Waller Street was the home and roaming ground of the last living Scioto County Civil war soldier having served in the black troops. His name is George Farley. A housing center there was named after him, that was of course being Farley Square.
Portsmouth records show he enjoyed riding his great white horse up and down Waller Street passing the Pleasant Green Baptist Church which we attended with an eleven a.m. start time. I have no way of knowing if he attended this church but have reason to believe that some of his ancestors might today. No one could tell me how the church got the name Pleasant Green, but one only has to use their imagination that the housing center may at one time been a lush green grass field. Or that was one thought anyway!
Sitting at a meeting of the Portsmouth Kiwanis Club I asked at my table, former major league baseball star Al Oliver if he had any idea how it got the name? He said that Pleasant Green had been somewhere else before coming there, probably a house. He said his church Beulah Baptist had been at the location of Pleasant Green before they moved and Pleasant Green transferred from their location. But then Eureka, Attorney Marilee Stephenson sitting at the table offered a suggestion I think offers merit to the name story and led my investigation in a new direction, google of course! Marilee said she thought there was a verse in the bible that discussed a pleasant green.
So what I learned this way was that it could have been named from a verse in Psalm 16:6 (King James version) “the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly heritage. Or perhaps it was from the song of Solomon 1:16 (again King James version), “behold, thou art fair, my beloved yea, pleasant: also our bed is green”. So then I learned that Pleasant Green is a common name in churches across America.
Recently our Pleasant Green experienced a 152nd Anniversary of their church though it may have been at another location prior to the building of this one as I mentioned just previously.
Beverly, Stephanie Neff and I attended a service and as is often the case there were familiar faces in the crowd. Beverly knew several and Stephanie always knows everybody!
So it began with Porchia Williams offering the welcome and opening prayer. There was an opening song, Falling In Love With Jesus, which said “best thing I have ever done”. It went on to proclaim, “in his arms I feel protected, no place I would rather be”.
Then there was another old hymn, Glory Forever, “thank you Jesus for blessings… thank you for the good and the bad”. Then it was said, how many of you want to say thank you Jesus with a very spiritual response.
It would be fair to say the church doesn’t always use the hymnals though they were there. The congregation was very familiar with the hymn offerings. In the song, The Love of Jesus, it said “ohhhh, the love of Jesus! He washes white as snow”!
Another old hymn was The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power. “He reaches to the highest mountain, he reaches to the lowest valley”!
Porcia quoted from Romans chapter 8 (International Version though I share through my Illustrated Bible). “So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Then was a hymn book song, “Glory to his name!” Down at the cross where my Savior died. Down where for cleansing from sin I cried. There to my heart was the blood applied, “Glory to his name”!
Then there was a sad testimony from two ladies who had suffered a fire in their home, losing everything and three dogs. They thanked the church for being there for them.
Then the small but joyous choir sang a hymn titled, Jesus Is The Light Of The World. “Jesus, light of the world, let your glory fill the earth. Jesus, darkness will flee, when your light shines on me”! The congregation joined in! “open up your heart and let the sun shine in. Jesus is the light of the world, forever shining in my soul”.
It was impressive when the usher brought forward a prayer log where many in the congregation had recorded prayer requests. It began with on this Sunday and the date we have these prayer requests. They were individually read and then all were prayed for with subject matter covering, for safekeeping, for salvation, for family members, for new marriage, for the church, a missionary, loss of a family member and drug abuse! The entire congregation were invited to walk up front for this prayer. It ended with “Lord, you knew our prayers even before we spoke them…. In the name of Jesus! Very lovely!
Then it was said, replace depression with joy, help us to take that light out into the world and spread it.
The day we attended Pleasant Green it was their first Sunday open communion which we were blessed to participate.
The church covenant was read and then there was communion. They did one thing we never saw before. Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a picture of the communion self contained packages which included both a cracker and the juice eliminating the work of someone preparing the presentation. Following Communion the congregational song was the old hymn, Precious Blood Of The Lamb! One version goes like this, “Oh the precious blood that flowed from side washed away my sin when Christ my Savior died. Oh the precious blood of Christ the crucified, it speaks for me before your throne where I stand justified.
Then the choir sang, Just all! “Jesus is the name of the Lord. Call upon the name of the Lord. Jesus is the name we adore. That is all. That is all. Call upon the name of the Lord. Have faith in his name. All, just all. Call upon the name of the Lord”!
At this time children were dismissed to Sunday School and the Pastor Clarence Parker opened his message with prayer saying, “God bless us and use this word today! We come seeking you and to magnify. Glorify us in this hour, may the words of my mouth and meditation to my hands help to keep us spiritually locked and loaded”. His sermon topic for the day was delivered from Second Peter chapter 1 verses 1 to 11. (King James Version with my translations today from again my Illustrated Bible because well, I like pictures”.
This message was from a letter from the apostle Peter. (A servant and missionary of Jesus Christ) 1) To all of you who have our kind of faith. The faith I speak of is the kind that Jesus Christ our God and Savior gives to us. How precious it is, and how just and good he is to give this same faith to each of us. 2) Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace? Then learn to know him better and better. (Grab your bibles and fill in the spaces) 10) So dear brothers, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen and then you will never stumble or fall away. 11) And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Then there was the Pastor’s prayer where he asked the congregation to take this word and use it for good! The lovely piano pieces throughout church today was delivered by a lady they called Sister Ruby Grant!
There was a closing call and then the congregation rose to deliver their offering to the front which allowed their church allowed them to choose between a local church gift or missionary offering. I love when a church offers movement in the worship. A praise hymn played while the congregation walked and then there was the song Doxology following with closing remarks, church calendar and a very busy church schedule, save the dates, etc.
Julie Beckworth came forward to promote the children/community youth event “Trick or Trunk” scheduled in the church area on October 21 beginning at 5 p.m. Beverly and I just might join this project!
Church ended with the Pastor saying, “God has spoken, let the church say Amen”!
I would like to add that the gift package they give to guests is very nice including information about their church, a beautiful cross ink pen and candys.
As believers, let us share the good news of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world! Each one, reach one! See ya in church!
Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.