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Our History

THE MANCELONA BAPTIST CHURCH

ESTABLISHED 2 JUNE 1968

Prior to June of 1968, there was not a separated fundamental witness in the village of Mancelona, Michigan with Baptist Distinctives. A nucleus of approximately twelve families was drawn into the area within a short period of time. The work at Mancelona began to formulate as these families attended the Calvary Baptist Church of Kalkaska, Michigan. During this time the Mancelona members would drive fourteen miles one way for each service. As the proportion of Mancelona membership continued to grow in Calvary Baptist they felt God's leading in their lives to start a work in Mancelona.

This desire to start a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching, self-supporting and self-governing church soon became very acute in the hearts of the Mancelona constituency. In these formulative years God granted not only this desire, but also granted the ability to work together as a spiritual unit toward this respectable goal. The fact that the formation of the church went smoothly and with good order, along with desire and unity gave evidence to God's blessings in the start of the Mancelona Baptist Church.

A letter was sent January 29, 1968, to Rev. Guy King, General Director of the Hiawatha Baptist Mission, in Escanaba, Michigan. The letter asked if the Hiawatha Baptist Mission could help start a fundamental Baptist Church in Mancelona. The reply came February 8, 1968, bearing the news that no missionary pastors were available at that time.

During the quarterly business meeting at Calvary Baptist, the Board of Deacons recommended that Pastor Dave Earnhart send a letter to the Galilean Baptist Mission Board asking for their help. The Galilean Mission Board said that they would look into the feasibility of starting a work, and called a meeting of all those interested at the home of the Robert McDaniel's. At this meeting the director of the Mission, Rev. Larry Mattis, explained the work of the Mission Board and how they would be able to assist in starting the work. The Board also recommended that Rev. Earnhart act as Pastor for the church until one became available from the mission, subject to the church's approval.

On Saturday, May 25, 1968, a survey of Mancelona was taken to determine the interest of the town to the work being started. The results of this survey were very positive. Later a petition signed by several people was submitted to the Board of Education of the Mancelona Public School System, seeking permission to hold Sunday services in the Elementary School Building during the summer. Permission was granted for use of a portable classroom for the elementary school from June 2, 1968 - August 25, 1968.

The first service of the Mancelona Baptist Church was held June 2, 1968. Thirty-two people attended Sunday school and thirty-eight were present to hear Pastor Earnhart bring the morning message. Thirty people signed a Working Agreement drawn up by the Galilean Baptist Mission.

June 13, 1968 was the first business meeting held at the McDaniel home. A motion was passed granting Rev. Earnhart an honorarium for each service held and expenses incurred while traveling. Also passed was a motion to support the church's first missionary, Rev. Richard Sterkenburg missionary to San Palo, Brazil. The money would be used to help with the printing of Sunday school material in Portuguese. This offering was taken the third Sunday of each month. From the conception of the church a missionary emphasis has been an integral part of its ministry. Both missions at home and abroad were to be stressed from that time on as the church sought to be true to the Scripture, that the Gospel message should go everywhere.

An organizational meeting was held at the home of Merle Beard on June 20, 1968. At this meeting the roll was opened for Charter Membership. Each person seeking membership gave, his or her, testimony and indicated whether they were coming to the church by transfer of letter or through water baptism. The following requested membership by letter of transfer after sharing their testimony.

Harriet, Gloria Beard - Plymouth First Baptist Church
Elden and Dorothy Burkholder - Calvary Baptist Church
Frank Gates - Calvary Baptist Church
Robert, Mildred, Tanis McDaniel - Calvary Baptist Church
James and Lily Wright - Calvary Baptist Church
Stanley and Beverly Peterson - Flushing Trinity Baptist

It was decided to leave the Charter Membership open until Sunday evening, June 23, 1968, allowing those absent the opportunity to be charter members. Those requesting charter membership during the Sunday services of June 23, 1968 were:

Carl and Helen Bartell - Calvary Baptist Church
Merle, Robert, Fred Beard - Plymouth First Baptist
Fred, Irene, Carol Holloway - Calvary Baptist Church
Chip McDaniel - Calvary Baptist Church

Those seeking membership through baptism were baptized Sunday afternoon June 23, 1968 at Calvary Baptist by Pastor Earnhart were as follows: Mark, Michael, Susan, Debbie and Katy Peterson. The Charter membership of the church was then closed.

The membership began in earnest to look for a parcel of land on which to build a tangible building. A lot owned by Mr. Hugh Fleet, on the Northwest edge of Mancelona, was looked at by the congregation. On August 1, 1968, the members voted unanimously in favor of this parcel. The decision was sent to the Galilean Mission for further action on their part. Two weeks later a document for Purpose of Property and Terms of Sale, signed by Mr. Fleet, was read and passed by the members.

Candidates had been coming to the church since July, 1968. A call was extended to Rev. Don Krise, on August 15, 1968, to shepherd the flock by fourteen unanimous votes. Upon arrival of the Krise family the church began in earnest to start on its building program.

Building thoughts and proposals were reviewed at a meeting October 7, 1968. A colonial style building was decided upon, based upon the plans and figures arrived at in discussion. The church also voted to request a bond issue program from the Galilean Mission Board.

The construction of the church began late in the fall of 1968. The Lord greatly blessed the small congregation with a willingness to work on the building. Much of the work was done by the men of both the Mancelona and Kalkaska Churches. The few jobs that were contracted to outside sources usually went to Christian men or companies.

           

On numerous occasions, usually Saturday afternoons and holidays, the men of the church would get together for a workday at the church site. About noon the women would join the forces with a feast of food, which was eagerly received by the workingmen. After a short time of fellowship the men would return back to work. Often the men and women would work side by side when the projects required many people. These days were held often throughout the construction of the church building. They added not only to the unity of the congregation but also helped solidify the desire to see a strong Fundamental Baptist testimony in Mancelona.

The Dedication of the building was held on Palm Sunday, April 4, 1971. This special day was followed by a week of Evangelistic Meetings with Larry Mattis concluding on Easter Sunday.

With the building completed the small congregation was faced with the task of making the budget met with reality. However, as the years increased God continued to bless and the church was incorporated as a non-profit corporation on August 1st of 1980 and the property was valued, at time of incorporation, to be worth $225,000. All this to God's glory and honor. Pastors Alan Morris and then Ray Roach followed Pastor Don Krise. Our current Pastor is Dr. David R. McCarthy.

The picture below is the modern MBC with it's Parsonage located behind the church Garage and the Fellowship Hall just behind the church building:

       

 

                                            

  Dave Earnhart (founder), Pastor Krise, Pastor Morris, Pastor Roach (not in photo), and Pastor McCarthy

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