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Ithaca Open Bible: 75 Years Strong!

Ithaca Open Bible Church (IOB) in Arcanum, Ohio, spent several days last month celebrating its 75th anniversary. On September 2 the church gathered for a campfire service where people roasted hot dogs and shared memories of the past and vision for the future. The setting was the church’s miraculous property addition acquired three years ago, home of their “memorial orchard” and “God’s garden.” On Saturday afternoon a small gathering of friends came together to honor former pastor Bob Marsden, who flew in from Missouri for the event. (He is 88 years old!)

Former Pastor Bob Marsden

On Sunday morning of Labor Day weekend, the church hosted a celebration service followed by a wonderful meal. They honored former pastor Timothy Means, who pastored the church two different times for a total of 18 years at IOB. (Between Tim, his late father, Clarence Means, and his late uncle, Art Maglott, the Means/Maglott family pastored this church for a total of 50 years!) They again honored Pastor Marsden as well. Regional Executive Director Josh Grimes preached. District Director Nancy Vencill was also present to lead in prayer. Many others also gathered for the homecoming. IOB has a long history of releasing people into ministry, and many of them returned for the celebration. (Watch video.)

The church’s current pastor, David Fox, has led the church the past eight years, with Mary Wood serving as the associate pastor for the past four years. David said, “We don’t just want to remember where we’ve been but also keep our eyes on where we’re going!” Over these most recent years, the church tripled its property while remaining debt free, merged with another church, established The Well (small group services) and nursing home meetings, provided food distribution (to 24 families a week!), established a men’s work group, ministered to children, and started a small INSTE training center. Through the women’s ministry, missions also remains a priority. 

David adds, “The programs come and go, but our goal is to honor Jesus’ example from John 13:1: Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.’ Thank you to everyone who keeps loving, serving, and giving like Jesus to make IOB 75 years STRONG . . . (and counting!).”

Left to right: Tim and Kay Means, Melissa and Josh Grimes, Bob Marsden, David and Delanee Fox, and Nancy Vencill (Photos by Nancy and Tabitha Vencill)
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