This past week Ashland Mayor Matt Miller presented a "State of the City" address (see video below, starting at approx. the 16 min mark). Mr. Miller gave a glowing report of the city's current status and expressed, in so many words, that our town is on the verge of significant growth.
He mentioned the prospects of several new economic developments. Businesses in Ashland are looking to expand their markets and increase their employee base. Charles River expects to add a new facility and around 100 new jobs. Comtext projects to grow by at least another 50 jobs. These are just a few of the items mentioned by Mr. Miller.
Along with potential business ventures, Miller also reported that the housing market in Ashland will to undergo a significant expansion. This includes multiple new apartment complexes and home developments.
The growth in Ashland certainly can be verified by a drive through town. A few years ago there were a significant amount of empty buildings. These are few and far between now.
Houses also seem to be selling at an incredible rate around town. I have had several friends say they've had a hard time finding a place because the houses are selling so fast.
These developments do incline one to think about how best to move forward in ministry. In a town that is experiencing growth and may be on the verge of significant growth, one needs to ask how a church can position itself for proclaiming the gospel and experiencing similar growth? These are the questions I find myself submitting to the Lord during times of prayer.
Interestingly, the original Hopewell Church (the first church planted in Ashland 200 years ago) was in a similar situation. The town was starting to blossom and new businesses were starting to pop up. With it there was a growth of ministry (and subsequent challenges).
Moving forward this question will be something I definitely contemplate regularly. It is still my desire to see revival, reformation, and renewal while promoting the doctrines of the Reformation in our area. A strong Reformed witness in town is still very much needed.
Hopewell has certainly begun to blossom and see some progress that parallels the growth we are seeing in Ashland. Four new families have started attending in the last several months. We are also glad to be seeing three weddings occuring in the upcoming year.
Nevertheless, I want to serve the Lord's purposes in the town as it evolves into the next decade. There will no doubt be new opportunities to do evangelism and discipleship among people moving to the area.
Are you looking to connect with other Reformed people in the Ashland area? Check out Hopewell Church and/or join our facebook group.
Kindled Fire is dedicated
to the preaching and teaching ministry of
Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.
Get Biblical Counsel
Join the conversation!
Matt's Original Hymns
This is Matt's book. You should buy it.