History of "Go Ye" Mission and Markoma

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1943

  • Rev. Solomon Mouttet, pastor of a church near Inola, Oklahoma, and his wife send out missionaries from their home southwest of Chouteau, Oklahoma, which is the beginning of an outreach program to spread the Gospel in eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas. This marks the beginning of what will be named "Go Ye" Mission.
  • Daily Vacation Bible Schools are started for children to attend during summer months.

1944

  • The Scripture Memory Program for children is introduced.

1946

  • In October the "Go Ye" Mission headquarters moves from the Mouttet farm to upstairs rooms of Perry Crockett's Furniture Store in Chouteau, Oklahoma.

1947

  • Bacone College, near Muskogee, Oklahoma, becomes first "Go Ye" Mission campsite for children.
  • In August a 95-acre site on the banks of the Illinois River, east of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, is acquired by "Go Ye" Mission.

1948

  • In March the "Go Ye" Mission office is moved to the Basil Tedlock Building in Chouteau, Oklahoma. 
  • The 95-acre site on the Illinois River, east of Tahlequah, becomes Camp Look-Away. The camp is located near where Town Branch Creek joins with the Illinois River.
  • In the summer funding for a Christian bookstore in Muskogee, Oklahoma, is secured.
  • On December 1st the "Go Ye" Mission Book Store, known as the store with literature that "folks can trust," opens for business at 132 South 3rd Street in Muskogee.

1949

  • This is the first of a four-year summer teaching program for young people at the "Go Ye" Mission campground.

1951

  • In November the "Go Ye" Mission Book Store reopens for business at its new location at 105 North Fourth Street, in the center of Muskogee. The bookstore begins serving churches in a 200 mile radius with Vacation Bible School material.


1953

  • In June Mrs. Ruth H. Graham meets with Laverne Steiner, Director of Camp Look-Away, and Homer Mouttet, President of "Go Ye" Mission,  to offer the sale of her 264-acre farm southwest of Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  Mrs. Graham suggests the property would be a perfect location for a 10-acre Christian high school and working farm.
  • In November the process of purchasing the farm begins in earnest.


1954

  • In January the "Tom Graham Farm" is purchased by R. J. Stucky of Pretty Prairie, Kansas, followed by donating the farm to "Go Ye" Mission.
  • In December the "Markoma Farm" begins operations. 


1955

  • Planning for an interdenominational Christian school includes deciding on the name "Markoma," which is derived from combining the names of four states: Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
  • The "Go Ye" Mission Book Store is so successful that it needs more space, and is moved to a larger facility at 217 North 3rd Street in Muskogee.  Later, the bookstore begins a Book Mobile Unit, which tours the area to bring Christian literature to people who are not able to visit the store in Muskogee.
  • Rocky Mountain Chapel is built.


1958

  • In March "Go Ye" Mission headquarters moves from Chouteau, Oklahoma, to the Graham Farm near Tahlequah. The headquarters building is built on the northeast corner of the Mission's farm. "Go Ye" Mission offices, a print shop and mailing room are all contained in the headquarters building for 15 years.
  • A print shop, run by Mr. Laverne Steiner and called the "West 4th Street Print Shop," is built at 1123 West 4th Street, Tahlequah. Under Laverne Steiner's management, the print shop is open for business to the public for many years, and remains in operation until the early years of the 21st century.

1959

  • In March a used clothing business is opened in the Rocky Mountain Community to help support the Rocky Mountain Chapel.

1961

  • Markoma Bible Academy, a four-year Christian high school that is built on the "Tom Graham Farm," opens its doors and receives the first 18 students. The school is located on the site of the "Old Cherokee Male Seminary." Virgil Ralph Dirks is the founding Director of Markoma Bible Academy. In addition to their studies and attending class, students work 15-20 hours per week on campus on the Markoma farm (which includes a dairy, hog farm and chicken houses), and in the kitchen, dining hall and laundry. The farm not only provides vocational training, it supplies milk, meat, eggs, vegetables, etc., for the school.
  • Markoma's Holstein Grade A Dairy is highlighted during the Cherokee County Dairy Association's summer tour.
  • The student work-study program to help pay for room and board begins. Students participating in the program choose to work in the kitchen, print shop, office, laundry, library, farm, grounds maintenance, etc.
  • Wilbert and Ruth Unruh move to Markoma. Ruth Unruh is the school's dietitian, and later a house mother. Wilbert Unruh becomes known as "Mr. Fix-it" on campus.


