In 1986, a group of Christians, seeking the Lord's guidance, met for several weeks at the home of Jack and Myrtle Styron. On June 18, 1986, the church was named "Maranatha," which roughly translates, "O' Lord, come." That night, Reverend Mike Thompson was called as the church's first pastor.
The congregation moved into the old Western Auto building in Mize, where they remained until the present facility was built. Sumrall and Daisy Cooley donated the land on which the church building now stands - halfway between Mize and Mt Olive, on highway 35. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on November 9, 1986. Five months later, the first service was held in the new sanctuary on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1987. The building has approximately 12,000 square feet of floor space. The parsonage was built in 1990 on land donated by Dewey and Maxine Sullivan.
Reverend Sidney Davis was called as pastor on May, 28, 1989, and remained the pastor at Maranatha for 13 years. Reverend Danny Adams began his ministry at the church on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2002 and continued until May 2015. Brother Sidney Davis was called back to the church in June 2015, as the interim pastor until Brother Calvin Price was called as the full-time pastor in March 2016. Brother Price served as pastor until March 2018. Brother Randy Clark was called to serve as the interim pastor from April 2018 until September 2018, when Brother Rudy Jackson was called to serve as pastor on September 30, 2018, and remains so until present day.
In October 1993, Doug Ware was called as the church's first full-time minister of music, where he remained until he was called home to be with the Lord in 2015. Don Johnson filled in as interim minister of music, until Jennifer Adams was called to serve as the full-time minister of music until September of 2018. Doyle Ethridge filled in as interim minister of music until the current full-time minister of music, Ronnie Thompson, was called to serve.
Chris Thomas became the first youth minister at the church in March 1995, and was followed by Jacob Niblett who served as the youth minister from 2004 until 2006.
Joseph Kuykendall served as youth minister in 2007, and Scott Robertson served as youth minister from 2009 until 2011. From 2011 until May 2018, the youth ministry duties were carried out by church deacons, David Kennedy, Don Johnson, and Sam Cole. Caleb McCord served as the youth minister from may 2018 until December 2019.
To accommodate a growing, active church, a family life center was completed in 2003. It houses a large fellowship hall, a commercially-equipped kitchen, classrooms, and a gymnasium.
Maranatha serves the local community through benevolent gifts, a food pantry, and a bus ministry. The church also serves the Lord through foreign missions. Maranatha supports Baptist Medical and Dental Missions, International, Baptist Children's Village, Southern Baptist Cooperative Program, Gideons International, and Harbour Evangelism.
Several short-term missionaries from the congregation are sent yearly to Honduras and Nicaragua, helping to provide medical and dental services and spreading the gospel of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
The Lord has graciously blessed Maranatha Baptist Church for more than 30 years. May he continue to do so as this body of believers seek to serve Him in the years to come.
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
There is one and only one living and true God. …The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. …God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus
God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. …He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. …He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. …He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Man is the special creation of God, in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. …By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. … The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore every person of every race possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.
God's Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. …All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
Baptism & the Lord's Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. …It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members … memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Evangelism & Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations... to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
The Lord's Day
The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. …It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. …Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly…the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell. …The righteous… will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
The cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence … there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. …The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions.
Christ's people should … organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. …Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations.
The Christian & the Social Order
All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society... in the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death...
Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. …A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. ... The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation... Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage.