Smyrna Bible Church History
The early history of this church is like a 2 phase space capsule. The first phase got it off the ground but is a little obscured by the happenings of the 2nd phase.
1938--The church has its start as a Sunday School before World War II when 3 ambitious couples got permission from the Smyrna Board of Education to hold services in the schoolhouse . Mr. and Mrs. Van Valkenburg, Mr. and Mrs. Fike and Mr. and Mrs. Dillon were the founders and entered into this on their own, without any backing .
The ministry grew in later years and a little "bus" was used to pick up some in Grattan and at Whites Bridge for services . It discontinued when the War caused a gas rationing and hampered the travel of the Superintendent. The hibernation lasted throughout the War, until 1947.
1947--The 2nd phase began October 19, 1947. Mr. Henry Applehof, a missionary of the American Sunday School Union, organized the Smyrna Sunday School. The 2nd start wasn 't great. Only 3 showed up for the first service, but, under the diligence of several superintendents .. John Grant, Richard Machiels, Jake Lourvenaer and Mrs. Anna Smith attendance went up.
1949--October, 1949 brought a student from the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music, Charles Svoboda . While Mr. Svoboda was here a building fund was started with an eye on the future.
1951--When Mr. Svoboda left, upon graduation, Don Durling took over until July, 1951 when Eugene Covey began as superintendent. During Mr. Covey 's stay attendance grew to an average of 50 and plans were begun to withdraw from the American Sunday School Union . A contest was held to name the church and it was given the name of Smyrna Gospel Church. Withdrawal took place October 6, 1955. The next week the Doctrinal Statement of Faith was read.
Charter members at that time were:
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Parker
Mr. and Mrs. Herman Seif
Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Covey
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Trann
Mrs. Dortha Richmond
First officers elected were:
President - Mr. Frank Parker
Treasurer - Mr. Herman Seif
Clerk - Mrs. Dortha Richmond
1956--The first pastor , Mr. Earl Webb, was called in July, 1956. In 1957 ground was broken for the present building . Some unfortunate circumstances caused the building to stop at the completion of the basement.
1959--ln this year the 2nd pastor , Mr. William Hentschell came to the church . Improvements were made on the basement during the time that Mr. Hentschell was here . People grew spiritually and the building fund continued to grow , too .
1962--This year saw still another alumnus of Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music come , Mr. Dale Potter. A new building fund , for the auditorium , had its beginning during Mr. Potter 's stay which ended in 1964.
1964-- ln September of 1964, Mr. Kent Troyer, was called as pastor. Under Mr. Troyer 's leadership the church built the auditorium and Narthax at the front of the church . Mr. Troyer was called to a church in Illinois early in 1972. Before he left, the church made plans to build the church gym, which was constructed in the early summer of 1972.
1972--Rev . Darwyn Hassert was called as pastor in June, 1972 and moved into Smyrna in August of 1972. In September, 1972 the church name was changed to Smyrna Bible Church. Since the fall of 1972 the church has acquired much needed church equipment and remodeled the church basement for more efficient use of space. Pastor Hassert served 34 years at Smyrna Bible Church until retiring from the full-time pastorate. He and his wife Karen have continued to be a Godly influence, graciously helping and serving where needed at Smyrna Bible Church.
2005-- Rev. Mike Jones accepted the call to serve as Pastor at Smyrna Bible Church and started in June, 2005. Pastor Mike Jones was born in Bellevue, Washington. At the age of 21 he traveled across the country, enrolled at Florida Bible College in Kissimmee, Florida, and graduated in 1993. From there he attended and graduated from Capital Bible Seminary with his Master of Divinity in 1996. Since that time, Pastor Mike served for four years as a School Teacher at King's Christian School, located in Southwest Miami, FL, teaching Junior High, and serving as their Athletics Director. From there he moved up to Pekin, Illinois and ministered for four years serving as an Associate Pastor at Pekin Bible Church. It was there that Mike was officially ordained into the ministry as a Minister of the Gospel of Christ. Pastor Mike Jones served at Smyrna Bible Church from June of 2005 until January of 2014 when at the age of 46, he died unexpectedly. His wife, Tina Jones, continues to faithfully serve in multiple church ministries. Mike and Tina's children are Telson, Talitha, Aletheia, Blessing, Azariah and Isabella. In addition to adult age ministries, Pastor Mike had enthusiasm for reaching children and teens. Under pastor Mike's leadership, the church experienced many spiritually fruitful years of growth and new areas of ministry
2014-- Pastor Ron David and his family moved from Salina, Kansas the serve from 2014 until 2019
2020-- Rev. Roger Tahtinen (Tat-Nen) and His Wife Jackie, along with their daughter Miya, arrived to begin serving on August 1st 2020 as our new Pastor. Pastor Roger and his family have spent ten years in Camp ministry before God called then to change their focus to pastoral ministry. Roger & Jackie have six Children, three daughter-in-laws and three grandchildren, so far. From oldest to youngest are Daniel, his wife Mercedez along with Ronin and Ruger, their son Justin, son Byron and his wife Natalie and daughter Selina. Son Ethan, who serves in the army, and his wife Megan, another son serving in the army, Cameron, and the only daughter and youngest child Miya.
Pastor Roger Graduated from Piedmont International University with a degree in Bible and Nonprofit Management. He has ten years of Christian ministry leadership experience. Jackie has served as Women's Ministry Coordinator, planning events and discipleship for ladies for the past five years plus. Together, they look forward to working along side the people of Smyrna Bible Church reaching their community for Christ while discipling others.