Thank you for taking a minute to learn more about our church! Our stories and backgrounds may differ, some of us are new to the Christian faith, and others have been following Jesus for years, but we can be united in our conviction that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
What to expect?
Sunday Morning – You can expect to be greeted inside the door by one of our greeters, then proceed to the Sanctuary, where one of our ushers will seat you. You’ll be dismissed for Sunday School, there will be people available in the back of the Sanctuary to help you and your children find your class. After Sunday School everyone returns to their seat in the Sanctuary for the Worship Service. Our Worship Service is a combination of prayer and announcements, testimonies, singing, and ending with a message from one of our Pastors, or occasionally a visiting Pastor.
Wednesday Evening – Services are more relaxed on Wednesday Evening. There are classes and activities for the children. The adults have a selection of classes to choose from, such as marriage, prayer, etc.
In the fall of 1980, Gospel Haven started meeting in the basement of the former Shiloh School building in Benton. There were approximately 16 families, or 50 people, in attendance for the first service. Jonas E. Miller was the only minister, with David Bontrager and Raymond Kaufman taking bishop responsibilities for several years.
1984 was a year of changes, in the spring we spent three months remodeling our structure, and also building relationships as we labored together manually, allowing God to build and strengthen us spiritually, as we converted the upstairs into a beautiful place to worship, most of the work done by volunteer labor. Dennis Mullet was ordained on July 22, 1984, and on October 19, 1984, Jonas E. Miller, our beloved Pastor, passed away, leaving Dennis as the only minister, a lot of responsibility, after only 3 months of pastoring. Alvin Troyer was ordained on March 31, 1985, but later transferred to Bethel. Lewis Wagler assuming bishop responsibilities for the next eight years, ending on July 31, 1994, when Dennis Mullet was ordained as bishop.
Phil Coblentz was ordained on March 11, 1990, and in 1995 was among the charter group that founded Gospel Haven’s first outreach, Mt. Zion House of Prayer in Martinsburg, Ohio.
Dan Mast, was ordained in September of 1995, replacing Phil as assistant Pastor.
During the 1990’s , God blessed our congregation with growth both from within & the community, and as both the sanctuary and overflow of our now small building filled to capacity, plans for an addition began. The first church service in the new sanctuary was held on July 12, 1998, with the 1st meeting being a wedding on the 11th, Scott & Sandra Hershey
December 3, 2000, Joel Troyer was ordained with the idea that one of the pastors would then lead another outreach church.
Christian Life Mennonite, our second outreach, held it’s first service on September 8, 2001, in Beach City, Ohio, with Dan Mast as the pastor, and approx 15 families in attendance, again leaving a void in our congregation, combined with opportunity for more leadership development.
An additional pastor was needed and on April 24, 2005 Sam Yoder was ordained to assist the pastoral team.
In 2008, we sensed & discerned the opportunity for another outreach, and Providence Christian Fellowship began in the Fredericksburg area, with approx. 15 families, led by 3 Elders, later Burnell Beachy was ordained, now serving as their Pastor.
2011 was again a year of changes, with Joe Hershberger ordained to serve in ministry here at home, and Cornerstone, with a group of approx 15 families, starting in Winesburg, in September, with Joel Troyer taking leadership as their Pastor.
These 32 years God has been so faithful to us, now praying we can be yielded to his will as we discern what is God s best for our future, as we continue serving him faithfully day by day until he comes to take us to our future home in heaven, where our greatest moment is yet to come.