A BRIEF SUMMARY OF GOD’S WORK AT SALEM BIBLE CHURCH
Salem Bible Church (SBC) is the fruit of a church planting ministry of Pastor and Mrs. Doug DeMar. It is a local body that is an outreach of our home church, Athens Bible Church, which was started by Pastor Harlan Alspach of Chillicothe Bible Church, and has continued to be shepherded by Pastor William Hixson.
SBC, like the churches of our fellowship, has a three-fold emphasis on Bible, prayer, and missions. The church began and continues with Bible teaching (primarily expository), prayer meeting, door-to-door calling, and an emphasis also upon foreign missions, with a min. of 20% income committed to foreign missions.
SBC was started in the home of Pastor and Mrs. DeMar in March of 1979, and was a non-supported ministry, requiring full time employment. There were many years of laboring to get the gospel out and to establish a testimony in the community through personal visitation, hospital visits, nursing home ministries, Bible classes, marriage counseling, and Bible Clubs for children.
We thank the Lord for the salvation of souls through simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His substitutionary death for our sins and His resurrection. We also thank Him for the fruit in Christian lives and establishment of godly marriages and homes that He has brought about by His grace.
A summary of progress of events is as follows: Services began in March of 1979. Land was purchased in 1984; tax exemption was established in 1989. A building was constructed in 1994 and partial support of the Pastor began in 1995. Incorporation with charter membership took place the same year. Since that time, elders and deacons have been appointed. Pastor Hixson of Athens Bible Church served as a temporary elder until men were raised up at SBC. In 2000, the church took on Pastor DeMar with full time support. We praise the Lord for His increase in the body of SBC, leading to the expansion of the building in 2002.
The church has become established in the community with 7 nursing home ministries (including Pastor DeMar’s Essex II nursing home chaplain ministry), a Bible Club, 3 outreach Bible classes (including KSU-Salem branch, Southington Bible Class, and Butler, PA Bible Class).
The training and sending out of men and women into the Christian ministry and mission field is also a primary objective of the church. This training consists of a Home Study Bible course, hermeneutics/homiletics classes, ministry classes, Bible Club teacher training, and various outreach ministries, such as door-to-door calling, Bible classes and nursing home services. In Dec. 2007, Andy Price and Steve DeMar, who were both trained through this ministry program and served as elders of SBC, were ordained to the ministry after examination by an ordination council assembled by SBC. Andy Price has accepted a call to the pastorate at Alabaster Bible Church in Michigan. Steve DeMar is endeavoring a church planting ministry in Butler, PA while continuing to serve as an elder at SBC. Ben DeMar was ordained in Oct. 2015, and is serving as associate pastor of SBC.
We thank the Lord for all who have had a part, who have been faithful, who have sacrificed, and who have stood firm for the gospel’s sake in the establishment and continuance of SBC. We praise the Lord for his grace and mercy over the years, for His goodness far above what we deserve. Our prayer is that we may give Christ the preeminence by honoring Him with true worship, bringing glory to Him with our lives and service, and being faithful to him until He comes. May the Lord preserve and strengthen what He has begun, for His glory.