Wiltsie Community Church

1-814-757-8206

‚Äč

2981 Swede Hill Road
Russell, PA 16345

Pastor's Page

Hello and welcome to the Pastor’s Page.

My hope is that after visiting this page you will understand how big our God is. Psalm 18:30&31 states “As for God His way is perfect; the Word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. For who is God beside the LORD?   And who is the Rock except our God?”   At Wiltsie Community Church serve a God who is like none other!  He does the impossible when we place our faith, total dependence, on Him.

Let me take you back over a hundred years ago. My great Grandfather Jonas Venman settled in the Russell area from Sweden.  While working as a farmer and other jobs he also served his community. One of the ways he served this community was to find ministers who would come and minister to his family and neighbors families.  His dream was to start his family in a new world. God blessed him with eleven children and a 
place to call his own. Five of those children were sons to carry on the Venman name. Two sons passed away in their childhood; of the remaining three only my Grand father had a son.

My Grandfather, Conrad Venman was required to leave school in the sixth grade to help with the chores on the farm.  I believe God had big plans for my Grandfather, but he never felt like he could become a minister because he lacked the education. I know he was a praying man with a strong faith. He had faith that God would bless him with a son who could carry on the call to ministry placed on his life.  God finally answered his call and when he was 37 years old my father was born. A friend of my grandparents once told me the day my father, Walter Venman, was born the whole neighborhood knew it was a boy because he drove around blowing the car horn for all to hear. God had partially answered his prayer! My Grandparents prayed that my father would answer my grandfather’s call to ministry. And in 1965 my father headed off to Lancaster School of Bible to prepare for ministry. The second part of the prayer of faith had been answered with no pushing or prodding on my grandparent’s part. God answers prayer!

In the 1990’s my father prayed about leaving the church he was called to, but was given a verse from 1 Kings 8:18&19a which states “But the Lord said to my father David ‘Because it was in your heart to build a temple for my Name, you did well to have this in your heart. Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple…’.” My Father felt these words were directed to him. Although they spoke of King David and of Solomon, my father felt like God was honoring his willingness but didn’t give him permission to leave his post. In June of 2000 after I had moved to the Russell area to pastor the Wiltsie Community Church my aunt shared the sequence of events and told to me to read the last part of verse 19. 1Kings 8:19b says “…but your son, who is your own flesh and blood- he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.”

Even while my father was turning down the position at Wiltsie Community Church, I was at Lancaster Bible College earning my degree in Bible with a concentration in Christian Education/Youth. After I graduated I took the position of Youth/ CE director at Harmony Grove Community Church. Dawn and I served there for five and a half years. I now look back at those years and see how God was training me to become a minister. God had a plan that I couldn’t see. It has only now been revealed as I look back and put some of the pieces together.

I praise God for my Godly heritage. They could have forced the issues and made a plan. However, they wanted God’s best. Many of the members of this small community, including my ancestors, have been faithful over the years to unite themselves together to worship God and trust Him to work things for His good. It is because of their faithfulness and trust in a big God that we are seeing Him move in the Russell area. 
God’s time is always best and His plans always work out.

Time does not permit to tell of all the amazing things God did to provide for my wife Dawn and me.  Our move to the Russell area was a Divine appointment. I must tell you. What God has done in the past seven years and is doing is much bigger than me or the people here at Wiltsie Community Church.  We are his people called according to his purpose. He has a plan for His church at Wiltsie.


Blessings,

Pastor Todd