The Few That Gathered were Worth the Many Miles

   Brother Van was to be the preacher on a large, as far as territory went, circuit.  It included Madison, Beaverhead, and a part of Jefferson Counties, and involved an occasional trip to Salmon City, Idaho, some 170 miles away from Virginia City, which was the Territorial Capital.  There were 15 locations where he was to hold regular services, and only 18 members in the whole wide circuit.  Of course that meant he could find not more than two or three in any one place.  


 - Quote from:  When Wagon Trails Were Dim

                                                                       A collection of historical accounts of

                                                                                            Montana’s circuit riders - Brother Van

Upper  (L) Brother Van & Lower (R) Horse

A Living History Circuit - Part 2

Whenever you are entering a new place, always keep in mind that it is not just what you are sharing that matters.

Always consider that every action and word you speak is being watched.  Let them see and interact with God's character, 

His heart, His ways in everything you do.  Let them experience something very true and genuine!  Using something like

bringing a historical event to life, can be a creative tool for opening people's hearts.   

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, 

the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.    - John 1:14  

The purpose of this profile below isn't to highlight these particular communities.  This area is like many in different

rural regions.  At one time there was a regular circuit in place, with church services happening in each of these towns.  

In modern times transportation has changed, making it possible for some folks to just go gather with believers in another

community near them.  But that isn't always the case.  Many churches have been closed, simply because the limited

population in that community seemed not to be worth the effort.  These communities below are not at all unique.  

Five of the six communities pictured in Part 1 & 2, do not have a local church.

* Note:  This Circuit has been reenacted multiple times, so some of the photos below were taken on different years.

  • The Circuit has six communities

  • on to the next town IN A HEAVY RAIN

    8.5 HOURS TO GO / OVER 2 PASSes

  • A Brief Rest Stop to eat

  • On the shore of a mountain lake

  • the fourth community

  • a building no-longer there

  • on the old Church foundation

  • Fix your eyes on Jesus

  • IN the RAIN again

    1 HOUR TO GO

  • The Fifth community

  • it is wonderful to see you!

  • a Few to Worship in the rain

  • God is always near

  • Camp / Then on to the final stop


  • the sixth community / start

  • Our first sight of those gathered

  • It is good to see you all!

  • It is a beautiful day!

  • welcome everyone!

  • the community lifts their voices

  • God is the same yesterday, 

    today, and forever!

Thoughts for Application (For Parts 1 & 2) in Your Area

- As illustrated above, is there a old circuit route in your region?      

- Was it on horseback, on foot, by canoe, or by a horse-drawn team,...?                

- Is there an opportunity to reenact the actual challenges, bringing them to life in a way that would touch the heart of the people in your region?

- Is there a period of your region's history, that by doing living history (actually living out these challenges), that the visual illustration could become a very effective part in communicating the gospel message?        

- Can you involve people in the process in a way, that the hands-on aspect, would open their hearts even more, because of the first hand experience?        

Really dig.  Do your research.  This is a way that internet searches can really be useful.  Read anything that you can find on your region.  Read the history behind the first Christian churches in your region...