The members of Berean Fellowship Church have decided to close the congregation after more than 50 years of ministry in Youngstown. The congregation was founded in 1961.

The congregation held a closing worship service on Sunday afternoon, July 1. During the worship service, Pastor Samuel Olarewaju talked about how the congregation decided to close and sell the building to another congregation, Mercy Community Church. He emphasized that although Berean Fellowship Church has come to an end, the church of Christ in Youngstown lives on. Berean Fellowship is handing over the baton to the new congregation, he said.

The worship service included the singing of  “God Will Make a Way” and “Move with the Clouds.” The lyrics of “Move with the Clouds,” which reference God’s leading the Children of Israel with a cloud by day, include these lines: “Let your spirit arise and your strength be renewed/Come on let us all move together/As we follow where he leads a new life we will receive/If we move with the cloud.” In his remarks, Pastor Samuel Olarewaju commented that the congregation looked to God for direction as they made decisions. “We kept moving with the cloud,” he said.

The worship service also included sharing from congregation members, as well as former pastors Richard and Maxine Bartholomew; Bob Wengered, the pastor of North Lima Mennonite Church, who had served as a mentor to Samuel Olarewaju; Ernest Martin, who had served as the overseer of Berean Fellowship years ago; and Cliff Brubaker, Ohio Conference regional pastor.

A reception was held in the church fellowship hall after the worship service.

Photos by Bryan Leaman