LaOtto, Indiana, is a small community about 140 miles north of Indianapolis. Pastor Aaron Lee leads the church there, and I loved preaching at this vibrant Wesleyan church a few years ago.
The church is 170 years old and has defied stagnation: creative, overflowing with children, youth and people of all generations joyfully interacting with each other. We had good laughs when, after the service, I was invited to a hoops contest!
But I was sobered as they took me into the room where some of their artifacts were kept. This Wesleyan church was on the Underground Railroad. Hundreds of slaves were protected in this church over a period of several years. The pastor was noted as the “conductor.”
Bullet holes could be found in doors and pews inside the church from bullets slaveholders shot trying to get their slaves.
The pastor was inside the church caring for the people and risking his life as well.
It is important to remember what this congregation and pastor were doing: they were breaking the law to obey a higher law — God’s law!