Source: News-Journal, August 16, 1973, Centennial Section
Missionary Church Organized - 1953
The local Missionary Church was brought to the North Manchester community in answer to prayer by a group of people who met each week for a period of several months. Rev. Kenneth Geiger and Rev. Joseph H. Kimbel of the United Missionary church denomination met with the group and were instrumental in getting the Church Extension Division to sponsor a church in this community. Ground breaking was held on Nov. 9, 1953, first service the following May.
The United Missionary Church, as it was then named, was a result of the union of four groups between 1875 and 1883 to form the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, the name of which was changed to the United Missionary Church at a 1947 conference in Potsdam, Ohio. In 1969, the United Missionary Church merged with Missionary Church Association, and the combined group is now known as The Missionary Church. The denomination operates three Bible Schools, including Fort Wayne Bible College, Bethel College, Mishawaka, and Emanuel Bible College, Kitchener, Ontario, Mountain View College, Didsbury, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Kenneth Geiger, former General Superintendent of the United Missionary church is president of the merged denomination.
The local church was dedicated Sunday afternoon, Sept. 12, 1954. It is located on State Road 114 East a short distance from the Main Street bridge. The building is of red brick, of Colonial design, with a lighted steeple. There are 45 members.
There were 14 charter members: Rev. and Mrs. Glenn H. Marks, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Dawes, Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Garber, Mr. and Mrs. Al Deneve, Miss Margaret Deneve, Miss Joan Deneve, Karl Buehle, Mrs. Karl Buehle, Mrs. Dale Heeter, and Miss Grace Wright. (Roscoe Garber is now deceased.)
First trustees were roscoe Garber, Al Deneve, and Karl Buehle. Present trustees are Frank Deneve, William Grossman, and Ernest Penrod. The first Deacon was Harry Dawes; Al Deneve is present Deacon.
Pastors have been Glenn H. Marks, John Moran, Ralph Brown, Stephen Manley, with Daniel L. Null now serving as pastor.
Al Deneve was the first Sunday School Superintendent, and Ralph Bolinger is now serving in that capacity. Mrs. Marks was the first Superintendent of the Junior Sunday School Department, with Mrs. Deneve as assistant. Mrs. Lloyd England is now in charge, assisted by Mrs. Daniel L. Null.
The local church furnishes one-half of the yearly support for Mrs. Lloyd Lilly, who, with her husband, has charge of missionary children at Jos, Nigeria, while the children attend school there, and also furnishes partial support for Tim and Mika (Penrod) Martin in a pastorate in Kentucky, and for Miss Becky Grossman, serving in Bolivia, South America, as a teacher of children of missionaries.
A parsonage in East Manchester was purchased and later dedicated with appropriate services on May 21, 1972. The pastor and his wife, Carol, and their two children, Angelia and Daniel Lee, Jr., now reside there.
Youth Fellowship was organized in 1954, when Glenn H. Marks was pastor. Mr. and Mrs. William Grossman are directors, assisted by Mr. and Mrs. Randy Whitsel. Mr. Whitsel is a ministerial student.
In addition to Sunday School, there are morning and evening worship services. Midweek services are held on Wednesday nights, with an adult Bible study and prayer group, the youth group of Junior High and High School ages, and two other groups which include children from ages 3 to 12 in charge of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Baker, assisted by Mrs. Al Deneve and Mrs. Dea Hethcote.