In 1935, the late Reverend Matthew Marcus Sr. had a vision. That vision became the Little Ark Missionary Baptist Church originally nestled on the corner of Bond and Fayette Streets. His guiding hand can be seen in the many works that have been accomplished in his over fifty years of service.
Within a year another great blessing came to the church in the form of music, with the organization of the first choir by Brother James Tillery and Sister Amanda Marcus, the Pastor’s wife. Those that have heard our choir know what a wonderful blessing the Music Ministry has developed into over the years, attracting many members to our congregation.
Through visionary insight, Pastor Marcus directed the expansion of the physical church to include the creation of a new sanctuary, which increased the seating capacity from 125 to 400 persons. The Fellowship Hall, Baptismal Pool, and updated facilities were also included in our growth. With Approximately 200 faithful members in 1977, this was a tremendous challenge and to further disregard contemporary thinking, Pastor Marcus began this project in his 70’s.
Today our church is just one of the reasons for us to praise God. Little Ark Missionary Baptist Church has been blessed to have two Pastors, Matthew Marcus, Sr. and James L. Carter, our present Pastor. Pastor Marcus truly sacrificed and gave his life for the church. He was after all, a man after God’s own heart.
In 1986, Pastor Marcus realized the need for an Assistant Pastor, so he extended the invitation to James Lee Carter. After observing and considering this most reverent and God inspired young man for one year and being inspired by the Holy Spirit, Pastor Marcus retired to the status of Pastor Emeritus. The members of the Little Ark Missionary Baptist Church resoundingly received Dr. J. L. Carter as Pastor on Sunday, September 27, 1987.
Through the work of Pastor Marcus, Pastor Carter and the Little Ark Baptist Church we have received numerous citations and certificates of award for outstanding community leadership. Little Ark Baptist Church is a member of several Local, State and National church organizations. It is a leading contributor to the United Negro College Fund and continues to play a role in the political arena for the betterment of our people.
Following the movement of the Holy Spirit and seeking to bring the ministry to the next level, and to position the church for the harvest of the New Millennium, by an overwhelming vote, the church agreed with Pastor Carter to become ” ARK Church” in December 1999. To God be the Glory!
As you grow and participate in various activities and as you meet people throughout the congregation, you will find that the details of our history are great. We are fortunate to still have elders in our midst who have labored through the years and played a vital role in the prosperity of ARK Church. These are people who you can still speak with and who will provide comforting sustenance in their words and faith.
The most important thing to remember about the history of this great church is that it has a history of giving care, love and support, of heartfelt compassion, humble gratitude and unconditional forgiveness all stemming from a boundless yearning to be better servants for the Lord our God.