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Hartville hosts 69th Annual Vespers Service


As has been done for nearly every year since 1952, Hartville held their 69th Annual Vespers Service on Sunday, Dec. 5 inside the Hartville High School gym.

During the holiday message, Pastor Dale Martin, of Elk Creek Baptist Church, reminded those in attendance that Christmas is not just about lights, trees or spending time with family and friends in the here and now. Though there is nothing wrong with those things, he reminded the crowd that the season is about Jesus and also remembering where He is now.

“…If Christmas is not more than (lights, etc.) to you, then you really are missing out,” said Martin, who has served at Elk Creek for around 26-27 years. “…Don’t place your affections on hold here, but place your affections on heaven, where Jesus Christ sits on the right hand throne of God…My prayer for the church here, this community and the surrounding area is to take our minds off of this world and set our mind on the things of heaven, where Jesus is on the right hand throne of God.”

He added that the most important thing is for everyone to know what the greatest gift ever recorded was.

“That your sins be forgiven you,” he said. “The greatest blessing of all is that my name is written in the book of life.”

His scripture for the evening came from I Corinthians 15:1-14 and Psalm 103:1-12.

He finished by challenging Christians to be sure they know who the God is that they serve while living in a world full of people who need God.

Earlier in the evening, Hartville senior Jacob Ballard read the Christmas story from Luke 2.

“In this Christmas season, be thankful and look to God this Christmas season,” said Ballard, who attends Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

During the event, a special recognition certificate was given by the Hartville Garden Club to the Hartville Lions Club. The recognition was made by Karen Sinning and Vicki Stewart. The evening’s emcee was Hartville First Baptist Church Pastor Jeff Ward.

Opening prayer was given by Cope Baptist Church Pastor Justin Kroese.

Musical performances came from the Little Creek Baptist Church, Hartville Junior High Choir, First Baptist Church’s Hazel Melton, Hartville Free Will Baptist Church’s Scott Keith, the Wolf Creek Freewill Baptist Singers, the Elk Creek Baptist Church Choir, a trio from Coon Creek Baptist Church and Hartville Choir Director Cheryl Brown.

A middle prayer was provided by Wolf Creek Baptist Church Pastor Bruce Moore and closing prayer was made by Russell McDaris, pastor of Coon Creek Baptist Church.

Musical interludes and accompaniment were from Teresa Dixon and Terre Boyer. Those in attendance also joined together in singing, “Silent Night.”


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