Spring in Bellville means friends, fellowship and cleaning up the village


BELLVILLE – With warmer days approaching, residents of the Clear Fork Valley are taking off their coats and jackets, starting clean-up projects and gathering in praise for the season’s bounty.

In an event that happens once a month, folks gather at St. Paul Lutheran Church for a free meal. A group gathered last Thursday, dining on spaghetti, salad, bread and astonishing desserts.

A bit later, locals went to the old Jefferson Township fire hall, for a National Day of Prayer event.

Sheila Pifer, of St. Paul Lutheran Church, said there are a lot of “regulars” who come for that meal. And kids like to participate, too.

At the National Day of Prayer event, pastors offered thanks for the season and the benefits of being able to gather.

Pastors participating were Gary Kochheiser, Ankneytown Grace Brethren Church; Ron Walker, Bellville Presbyerian Church; Mike Stine, Clear Fork Alliance Church; and Patrick Bailey, North Bend Church of the Brethren.

Pifer said women in the church prepare all the food or get donations so that as many as 120 people can be served. People stream in from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The event is open to anyone, she said.

One participant at last week’s meal was Bruce Steel, who said he is fond of good food and talked about being able to get such delicacies as real succotash. For those who don’t know, succotash is succulent lima beans and corn.

Village officials sometimes appear at such local events. Mayor Teri Brenkus visited the St. Paul supper and the National Day of Prayer.

When she is doing her official duty — she says she is a part-time mayor — she talks up all the events going on in Bellville.

There was a “spring sweep” event a week ago, where resident Ken Johnson appeared and volunteered to help Brenkus. She said she took the left side of State Route 13 and Johnson took the right side. They gathered three bags of compost, she said.

The annual community “Dumpster Day” will be this Saturday, May 11.

This is the same day the farmer’s market starts.

For Dumpster Day, people are reminded they will need to show an I.D. to prove they are legitimate contributors to the event. In the past, some people have brought a questionable amount of items, or some things not approved, officials said.

Information about Dumpster Day has been posted on social media sites, so people can check and see what guidelines they must observe.

The Youth League held an opening day event Saturday. The Buckeye Wheelhorse Collectors Club also had a parade and outdoors event Saturday.

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By Louise Swartzwalder

Galion Inquirer