Small in numbers, strong in faith 

Kish Valley Church of Christ finds new meeting location

Sentinel photo by ERIN THOMPSON
Evangelist Percy Wilson reads over scriptures prior to his Wednesday sermon.

MILROY — Those interested in an intimate worship service may want to check out the Kish Valley Church of Christ .

With as few as five members at a time, Percy Wilson Jr., evangelist, says the church encourages people to speak on their unique perspectives.

Wilson, originally from the Gettysburg area, worked as a preacher in Oklahoma for 13 years before he and his wife, originally from Lewistown, decided to return to their home state.

When the couple moved in 2014 back, Wilson said they tried a number of local churches, “but we found there weren’t really people who believed what we believed.”

Wilson said they attended a church in Altoona for some time, however, since he is legally blind, and his wife, is not a fan of night driving, they decided to start meeting in their Milroy home, where their small congregation of five to 18 members at a time have been operating for about 3 1/2 years.

“Meeting in your home has its advantages, but a lot of people don’t think of church as being at home,” said Wilson. “We were looking for (a location) our small group could afford.”

The group recently moved its services to the Happy Valley Room at Holiday Inn Express, where they are able to give PowerPoint presentations and have a more spacious location to teach the word of God.

“It really makes for a better learning

environment,” Wilson said.

Having a smaller congregation, Wilson said, allows for more intimate Bible discussions.

“It can be kind of scary to walk into a room of only 10, but I think some are also overwhelmed by the numbers and feel they get lost in a crowd — when you have a larger group, that intimacy can be lost.”

Kish Valley Church of Christ offers an individualized approach to Christianity. “We are independent, autonomous and nondenominational,” he said.

The church, while small in numbers, accepts new members, but its focus is teaching the Bible.

“The numbers aren’t that relevant. It is more important to do the teaching and if people accept it or reject it, that’s their decision,” he said.

“We just want to let people know we’re here and hopefully they will want to come study the Bible with us.”

Services include acappella hymns and prayer, followed by a sermon by Wilson.

Following the sermon, members and visitors are welcome to join in group discussion.

“We encourage people to speak out,” he said. “When we have new visitors, sometimes we get some diverse comments — things we might not have thought of before.”

Discussions are then followed by the Lord’s Supper and end with song and prayer.

“We believe in congregational independence,” he said. “we don’t follow the creeds or manuals designed by any man or group of men. We have no creed other than the Bible itself.”

Wilson noted that collection is accepted from members, but not from visitors who are looking to explore what the church has to offer. “We want visitors who learn who we are,” he said.

The church meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. Sundays for Bible class and 10 a.m. Sundays for worship service. The Holiday Inn Express is located at 111 Carriage House Lane, Reedsville.