MARKLEVILLE — In 1913, Max Markle’s grandmother helped establish a new church in Markleville. One hundred years later, 86-year-old Max will help celebrate the centennial of that church — the only one he’s ever known.
It’s come a long way from the small white clapboard building in which it started out, but Markleville North Christian Church remains a vibrant and purposeful congregation. They’re celebrating the occasion this weekend with worship, family fun events, music and food.
“There’s a lot of sentimental value,” North Christian Pastor Jerome Bell said. “Three to four generations attend our church any given weekend.”
Bell shepherds the congregation of the independent, non-denominational church. About 225 members come to church each Sunday for services led by Bell and worship leader Pastor Scott Roberts.
“It’s a church that accepts people that come as they are,” said Bell. “Pretty open and friendly.”
The church holds two services, one traditional and the other contemporary to accommodate the diverse congregation. Members also get together and study the Bible through small groups.
“It creates an atmosphere where people can get a lot closer and get to know people,” said Bell.
They also draw closer by participating in numerous outreach programs. Just last week, North Christian had their annual Stay at Home Work Camp.
“We go out into Markleville and Pendleton and help people with different projects in their homes,” said Bell. North Christian folks repair porches, weed, clean houses, clip shrubs and repair roofs for people who need a hand.
Once a month North Christian helps feed 45 to 50 families through the food pantry that they maintain in collaboration with South Madison Community Food Pantry.
The church is also home to the Sonrise Preschool, where 3- to 5-year-olds play and learn Monday through Friday mornings.
Roxann Needler and her huband Denny have been at North Christian for about five years.