On February 3, 1928, the Baptist Sunday School Board sent Brother McGill as an interim preacher. In April of 1929, Brother J.M. Dameron was called as the first pastor of Marion Baptist Church. In March 1929 - A committee was appointed to seek a suitable place to worship. Services were held in the school facilities across from the present location of 131 East Depot at the corner of East Depot and South College Streets. It is reported that Mrs. Florence Yandell paid $25.00 per month for the use of the building.
On September 11, 1929, A Budget Planning Committee was appointed. This resulted in the adoption of a $5,000.00 budget for 1930. Of this amount, $1,000.00 was to be allocated for missions, and $2,400.00 was for pastor’s salary.
The WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) was organized on April 28, 1928, with 12 members present. To the best of knowledge from records searched, it was found that Mrs. W.E. Cox, Sr. served as the President. Many different women have served in that role throughout the years, often more than once. The W.M.U. officers as of January 1, 1931 were: Mrs. W.B. Yandell, President; Mrs. W.E. Cox, Sr, Vice President; Mrs. Jewell Bennett, Personal Service; Mrs. J.M. Dameron was Y.W.A. Counselor; Mrs. Lucille Wiggins was G.A. Counselor; Mrs. Amy Agee was Sunbeam Counselor; Mrs. Daisy Waddell was Secretary and Mrs. J.P. Guess was the Treasurer.
The Ohio River Baptist Association accepted the Marion Baptist Church into the association on August 20, 1930.
On April 24, 1938, the Church voted to purchase the church building on West Bellville which is now owned by the Christian Church. Church services were held in this building for a period of time. November 1941 - Bro. Buell Wells was called to serve as pastor. Then in May 1944 - Bro. C. R. Hill was called to serve as pastor, and the church purchased property at the corner of College Street and Mound Park to use as a parsonage.
On November 13, 1944, the old Judge Blue home was purchased on the present location of Marion Baptist Church for the purpose of building a Church building for Marion Baptist. In June 1946, the cornerstone was laid for the new church building at the present location. The worship services were held in the basement, now Fellowship Hall, until the present worship building was completed. In May, 1947, on the fourth Sunday of the month, the first service was held in this building.
In October 1949, Bro. Leslie Gilbert was called to serve as pastor. On Sunday morning, May 6, 1951, the beloved pastor, Leslie Gilbert, departed this life. This was a great day of sadness for the Church. In August of that same year, Bro. Shelby Beaty was called to serve as pastor. He served as pastor of Marion Baptist Church until his retirement on May 1, 1967.
December 30, 1953, the property located just west of the Church on Depot Street was purchased for a parsonage at a cost of $12,500.00. A note-burning and dedication service for the auditorium was held on May 16, 1954. Then on March 17, 1954, the church voted to build the Education Building which was soon completed. On March of 1958, the Church established a library for the membership with 127 books being donated by the members of the church. A home for our Youth was purchased in the early 1970’s. This property is located between the educational building and the Marion Post Office. This was used for youth meetings for several years before being torn down and a parking lot was established. Other properties bought by the church include the Clark property purchased in the 1970’s, north of the church, which has been used as a parking lot, and the Buddy Boston property, which was used for the pastor’s home. The original parsonage for the pastor located next to the church was then used as a Minister of Music and Youth parsonage until July 1994, when the Minister of Music and Youth parsonage was removed from the church property. In February 2000, the pastor’s parsonage was removed from the church property. In 2003, the new Family Life Center is being built on these vacated properties adjacent to the present facility on Depot Street.
Our most fruitful revival and Church growth took place in March of 1956, when thirty-seven people joined by baptism and sixteen joined by letter.
In June 1967, Bro. Guy Gordon began his ministry as pastor of the church. Several events of growth were noted. In June 21, 1968, the Church began broadcasting its Sunday morning service on WMJL radio and continues a weekly broadcast service of the Sunday morning worship. On September 18, 1968, the Church voted to enlarge and renovate the Church’ s auditorium and to provide new furniture throughout. On June 29, 1969, the first service was held in the newly renovated auditorium. In October 1970, Bro. Guy Gordon resigned as pastor.
On November 29, 1970 Bro. Wilbur Webb began his ministry as pastor. He resigned in January 1975. On December 6, 1970 a WMU Tea was held for the purpose of reorganizing the WMU that had been inactive for a couple of years. In June 1973, Fred Edwards was called as Minister of Music & Youth.
