Lillyville Church of God Article by Pastor Dennis Arndt
“The Lillyville Church of God, one of the Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce’s many church members, was founded by Thomas Hickernell in 1839. Today, the road in front of the church is named after the founder, but the original building was a simple log cabin sitting where the current cemetery is located. Today’s building foundations are marked with stone and considerably larger than that old log cabin. The church sits atop a knoll overlooking Hardyville and Fombell among twenty-six acres, part of which is a beautiful cemetery cared for by the cemetery committee of the church. The property includes the church and connecting Lighthouse which is the church’s gym, a garage and pavilion.
In the Churches of God, General Conference, the local members of each congregation own their own local church buildings and property. The Lillyville Church of God belongs to the Churches of God, General Conference with their main office located in Findlay, Ohio.
A History of Change
The Church of God established not only the University of Findlay, but the Winebrenner Seminary as well, both located in Findlay, Ohio. The General Conference was started by John Winebrenner in 1825 when he was locked out of his German Reformed Church in Harrisburg, Pa. where he was preaching evangelistic messages that angered some of the people attending. When Winebrenner left the German Reformed Church to establish a new one, part of the congregation followed him and this was beginning of the Churches of God, General Conference.
A Mission of Faith
The mission of the Lillyville Church of God is to share Jesus with others in word and deed. We host a food pantry the third Thursday of each month. This food pantry is set up like a store so clients may choose the food they want. We also have children and youth programs each week. Vacation Bible School is hosted each summer. Outreach events are held on a regular basis to let our community know that we care and pray for them. We have three worship services a week: Saturday at 5:00 pm and on Sundays at 8:30 am &10:30 am. The church also offers Christian training classes for adults. A book club is held Thursdays at 10:00 am at National Grind coffee shop at 400 Lawrence Avenue, Ellwood City, PA.
The Church has two fund raisers during the year to provide funds for specific ministries like the food pantry or Vacation Bible School. The first is a “Pasta Dinner w/a Chinese Auction” on Palm Sunday and an “All Church Carnival” with food, games, face painting and lots of fun for the whole family. This event is held in our Lighthouse-large gym. The Lighthouse is made available to persons in our community for a modest fee and is booked heavily May thru July for graduation parties.
The congregation of the Lillyville Church of God believes that persons that choose the Lillyville Church of God, are led there by the Lord. Jesus said, “I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail.” (Matt. 16:18) We are imperfect people striving to love God and others; share the good news of Jesus Christ locally and globally and offer a variety of Biblical training courses to help believers grow in their relationship with Jesus.”
“As pastor, I am proud of the outreach into the community through the Food Pantry, participation in the Franklin Township Community days, sharing gifts with the community all in the name of Jesus. Our Church is very mission minded.”
“This year we support four young adults with prayers and financial support to spend time in other countries serving the Lord on short-term mission trips. The church itself sent a team to the Navajo Nation to do Vacation Bible School. On the trip we took a raft trip down the calm part of the Colorado River. Our guide had planned a stop along the way, and a number of our people asked to be baptized in the river. A crowd of other rafting groups gathered on the bank of the river and out of the crowd stepped a Navajo women whom we had never met and she asked to be baptized. This was truly a God-orchestrated event and one that will forever be in our hearts. This women and her husband were truck drivers and being in the area they decided to take the rafting trip the same day and the same time as we were. God is so good!”
To learn more about the Lillyville Church of God, visit them at 408 Hickernell Road, Ellwood City, PA; go to their website at http://www.lillyville.cggc.org or call 724-758-8258.