History of The "Go Ye" Mission and Markoma

Watch for Updates to the History of "Go Ye" Mission and Markoma

1942-1943 - Rev. Solomon Mouttet sees the need to spread the Gospel to people living in rural Oklahoma and Arkansas. Daily Vacation Bible Schools are started for children to attend during summer months.

1944 - The Scripture Memory Program for children is introduced.

1947 - Bacone College, near Muskogee, Oklahoma, becomes first "Go Ye" Mission campsite for children.

1948 - John R. Janzen purchases 95 acres for "Go Ye" Mission on the Illinois River in Cherokee County, Oklahoma This property later becomes Camp Look-Away, and is located near where Town Branch Creek joins with the Illinois River, east of Tahlequah. A Christian bookstore, known as the store with literature "folks can trust," is established at 132 South 3rd Street in Muskogee.

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 farm would be a perfect location for a Christian high school.  Discussions concerning funding the purchase of the farm continue through the fall and into the early winter. 

1954 - In January the Graham farm is purchased by R. J. Stucky of Pretty Prairie, Kansas, followed by donating the farm to "Go Ye" Mission.

1955 - The Muskogee bookstore 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 also built.

1958 - "Go Ye" Mission headquarters is moved from Chouteau, Oklahoma, to Tahlequah. The Tahlequah-based headquarters is built on the northeast corner of the Mission's farm. Mission offices, a print shop and mailing room are all contained there for 15 years. The print shop becomes known as the West 4th Street Print Shop, and is run by Mr. Laverne Steiner. Under Mr. 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.

1961 - Markoma Bible Academy, a four-year Christian high school built on the "Tom Graham Farm," opens its doors to receive the school's first 18 students. The school is built on the site of the "Old Cherokee Male Seminary." Virgil Ralph Dirks is the founding Director of Markoma Bible Academy. Each student works 15-20 hours per week on campus. Students work on the farm and dairy, and in the kitchen, dining hall and laundry. Wilbert and Ruth Unruh move to Markoma. Ruth is the school's dietitian and later house mother. Wilbert Unruh becomes known as "Mr. Fix-it."

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. The program leads to a free Bible study correspondence program for prisoners throughout the United States. Mailbox Ministries later merges with Christ for Me.

1973 - The Rocky Mountain Bible Mission is organized, later becoming the Rocky Mountain Bible Church.

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" ("Mighty oaks from little acorns grow") Bible study program. 

1981 - The Muskogee bookstore opens a second bookstore, located in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

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 also started.  In addition, the bookstore in Mountain Home, Arkansas, is sold.

2000 - In August the school's name, Markoma Bible Academy, is officially changed to Markoma Christian School.

2004 "Go Ye" Mission, Inc. is renamed Markoma Christian Ministries, Inc.

2005 - 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 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 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.

2007-2018 - Total scholarships awarded from 2007 to 2018:

Markoma Alumni - $69,600

Shiloh Christian School - $301,125