Church of Christ based on ancient church principles
MARSHALL – Anyone driving down East Main Street in Marshall will notice the flashing digital sign outside of a little white church inviting passers-by to Bible study.
The congregation there is known as the Church of Christ and was established in 1982, but has its roots in the early Christian church that was established in A.D. 30 when Jesus Christ began his ministry.
“We also go by ‘the Household of God’ and other names listed in the Bible,” church minister James King said.
One of this church’s previous locations was on the lot where Hy-Vee is now, King said. The congregation also rented a building from Marshall Truss, King said, but has been at corner of A Street and Main since 1988.
“There have been two ministers before me,” he said, asking not to be referred to as “Reverend.”
It is the teaching of the church that all members are equal, and he doesn’t want any special recognition.
King said the congregation is the same way. It is a separate entity, not affiliated with any particular synod or denomination.
“We have no governing body to make rules,” he said. “We use the Bible for guidance. We don’t give power to any individual or group.”
Whenever the members do things, they try to have a Scripture to say why they do it, King said.
“We speak where the Bible speaks and remain silent where the Bible is silent,” he said.
“We try to follow the Bible as close as we can,” he said. “We try to pattern our lives on the New Testament. We feel that the Bible is not really stressed enough in many groups. I don’t believe a whole lot of individuals today know what’s in the Bible.
“All of us are God’s children, and no one is better than anyone else.”
This Church of Christ supports itself through free will offerings. It is not in the moneymaking business, King said, so it does not hold any type of fundraising event.
This philosophy is based on biblical teaching found in scriptures such as:
• Corinthians 16:1-2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made” and
• Corinthians 9:7: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
“We don’t set a tithe or anything, just allow people give what they are able and willing to do,” King said.
The church continues to teach whomever finds their way into their midst straight from the Bible.
Bible studies are Sundays at 10 a.m. with worship at 11 a.m. and another Bible study at 1 p.m.
There is also a Bible study on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. However, there are no Lenten services.
“Currently, we’re studying the book of Acts on Sunday mornings,” King said. “The lessons for Sunday are on Ephesians. We study out of the Bible because we feel it is the Word of God. It is even more relevant today than it was in the first century.
“We also offer non-denominational Bible studies and courses to individuals to help get them acquainted with the Bible,” King said. “It’s a big book and sometimes hard to get started on your own.”
King is originally from West Virginia. He began his service at Church of Christ in 1984 after having graduated the Preston Rhodes School of Preaching in Texas.
“As a Christian, I felt I needed to teach and tell people about Jesus Christ,” he said. “I went to school with someone from Minnesota. He was talking about needing a minister here. I contacted the local congregation and my wife and decided to move up here.”
King is also a part-time school bus driver. His wife, Janice, is a retired bus driver.