Marquette Bible Church is an independent non-denominational church that is associated with IFCA International. We strive for a friendly relational ministry where the timeless truths of God’s word are taught and applied to our lives. Our purpose is to glorify God by the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls, edification of Christians through the teaching of the Word and the promotion of godly worship.
It was 1949, and a young couple by the name of Claude and Genevieve (Jenny) Smith moved to Marquette from Saginaw, Michigan. They desired to begin a work for the Lord, so they began having gospel meetings in the West Branch Township Hall. By 1956, they relocated to Marquette, and rented a facility they called the Old Depot.
On August 30, 1960, the group incorporated under the name of Marquette Bible Chapel. In the autumn of 1960, the group purchased the present property on Woodland Avenue for $2,000. At this time, the folks were meeting at the Smith home, which was next door to the property. Construction on the basement of the present building was begun on May 21, 1962. The first service in that new auditorium (now the Sunday school classroom area) was conducted in July 1964.
On September 8, 1966, Marquette Bible Chapel joined the Independent Bible Mission, which took the responsibility of finding a Pastor for the church. For two and a half years, Rev. Leon buck came over from Iron River Bible Church to do calling in the area, and to conduct a Bible Study.
In August 1968, the name was changed to Marquette Bible Church. In the autumn of 1968, the church called Bob Donaldson, a graduate of the Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music, to be the first pastor of the church. He and his wife, Mary, worked at the church as missionaries under the Independent Bible Mission. Under the new Pastor, the work began to grow.
In 1971, construction was underway to build the nursery, and foyer on the main floor, and kitchen and new restrooms in the basement. This was done with volunteer labor. The congregation adopted their Constitution on July 5, 1972. On October 15, 1972, twenty people became Charter Members of Marquette Bible Church.
In September 1973, a Pastoral Support Program was adopted. Starting with $100/month, and increasing by $20/month, it progressed to a full support level of $1000/month, by June 1977. This was a necessary step in the calling of a fully supported Pastor.
It was January of 1976 that the new wing of our present building (entryway, auditorium, and restrooms) was in the planning stage. Loans were obtained, and construction was begun. In May 1977, Pastor Donaldson left to minister at the Independent Bible Mission headquarters in downstate Michigan. The congregation then called the new Pastor; Rev. William Bach and his family. In October 1977, the new wing of the building was dedicated. By April of 1979 problems developed and Pastor Bach left the church. Attendance dropped to thirteen. In August 1979, the Independent Bible Mission provided another Pastor. This was Rev. Donald Barsuhn and his wife Barbra. They moved their mobile home up from the Benton Harbor area and settled in Marquette. Once again, the work began to grow, with AWANA Clubs being established. Missionary giving grew. The original Chapel was converted to classrooms.
In April of 1997 Pastor Barsuhn became of retirement age. He preached his final message as Pastor of Marquette Bible Church on April 27, 1997. The congregation voted to call Frank J. Bettig as the new Pastor. He and his family moved to Marquette in august 1997, and he preached his first sermon as Pastor on August 10, 1997. After several years of ministry, Pastor Bettig tendered his resignation effective May 19, 2001.
Marquette Bible Church sought the help of Interim Ministries, Inc. to provide an Interim Pastor while searching for a new Pastor. In late 2003, the Membership voted to call Don Miller to be the new Pastor, along with his wife Jenean and their four children – Jacob, Aaron, Hannah, and Elizabeth. They began their Ministry at Marquette Bible Church on January 11, 2004.
On April 4, 2006, Marquette Bible Church launched it’s website. In July 2006 Pastor Miller decided to move to a new ministry in Illinois and he preached his last sermon on August 27, 2006. On December 12, 2006, the congregation voted to call Pastor Charles Reed and his wife Ruthie as interim Pastor at Marquette Bible. Pastor Reed started as interim on 4/22/07 and was called as full time pastor in September of 2007.
At this time Marquette Bible Church has close association with the Independent Bible Mission and the IFCA as we seek to reach our community for Christ.