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By Michael Cloy

McDowell Countysigogglin


Do you remember growing up in the Blue Ridge Foothills and hearing the word “Sigogglin?” The word seems to have originated from the Irish/Scottish heritage brought to the mountains of Appalachia. Sigogglin means anything that is unusually crooked; skewed or out of balance; not built correctly. Sigogglin is used to describe a crooked fence, an unevenly paved winding road through the mountains, or a door that is not square to the door frame. The word sigogglin can even take on a greater meaning to describe anything that appears not to make sense. Sigogglin is a word that says a lot without having to say a lot of words to describe what you mean, which is what I just did.

Do you know the meaning of the word sigogglin is in the Bible? Yep, it is in the Bible. Take, for example, the word crooked. In Ecclesiastes 1:15, we read, “What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered.” The meaning of crooked in this verse translates well with the word sigogglin. The author of Ecclesiastes is saying that humanity is not able by all its wisdom to make straight the crooked or sigogglin path of life.

However, God declares in Isaiah 42:16, “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.” Only God can make man’s sigogglin paths straight. Thanks be to God the Father that he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, by giving us the gift of his Son’s righteousness and taking on our sigogglin, our crookedness, our unrighteousness upon Himself.

Knowing the straight-way of God is very important to Landis Orthodox Presbyterian Church. It is so essential that our denomination in 1936 established its name by placing the word orthodox in front of Presbyterian. Orthodox takes the Greek word of the New Testament for “correct or straight” (“ortho”) and for “doctrine” (“dox”) to declare straight teaching in its name. Said another way, the word orthodox is the opposite of sigogglin. Therefore, Landis OPC is all about worshiping the Triune God who, by his Word, straightens out our sigogglin lives by preaching and teaching straight doctrine. Like sigogglin, the word orthodox is a word that says a lot.

We invite you to join us in worship and come to know the straight teaching of God at Landis Orthodox Presbyterian Church as found in and Luke 3:4-6,” As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Mike Cloy is an Ordained Ruling Elder on the Session of Landis, OPC, Landis Presbyterian Church, OPC. You can contact him at

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