James R. Horne
P. O. Box 650
Bessemer, AL 35021
The Church of God
197 Tillie Road
Cleveland, TN 37312
Where is the Star?
James R. Horne, State Overseer
“…I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16).
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy” (Matthew 2:10).
In a recent visit to Fields of the Wood, upon passing through the entrance gate I noticed that something was missing from the normal view. Many times I’ve entered that special place and took notice of this object. What was missing, you ask? The 12’ Star of Bethlehem that used to show in the skyline, almost 75 feet in the air above Fields of the Wood has been was removed. According to the book These Stones Speak, the star was a donation to the park by the State of Wyoming back in 1947. At the base of the star was an information booth that had outreach materials about Fields of the Wood, the Church, and tracts pointing people to the truth. As the real Bethlehem star led those to Jesus in the biblical narrative, this star was a symbol that has led many a weary sheep or pilgrim to the doctrine and government of the Bible Church through the years. I was in disbelief that the star and its framework were missing, cut off just above the roof line, and the booth, although still standing, was now emptied of literature and inaccessible. Please understand that this writing is not to be critical in anyway. Giving the benefit of the doubt, perhaps the red, white, blue and purple lighting had been inoperable or the structure on which the star hung became compromised. I couldn’t seem to get an answer on this. All of that aside, the thought struck me of how important the “Star” is and, although now missing from the place of the “Arise, Shine,” it was a relief and then an “exceeding great joy” to think that it is still represented on our flag and above our Headquarters doors. I was comforted to know that the Holy Ghost continues to lead people into all truth and is still pointing souls to Jesus, His government and doctrine. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder” (Isa. 9:6). “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
In the book America’s Unusual Spot, it says of the star, “It is symbolic of the star that hung in yonder sky over the Judean hills the night the angels sang ‘Joy to the World.’ How sacred…how wonderful…how inspiring!” Another book, Fields of the Wood, tells us that “Two marble tables mark the Bethlehem Star and tower and contain the following messages: This tower and star is a gift from The Church of God of Wyoming. ‘…I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star’ (Rev. 22:16). Atop the information booth flies The Church of God flag.” It continues that the star “was dedicated August 12, 1947, in a very colorful program in charge of G. C. Decker, overseer of Wyoming, and a nice group of representatives.”
I wish the star could have remained but, as with many other changes there, we realize the vision and message that was rediscovered on June 13, 1903, by A. J. Tomlinson didn’t just stay there, but is now moving through the world and gaining strength each day. It is still very much alive in our hearts. The real star is displayed in every land where the Church is organized under the Banner of Love. This Star is right where it needs to be, pointing souls to Christ and the Church in these last days. As the song we sing at Christmastime declares, “Oh, beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on!”
December 5 – Statewide ABM Workshop
January 16 – District #2 Convention
January 29-31 – Ladies’ Retreat