The Northern Gospel Mission
Northwoods Bible Church has its heritage with the people of the Ray community and with the former Northern Gospel Mission. Founded by Rev. James P. Welliver, the Northern Gospel Mission supplied many of the early missionaries not only to the Ray area, but also to other mission stations throughout northern Minnesota. The former Northern Gospel Mission is now organized as the Northern Gospel Fellowship which operates Miracle Bible Camp: www.miraclebible.com. Northwoods Bible Church was planted in 1978 and was first pastored by Rev. Hugh Arthur Schneider of the Northern Gospel Mission, who went to be with the Lord at the age of 46 in 1987. The original Northwoods Bible Church building was constructed debt-free, entirely through volunteer labor. The building also originally housed a Christian school.
The Church Fire of 2007
On the stormy, late evening of Wednesday, June 6, 2007, Northwoods Bible Church lost its original building to a lightning fire. Nearby residents said that they had heard a loud clap of thunder at around midnight, followed by an explosion. Shortly afterward, a passing motorist spotted the fire and informed local residents. All that remained of the building the next morning was the burned-out shell of the building (barely standing) and a small shed in the back.
God's Provision of the New Northwoods Bible Church Building
On the evening of June 7, 2009, the church celebrated the groundbreaking for the new building on the corner of Highway 217 and Highway 53. On the evening of Wednesday, October 28, 2009, Northwoods Bible Church held its first service in the new building (exactly 125 weeks from the evening of the fire). On Saturday, December 12, 2009, the church formally dedicated the new facility for the exultation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To God be the glory, great things He has done!