Westerville Bible Church, Pastors Paul Hamilton and Mark Perry

  • WBC is attempting to launch a new ministry geared to parents and students.   We will be offering a free tutoring service with intent to give a clear witness to the parents as their children are receiving academic assistance.   Presently we are passing out information cards to local businesses and hope to get permission to post these cards in local schools.
  • Graydon Cox continues to have a Bible study with a neighbor family and at a nursing home.
  • Roger Vogel holds a Bible study at a condo in Columbus on Tuesdays.

The Spring Conference of the Ohio Bible Fellowship is April 11-12—

  • Hosted by Fayette Bible Church, Washington Court House
  • Speaker is Evangelist Mike Manor
  • Conference Theme: “Reaching Our Communities for Christ”
  • Two Ladies’ Sessions with Mrs. Lynn Garren
  • Special session on charismaticism by Pastor Mark Perry
  • 10 rooms are blocked off at the Holiday Inn & Express for $92.99 plus tax (normal rate is $104.99). You must make your reservation by April 1.
  • Housing with church families is available

Remembering Pastor William E. Ashbrook

Today marks the birthday of one of the founders of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, William E. Ashbrook. The following article was published in the OBF Visitor shortly after his death, to which I have added some pictures. Also, see this article for additional information on Ashbrook’s ministry. It is important to know, appreciate, and learn from those who have gone before us!

A PDF of this article is available here.

Farewell, Good Brother!
Remembering Pastor William E. Ashbrook
March 19th, 1896—April 5th, 1977

On Tuesday morning, April 5th, 1977, one of the charter members of our Ohio Bible Fellowship was prompted to glory. Our brother, William E. Ashbrook, dressed for breakfast, ate a light meal and retired to his easy chair to take advantage of the oxygen which had been provided to aid his breathing. A few minutes later he was gone. Only a body was left—peacefully seated in the chair.

AS A YOUTH

William Ashbrook was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, March 19th, 1896. His father was a local hardware merchant. During his teenage years the family moved to a farm several miles out of town. That farm always stuck to him. He maintained a lifelong interest in dairy cattle, horses and gardening.

WEA collegeGertrude Ashbrook collegeMr. Ashbrook was reared in the pre-merger United Presbyterian Church. This was the old Scotch branch of the church which sang Psalms and said, “Sabbath” instead of Sunday. He graduated from one of the denominational schools, Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, having majored in Greek. His extra-curricular interests were debate and tennis. He graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Shortly thereafter he married a college classmate, Gertrude Shane, of McDonald, Pennsylvania.

A short time before his marriage Mr. Ashbrook’s only brother, John, died at the age of 18 of typhoid fever. He was to have been best man at his brother’s wedding. William Ashbrook always felt that his younger brother was the most spiritual one of the two and often remarked to members of his family that he was fulfilling the ministry his brother might have had.

AS A STUDENT

WEA hunter

Although Mr. Ashbrook was born again prior to his seminary experience, the teaching at Pittsburgh Seminary did little to satisfy his heart. Theological orthodoxy was not combined with much evangelical zeal. In somewhat of a quandary about his future ministry he and his bride honeymooned in England and Scotland while he took further work at Cambridge University and New College, Edinburgh. This education broadened his mind, but did little for his heart. However, a landlady in London suggested to the Ashbrooks that they should hear the English Methodist Pastor, Dinsdale T. Young. They accepted the advice, and Young’s ministry warmed their hearts and confirmed Mr. Ashbrook’s call to the ministry.

AS A DISCERNER

United Presbyterian Cover1Mr. Ashbrook’s first pastorate was at the Liberty United Presbyterian Church, Hubbard, Ohio. The old frame church in a country cemetery was refurbished, a basement added, a parsonage built and the Gospel given. The church was in an area surrounded by the homes of Youngstown’s steel millionaires. Mr. Ashbrook determined to reach the rich with the Gospel, as well as the average people in the community. He gave a witness for Christ in their drawing rooms and made many friends among the well-known men of that area.

