Four Mile Presbyterian Church
6078 Tuscarawas Road
Ohioville Borough, Beaver County, Pennsylvania 15009

Part II


Walking among the stone markers in the old Four Mile cemetery, one recalls the psalmist's lament: "As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more" (Psalm 103: 15, 16). The church, the living body of Christ, however, continues in perpetuity.

The present congregation is linked to the past by family connections, as the foregoing genealogies show. Some of our younger members are seventh and eighth generation descendants of early Four Mile members. This family lineage is a living confirmation of the permanence of God's covenant love - in contrast to human transience. Our days are like grass which flourishes for a season, whereas "the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children" (Psalm 103:17).

Important as kinship and lineage are, the church is bound together more essentially by God's covenant. God's love in Christ is the ultimate tie that binds us as sisters and brothers in the family of God. As we seek to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of divine love (Ephesians 3:18, 19), our own capacity for love is expanded and we are better able to accomplish our mission in the world as an agency of God's love and justice.

Four Mile's ministries and long-range plans are integrated with the global mission enterprise of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Our World vision, appropriately, incorporates the eternal as well as the temporal. The church's past history is less determinative of its life in the world than is the vision of its eternal destiny. In its earliest days, Four Mile Church got its name from the size and shape of a land grant and was known as the Four Mile Square Congregation. The geographical symbol has its ideal counterpart in the final vision of Revelation: the city of God that "lies foursquare, its length the same as its width" (Revelation 21:16). Like the four-dimensional love of Christ, the eternal reality surpasses knowledge. The gold city, the pearl gates, the gem-studded wall, and the foursquare design are but dim reflections of the splendor and perfect symmetry of the new Jerusalem.

This is the ideal, of which the Four Mile Church is only a shadow. Its life in the world is marked by toil and tribulation, setbacks and struggles. But being built on the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, the church even now bears a resemblance to the heavenly vision with which "her longing eyes are blest."

Four Mile Church History Index

Beaver County Churches Index

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