The Doctors

Pastor Silas Doctor's Testimony

I thank God I was raised in a strong Christian family. My parents were saved when I was three. I was saved at the age of eight and was baptized in the cold Lake Michigan. But as I reached my teens, I thought it was better to be popular than to serve Jesus.

As I grew up, I got married, started a family, became a barber, and bought a barber shop in my home town. The 18 1/2 years I barbered were a growing time for me and my family (now having 4 children). We attended the Baptist Church in Central Lake and became very involved with the Lord's work there. As we became more involved, the Lord started leading us into a full-time ministry.

While the Lord worked, we yielded. I thought we would probably go overseas, but God didn't open any of those doors. During our 1988 Mission Conference, we had a missionary from the prison work come and preach and show his slide presentation. God showed us this was what He wanted us to do. We opened our hearts and God opened the doors for us to go. Romans 10:14 is one verse He used. Unless someone goes into the jails and prisons (a spiritual hospital) with the Gospel, they won't hear of God's saving Grace. (Hebrews 13:3, Isaiah 61:1).We moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in May of 1991 and began over 9 years of prison work involving 9 jails and prisons where we held weekly services, and 2 more prisons we went to monthly.

God began leading us in a new direction. In September of 2000, I accepted the pastorate at Calvary Baptist Church in South Range, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. In 2009, God moved us back home to start a church in East Jordan, Michigan and to continue working in the jails. The first of November Jordan Valley Baptist Church was started. We were meeting in the old Dura building until we were able to purchase 457 Water Street in 2012 for our new location.

On November 5, 2013 I received a call in the middle of the night. Our church was on fire ... a total loss ... In April of 2014 we were able to purchase the Petrie Construction building. After a year and a half of being back in the Dura building, and working together as a church, we had our first service at 909 Water Street in September of 2015. God has blessed us in so many ways. We praise Him daily for His goodness to us.

Mary Doctor's Testimony

I was raised in a Lutheran home and attended church frequently until I was 15 and we moved to Ellsworth, Michigan. Just before we moved, I completed my Confirmation classes and was confirmed and recognized as a member of the local Lutheran church.

In Ellsworth, I met a young man who asked me to attended church and youth rallies with him. He belonged to a fundamental, Bible preaching, Baptist church. They preached from the Holy Bible that you needed to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour.

After months, and much prayer by the church, I came to a time when I recognized the fact that I needed Jesus in my own heart. On January 20, 1968 I knelt by the sofa at the parsonage with my boyfriend (now husband), the pastor and his wife. I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to come into my heart.

I was baptized by immersion in July of 1968.

Praise the Lord for His loving kindness toward us in that He sent His Son to die for our sins!

Pastor Silas and Mary Doctor's Story

We were married after high school. We moved to Ohio for a semester of college. We stayed to work and to receive the blessing of twin daughters born to us.

We returned to Michigan where Si went to Barber school in Hamtramck for a year. My special in-laws let the girls and I stay with them. Si came home every weekend. When he graduated from barber school, we moved to the Upper Peninsula to Menominee for him to barber under a Master Barber. (He needed 2 years of being an apprentice before he could take his State Board exam.)

Back to the lower peninsula to Petoskey to finish the apprenticeship. While in Petoskey our first son was born. With the state board exam completed, we bought the Barber shop in Ellsworth. Shortly after that we bought our first house. We became very involved in our church in Central Lake. We taught Sunday School, worked with the teens, sang in the choir, drove a van to pick up kids, and worked in Awana.

Our second son was born during this time. He was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. He has been a huge blessing to our family through the years. God has blessed him with an incredible memory and a love for numbers. As we served in the local church the Lord worked in our hearts to be in a fulltime ministry for the Lord. Nineteen years after moving back home, the Lord worked in our hearts and moved us back to the Upper Peninsula to Chatham.

We started working in the jails and prisons, and did that for 9 years. We spent many hours a day on the road, but the Lord blessed with many coming to know the Lord as Saviour through Watchman Jail and Prison Ministry. Our next move and change in ministry, was to the Houghton/Hancock area. God gave Si a church to pastor in South Range. We started there on Si's 50th birthday. We were there for 9 years before the Lord moved us to start a church in East Jordan in the Lower Peninsula.

We had to secure a building to meet in, plus a lot of details had to be cared for before our first get-acquainted meetings. In November of 2009 Jordan Valley Baptist Church was born. God is so good. The church grew and God worked in lives. We had our ups and downs, but God guided us through a fire that destroyed our church building, renovating a construction building to become our new church meeting place, and through covid.

We have seen people come to know Jesus as Saviour and get baptized. We have seen many folks grow closer to the Lord through their walk with the Lord. God is always with us. He blessed us through it all.