The founding of Dover Bible Church goes back to June 1943 when Rev. Grover E. Smith left the Evangelical United Brethren Church and decided to begin an independent church, faithful to Biblical teachings.The new church was located at 415 East Front Street, Dover in what was once a grocery store as well as a home. Pastor Smith served faithfully at the church until 1961 when he retired. Pastor Robert G. Wood, served for about a year and then some IFCA pastors helped to keep the church open. In 1963, Pastor Carl Petters was called to pastor the church. In 1974, the church had grown to such an extent that it became necessary to buy land and build a new structure. Five acres of property, located just two miles from the edge of Dover, were purchased and one year later, the first service was held at 4173 Minard Road, Dover, Ohio. The church was built mostly by its members and in 1989, five additional acres were purchased and were added to the property.In 1979, Pastor Petters resigned and in July of 1979, Pastor Ed Scaglione was called as interim pastor and become the permanent pastor in June of 1980. Pastor Scaglione continued to serve until his retirement in June 2013. In June of 2013, Pastor Luke Holt began his ministry and served until December of 2015. Reverend Mark A. Britton was called to pastor the church in June 2016 and has continued to faithfully serve.
Building on Truth
The integrity of any structure is dependent on the foundation upon which it is built. The principle holds true with regard to our lives as well. At Dover Bible, we believe that God’s Word provides the only foundational life principles. Their strength is guaranteed by the integrity of God Himself.Here is the dilemma of all humanity. Without an ultimate and reliable source of authority, the source of life, the meaning of life, and the end of life all continue to be a fog of uncertainty. God is true and He is the source of all truth. He has given us His Word, called the Bible, and in it we find a message of hope from God. Without the Bible and its message we would be lost and remain lost.In the truth of God’s Word we find the gospel message. The gospel is the good news that a sinner can be saved from God’s Judgement.
Childhood: I was raised in a Christian family with a mom and dad who loved the Lord and taught their children to do the same. My father owned and operated a family gravel pit business and I spent much of my childhood playing there and helping with the work. I also began playing the piano at age eight, and quickly developed with my aptitude for music. Through Jr. High and High School there were many competitions and concert opportunities through my Christian School and network of churches.
Conversion: I was saved at the age of four during an evangelistic meeting I was attending with my parents. At the close of the meeting my father asked if I would like to accept Jesus as my Savior, to which I positively responded. He and the Pastor explained to me my need to be forgiven of sin, and helped me with my prayer of repentance. It was a simple matter of trusting what Christ did for me on the cross. There were times in my teen years when doubts would occasionally plague my mind, but with the help of my parents and good Christian teaching, the Lord helped me to deal effectively with them. To this day I am amazed how the reality of my salvation impacts me as the Lord continues to direct and correct me through His Word. Indeed, there is a growing realization of my sin and the nature of God’s holiness that causes me to wonder as I contemplate the cross and God’s grace in my life.
Calling: In1980, while teaching at Indiana University and developing a private piano student studio, God began to work in my heart regarding serving Him full time. I didn’t want to pursue that path, because I thought I knew the career goals I had established for myself. But as the Lord provided more and more opportunity for service in our local church, the more my heart became tender to His leading in my life. When our Pastor stopped by our house one day, he presented the idea of an internship with our church to see if God may have a ministry direction for our lives. After praying and struggling with my will, Diane and I decided we would accept the internship challenge, and God has seen fit to use us in full time work since 1980. Through thirty-five years of ministry, it has been my conviction that God powerfully uses His Word to effect spiritual change in life, and it continues to be my desire to serve Him in ministry with this focus.
Convictions: I possess many convictions on a variety of subjects, but they all have their foundations based upon the objective truth of the Word of God. So here is the overarching conviction upon which the others are built: The printed Word of God, the Bible, is the only source of authority or insight that is available concerning God’s revelation of Himself or His will. There is, therefore, no other standard or truth that is needed or to be sought. The justification for such high emphasis on the Bible is that it is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God, passed down through the Prophets and Apostles once for all. Therefore, exegetical teaching and preaching is absolutely essential, as this is the way to systematically understand the Scripture as it has been recorded. I believe that the “the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make the child of God more like the Son of God.”