Picture of the day - October 20, 2005
Pleasant View Baptist Church
Today's picture features a small country church that I know very well and love
very much - Pleasant View Baptist Church in Widener Valley (near Damascus,
Virginia). My wife and I grew up attending Pleasant View, and even though I
didn't always want to go to church I thank God that my wonderful mom
didn't make not going an option.
Some of the finest people I know went to Pleasant View Baptist Church over the
years. In addition to a long line of great pastors, that beautiful church has
been the spiritual home of many God-fearing people who had a major influence
on me in my formative years.
First and foremost, there is Mr. Herman Widener, one
of the most dependable Christians you'll ever meet. For many decades he was (and
still is) the church's song leader and one of its most faithful members. This
man had such an influence on me as a youngster that I simply cannot express how
much I love and admire him.
And then there was the remarkable Mrs. Edith Widener, a precious lady who loved
everyone and strived to spend each and every day of her life "telling
someone about the Lord". And what a life she lived - she was 105 when the
Lord finally called her home! Her experience with Pleasant View was unique in
that her dad and mom were the ones who donated the land and helped build the
church way back in 1893. There was no one else quite like this amazing lady and
there probably never will be.
Mr. Harold Thomas was another wonderful man who played a major role in shaping
the course of Pleasant View Baptist Church. He "knew the Bible" as
well as any preacher, and he sure wasn't shy about using it to help someone get
saved or get back into "the will of the Lord".
Back when I was growing up, the men of the church would take turns leading
Wednesday night Prayer Meeting, and it seemed like Mr. Thomas held it every
other week. At the time, I wasn't too happy about him leading Prayer Meeting
because I knew we would be there longer than usual, but looking back on those
years I can clearly see how much this powerful man of God influenced my life and
everyone else he came into contact with.
Mrs. Marie McVey was one of those people who everyone in the community knew and
loved. She was a multi-talented individual to say the least - she played piano,
sang tenor, and led the congregation in prayer on many occasions. She was a
steadfast Christian who loved Jesus and made sure everyone knew it. For years
she and "Mrs. Edith" were fixtures at Pleasant View - if the church
doors were open they were there.
Another great man who helped keep Pleasant View Baptist Church on the right
course was Mr. Wade Dolinger - my wife's dad. Although he was a fairly quiet
man, he spoke up loud and clear when something or someone wasn't in the will of
the Lord. He served Pleasant View faithfully for many years, both as a
well-respected Deacon and the Superintendent of Sunday School. His wisdom and
guidance served the church well and he is deeply missed by all who knew him.
And then there is my wonderful mom. She was saved and baptized at Pleasant View
many decades ago, and she loves that church with all her heart. Always content
to just sit quietly and let the men "do the work of the Lord" in
church, she is always willing and eager to do whatever she can to help people
find their way to Jesus - including me and my brothers and sister.
Of all the amazing Christian men and women who have called Pleasant View Baptist
Church their spiritual home over the years, she is the one who had the most
influence on my life. I shudder to think where I would be today without her
stern hand on my shoulder and the love of her family and her God in her heart.
I'll always be grateful to mom for not making skipping church an option and for
raising me in the spiritual family that was the congregation of Pleasant View
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