March 16, 1975, Bro. Ray J. Jackson was called to serve as pastor. In July of 1975, eighteen youth and seven adults from Marion Baptist went to Moorefield, West Virginia on Youth Mission work. In October of 1976, Fred Edwards resigned as Minister of Music & Youth. August 1977, John E. Gilbert was called to serve as Minister of Music & Youth. March 1980, John E. Gilbert resigned as Minister of Music & Youth. In October 1977, Children’s Church was started during the morning worship period for the younger children.
The week of August 6 - August 13, 1978, a Celebration of Fiftieth Anniversary was held.
June 20, 1980 was another day of sadness for the church, for on that Sunday night her beloved pastor, Ray J. Jackson, departed this life after serving in the pulpit that morning.
In March 1981, Bro. Ray Cummins was called to serve as pastor. February 1987, Bro. William J. Chase was called to serve as Minister of Music & Youth. Bro. Ray Cummins resigned as Pastor in April 1987.
A year and several months passed with various ministers filling in and Bro John East, Director of Missions for the Ohio River Baptist Association, serving as interim pastor. Then in June 1988, Bro. Tim Lampley was called to serve as pastor. In 1990, needed repairs were made on our Education Building, and a new organ was purchased. In July 1990, 26 people went to Branson, Missouri on a mission trip. That fall, in November 1990, Bro. Tim Lampley resigned as Pastor. Brother East, once again, served as interim pastor.
On January 30, 1992, Dr. Darrell Clarke served his first Sunday as pastor. In July 1991, 23 people went to Branson, Missouri on mission trip. In July 1992, 26 people went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on a mission trip. And again in July 1993, 37 people went to Ocean City, Maryland on a mission trip. In July 1994, 33 people went to Branson, Missouri on a mission trip. On January 1, 1995, the stained-glass windows, built by Will Ed Arflack, were dedicated. July 1995 - 25 people went to Helen, Georgia on a mission trip. In July 1996, 29 people went to Helen, Georgia on a mission trip and in June 1997, 25 people went to Harlingen, Texas & Mexico on a mission trip. Then in July 1998, 22 people went to Harlingen, Texas & Santo Domingo, Mexico on a mission trip. In September of 2005, Dr. Darrell Clarke, resigned as Pastor.
In July 1998, Bro. William J. Chase resigned as Minister of Music & Youth. Later that year, in August 1998, Stuart Collins was called to serve as Minister of Education and Outreach on a part-time basis. On May 23, 1999, he was ordained into the Ministry. Stuart served in this capacity until May 1, 2001. Then, on August 1, 1999, Christopher “Chris” Clarke was called to serve as Minister of Music & Youth and continues to serve in that capacity in 2003. Chris Clarke was ordained into the Ministry in September 1999.
In July 1999, a group of people went to Glendale Children’s Home on a mission trip. In June 2000, a group of people went to Glendale Children’s Home on a mission trip. On April 11, 2000, Marion Baptist Church became Marion Baptist Church, Inc. On July 15, 2001, a dedication of the church's newly remodeled worship center was held.
The WMU, now called the Baptist Women, joined by the Baptist Men’s organization of the Church have sponsored and continues to sponsor many mission programs throughout the years, locally, nationally and internationally. The Church, in 2002, purchased a work trailer to be used in activities for Missions. This is a project sponsored by the Baptist Men’s organization and in 2000, the Baptist Men began sponsoring a community-wide meal each Thanksgiving Day. Wednesday night meals were begun in 2001 for the Church body and community. A van ministry, using the two Church vans, was begun on Wednesday nights bringing in children from the community for the meal, Bible study, Children’s choir activities and mission programs while the adults enjoyed fellowship and a prayer time. This effort is expanding weekly. Throughout the years during the summer, Vacation Bible School has ministered to children of the community, teaching them about Christ and expanding relationships of both children and adults. Beginning in 2000, the older children began attending a Church Camp in the summers and in 2001, the teens began attending a week long camp called Centrifuge. A group of adults and youth went to Eastern Kentucky in July 2003 to assist a Church in that area with a building program and Vacation Bible School. A group of older adults, called The Yesterday Youngsters, reorganized in 1992. They meet monthly for fellowship and various activities.
