Dr. David Oliver Named Chairman of the Board of Trustees

WATERTOWN, Wis., July 3, 2024 — On June 7, 2024, Dr. David Oliver, Pastor of Ashley Baptist Church in Belding, Michigan was unanimously voted in as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the third such person to hold the office in the school’s 56-year history. His predecessor, Dr. Doug Jackson of Saginaw, Michigan, announced his retirement earlier this year, after serving 30+ years as Chairman.

A board member for ten years before becoming Chairman, Dr. Jackson served Maranatha with steadfast direction for four decades, exhibiting outstanding leadership and unwavering support in both the best and worst of times. As one of the few remaining board members to have personally known all of Maranatha’s presidents, his breadth of knowledge provided an invaluable perspective for the Board, enabling it to steward the institution’s resources well. Dr. Jackson brought discipline and clarity in the decision-making process and was a constant champion of MBU’s values and purpose.

Dr. Marty Marriott, Chancellor, expressed his appreciation for Dr. Jackson’s service: “Dr. Jackson never missed a meeting in forty years, traveling 100K miles in over a hundred trips to Wisconsin from Michigan. He was a staunch defender of the University’s mission and supportive of the president and executive leadership, and his strong leadership helped guide the Board through accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. He maintained unity within the Board, encouraged input and collaboration, ensured the Board never interfered with daily operational decisions, and was willing to change and improve without sacrificing the University’s founding mission to train leaders. He has been a faithful husband, pastor, and father as well.” Dr. David Anderson, MBU’s President, added, “Dr. Jackson is a man of faithful, biblical hope. He lives and ministers in the reality of God’s promised presence and wisdom. All that know him, know him as an exceedingly generous man, using his generosity to encourage students, faculty, and staff alike.”

Reflecting on his own role as Chairman, Dr. Jackson recalled his appointment to the position at a relatively young age: “Dr. Cedarholm had a great impact on my life. When he asked me to consider the position of Chairman, I felt that I owed him and the college a great debt. But today — ‘Doc, paid in full.’ I praise the Lord for the opportunity I’ve had to serve here, and I think the University is in great shape. I would not be retiring as the Chairman of the Board if I didn’t think we were in good hands and doing well. Let’s carry on for the cause of Christ, and live to the praise of His glory!”

Taking the torch of leadership as the new Chairman, Dr. Dave Oliver is no stranger to MBU. He has been a member of the Board since 2018, and in addition to his earned Doctor of Ministry, was recently conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity by Maranatha, in recognition of his sacrificial faithfulness in ministry and dedication to the cause of Christian education. He is a faithful pastor, excellent preacher and skilled writer and communicator. As a leader of pastors in Michigan, Dr. Oliver has proved himself to be an effective, passionate evangelist. He takes annual mission trips, is the current president of Neighborhood Bible Time, and has served as local police and fire chaplain for many years. Dr. Anderson shared, “Dr. Oliver is consistently selfless, making him a quick and faithful friend to those to whom he ministers. His love of the Word of God, clear understanding and practice of Baptist Fundamentalist doctrine, and passion for local church ministry well align him for the leadership of our Board of Trustees.”

“The vital contribution of the Board of Trustees would be impossible to overstate,” said Dr. Matt Davis, CEO. “The roles of the Chairman as leader, wise counselor, and guardian are key to the success of the crucial relationship between the Board and administration. I thank God for the honor of serving with Dr. Jackson, learning from his wise approach to Board leadership, and benefiting from the legacy of faithfulness he secured over four decades as Chairman. He was a firsthand eye witness to the Miracle of Maranatha in those early days. And, he helped us maintain the pioneering spirit that balances fidelity with innovation. Dr. Oliver has proven himself to be a tremendous friend to Maranatha. His insightful and powerful preaching on campus has blessed and encouraged the Maranatha family. His life’s testimony demonstrates an unflinching commitment to God’s Word and developing leaders for ministry in the local church to the glory of God. That is Maranatha’s mission, and we look forward to enthusiastically serving together in the years ahead.”

Photo credit: Emma Doyel. Pictured L to R: Dr. Marty Marriott, Dr. Matt Davis, Dr. David Oliver, Dr. Doug Jackson, Dr. David Anderson