He came to Columbus in 1928 to take the pastorate of the Neil Avenue United Presbyterian Church, just off the Ohio State University campus. Several years later he took the pastorate of the Glen Echo United Presbyterian Church in the north end of Columbus. During this ministry the United Presbyterian Church joined the Federal Council of Churches [now called the National Council of Churches] and our brother began to protest vehemently the liberalism and near communism of this body. There was an additional aggravation in the trend of the United Presbyterian Missions. The Gospel had gone out of them, leaving them educational institutions instead of soul-winning labors. He began to introduce his people to independent missions. In the United Presbyterian Church this was considered disloyalty.

AS A SEPARATIST

As a result of these convictions, Mr. Ashbrook addressed a letter to the Presbytery of Xenia, April 16th, 1940, tendering his resignation as Pastor of the Glen Echo United Presbyterian Church and severing his relationship to the denomination.

Approximately 115 members of the 200 member Glen Echo Church desired to follow in founding an independent church. On May 1, 1940, the Calvary Bible Church of Columbus CBC constructionwas founded, with its first services held in the basement of the Medary Avenue School. The passage which was his great support through this period was II Corinthians 6:17–18: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” He viewed the growth and blessing which the church enjoyed as being the direct result of God’s fatherly provision for those who would separate from apostasy. Calvary Bible Church was the great ministry of our brother’s life. He served as Pastor of the Congregation from its inception until after his first stroke in 1971—more than 30 years.

After Pastor Ashbrook’s break with the United Presbyterian Church he found his fellowship in the Independent Fundamental Churches of America. He served a number of terms on the Executive Committee and valued the fellowship of other men who had paid the price of withdrawing from apostasy. However, he was one of the first to observe the trend of the times when new men, without separatist convictions, began to rise to places of authority in the group. In the years immediate prior to the beginning of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, when a number of the younger in Ohio were fighting the battle to recall the IFCA to its former convictions, he refused to attend the annual conventions, maintaining that the battle was already lost. He insisted that separation was the only course. Time demonstrated the truth of his conviction.

AS A LEADER

Mr. Ashbrook was one of the founders of the Ohio Bible Mission and served on its Board until the time of his home going. He was also instrumental in the purchase of Peniel Bible Camp. He opposed the purchase of a number of camp properties; but, when the present property became available, he was convinced it was the will of the Lord and worked fervently for its purchase. Had it not been for his prayers, negotiations, and confident leadership, it is doubtful that the Ohio Bible Mission would own this property today.

AS AN INFORMER

New Neutralism CoverHaving watched his former denomination move into apostasy, Mr. Ashbrook hated modernism, ecumenism, and new evangelicalism with a passion. He was noted for his letters to the editor of the Columbus papers exposing the liberalism and near communism of the Ohio Council of Churches. One of the great works of his life was his booklet of information on new evangelicalism, Evangelicalism: The New Neutralism. It was first published as a small tract in 1958. Eight different editions were printed, usually with more information added. After his first stroke in 1971, he asked the Lord to let him complete a final edition of his book before taking him home. Despite trouble with his eyes, he laboriously typed and edited this edition with the help of Mrs. Ashbrook and his son, John. This was completed in 1975—the original eight pages having grown to 129.

AS A PREACHER

Mr. Ashbrook was always known for his stand. However, his enemies usually ignored the fact that he was a great expository Bible preacher. His messages were straight from the text, but with clear points to nail the Bible truth to hearts. He always preached with his Bible in his hand. He was a great illustrator.

His was not a ministry which brought people down the aisles. He gave invitations, but they were completely void of emotional pressure. Most of his converts were won to the Lord in their homes as he took them through the Scriptures with his Bible. He was an insatiable caller. Any evening he did not have a meeting he was busy calling.

