We are a family of believers in Jesus Christ who have been redeemed by His blood. He is not ashamed to call us brethren (Hebrews 2:11
) having paid the penalty for our sin and reconciled us to God according to the riches of His grace.
We seek to be “Berean” in the spirit of those who heard the Scriptures taught by Paul in the city of Berea, who “received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11b).
In examining the Scriptures as those of Berea did, we also strive to apply them to our lives:
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:22-24 ESV)
Berean Bible Fellowship began meeting as a church in a home in Monticello during the summer of 1985. During this time the church outgrew its meeting space and after 11 years relocated for a short time to a rental property in Monticello, changing its name to Berean Bible Church. Today the church meets in its own facility at 16107 County Road E16 just southwest of the Monticello Aquatic Center.
From the early years as a church family gathering in a private home until the present, we have purposed to nurture the atmosphere of the church as family. There has always been a wide range of ages in the church, allowing us to learn how to minister to each other with respect and sensitivity to the various stages of life in which we find ourselves.
The body of Christ is not one part but many. Therefore, while seeking to maintain a sound, biblical emphasis on preaching and teaching, we seek not to lose sight of the goal of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12). As members of the body mature in Christ, the exercise of their spiritual gifts will become more effective in the building up of one another. In practical ways, small groups and mentoring relationships have developed over the years as authentic examples of members ministering to members.
But the dynamics of spiritual maturity go beyond the local body of Christ. Reaching out to our neighbors and community as servants of Christ, and developing lasting relationships with those who are searching for answers to life’s greatest questions are encouraged. These ministries have developed over the years in various ways, spontaneously and without fanfare, to the glory of God. Numerous opportunities to share the gospel and the love of Christ have resulted. We seek to always be ready “to give an account for the hope” that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).
Berean Bible Church is also missional in intentional ways, providing regular support for two long-term missionary couples and occasional short-term missionary opportunities. Christ has called His followers to engage in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Every Christian is called to share the gospel and to send out those who will preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. This means that some will go to other countries, leaving the comforts of “home,” in order to take the message to the farthest corners of the earth.
As disciples who are mission-minded, we seek to live out the words of the following quotation found in the journals of Jim Elliott who gave his life to reach those who had never heard the gospel:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
It is in the spirit of that statement that we affirm our commitment to living for Christ and proclaiming the message of the gospel.
Berean Bible Church is led by four elders with Mike Martin being the pastor and teacher. Mike became a Christian through the ministry of the Navigators during his college years in the 1970s. He and his wife Susan hosted the meetings of the church family in their home during its early years. For thirty years Mike has been a bi-vocational pastor, engaged in the workplace as well as the ministry.
While autonomous in government, Berean Bible Church has benefited greatly from its association with other like-minded churches who hold to the doctrines of grace. (See Summary of Essential Beliefs and Confessional Statement.)