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Before You Apply...

Thank you for your interest in Maranatha Village. Before moving ahead with an application, please allow us to clarify who we are and why we exist. In the process, we shall try to answer the question folks often ask: “Do you have to be a Baptist to live at Maranatha?” Probably nothing does this more effectively than Maranatha’s official mission statement. It reads

Our mission is to provide a faith-based, church-related Christian community where seniors of Baptist faith and practice may worship and serve God together, cultivate meaningful friendships and care for one another’s needs ‘til Jesus comes.

This statement, which requires maintaining our historic affiliations and doctrinal integrity, states that we are not only “faith-based,” but also “church-related” and committed to serving “seniors of Baptist faith and practice.”

When Maranatha Village opened its gates in 1973, its official corporate identity was (and still is) Regular Baptist Fellowship, Inc. It was founded primarily to provide an affordable retirement community for pastors, missionaries and lay leaders, each of whom was to be a member in good standing of a church affiliated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.

Over nearly 50 years of existence, some things have changed. Today the ratio of retired laymen and full-time Christian workers is about 50/50. Residents now come from a wide spectrum of Baptist (though not necessarily GARBC) and baptistic congregations. That said, we are still a “church-related Christian community… [serving] seniors of Baptist faith and practice.” The literal and spiritual hub of Maranatha Village is Maranatha Baptist Church, a conservative, independent Baptist congregation in fellowship with the GARBC.

For most of our history, applicants have been required to be members of a Baptist church. More recently, recognizing that membership in a particular church, by itself, doesn’t necessarily define one’s doctrinal beliefs, the Village Board modified the application, requiring that prospective residents affirm their agreement with the village doctrinal statement, a digest of biblical and typically Baptist beliefs. Doing so enables the applicant to indicate that, although he/she may not currently hold membership in a Baptist Church, his/her beliefs are consistent with those of Maranatha Village and the local church that serves its residents.

We all have friends and family who fellowship and serve in other communions, and we love them dearly. One day soon we will be in glory together, where all the labels will expire. Until then, to foster consistency and commonality, the leadership of Maranatha Village is committed to its mission to serve those of Baptist faith and practice. If you are able to identify as such, we welcome your application. Available upon request from gcarlson@maranathavillage.org

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