The Bellpoint community is unique to Delaware. For those who know of it, it sits halfway between the city of Delaware and Ostrander. The area is known for its great fishing access along the connection point of the Mill Creek and the Scioto River (Bell ‘point’), and it is the new home of Buckeye Valley West Elementary School.
Amid all of the growth that is reaching into this part of Delaware County, Bellpoint Community Church has stood as a historic fixture. On Aug. 30, 1873, 69 people were officially added to the church’s membership listing. Among its original founders were the Oller brothers, for which Bean-Oller Road was named. The faith community’s intent was to minister to the many German farming families who were settled in the area. As such, the earliest worship services were conducted in German. Certain social practices of the time were observed. The men and women would enter the sanctuary from different doors and would sit on rows of benches (the men to the north and the women and children to the south) for the purpose of decreasing distractions and keeping the focus on the preaching of the gospel.
Over the past 150 years, the denominational affiliation of the congregation has changed, aligning first as a United Brethren in Christ Church, then an Evangelical United Brethren Church, after that a United Methodist Church, and now a Global Methodist Church. Through all of the changes that this faith community has faced, both externally and internally, the through-line has always been this: This church is a space where ordinary people can find authentic community and connection with each other and with Jesus.
Here are a few statements from current members about what the Bellpoint Community Church has meant to them:
• “Bellpoint Community Church has always been there for me. I’ve always looked forward to going there every Sunday and seeing all the smiling faces of the ones who care about me. Even if I have a bad week or a good week, I know I have people who are there for all of it. I’ve really grown in my relationship with God because of the people and prayer there and the experiences I get from helping others through projects and services my church provides. It’s a great joy to myself and the church community to help others and bring them to God; that’s what we do at Bellpoint Community Church. (Maya Ritchie, a senior at Buckeye Valley High School).
• “The Bellpoint Community Church congregation has done more for us than I can put into words. They have prayed relentlessly for us (and we have received incredible evidence of His sustenance for three years). The congregation has poured over us with cards, meals, flower bed work, check-up calls, flowers and a few trips to the doctor. We have lacked nothing and have received love and support beyond measure.” (Vicki and Norm Spellman, longtime church members).
• “For me, being a member of Bellpoint Community Church has given me a family of both religious and personal mentors. People with wisdom and experience that I can look to for guidance in my own life, and in my walk with God.” (Travis Miller, recent graduate of Buckeye Valley High School).
• “Bellpoint Community Church is where I’m able to focus on my relationship with the Lord. It is a very important part of my life to go to church on Sunday with my family to praise and worship with others, to learn more about Jesus and gain counsel through a good message from a pastor and to share and take part in some powerful prayer. Bellpoint provides all of this for me and my family. I wish everyone would go to church on Sunday and spend some time with God in fellowship with the local community.” (Tim Kelleher, a longtime member)
• “Bellpoint has always been a part of my life. Through our youth group I’ve been able to connect with others on our summer mission trips as well as growing closer to the Lord. I feel truly blessed to be apart of this amazing church family.” (Mia Maxim, a junior at Delaware Christian School)
• “I know God has used people of the Bellpoint community to shape my life. I’ve had many mentors (of all ages) showing me how to grow in my relationship with God. Others have provided wonderful examples of how to be the kind of wife, mother, friend, and leader so that other people can see God through and in me. I am so blessed to have these kinds of relationships, when so many are feeling they are all alone in this world.” (Dianne May, a longtime member)
As we honor the history on which our church is built, we look forward to the future. And where is Bellpoint Community Church going now? Prayerfully into another century-and-a-half of fruitful ministry, transforming lives, making a real difference in our community, and being a space where people can continue to experience authentic relationship with others and with Jesus. Many in the community are especially excited about Bellpoint’s partnership with LifeWise Academy for first through fifth grade students at Buckeye Valley West this coming school year (where students are able to learn more about Jesus and principles of the Bible during the school day).
In celebration of our rich history and bright future, the Bellpoint Community Church, with its pastor of 18 years, Dr. Paul McCullough, invite the greater Delaware community to join the celebration of our 150th anniversary on Sunday, Aug. 13. There will be one combined worship service held in our newly renovated sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. Following worship, we’ll enjoy a potluck picnic. There are a number of additional activities surrounding the main celebration, including a blood drive on the Aug. 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a free outdoor concert featuring In a Jam on Aug. 12 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Submitted by the Bellpoint Community Church.