AS A GENTLEMAN

WEA 50th wedding anniversary

His ministry was always marked with the bearing of a Christian gentleman. Whether he preached, gave the announcements, or merely pronounced the benediction, his participation always lent dignity to the occasion. His dignity led many people to call him “Doctor” Ashbrook, but he had no such degree. He disdained the prospect of several D.D.’s [honorary doctor of divinity] always using the occasion to remark that “a D.D. is like the curl in the pig’s tail; a little bit prettier, but no more pig.”

AS A FRIEND

Mr. Ashbrook delighted in the friendship of the younger men in the Ohio Bible Fellowship and was always ready to give encouragement, advice and financial help. He maintained his interest in every part of the Lord’s work to the end. One of the projects of his last year was the completion of two tennis courts at Peniel Bible Camp. At the time of his death he and Mrs. Ashbrook were involved in donating to Northside Christian School the property for a new building at Westerville.

The Ohio Bible Fellowship has lost a beloved Pastor. The Ohio Bible Mission has lost a discerning Board member. Peniel Bible Camp has lost a booster. Fundamentalism has lost a great warrior. He towered above us, but he stood shoulder to shoulder with us. Farewell, good brother! May the fond memory of your gray head give us courage to stand! We look forward to renewing our fellowship on that other shore!

Eastside Community Bible Church March 2014 Update

ecbc-logo-11The advent of (slightly) warmer weather signals the opening of increased opportunities to be out and about interacting in the community. Eastside Community Bible Church is looking forward to using the space God provided as a base of operations for reaching the east side of Cincinnati with the truth of God’s Word. The following summarize some things what we have been able to do and some things that lie ahead.

Building

The inspector passed us on our final inspection yesterday. We will acquire our occupancy permit in the next day or two. By the end of this week, the walls should be painted and the space ready for the finish flooring next week. A week from this coming Sunday we plan to hold our first service in the new space. There will still be a decent amount of finishing touches and some refurbishing that needs done, but the building will be fit to occupy. We are thankful for the sacrificial labor of those in the church to accomplish everything from prepping the floors to wiring to finishing drywall! (Click here for pictures.)

Discipleship

As we work on the space, the Lord continues to open doors of opportunity. One of our ladies began a Bible study with a couple ladies from the community this Saturday. The Lord gave much grace and they plan to meet again. The inspector already knew about our church because he is looking for a place that deals in truth, not the hottest fads of “Christian” bands. So far, we’ve talked probably 15 minutes about the building and an hour and a half about theology! That’s how I like inspections to go! In the Ephesians series, we are getting to the challenging section on Spirit-filled relationships. God continues to use His Word to encourage and edify at just the right time.

Some things to pray about

  • Pray that we will succeed in getting into the building by March 30
  • Pray that we will be able to use Easter weekend as an opportunity for inviting folks in the community
  • Pray for grace to handle the multiple fronts of normal pastoral ministry, overseeing the building, and the continued adjustments with a new baby
  • Pray that God will work in J.C.’s (the inspector) heart regarding direction for a church

Family

Lauren is doing well adjusting to life. So far, her sisters have not smothered her with affection, although it has been close at times! Katie also is doing well and able to get an increasing amount of rest. We are thankful for the Lord’s watch care over Katie and Lauren during these days of transition.

News from OBF Churches, March 12, 2014

Here is this week’s roundup of news from some Ohio Bible Fellowship churches for prayer and encouragement—

Eastside Community Bible Church, Cincinnati, Pastor Nathaniel Pringle

  • We had 28 folks, all regulars, on Sunday. I think this is the first time that we’ve had the majority of our regular attenders at the same time!
  • We passed our rough inspection and only need to hang and finish the drywall to get final approval and our occupancy permit.
  • Please pray for one of the ladies in our church. Thursday will be the one year mark of her husband’s death.
  • The Lord is granting a good spirit among the people as we work through decisions and prepare to move into the space. Pray for continued unity and enthusiasm as we transition.

