Our Story

LISA WHEAT:
 

Born and raised in northeastern Kentucky, Lisa makes her home in Ashland with her husband, David and their son David Jr.  Lisa has had a deep passion for music and sharing the gospel through singing since she was a child. In the early 90’s, Lisa visited Ecuador and Nicaragua during 2 summer missions’ projects where many souls were forever touched, especially hers. Lisa is a graduate of Liberty University and has had the distinct pleasure of studying under many great Southern Gospel artists at the Steve Hurst School of Music. Singing as a soloist for most of her life, Lisa is now very excited to be a part of a group with a true desire to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ through song.
 

WILLIE CHURCH:
 

Willie, his wife Tammy, and daughter Tori, make their home in Gallipolis, Ohio. Willie has been with Mercy's Reign from the beginning and has enjoyed professionally sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in song for over thirty years. In addition to singing the lead for Mercy's Reign, Willie is also responsible for many of the management and financial duties. Willie also writes many original songs. In his spare time Willie enjoys power naps; playing with the family dogs (Zoey and Tucker); visiting his wife's daycare (TJ's Child Care of Gallipolis); and watching his daughter cheerlead at Gallia Academy High School. The Church family are active in both the church and the community. He is also known for telling a joke, or two, or three...
 

BILL PETREA:

Bill and his wife Pam have been married for 22 years. The couples daughter, Sarah, is a junior at Nitro high school and is an accomplished trumpet player and singer. Bill worked for 21 years in public safety including 911 operations, law enforcement and the fire service. Bill is originally from Orlando , FL, and now makes his home in Cross Lanes, WV. Having been involved in music most of his life, Bill only recently began singing about 6 years ago with a group out of Lexington, SC called Forever Changed. Bill has also sang with Vocal Reunion out of Florence, SC and the Sunny South Trio from Florida. "I am honestly humbled that God would give me the talent and opportunity to spread the Gospel through song." says Bill. Favorite gospel singer: Mark Trammell. Favorite foods: Fried Chicken and Steak. Favorite hobby: annoying Sarah.  

 



 

Salvation

The Bible teaches that God has made the plan of redemption so plain that anyone may be saved. We would like to tell you very simply how to find Jesus Christ and have the assurance of salvation. We proudly share the words and teachings of Rev. Billy Graham:

First, you must recognize your need.

You will never come face to face with Christ unless you are convinced that you need Him. If you feel that you are self-sufficient, capable of meeting life head-on under your own power, then you will probably never find Him. A reading of the Gospels will reveal that Jesus did not impose Himself upon those who felt self-sufficient, righteous and self-confident.

But He went out of His way to open the eyes of blind Bartimaeus who cried, “Jesus, have mercy on me.” He was quick to give the water of life to the Samaritan woman who said, “Give me this water, that I may not thirst.” And He was instantly at the side of the sinking Peter when Peter prayed, “Lord, save me.”

There must be a recognition of your own sinfulness and spiritual need before there can be a response from Christ. He came to call not the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.

Many divine promises hinge on a human condition: “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). “If we walk in the light … the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin … . If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9).

Second, you must understand the cross. 

This sounds almost impossible, because even the greatest theologians have never understood the mysteries of the cross. The Bible says that the natural man cannot comprehend the things of God, so how can a person understand the cross before he finds Christian assurance?

Many intellectuals have made up theories as to why Christ died and what the eternal significance of His death was. None of the theories seem to satisfy us. It is only when we understand that Christ was dying in the place of sinners, for sin, that we find the elements of satisfaction. Yet how can we understand it?

Here is where the miracle lies. Just as Peter by a divine revelation said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), so by a miracle the meaning of the cross will be given to you by the Holy Spirit.

I remember a young reporter in Glasgow who attended the meetings at Kelvin Hall as part of his assignment. He heard the Gospel night after night, but it seemed to make no impact upon him.

