In December 2012 the editor of the Bluffton News-Banner asked me to begin a weekly column of stories about churches in Wells County (IN). It’s been a delight talking with pastors from the 65 (yes 65!) churches in this county. Since talking with Pastor Bob Miller of the Ossian Church of the Nazarene, I’ve run into several people who attend his church. Everyone is a delight and I can see this church growing as it continues to offer so many services and helps to people in the Ossian area. If you live in Ossian, please visit. My grandparents, Edna and John Archbold, used to attend here and my cousin Marilyn Lindquist was married here. It’s a great place.
According to an essay printed in an Ossian Church of the Nazarene newsletter, the congregation began as the result of a tent revival in Ossian in 1927. As the congregation grew, it moved to a house, post office, and finally to its own building built by church members. Betty Yaney, author of the essay, added that the congregation has been led by 26 ministers and several members have chosen ministry as a profession.
For 85 years the town of Ossian has had a Nazarene Church in its midst—sometimes in a tent, house, upstairs hall, or brick building. In November 2012 the congregation located at 302 N. Metts St. conducted a Celebrational Service at the church building.
Pastor Bob Miller hosted the event with former members and pastors in attendance. Reverend Frank Garton who preached at the church from 1965 through 1974 and who now lives in Illinois offered a closing prayer. Dr. David Roland, Wesleyan Church District Superintendent from Marion, Indiana, also attended.
Miller estimated 200 people attended the event. The congregation currently averages 80 in attendance. A catered lunch and concert by the Northmen from Fort Wayne rounded out the day’s activities.
Visitors could inspect historic items from the church’s history. “We dug up the time capsule buried outside the church when this building was constructed in 1975,” said Miller. Items in the time capsule included photos of church members and Ossian community and other memorabilia.
On the day of the Celebrational Service church leaders re-buried the time capsule with photos of the current congregation and building, landmarks around Ossian, current church directory and a CD of the Celebrational Service.
Miller was excited not only about the opportunity to delve into the church’s history but to create a new presence in the community. “We are moving to a blended worship service with old and new tunes during Sunday worship service,” he said. “We’re incorporating drums, guitars, and keyboard and using a 65-inch screen with lyrics during the song time.” Normal worship time each Sunday is 10:30 a.m. Sunday School for adults and children is held at 9:30 a.m. with a Sunday Night Bible Study and Wednesday night services for all ages. Steve Jones is Assistant Pastor.
For more information about the Ossian Church of the Nazarene go to http://www.ossiannaz.org or call the church office at 260.622.7449, or email the church at firstname.lastname@example.org. The church is on Facebook at ocn.