Jim Oberhaus sang "The Red, White, and Blue" during Faith Baptist of Ottawa's "God and Country Night." - Putnam Sentinel
Jim Oberhaus sang "The Red, White, and Blue" during Faith Baptist of Ottawa's "God and Country Night." (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)

OTTAWA — Several hundred people attended Faith Baptist Church of Ottawa’s “God and Country Night,” a gift from the church to the Putnam County community. Only moments prior to the event’s scheduled start time, heavy rains moved through the area. Church members and friends held a service in the sanctuary, fervently praying for good weather. Then, as suddenly as the storms began, the skies cleared and a rainbow appeared. The event was able to begin just a few minutes late.

A military color guard, provided by the Ottawa VFW and the Ottawa Amvets, presented the colors.

Voices of Faith performed several patriotic numbers, some of which the audience enthusiastically sang along. The group is comprised of Deb Oberhaus, Karen Weaver, Anji Schmersal, Donna Coates, Jim Oberhaus, Steve Huffman, and Denny Coates.

Faith Baptist minister, Denny Coates, recognized all active duty military and veterans, as well as our hometown heroes: fire, police, and EMS workers, and gave a prayer of appreciation and blessing.

Reverend Coates also gave a brief homily. There are many issues facing our country at this time, including drug addiction, school shootings, suicides, and fatherlessness. These issues cannot be fixed through politics; faith needs to be an integral part of our country. We cannot make it on our own, he said, and we need to look to the Lord for guidance.

A free-will offering was taken for Challenged Champions, specifically their Horses for Veterans program. Amanda Sizemore, from Challenged Champions, spoke about the facility and the services they provide. Jackie Meyer, a veteran who volunteers at Challenged Champions, related how the program has helped her.

After the program, a half-hour long fireworks show lit up the skies, to celebrate our nation’s birthday.