On April 7, 1999, the Church voted to build the Family Life Center. On July 21, 2002, Ground Breaking Service was held for our new Family Life Center, located on Depot Street beside the present worship center. Work began on the Family Life Center on October 14, 2002. This building was dedicated on August 17, 2003 during the Church’s 75th Anniversary Celebration August 10 – 17, 2003. This center is being used to expand the Church’s mission of sharing Jesus, both at home and in the world.
The Family Life Center was finally finished and occupied in December 2003. At that time, Pamela Collins was hired to operate the center until a permanent worker was hired to operate the center and work with the children of the church. In July, Fay Carol Crider was hired to operate the center until Justin Carter came on board September 1, 2004 to serve as the Family Life Center Director and work with the Children’s programs. He left the post at the end of May 2006. Terri Watson was hired as interim director of the center and to work with children in June 2006 and left April 15, 2008. Fay Carol Crider, once again, came on board as a temporary staff person in this position until a Family Life Center and Children’s Minister was found.
The church finished paying off promissory notes in late 2007. These were used in helping to finance the building of the Family Life Center. The Church is currently refinancing the loan, having paid the loan down to about $632,000. In 2007, with Bible Study (Sunday School) attendance growing, it became apparent that some classrooms on the main floor needed to be updated and re carpeted before some classes were re-locate in order to use space available. In 2006 in the Worship Center, an audio visual system was upgraded and screens installed.
William Christopher “Chris” Clarke was called to serve as Minister of Music & Youth on August 1, 1999, and served in this role until December 31, 2003, when he answered God's call to full-time missions service in the area of equestrian ministry.. Chris Clarke was ordained into the Ministry in September 1999. On October 1, 2004, Jason Dunbar was hired as Minister of Music & Worship. He was ordained into the ministry by his home church in Hopkins County and Marion Baptist Church. The title of youth director was added to that of music in the summer of 2006. His current title is that of Minister of Worship and Youth.
Dr. Darrell Clarke left Marion Baptist Church as its pastor the last Sunday of September in 2005. Bro. Jerry Thurman served as interim from January 2006 until April 2007. Dr. Michael Jones came as pastor of Marion Baptist Church the first Sunday of May 2007. From May 2007 to September 7, 2008, there have been some 70 members added through Baptism or by transfer of membership.
A new 15 passenger Church bus was purchased in November of 2003 and a mini-van was bought in late winter of 2007. A transportation ministry has been an effective means of serving Christ with fellowships, mission trips and transporting children to and from programs of the church.
During the past 5 years, outreach of the church has reached out from the Church into the community, state, and the world. Our programs of the church have gone from just Sunday School to Bible Study, Women on Missions, to that of having a program called “Mission Possible” after school program weekly with fellowship meals being prepared in the Family Life Center kitchen for the children, parents, and church members. The children are involved in Bible Study, music and recreation and are fed each Wednesday. The children present a musical at Christmas time and again in the Spring. The Yesterday Youngsters, reorganized in 1992 has continued meeting. A Nursing Home ministry and the River City Mission ministry has been developed. The church provides a Thanksgiving dinner to the community, annually on Thanksgiving Day. Faith Training was begun in Spring 2008, which added to the Church-wide visitation program. The music program added an annual “Passion Play” musical and drama in 2005. There are two performances annually at Easter time. This continues to be rather dramatic and has led the lost to Christ. Another very effective program utilizing the Family Life Center and involving the children and many volunteers of the community is the Upward Basketball and Cheer leading program during the winter months and a week’s camp in the summer.
The church has been active in mission trips to Owsley County, KY for a couple of years, a couple of trips to Omaha, Nebraska and to Oneida, KY in 2008.
The Basement, a place for the youth to meet and grow spiritually was finished by the church in January 2008. This is located in the old Fellowship Hall of the church. A scheduled time of youth fellowship is bringing in many youth from outside our church.
On December 21, 2008, Marion Baptist Church voted to hire Daniel Brady as its Family Life Center and Children's Minister effective January 18, 2009.
God has been good to us and is blessing at Marion Baptist Church. Marion Baptist Church seeks to exalt Christ in the community while providing a wholesome environment designed to strengthen believers and by leading others to a relationship with our Christ as Lord and Savior.
Jesus said to them…”I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth, Go, then, to all peoples everywhere
and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you,
and I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”