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Bellefonte Update - September

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BY OWEN HUGHES, Associate Pastor, Oakwood Presbyterian Church

First, I want to apologize for taking so long to give an update on Bellefonte Presbyterian Church, affectionately known as BPC. The last few months have been so full of summer activities, new church ministry kick-offs, and expanding current ministries.

At the recent Oakwood Congregational Meeting, Conal and I presented "BPC by the Numbers". Here are some exciting statistics that show what God is doing at BPC. 

75 – That is about how many men, women, and children were sent by Oakwood to plant this church in Bellefonte. The vision is that we are loved people, placed by God, to be a blessing in Bellefonte and the surrounding communities. We carry out the vision by seeking ways to bless those around us because we have been blessed with the Good News of Jesus.

140 – That is about how many people are currently involved in BPC!  This means 65 people from Bellefonte and the surrounding communities have joined the work at BPC. Some of them come from other churches, but most are either “de-churched” (used to go to church but don’t anymore) or “unchurched” (they have not grown up in the church).

4 to 7 – In the spring we launched the church with 4 small groups. This Fall we launched 3 more (2 in State College and 1 more in Bellefonte). There are about 80 people in small groups, so you can pray that more folks will join our small groups since that is integral to the life and health of this church plant.

8 – That is how many Sunday School teachers we have.

36 – That is how many children we had on our first Sunday of Sunday School! We have grades pre-k to 6th covered, and Lydia Kroeker did a fantastic job setting it all up, Kris Carr and her team of painters got all the rooms ready for this ministry. I loved watching the church come together for this, it truly was a blessing.

14 – That is how many workdays we have had since we bought the building last May. We will have 3 or 4 more this year.

22 – On average that is how many people we have come out for those workdays.

1200 – That is how many volunteer hours we estimate have been given to fixing up that church.

8 – That is how many tons of trash we threw out of that trash. We also donated a lot to Centre Peace and Goodwill.

25 – That is how many gallons of paint have been put on the walls in that church. As Conal said, “Now the church is just a little bit smaller!”.

$150,000 – That is how much our new roof cost! And we have already paid for it! Praise the Lord that through YOUR generosity we were able to cover that cost, which is a huge relief as we seek to restore the building.

But I think the number that is most important, that tells the best story, and that keeps me going is 1.

Back in March 2022 when it looked like we were going to move forward with this church plant, I started to pray for 1. 1 person to come to know the Lord in our first year. 1 person that God would call from darkness into light, that He would save by the power of His grace, and would allow this little church to see that our God is Mighty to Save.

On October 1st BPC will have their first believer baptism. Colin Egolf will be the first adult to be baptized at BPC. If it cost all the time, money, sweat, and tears just for this one soul to be saved, it was all worth it. 

Colin is a single father, so I will be baptizing his 2 little boys, Landen and Micah, as well. My friends, this is why we do what we do. This is why you sent us to Bellefonte. This is why we sacrificially give of time, talents, and treasure. This is why we will keep planting this church by preaching the Gospel, loving the lost, and being a people who know they are loved, placed, and blessed.

I want to invite you to BPC and visit us. It is a huge encouragement to the people, especially those who came from Oakwood when they see you. 

I also want you all to know how much I am personally grateful for your generosity, prayers, and support. I miss seeing you, I pray for you, and as a church, we pray for you every Sunday. 

Know that you are loved in Bellefonte!

All our love,

Pastor Owen (for BPC)

The pictures below are of a service opportunity we did by helping the town of Bellefonte with their Children’s Craft Fair. 

There are also pictures of Sunday School and the new roof going on! 



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Bellefonte Update - May

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BY OWEN HUGHES, Associate Pastor, Oakwood Presbyterian Church

     So much has happened in the last two months at both of our churches, so I wanted to take a minute and update you on what’s been happening at Bellefonte Presbyterian Church (BPC).

     First of all, we pray for you every Sunday. We are so thankful for your support of this church plant and that we are co-laborers in the mission to reach Bellefonte, State College, and the surrounding communities with the Good News of Jesus.

     We also want to especially thank you for financially supporting this work. The pledge drive was a great success with over $480,000 pledged over the next five years. This allows us to do some much-needed repairs on the building, and continue to be a blessing to this community.

     As we look forward to fixing up our beautiful building, we continue to focus on why we are here, which is to build relationships with the community for the sake of the Gospel. So during the Bellefonte Easter Egg Hunt, BPC set up a tent and provided “resurrection eggs” for the children. These plastic eggs had little beads inside them, each representing a different part of the Gospel of Jesus. Throughout the event, we had the opportunity to share the Gospel with over 100 children along with the adults who were with them. We also had conversations with folks and heard more about what people are experiencing these days. We realized that many people are very lonely and just want to have someone listen to them. Listening is a great way to bless someone who is lonely, hurting, and needs a friend. I am very proud of our church and how we strive to do that well.

     Our Easter service was amazing with over 135 people in attendance including several visitors. It was just another example of how God’s glory is revealed through the gathering of His people. It was a really encouraging day.

     As we look forward to the summer, we have several opportunities to continue to interact with our community in Bellefonte, primarily through volunteering for different events including:

  • Opening the building as a polling place on May 16
  • Holding a Mid-State Literacy Council seminar on May 31
  • Volunteering with the Bellefonte Children’s Fair on June 3
  • Helping with the Bellefonte Art Show on August 4-5
  • Serving and attending “Friday in the ‘Fonte” during their monthly events

     In all these events, we are trying to do all we can to support this town in its efforts to create community. If you are looking for something to do, I encourage you, to consider coming to Bellefonte for one of these events. Supporting this little town and looking to its welfare by eating at its restaurants and shopping at its stores, is a great way to be a witness.

     Again, please keep praying for us, as we pray for you. Pray that we will be united in Christ as a church, that we will be known for our love for another and this community, and that we will continue to look to engage our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family with the Good News of Jesus.

With all Grace and Peace,
Pastor Owen


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