In late summer of 2012 we opened the doors for the first time to Solid Rock Bible Church. The church was started out of a genuine desire to do what we felt the Lord was leading us to do. Our goal was and is to glorify God. Of course one of the best ways to bring glory to God is to share the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ. That is what we try to do. We just preach the Holy Bible. We are non denominational, independent and have a simple message. God loves you, and he showed that love by fixing the broken relationship we have with Him by sending His Son to take away the sin that keeps us from enjoying Him forever. Nothing we can do to earn it, and when you have it, it changes your life.
We have definitely made changes to the church since we bought it. We are in no way related to the previous denomination. We are a bible-believing independent non-denominational church. We have tried to improve the building and make it into an asset in the neighborhood and community. We put a new roof on it and painted it. We try to keep it mowed nice and added a rock parking lot. We cut the brush away from the front door.
Recently we moved in two huge boulders. The Bible tells us that God is our Rock, and that Jesus is the Rock we need to build our salvation upon, and those two boulders represent that to us. They are pink granite and come from the quarry in Montour, so they are local rocks. Since we are named Solid Rock Bible Church, we felt we needed an appropriate monument to the Lord out front to help us convey not only our name but our passion that Jesus Christ is our Solid Rock. We are having a weight guessing game on facebook, so you'll have to join in there if you are curious how much they weigh.
Dave’s Crane Service, Union, unloads one of the two boulders which now grace the entrance to the Solid Rock Bible Church on South Broadway in Toledo on Nov. 11. Chronicle photos/John Speer
Part of how we felt led to start the church was the realization that there are a lot of people in Tama and Toledo and the surrounding areas that don't have a church family. Sometimes it's hard for people to get involved in some of the older, established churches. Sometimes it's just hard to catch up to them spiritually, when they have been studying the Bible together as a group for years. Sometimes it's hard to feel comfortable in a church which is made up of people who have been going to church together for 20-30 years and grew up together. It's certainly not a bad thing that churches are like that but sometimes it makes it awkward for newcomers. Sometimes it's hard to take loud kids along with you to a church filled with people who aren't real used to toddlers.
We have tried to be a church that takes away some of those issues. We are really far from fancy. In fact it might surprise you how simple we are, but keeping it simple helps us keep our focus on God instead of ourselves or others. We preach the Word of God every Sunday. Our sermons are filled with the principles of God and not so much with jokes or stories about the pastor. The sermon is by far the main portion of the worship service, but it's still short enough and simple enough that the children can sit through it. In fact, that is what is encouraged. We feel kids need to learn to worship God by being with their parents in church, and seeing their parents worship God. Unfortunately sometimes kids are loud, and that's okay at our church. We just want children and parents to try to give God the honor He deserves, we know it takes time to train children in the way they should go, and parents of loud kids can feel pretty welcome in our services because we have a lot of families like that. We would rather for children to learn to worship early in their life than try to instill it in them when they turn 18. That might not be the only right way to do it, but that is the way we do it. Families have to spend so much time apart during the week, we hate for them to come to church on Sunday and split up and not see each other when they worship God. We try to stick to the basics of Christian doctrine. Not that it isn't important to know the deeper stuff of the Bible, but it seems that sometimes that is all some mature Christians seem to care about, and it seems that can make for more stuff to argue over, rather than doing what we are originally called to do. Which is to spread the good news that Christ is alive and has taken away the sin of the world. That's what we want to do. We want to make a presence in the great cities of Tama and Toledo and let everyone know we actually really do care about them, because we are members of the community as well. We want to see people who don't have a church, and maybe have never been to church before come and see that they fit right in. Whether they are an old farmer--gruff and calloused, or a young mother with kids that haven't learned to sit quietly just yet. When people realize they need to be thinking about their Creator and might need to give Him some of the respect He deserves, our church just wants to be a tool that God can use to allow those people to worship Him for many years to come.