Medora Community Bible Church had its beginnings in the early 1900s, when some of the people of Medora began holding Sunday School in the Medora school. Sensing the need for a church building, the Medora Union Chapel Society was formed and incorporated in February 1909. According to the corporation charter, the purpose of this society was to build and maintain a building known as The Medora Union Chapel to be used for religious services of all Christian denominations.
The first structure was located one block north of the present building on the east side of the road. It was built, furnished, and paid for by the summer of 1909. The people of Medora donated much of the labor, and area Mennonites gave generous support. The church was filled to capacity at the dedication services that summer.
The Sunday School continued to operate over the years. Various denominations held revivals and in other ways tried to build and organize the church, but none achieved lasting success. The congregation functioned primarily as a Sunday School, averaging less than 50 people in attendance most of the time.
Pastor J.T. Wiens served the church in the late 40s and early 50s followed by missionary pastor David Cooper. Neither was full-time.
In 1954 the church called Pastor Wilbur Junker, a missionary pastor serving under Village Missions, as the first full-time pastor. A little house had been purchased by the ladies’ missionary society and moved just east of the church to be used as a parsonage.
Pastor Junker and his new bride began to move into their home. Before they had finished moving, the church building was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The Junkers lost their wedding gifts as well as all of his books and papers that they had temporarily stored at the church.
One month later, a white frame church building near Inman was purchased and moved to the same location as the previous structure. Two months after the church building was moved, the Junkers were recalled by their mission.
Pastor Jack Coates was called as the next pastor and served from 1954 to 1958. Under his leadership, the name “The Medora Community Church” was adopted and the church became more carefully organized with a written constitution and official membership roll.
Following Pastor Coates’ ministry, Pastor Francis Henderson served from March 1959 to January 1966. In 1960 a new building site was chosen and construction began on a brick structure. Pastor Henderson functioned as general contractor, and as with the first building, much of the labor was donated by people of the church and community. When completed, the building included a 1500-square-foot sanctuary, two classrooms, and a balcony on the main floor; the basement provided four classrooms, a kitchen, and fellowship hall.
After most of the work on the church building had been completed in 1962, construction began on a four-bedroom parsonage just north of the church. Most of the parsonage had been finished and all of the bills had been paid when Pastor Henderson moved to another ministry in 1966. The final touches were added during Pastor Albert Jansen’s ministry. Dedication of the church building occurred during Pastor Jansen’s years of service on August 11, 1968.
Over the years other significant changes were made. The church voted to affiliate with the Independent Fundamental Church of America (I.F.C.A.). and was accepted on August 15, 1968. With the addition of the word “Bible,” the official name of the church became “Medora Community Bible Church” during the service of Pastor Bill Stiebens. Under Pastor John Zoschke’s leadership, fellowship groups were scheduled twice a month for an informal time of fellowship and Bible study. Pastor Zoschke went on to serve as a church planter with Kansas Church Extension in May 1991.
Pastor Wayne Johnson began ministering in September 1991. In the years that followed, various improvements were made because of the growth in attendance. Two morning worship services were established in January 1997. A parking lot was later made east of the church, and construction began on the building addition on October 15, 1999.
Although changes were made because of current needs, one improvement was a tangible reminder of the past. In celebration of the forty-first anniversary, the church bell from the original Medora Church was installed. It was the only item that survived the fire.
Medora Community Bible Church continues to be true to our motto, “Holding Forth the Word of Life.” Maintaining an active interest in missions and faithfully supporting missionaries on both home and foreign fields remain important. The church has also been instrumental in the training of several individuals who are now in vocational Christian service. In addition, Medora Bible Institute began in January 2000 as the fulfillment of a desire to teach others about the Bible and its doctrines. In 2005 a seminary to train men for the ministry was established and a local church plant emphasis began.
We believe in the inerrant Word of God, the deity of Jesus Christ, and salvation through faith in His death and literal resurrection. We look forward to His coming again when He will resurrect the saints. May God help us to be faithful to our purpose and calling until we meet Him in the air.
Pastors who have ministered to the church since Pastor Henderson’s ministry are as follows:
Everett Johannes (interim) January 1966 – May 1966
Albert Jansen June 1966 – April 1972
Lancey Hudson June 1972 – December 1974
Leroy Griswold (interim) January 1975 – March 1976
Dennis Doney April 1976 – April 1978
Bill Stiebens May 1978 – March 1983
Bob Shelton (interim) May 1983 – August 1983
John Zoschke September 1983 – May 1991
Wayne Johnson September 1991 – September 2008
Ron Mandeville (associate) August 2002 – December 2014
Dan Ells (associate) July 2006 – 2012
Wayne Johnson (associate) December 2008 – 2012
Richard Burns May 2011 – September 2014
Ron Mandeville January 2015 – present