When it comes to churches, Southview Baptist Church in Galion sticks to traditional roots.
“I believe there’s a place for an old-time Bible preaching Baptist Church.” Southview Baptist Church pastor Rev. Lou Ashworth said, “Now, we are different from other churches. The (Bible) has rules in it, we don’t water it down and we don’t change them.
“We still believe the Holy Spirit convicts people of sin. He leads people in righteousness. We believe that the Holy Spirit God through the Bible teaches us how to live as Christians. To live holy lives. We hold the standards of the New Testament sacred.”
When Ashworth became the pastor of the church there were very few members at the first church service.
“When I came in January, the first service there was only eight people, my wife and I included.” Ashworth said, “Now the Lord has blesses us with 54. We just knock on doors and invite people. That’s the mission thing to do. God says go out and get them and bring them in.”
Ashworth who is 72, was called to preach at the age of 58 and his ministry has been to help churches in trouble.
“I help churches that really can’t afford a pastor.”Ashworth said, “God called me to help some of them, I have helped 12 churches in 16 years all of which now have grown and have full-time pastors. They are still preaching the old-time gospel.”
Ashworth is humble with what God has chosen him to do.
“I don’t want this to be about me.” Ashworth said, “I can’t believe God has done this. I believe exactly what I was taught as a boy. My basic Bible beliefs have never changed.
“Over a period of years, folks (here) left for one reason or another. Some churches everywhere are deteriorating. We want the community to now we are alive and well. People are getting saved and baptized.”
After Ashworth arrived, the church began making renovations to the inside of the building.
“We have painted, carpeted, (put) new ceramic in kitchen, new lights in the parking lot (and) new breakers and lights are ordered for the sanctuary.” Ashworth said.
And members appreciate his efforts.
“I was a part of this from the beginning when it was organized in 64.” said Martha Smith, who is the only charter member left from the church, which organized in 1964. “There is a lot of interest and excitement. (Ashworth) is a wonderful leader he immediately wanted to beautify the place. (We had) the original paint on the walls from when it was built. We have had several new people since Pastor Lou’s been here.”
“We sing the old hymns, we don’t think they are dead at all.” Ashworth said. “We are a friendly, loving, caring church. If this sounds what you are looking for please come visit us.”
Reach Evans at 419-468-1117 ext. 2049 or on Twitter at @deborahevans31