However, one day when one of his colleagues asked him, “What are they preaching down there?” he tried to explain the Gospel, and in so doing, he said, “You see, it’s this way—Christ died for me … Christ died for my sins … ”

And when he said that, he suddenly realized that it was true! The full meaning of those words burst miraculously in upon him, and then and there he received the assurance of salvation.

How vivid, how alive, the cross becomes when Paul speaks of it: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). When you see Him high and lifted up, the Son of God, smitten, marred, bruised, and dying for you, and can say with Paul, “who loved me, and gave Himself for me,” you have taken the second step toward Christian assurance.

Third, you must count the cost. 

Jesus discouraged superficial enthusiasm. He urged people to consider well the cost of being a disciple. Many times when great crowds were following Him, He would turn and say, “Have you counted the cost? Do you realize that if any man wants to come after Me, he will have to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me?”

He also said, “Which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost? … So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:28, 33).

Many people come to Christ without first counting the cost. The cost includes repentance, the forsaking of sin, and a continual, daily, open acknowledgment of Christ in your life.

These are the minimum requirements of discipleship. The Christian life is not for the weak, the soft or the cowardly. However, it’s worth everything it costs. You will soon find that the cross is not greater than His grace. When you pick up the cross of unpopularity, on the campus or wherever you may be, you will find God’s grace is there, and it’s more than sufficient to meet your every need.

Fourth, you must take a definite step. 

One day at Stanford University, a student of a non-Christian faith came to me and said he was convinced that Jesus is the Son of God but said he couldn’t confess Him publicly. He said that back in his own country the cost socially would be too great.

I had to tell him that the Bible says: “Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

Like the rich young ruler of old, the student went away sad. He had counted the cost and was not able to pay the price of open acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as his Savior.

We ask people to make a public confession of Christ in our meetings because Christ demanded a definite commitment. Christ had reasons for demanding that people openly follow Him. He knew that an unwitnessed vow is no vow at all. Until you have surrendered to Christ by a definite act of your will, you are not a Christian.

Have you taken this definite step? The Bible says, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

Fifth, allow God to change your life. 

When you come to Christ, you are considered a spiritual baby. As you read the New Testament, you will see how the early disciples, during the first days of following Christ, faltered and often failed. They quarreled, they were envious, they were contentious, they were unfaithful, and they often grew angry.
However, as they became emptied of self and filled with Christ, they developed into the fullness of the stature of a Christian.

Conversion is just the beginning. A new life begins in you the moment you receive Christ. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence. During the rest of your lifetime, He will be busy conforming you to the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, you will be a target of Satan, the enemy of Christ. When you walked Satan’s way in the world, he didn’t go out of his way very much to bother you. He had you; you were his child. But now since you have received Christ and are a child of God, Satan will use all his diabolical techniques to thwart, hinder and defeat you.

If you are faithful in church attendance, prayer, Bible reading, and witnessing, Christ will work in you and through you. You will be able to say with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). You will find miracles happening all around you as you discipline your life to the pattern of a true Christian.

Would you not like to know that every sin is forgiven? Wouldn’t you like to know that you are ready to meet God? It could happen today, if you will only let Christ come into your heart. Invite Him in right now. The Bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

 

Statement of Faith

1. The Scriptures
 We believe that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God and that men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of Scripture. 

2. The Godhead (Trinity)
We believe in one true God eternally existing in three distinct persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) each of Whom is fully and equally God; possesses all of the divine nature and attributes, and is totally worthy of our worship and service (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 1:14, John 10:30; 2 Cor. 13:14).

3.God the Father
We believe that God the Father is the first person of the Trinity and is the eternal, unchanging all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving, completely just and perfectly holy, sovereign Ruler and Sustainer of the universe. 

4. God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity and is the only begotten eternal Son of God Who became flesh to reveal God to man, to fulfill prophecy, and to become the Savior of the lost world. 

5. God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity Who specially came into the world on the day of Pentecost to glorify Christ and to enable men to appropriate the salvation wrought by Christ. He is the primary agent for the conviction of sin and for regeneration. S

6. Salvation
We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the sole basis for forgiveness of sins and salvation, which is the free gift of God’s grace.