Saturday, September 18th, 2021

Appreciation shown to By the Book volunteers

Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013

The Associated Churches of Huntington County Weekday Religious Education By the Book Program honored the many volunteers who help make the program possible throughout the year. The Volunteer Appreciation Program was held on Tuesday evening, April 23 at St. Peter’s First Community Church.

Rev. John Backes, Bethel Assembly of God and By the Book board member, opened the evening with prayer. Jack Oberholtzer, board president, introduced the current board and the committee that made the evening possible. By the Book board members include Joyce Buzzard, vice president and secretary; Judy Lee, treasurer; Ray Bates; Nancy Beaver; Susanne Easterday; Phil Marshall; Dave Ruble; Phyllis Stouder and Ann Spahr. The committee for the evening, which provided refreshments and decorations, included Joyce Buzzard, Susanne Easterday and Phyllis Stouder.

Oberholtzer gave special recognition to Joanna Kline, retiring board member and long-time secretary. Kline was presented with a plaque as a token of appreciation for her years of service which read “Many students have had the opportunity to experience the love of Jesus through your dedication.”

Rev. Bob Land, Trinity United Methodist Church, also spoke to those in attendance commenting that “today is a unique day as one year ago today I was told I was coming to Huntington (by the United Methodist appointment system).” He said that upon coming to Huntington, he was introduced to the Associated Churches and the By the Book Program. He commented that the program is a remarkable testimony to the generations who have kept it going. He said, “You are sharing the gospel and good news of Jesus Christ with children who may have never heard it before.”

Dave Ruble thanked Marshall Doctor for his help moving the Bible trailers in place near the various schools each week. He said, “You are responsible for the program being successful. Without the trailers there would be no program.” Ruble explained that Doctor makes sure the trailers are parked properly and the steps are in place – he said, “Marshall does a beautiful job.”

Oberholtzer then introduced Kathie Mower, director and teacher for By the Book. He said, “We are pleased and fortunate to have her.”

Mower said it is a privilege to be here and thanked all those who came to the event and support the program. She also thanked the board, prayer warriors and Doctor. Mower explained that 740 third and fourth grade students are part of the program every week. She continued, “We have an incredible outreach to these students.”

While Mower teaches By the Book in a Bible trailer near Northwest and Lincoln Elementary Schools, Debbie Hersey teaches near Andrews, Flint Springs and Salamonie Schools. Stephanie Thompson teaches near Lincoln and Lancaster and Mary Clark is by Roanoke Elementary. Each teacher spoke about her experiences with the program.

During the 2013 school year By the Book has focused on building character from a Bible standpoint. Third graders are learning about the Old Testament including Bible characters such as Moses and each student received a Bible. Fourth graders are learning about the New Testament. Third grade students also receive wooden crosses made by Paul Buzzard while fourth graders are presented with WWJD bracelets. All students receive bookmarks and pencils.

Two students that have benefited from the program spoke to the group. Nick and Zach Scheiber, whose mother Jodi Scheiber helps with By the Book at Andrews, said they “like the Bible trailer because it is a good way to learn about God.”

Additional volunteers in attendance who help with the program, taking students from schools to the trailers and aiding the teachers, included Scheiber, Karen Humbarger, Cindy Lund, Barb and Billy Ables, Debra Waldron, Janet Finton and Nancy Beaver. They were presented with a framed picture of Jesus.

Oberholtzer stated that the program is currently sound and additional events are planned to bring continued support toward its success. A Skate for By the Book, aided by Kathy Elmore, will be held May 5; a Bible trailer unit will be on display at The Marketplace during Heritage Days in June and a Golf Tournament, chaired by Karen Humbarger, will be held on August 3. An organization meeting for the tournament will be held May 21 at the The Gathering Place at 7 p.m. Volunteers, hole sponsors and door prizes are needed.

The evening concluded with Rev. Backes leading a blessing of the Bibles to be used by students in By the Book. The Associated Churches also provide Bibles for graduating high school seniors in Huntington County and those Bibles were also prayed over.

For more information about the program visit the Associated Churches website at

Shown in the photo above are some of the volunteers who help each week with the By the Book program in Huntington County. Front row, from left include Debra Waldron, Janet Finton and Nancy Beaver. Second row, from left, include Jodi Scheiber, Karen Humbarger, Cindy Lund and Barb and Billy Ables.