Morrow Bible Church, Pastors Marvin Gassman and Stephen Howard

Peniel Bible Camp

  • Praise:  Sale of a piece of unneeded electrical equipment for over $3,000.  This will be used towards the Program Director’s House.
  • Prayer:  We’re hosting a work team from Beth Haven Baptist Church (Simpsonville, SC) this week. If you’d like to join them in hanging dry wall, completing the basement of the VanderSchel’s new home, or working on a ceiling project in the lake front cabins, please let us know. We’d be happy to house you and feed you during your stay. To get more information, please contact pdirector@obf.net.

Westerville Bible Church, Pastors Paul Hamilton and Mark Perry

  • WBC is attempting to launch a new ministry geared to parents and students.   We will be offering a free tutoring service with intent to give a clear witness to the parents as their children are receiving academic assistance.   Presently we are passing out information cards to local businesses and hope to get permission to post these cards in local schools.
  • Graydon Cox has a Bible study with a neighbor family, including a recording for a daughter in Zanesville, met on Sunday, March 2. He also had a Bible class at the Country View Nursing and Rehab Center, near Sunbury, on March 4.
  • Roger Vogel holds a Bible study at a condo in Columbus on Tuesdays.

Sermons from March 9, 2014

News from OBF Missionaries, March 4, 2014

Here are a few items for prayer from missionaries who are members of the Ohio Bible Fellowship–

Don & Pat Garwood, Uruguay

  • Pray for the spread of the gospel and for the Lord’s work in believers’ lives

Mike & Faith Goldfuss, Mexico

  • Pray for several ladies in the church who face a number of challenging issues.
  • Pray for the men’s spiritual maturity
  • Their son Mikey is applying for scholarships to college; pray for the Lord’s provision

Chris & Heidi Seawright, Cambodia

  • Please pray that the Lord will greatly use the Word of God as it is explained through a new Gospel tract entitled, The Ancient Path.
  • Please pray for open doors to spread God’s Word through selling Christian books near one of the Universities in Battambang town.

Tom & Jean Zartman, Mexico

  • Pray for the healing and the Lord’s direction for one of the men in the church.
  • Pray for the salvation of an interested woman and her uninterested husband.

Eastside Community Bible Church Update, February 26, 2014

pastor and familyOhio Bible Fellowship member Pastor Nathaniel Pringle is working with his family through the Ohio Bible Mission to establish a new church in the Cincinnati area–Eastside Community Bible Church.

God gathered a group of believers here in Milford who have a mind to work! Last week, the floors of our new meeting location were nearly all prepped (scraping tile and grinding glue residue) for carpeting and painting. We’ve started on the four walls and one of them is complete. This week, most of the walls should be framed and some of the wiring complete. I’ve been able to locate some doors on Craigslist, which, if they open the correct direction, could save us several hundred dollars.

Sunday, we enjoyed an encouraging day with Bryan Bell and his family. Bryan serves as the executive director for Grace Dental and Medical Mission. He delivered a well-timed message from Philippians 1:27-30. If you have some time, it would be well worth listening to the challenge to “Live worthy of the gospel.”

As spring approaches, we will gear up for a publicity push for Easter Sunday this year. Lots of details to get in place and material to produce in preparation. Please pray that we will be able to prepare effectively even while we work on getting our space ready.

News from OBF Churches, February 25, 2014

Here is this week’s roundup of news from some Ohio Bible Fellowship churches for prayer and encouragement—

Eastside Community Bible Church, Cincinnati, Pastor Nathaniel Pringle

  • Praise the Lord for great services this Sunday with Bryan Bell and family, executive director of Grace Dental and Medical Missions.
  • We praise the Lord for a very good start this weekend on preparing our new space for occupancy. Floors are nearly prepped, and some walls have been started!
  • One of our ladies will be starting some evangelistic Bible studies. Pray for the success of the gospel.
  • Pray that we will be prepared for and effective in outreach as the weather begins to turns warmer.
  • We will be going through the new member class “Foundations” with some of our people in the next few weeks. Pray this will be a profitable study and give the necessary understanding regarding what membership means

Fayette Bible Church, Pastor Tony Garren

  • Our Young at Heart Group will be having a Valentine Banquet on Feb 22. The Brian Holloway family will minister to us (Brian teaches music in our school).
  • We are also replacing and updating our heating and air condition units so that we can monitor them through internet and hopefully save some money.
  • March 23 we will have the Shepherds Home ministry in our evening service.

