What The Lord Hath Done:
"And when they were come, and
had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done
with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles."
36 Years At Tarentum: Robert & Cathy Johnson
(Preacher & Wife)
Greetings from the brethren in Tarentum, PA. For the benefit
of many of our brethren who may not be familiar with the history of
the work here, this report presents a brief summary of the work going
on in this part of God's kingdom. Cathy and I are nearing the completion
of our 36th year of labor with the congregation in Tarentum.
We began in the basement, but have now completely remodeled the upstairs
and added classrooms as they were needed. The members did all the remodeling
and we purchased used pews from a church in Pittsburgh. Our building
is pretty old, but it is serving us very well and provides room for
our continued growth.
Our building is located in a densely populated part of Tarentum about
two blocks from downtown. The entire area around Tarentum is heavily
populated. We have members who drive from as much as 45 minutes to worship,
but most live within twenty minutes of the building.
We purchased a large lot across the street and after tearing down the
buildings, installed a much needed parking lot. Before acquiring the
parking lot we had only a small side lot and on the street parking.
This new lot has served us very well and has given us room to grow,
not to mention keeping us on good terms with the neighbors. We purchased
the lot with money raised from the members (with several borrowing money)
and from sister congregations in Tennessee, Ohio and West Virginia.
At present our building and parking lot are completely paid for and
require only minor ongoing remodeling and maintenance.
"Life Resources" Since
In February of 1984, we began writing and publishing our own evangelistic
newsletter called "Life Resources" and mailing it into Tarentum
and the surrounding communities. This was a decision we made after attempting
a number of door knocking campaigns, Bible Call and making use of the
local newspaper. Since its beginnings, Life Resources has carried the
Gospel message into over 30,000 homes (each receiving at least 10 to
12 issues). This paper has led to many baptisms over the years and is
directly responsible for our first contact with many of our current
members. This project allowed us to put a Gospel message into every
home in most of the communities and towns in our area. Unfortunately,
due to the high cost of printing and postage, we have suspended this
publication for the last several years. Some back issues are available
on this website.
Our membership is composed of all ages. We have a number of members
who are retirement age and many still in the middle of raising their
families. We have numerous couples where both husband and wife are members
of the church, several where only the husband or wife are members and
a number of single members. In the past few years, many of our young
people have obeyed the Gospel. These represent the first and second
generation of children to be raised in the church in our area. The member's
occupations include nursing, maintenance, computer related work, retired
steel mill workers, construction, etc. The members at Tarentum are close
and always ready to work together when a job needs to be done.
Most of the men can preach and regularly help out in teaching the Bible
classes and in leading the services. We also have many excellent teachers
among the women, working with the younger children. Several of the men
share the responsibility of leading the singing along with the younger
men who are learning to lead.
Many of our members also work each year at church camp. I (Robert) directed
church camp for 16 years and am currently working as a teacher with
the North East Ohio Christian Youth Camp (NOCYC) in Lisbon, Ohio.. Another
of our members (Scott Kronenwetter) recently became an co-director of
this same camp. In our time here, many souls have heard the truth and
obeyed the Gospel of Christ. We plant and water, but God gives the increase.
Tarentum's Continuing Goals:
As a congregation of the Lord's Church in Western Pennsylvania, we continue
to strive for these goals: We study to be a stronghold for the truth
of the New Testament. It is one of our primary goals to teach our young
people to carry on the work of the kingdom here in the coming years.
As long as the congregation here exists, we intend it to be a light
for the truth in our part of the world.
In Christ's Service,
For the congregation
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