MARIETTA - Hidden back from Ohio 821 at 110 D.A.V. Road lies Twin Rivers Baptist Church, which was founded nearly 20 years ago.
The Washington County church didn't always sit off of the state route, said Jeff Baumer, senior pastor for Twin Rivers.
"It started out in a couple different locations in the Marietta area," said Baumer.
Photo by Amanda Nicholson
Tony Simon, children’s ministry director, prunes rose bushes outside the church. A proposed family center would extend the right side of the building many more feet.
David Forshey, 72, of Fearing Township said he has been a member since the church began.
"It's been in different locations, like in the basement of the Lafayette Hotel, then we moved up to the Washington County Career Center," he said. "We were up there until we were about to purchase property and get a building started."
"We ended up in Whipple because we were looking for land and we found land out that way," Baumer continued. "Many (members) are from Lower Salem and Devola and it seemed like a good fit."
Twin Rivers Baptist Church
* Founded: 1996.
* Worship: Sundays 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
* Mid-week services: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
* Sunday School: 9:30 a.m., for all ages.
* Congregation size: About 200 on any given Sunday.
Forshey said in the early stages of the church, there was a Christian School, but it hasn't existed for some time.
"The church has grown considerably over the years," he added. "Physically the building of the church has seen growth too."
Baumer said the hope is to construct a new addition to the building.
"We have very beautiful facilities that are very well kept, but we're just outgrowing it," he said.
The new family center would essentially be a new fellowship hall and house the women who come for a retreat in the fall.
Daumer said the church supports many missionaries.
"We have a very strong emphasis on missions," he said. "We support 34 missionaries around the world. We have flags of the world that represent one or more missionaries we have in that country...We feel very strongly not just about helping in the area here with the Gospel, but reaching out to the world."
The church is set to have a revival in a few weeks, and is encouraging members of the church to bring a friend through "Friend Day," and special music and meetings will take place.
Noah Downing, youth pastor at the church, said that in addition to dealing with the teens and children, he tries to keep things sailing smoothly for the pastor and overall just keep a timeless feel about the church, especially through the music.
"There's a ditch on both sides of the road, I guess," he said. "There may be something you listen to going down the road, but it's not worshipful. We try to be right in the middle: timeless and honoring the Lord, but at the same time, encouraging."
Forshey said there are a few things that have kept him at the church so long.
"The thing that's really kept me there is good, sound preaching from the pulpit," he said. "Pastor Baumer is an excellent preacher (and takes his words) directly from the Bible. The people are really caring (as well). It's like having a (second) family at the church."