Rain does little to dampen fellowship
SHENANDOAH JUNCTION – For many years parishioners at Fellowship Bible Church in Shenandoah Junction have gathered for a Family Bible Conference and Campout on Memorial Day weekend. Through the years they have enjoyed many weekends of beautiful weather; but, there have been some, such as this year, where the rains came.
Regardless of the wet weather, dozens camped on the church property on Daniel Road and enjoyed a multitude of activities. While some braved the rain in tents, others brought RVs in which to “rough it.” While the campsite and trails of the church’s 50-acre property were a bit muddy, that did not stop folks from coming out to hear the guest pastor; to participate in games and tournaments or to enjoy food and fellowship with one another.
Pastor Matt White, who serves at Belcroft Bible Church in Bowie, Maryland, was the guest pastor at the conference portion of the family weekend. Fellowship Bible Church is not new to White, who was raised here before moving on to attend Appalachian Bible College and The Master’s Seminary. White led three sessions over the two-day event at Fellowship where he brought many challenges from God’s Word.
Attendees were able to show their skills at multiple levels in games of volleyball, softball and soccer. Tournaments in cornhole and other activities brought out the competitive nature in many.
Just as many simply welcomed the peace and restfulness of the weekend where they could gather and fellowship with one another.
Jennifer Kirkland, whose family has attended the past two years, shared, “Slowing down and focusing on growing in Christ and being in the word together as a church family is a treat in this fast paced life.”
Donna Gansel agreed stressing the importance of getting together with friends old and new.
“Not only do I get a chance to catch up with friends, but I’m able to meet new people and make new friends. The fellowship is sweet,” she shared.
Outdoor activities were hampered a bit on Sunday as the rains moved in; however, with all hands on deck, the afternoon cookout was moved from the picnic pavilion to the church building where, gathered around tables, attendees enjoyed the music and comedy of Mark Cable, of York, Pennsylvania. Cable has been ministering full time through music since 1981, mostly in churches and conference centers throughout the Eastern United States.
Longtime church member Jill Wilson commented, “My kids love time with their friends and to run and play and be free. And this year, we really, really enjoyed the concert.”
Prior to the close of the weekend, Pastor Van Marsceau, who has served as lead pastor for 20 years, took time to move through the room introducing newer members of the congregation as well as stopping to chat with some who have been there since the beginning.
Jim Cybulski, who was one of the founding members of the church 25 years ago, summed it up saying, “It is amazing to see what God has done in His time. I remember when there were no children and only about 25 people.”
Cybulski went on to share how the music ministry at the church especially makes him emotional. He referenced the arrival of Marsceau and his wife, Janet, who played the piano and brought music into the church.
“We had nothing before Van and Janet,” Cybulski said.
The church, which started with an in-home Bible study group of a few couples, has now grown to three services each Sunday with attendance reaching above 500. Service times are 8, 9:15 and 11 a.m.