We have had a wonderful week at the Character Inn. The Verity students are arriving from around the country to begin their new term of study. The staff are returning from their holiday. Friday we were preparing for my brother Nathan and his family to visit when I got word that a very special family was stopping by for a visit. Helen and Reinhold Barth, their daughter and two granddaughters wanted to tour the Inn.
I was thrilled. Helen Barth was my mother’s favorite singer. When I was a little boy mom would often play Helen Barth’s recordings as I went to sleep at night. She was my mother’s vocal role model. She recorded over 20 albums and sang for years on WMBI in Chicago. Now she and her husband Reinold are in their eighties. He has been a pastor since his late teens. When he was only eighteen he started Dawagiac Bible Church. It was there a few years later that my own Grandmother Shipley was saved.
I met the Barths at the door and greeted them warmly. I convinced them to stay for the evening meal and to remain over night. I offered to let them sing for their keep. They accepted. After dinner we gathered around the baby grand in front of the fireplace and Mrs. Barth told of her conversion and she sang for us. She sang with deep conviction and an anointing from the Lord. Even in her eighties she has a beautiful voice and radiant countenance. She has unusual sincerity of expression.
She sang Constantly Abiding and my little brother Nathan played for her. Her daughter borrowed Chuck’s guitar and sang with her two daughters. What a beautiful evening. In the morning after brunch we talked her into singing again. Then we talked about the goodness of God through the years, how he leads and provides.
I watched the young people as Helen Barth gave her testimony and as she sang. I wondered if they could possibly appreciate what they had just been privileged to hear. I wished that my mom could be present to see what was happening.
There are so few today with such a radiant testimony. There are so few with such depth to their message. There are so few who do more than entertain. There are so few that have the hand of God upon their life, the mark of God on them, and the breath of God in their message. Reinhold and Helen Barth, their daughter and granddaughters are such people.
While I am writing about the Character Inn, please plan to attend our Family Enrichment Weekend, March 7-9 2002 here at the Character Inn. Cost is only fifty dollars for a room and ten dollars each for meals . Children two and under are free. If you have a large family and you need more than one room we have a special rate for you.
Kenneth L. Pierpont
The Riverfront Character Inn
January 6, 2003