1964

  • In May the first class of students graduate with high school diplomas from Markoma Bible Academy.


1965

  • Markoma Bible Academy's Mixed Quartet and Mixed Trio compete alongside 2,000 junior and high school students in a northeastern Oklahoma district music contest held at Northeastern State University. Both Markoma singing groups qualify to go to a state-wide music competition in April held at the University of Oklahoma. 


1970

  • Mailbox Ministries, also known as "Go Ye" Prison Ministry, is established. Mailbox Ministries incorporates a free Bible study correspondence program for prisoners throughout the United States. Mailbox Ministries later merges with Christ for Me.


1973

  • Rocky Mountain Bible Mission, established by "Go Ye" Mission, is organized in Adair County, Oklahoma. Rocky Mountain Bible Mission later becomes the Rocky Mountain Bible Church.

1975

  • The Rocky Mountain Bible Church building in Adair County, Oklahoma, is dedicated in February.


1978

  • As part of the "Go Ye" Prison Ministry, Dave Richert and Kurt Marquardt begin traveling to institutions across Oklahoma. They visit prisons and enroll inmates in the Ministry's "Acorn" Bible study program. The program slogan is: "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow."


1981

  • The Muskogee-based bookstore opens a second bookstore, located in Mountain Home, Arkansas.


1984

  • "Christian Youth In Action" fellowship training takes place in June on the campus of Markoma Bible Academy. The youth fellowship is an organization whereby students from 8th grade through college can do summer missionary work in Oklahoma.


1988

  • "Go Ye" Mission closes its operations at Camp Look-Away.


1990

  • Don Evans begins a Bible teaching ministry among Spanish-speaking prisoners.
  • The Riverview Center, a "ministry of recovery and discipleship," is started.
  • The bookstore in Mountain Home, Arkansas, is sold.

1995

  • The school reports that the international student enrollment numbers have increased.
  • Markoma Bible Academy welcomes its first international exchange students.
  • A new commuter program is started to encourage students living in the Tahlequah area to attend Markoma.

1996

  • Markoma Bible Academy begins accepting home-schooled student participation in its athletic programs.
  • Markoma Bible Academy begins a program that welcomes home-schooled students enrolling in individual classes.


2000

  • In August the school's name, Markoma Bible Academy, is officially changed to Markoma Christian School. The Board of Directors decides to change the name to "Christian School" because Markoma Bible Academy is sometimes confused with being a college, and the name "Christian School" is seen as a "more realistic term for our purpose and mission." The name "Markoma" is kept to honor the "heritage" of the school, and in response to the student body's request to retain the name.  


2004

  • "Go Ye" Mission, Inc. is renamed Markoma Christian Ministries, Inc.


2005

  • In May Representative Dan Boren honors more than 150 northeastern Oklahoma area students who submitted entries in the Congressional Artistic Discovery competition. The ceremony takes place on the Muskogee campus of Northeastern State University. Students in the competition are in grades 9-12. Winners of the competition include two Markoma Christian School students.  Students competed in the Artistic Discovery competition to display their artwork in a corridor of the U.S. Capitol building.
  • After teaching students from around the world for more than 40 years, Markoma Christian School closes its doors due to declining student enrollment and financial difficulties, with a deficit of over half a million dollars. Aside from the 4th Street Print Shop building, which is still owned by Markoma, the remaining nearly 120-acre property, fondly remembered as the historic Graham farm, is sold to the Cherokee Nation in September. Markoma Christian School later becomes known as Markoma Christian Ministries, which establishes an archive of student transcripts, yearbooks, and other school records. Although the school is gone, the spirit of it will remain with us forever.


2007

  • Proceeds of the sale of Markoma Christian School are invested in a foundation.  Since then, interest from the investment has been awarded by Markoma Christian Ministries as scholarships for Markoma alumni and Shiloh Christian School in Tahlequah.


2011

  • The West 4th Street Print Shop, which has operated since 1958 under the management of Laverne Steiner, closes operations in October. Markoma Christian Ministries continues the school's tradition by maintaining an archive of transcripts and other records, and through its scholarship program.


2007-2018

Total scholarships awarded by Markoma Christian Ministries from 2007 to 2018:

Markoma Alumni - $69,600

Shiloh Christian School - $332,625