Greencastle Bible Church, Pastors Charles Flesher and Paul Martin

  • On March 2 during the evening service we will have a Peniel Bible Camp rally with Izaac VanderSchel, the OBF camp program director
  • We will have our annual Winter Banquet during the evening service of March 9

Middlefield Bible Church, Pastor John Howard

  • The Lord has given good opportunities for gospel witness lately. Please pray for fruit from these efforts.

Morrow Bible Church, Pastors Marvin Gassman and Stephen Howard

Orwell Bible Church, Pastor Dan Greenfield

  • We will have a mid-winter fellowship this coming Friday at the Colebrook Community Center from 6–9 p.m. Pray for good fellowship and opportunities to minister the gospel to unbelievers.
  • On March 5 our building committee will be meeting with officials from Orwell Village to request water and sewer services. As our property is not in the village this would be a huge help and blessing; please pray for this provision.

Westerville Bible Church, Pastors Paul Hamilton and Mark Perry

  • Please continue in prayer for the Westerville Area Academic Assistance, our free tutoring ministry to area students. Cards. A final approval for our addition to a website list needs to be granted. Cards are available to pass out and post in public places.
  • Patti Perry had surgery last week; pray for continued for healing.

Sermons from February 23, 2014

News from OBF Churches, February 11, 2014

Here is this week’s roundup of news from some Ohio Bible Fellowship churches for prayer and encouragement—

Eastside Community Bible Church, Cincinnati, Pastor Nathaniel Pringle

  • We will be signing the lease this week. Pray that we will be able to finish the work necessary to occupy it in an efficient manner.
  • $300 of the needed $3000 for the chairs has come in. Email Pastor Pringle for more information.
  • Thankful for a good congregation even with a decent snow falling Sunday morning.

Fayette Bible Church, Pastor Tony Garren

  • Our gym is almost completed the first phase. We are working on the restrooms and hopefully get those completed by the end of March. Second phase is the platform and locker rooms. Re-enrollment begins for next school year; please pray for students.
  • The church has lost a dear saint, Dr. Thomas J Hancock passed away last week. He was a charter member and a wonderful inspiration for all who knew him.
  • We are also starting an adopt-a-missionary program for our members so that we can do a better job keeping up with the missionaries that we support.

Greencastle Bible Church, Pastors Charles Flesher and Paul Martin

  • Linda Flesher went to be with the Lord last Thursday. Her memorial service is this coming Saturday, February 15 at Greencastle. Visitation is at 9 A.M. and the service at 10:45.
  • This coming Sunday night, February 16, we will have our annual Winter Banquet during the evening service.

Morrow Bible Church, Pastors Marvin Gassman and Stephen Howard

  • Our annual Adult Banquet will be Saturday, February 22, with Pastor Steve Spence from Grace Bible Church in Avella, PA preaching.
  • We will have evangelistic meetings next month with Mark Kittrell preaching. Pastor Kittrell will speak at a Men’s Fellowship (to be held at Der Dutchman Restaurant, Bellville) and at a youth activity on Saturday, March 15th. Special services will be Sunday-Wednesday, March 16-19. Pray that we would be diligent in inviting lost people to the meetings, that there would be lost people present at the meetings, and that the Lord would use Mark Kittrell’s ministry in our church.

Pray for these pastors and churches, that the Lord would encourage them, build them up, and glorify Himself through them—

Sermons from February 9, 2014