Visiting the Little Scioto


It was around 1814 that Revolutionary soldier and Baptist Minister Thaddeus Bennett brought his family down the Ohio River to what we call the Little Scioto. He worked his flatboat into the small waterway bringing it to a stop setting his family up to live a short while in this Ohio wilderness area that would some day be known as Sciotoville Ohio.

Sciotoville was founded by a community of people in 1835 and it was then platted in 1841 by another Revolutionary Soldier William Brown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Brown had received honors by General George Washington and was said to have provided a network of spying that helped Washington to defeat the Native Americans still deterring Ohio and Indiana settlement.

In 1880 in the area we were visiting on this day a Baptist Church was being built. On a Sunday morning Beverly, Stephanie Neff and I found ourselves meeting the wonderful people of the Sciotoville Berean Baptist Church. It was time for church, so we followed the handshakes and greetings to our seats!

The opening included congregational singing and a welcome to guests. There was a report on the church project of a community block party just completed and very successful. Ron Fankle told a story about his discussion with a Portsmouth Police Officer during the event. Sirens had gone off several times and he had asked the officer if this was common. The officer said that overdoses throughout the city were happening constantly.

A prayer was offered that ended with “Thank you and praise you in Jesus name”! If you have a great choir, an organist and pianoist they might as well be singing and playing. Such was the case through this day’s beautiful service. Within the song selection was “Embrace the cross, Be thou my vision, The open door, Power in the blood, All I have is Christ and lastly, Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling!” Linda Niner sang a lovely solo, “People need the Lord!”

Fred Conklin, Youth Pastor spoke of Awana Youth signup and an upcoming Harvest teen rally. He said that with the shortage of foster parents there was increasing call by many for a childrens home in our community. On the evening we were there a special presentation was being delivered about a Baptist Home in Indiana. We returned for that service as well!

Berean Baptist Pastor is Steve Mann and he conducted the Sermon on this day! He mentioned they would be continuing a study of John, chapter 5. Jesus from Galilee obedient to the law went to Samaria three times a year as required by law. Jesus seeing a crippled man told him to pick up his bed and walk, though it was the Sabbath Day and it was forbidden to work. Others seeing him walk spoke condemnation and the man said it was not me but that man Jesus who told me to pick up my bed and walk. When confronted in verse 16, Jesus said I did work on the Sabbath. Jesus did not back off the claim stating that his father the Lord had worked on the Sabbath Day as well. He claimed equality with his work, power and glory! This brought the Jews to great anger claiming blasphemy.

The Pastor spoke heavily on John 5, verses 31 to 47. In verse 43 Jesus said, I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe who receives honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you — Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believe in Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

The Pastor pointed out that not only were the Jewish people on trial, but the Jewish leaders were on trial in the presence of Jesus Christ. Also he said that, “when you come to Jesus your heart will sometimes hold how you view Jesus”. He had to have a perfect record of righteousness and He did so by taking our place on the cross.

The Pastor looked at Romans 14:12 and said, “We are not here for our own selfless pleasure. Somewhere we need a record of our performance showing us that our life has meant something”. He also said, “someday we will have to stand before our God and our record must not just glorify our lives but must in every way glorify God”! “We must not be Glory thieves, as that glory should go to God”!

He also said yes, there are many ways to God but only one way to get there and that is through Jesus Christ. When we come to Christ, we must come in humility, without righteousness. We come seeking righteousness. Biblical justification says we may come, we may be forgiven, have been forgiven and have been given the rewards and rights offered by Jesus Christ.

We learned in this service that the church had experienced a major Anniversary on July 3rd of this year. There is a historical section located in the front entrance of the church showing a historical beam from the first church located in this location.

The Pastor closed in saying that we gain our rights to the family of Jesus Christ. In a short alter call he said, “where do you stand with Him, thank God that Christ came to us and saved us to his mercy!” In the background, an old hymn “Softly and Tenderly, Jesus is Calling!” touched the hearts of a church congregation! If you are looking for a wonderful church to attend there is a bench waiting for you here!

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