Pastors at Drennon Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church have ministered to its flock since 1862. Just eight weeks ago members welcomed a new clergyman into their fold.
Reverend Corey Beatty came to the small historic church by way of Louisville’s Northeast Christian Church, which had a congregation of about 3,000, and La Grange Christian Church where he was being groomed as associate pastor for its 100 members. Around 35 souls call Drennon Christian Church home.
Beatty’s wife Harriet said coming back to Drennon Christian Church feels just right to her. “This was my grandmother’s church,” she said. “My step-grandfather and cousin are buried in the graveyard. I’ve come full circle.”
Corey Beatty graduated from Henry County High School and Centre College. He received a master’s degree from the University of Louisville and teaches art to kindergarten through fifth grade in the Oldham County school system.
He got the call to the ministry in 2007 and decided to attend the Londen Institute for Evangelism. He was ordained into Christian Ministry on Jan. 9.
Though not much has changed about the outward appearance of Drennon Christian Church, the times have.
As members and guests settled into pews Sunday, dozens of motorcycles roared down the hill and past the church. Wavy images of the bikes could be seen through stained glass doors and the windows rattled.
Beatty and the congregation were discussing a painting to be completed on the lintel above the church porch. “Lots have mentioned Jesus standing at the door knocking,” he said. Most agreed that would look appropriate.
Someone suggested depicting people arriving by horse and buggy as a nod to history.
“But, now they’re coming by motorcycle,” another said.
“Well, if they stop here we should open the doors,” Beatty said.
During “time of Christian fellowship” people mingled, shook hands and spoke to one another.
Barbara Jones said she’s been coming to the church 62 years and has seen it go from times of plenty to times of lean membership.
“I’ve seen it get down to six people,” she said.
Jones said a decrease in farming in the area is a factor in smaller numbers. “People left,” she said, “and the kids and grandkids are at other churches now.”
Drennon’s congregation is a bit older, but they are a lively bunch.
Upcoming activities include the Andy Griffith Bible Study tonight at 6 p.m.
Each week participants watch an episode of the 30-minute comedy and discuss the moral of the story. Beatty said it has become popular very quickly.
On Aug. 23, the church will host The Garry Polston Family Concert at 6 p.m. And on Friday, Aug. 28, families are invited to a camping/fishing/hiking night along Drennon Creek.
A lunch after church services on Sunday, Aug. 30, will round out the month.
In a sermon he titled “Simple Gifts,” Beatty referred to the Shakers sect exhorting church-goers to harken back to the basics of fellowship and sharing. “Fellowship literally means sharing in the lives of the believers,” he said. “Possessions were gifts from God to be shared.”
Beatty cited an incident after Andy Griffith Bible Study concluded last Wednesday evening.
A church member locked their keys in a car, requiring a visit from AAA. It took the auto association quite awhile to get to Drennon.
“We gave them directions about ten times,” he said. “but, they didn’t get out here until after 9 (p.m.).”
Beatty said nobody got irritated and it ended up being a great experience.
“The reason I mentioned this,” he said, “is because there were several families sitting on the porch, kids throwing a ball and exploring the woods, and folks sharing memories of the church and community here. That was a beautiful time.”
Beatty rounded out his message by saying that the simplicity of being together of one accord and one belief is what he sees at Drennon Christian Church.
“It is a gift from God to live simply,” he said.
Beatty said he and his family are proud to add to the church’s numbers.
Their son, J.R., is in middle school and served as acolyte on Sunday. Beatty’s parents, Curt and Malissa Beatty, haven’t missed a Sunday service since he began. Beatty said Curt has even pitched in to make improvements on the building. Malissa has already painted a new sign outside and will be the artist to paint Jesus knocking on the door.
“I truly believe we moved to that church (La Grange) to end up here,” he said.
For more information, visit the church’s Web site at www.wavyspace.com/drennon.
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