A Legacy Continued | Dr. Douglas Bachorik, New Department of Music Chair

Dr. Douglas Bachorik has accepted the position of Chair of the Music Department at Maranatha Baptist University and will begin in the Fall of 2023. Dr. David Ledgerwood is stepping down from his role as Chair but will stay on as part-time faculty and teaching Arranging Repertoire and private lessons.

Dr. Bachorik is relocating from Manila, Philippines, where he worked as the Director of Music Studies at Bob Jones Memorial Bible College for the last 21 years. Prior to that, he worked as the Director of Music at the Minnesota State Community and Technical College for five years.

A Growing Passion

Bachorik grew up in Orlando, Florida, and was saved at an early age on a bus on the way to a Christian camp. When he was in fifth grade, his passion for music was ignited. His class attended a live concert of the Florida Symphony Orchestra and Bachorik spent the whole time watching the brass section.

“I planned to start trumpet in the school band next year,” Bachorik explained. “In grade 6, my teacher slipped me onto the bus to attend the concert again, but that time my eyes were on the conductor. I decided then that I was going to be a conductor!”

In seventh grade, he assisted in leading his church’s children’s choir and by his senior year of high school, was leading the church choir. He attributes his furthered passion for conducting to his high school band director. “I loved his passion for excellence in music-making (he pushed us hard) and his love for us to grow in character. I wanted to become a conductor and music teacher because I felt the same twin desires – a love of music and people.”

Bachorik received a B.S. in Music Education from Bob Jones University, an M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Oklahoma, and a Ph.D. in Musicology from Durham University. As he progressed through his music studies, Bachorik’s desire for music ministry in the local church grew.

“My understanding of and burden for using music in worship and discipleship solidified and became a major thrust of my work. I confess a love affair with music, music making, and helping others perform, whether in the ‘secular’ realm of classical music or music ministry. How remarkable that we can create aural art that helps us see our Creator profoundly and intuitively and, with the correct lyrics, encourages us to be more like him! After the preaching of God’s word, I can’t think of anything more wonderful to be involved in.”

A New Ministry

Bachorik met his wife, Ruth, during his undergraduate years at Bob Jones. Over the years, the Lord blessed them with five children, two sons-in-law, and one daughter-in-law. The Bachoriks are active in their local church, whether in the States or the Philippines. Dr. and Mrs. Bachorik served in a variety of ministries at their local church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and loved the ministry they had there.

“But after about four years,” Bachorik explains, “the Lord began to prod me about going into full-time ministry. After more than a year of prayer and discussion, we answered God’s call to ministry but did not know where the Lord would take us. It was about that time that I read about a Bible college ministry of Gospel Fellowship Association in Manila. Bob Jones Memorial Bible Institute (named after the evangelist Bob Jones, Sr.) was looking for someone to start a music program.” The Bachoriks took a survey trip, prayed about and considered the opportunity for several months, and then followed the Lord’s leading to the Philippines.

“God has used us in establishing and developing the music program, starting a music publishing ministry, mentoring and counseling students, evangelistic ministries, service in Filipino churches, and ministry in churches and seminaries around east Asia,” Bachorik expounded.

God was good to the Bachorik’s ministry in the Philippines, allowing them to train national believers and encourage other missionaries on the field in the Philippines and around the world. But He began a new work in their hearts about five years ago.

A Significant Change

“During our deputation travels,” Bachorik shared, “we stated that we thought we would be in the Philippines for 15-20 years and then move to a new place. At one point, we moved away from the focus, thinking we would spend the rest of our lives here training people for ministry in Southeast Asia.” But five years ago, the Lord challenged Bachorik not to become too comfortable in his current ministry.

The Bachoriks had met Dr. and Mrs. Ledgerwood during their deputation travels and were familiar with Maranatha’s music program as two of their daughters studied music at Maranatha. So, when Dr. Ledgerwood mentioned to Dr. Bachorik a few years ago that his retirement was drawing closer and asked if Dr. Bachorik would consider applying for the position when the time came, he agreed to pray about it. At the time, neither Dr. Bachorik nor his wife felt that the Lord was calling them to leave the Philippines.

Last year, MBU administration reached out to Dr. Bachorik, asking him to prayerfully consider the role of Chair of the Department of Music as Dr. Ledgerwood would be stepping down from that position at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. “Ruth and I entered into almost three months of discussion, prayer, counsel seeking, and examining our ministry in the Philippines—one of the most agonizing periods of our married life,” Bachorik explained. At the end of that time, the Bachoriks knew that God was preparing them for the significant change of moving back to the States.

“Perhaps one of the final pieces of the puzzle was conversations with various music faculty and the administration,” Bachorik stated. “I became even more convinced that we were thinking very similarly, heading in the same direction theologically and philosophically. Ultimately, the Lord gave us a burden that we could not ignore.”

A Legacy Continued

Maranatha has a strong musical heritage built on the legacies of Mrs. Cedarholm, Dr. and Mrs. Burckart, Dr. Budahl, and Dr. Ledgerwood to name a few. With each passing of the baton, the quality of academics in the Department of Music is strengthened because of the foundation laid before. Each new era of leadership has striven to carry out the mission of Maranatha “to the praise of His glory” and Dr. Bachorik is no exception.

“I pray that our service with the outstanding music faculty at MBU will be a time of continued and growing strengthening of students in all areas of the music profession and ministry. And I hope our music department continues to be an effective partner in the overall mission of MBU in strengthening local churches and furthering the cause of Christ in the USA and far beyond.”

Maranatha Baptist University is honored to have Dr. Douglas Bachorik join the Department of Music as the Chair. The administration looks forward to seeing the musical legacy continue to grow under his leadership.