Friday, September 22, 2023

Belleplain Church Finally Has Own Pastor – 6.28.2006

By Christine Cote

BELLEPLAIN – Sombreros and serapes graced the velvet altar chairs and organ bench and the little white church was filled with voices in snappy song as tambourines kept the beat.
Not a typical Sunday service. This was vacation Bible school at the Belleplain United Methodist Church last week. The theme was “Fiesta” with a salsa slant, but the ladies who were running the program for children of all ages were celebrating more than the spread of good news to the next generation.
For the first time in many years, the church has its own designated pastor, who does not have to share his time to another parish.
“This church was always yoked with another,” said Rev. William R. Foster June 22, as children were gathering for the fourth evening of the five-session program that culminated with a family dinner Sunday.
He came to the parish in January, but at the time was also assigned to serve another church.
“People are so proud,” that the church has a full-time pastor, he said. “The church is growing, more people are coming out.”
Not only are they pleased with Rev. Foster, but the fact that his wife, Doris, can play piano and the organ is an added blessing.
“We prayed and prayed for a piano player,” said Zilphey Batchelor. She and her sisters have been coming to the church “since they were born.” For health reasons, Batchelor said she could no longer help out with children’s programs.
Her older sister, Violet Roe, was there to assist with Bible school and had her 11-month-old great-granddaughter, Paige Sutton, there as the youngest participant.
The church dates to 1893, said Roe. “I brought my children, grandchildren and now my great-granddaughter here.”
The pastor’s wife described a third sister, Darlene Saduk, as the “steadfast cornerstone” of the church. She was one of the choir leaders of the Bible school, encouraging the children to sing the songs written out on cue cards she held up with lyrics hand-printed for them to follow, along with recorded music.
After a few spirited tunes, Saduk reminded them the next song was like a prayer and her words alone brought the close to 20 children of all ages sitting in pews to a quieter mood as they sang the words to the meditative piece.
The three sisters are from the family of 10 children of Jesse and Marie Creamer. Their father started the Belleplain fire department and the ambulance corps, said Batchelor.
It was a hot evening that second day of summer, but the fans were on inside the church, with its sculpted tin ceiling and walls, moving the flags strung about.
Both Foster and his wife agreed they were blessed to be here.
His motto is “open minds, open hearts, and open doors.”
After the singing, the children were divided into three groups by age and taken downstairs for crafts and lessons.
The church now numbers 30 members. The children who attend Bible school are either from Woodbine or Dennis Township schools. Most, but not all, were church members.
Contact Cote at (609) 886-8600 Ext 31 or:

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