About Us



Viola Bible Church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. This means the the church is operated as an independent entity but, it cooperates with other Southern Baptist Churches for the purposes of strengthening each other and supporting the spread of the Gospel around the world.

As part of the Southern Baptist Convention, Viola Bible Church cooperates with the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention and the Southern Minnesota Baptist Association to take the Gospel to "every community and every place" in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Our Church's History

Viola Bible Church has a long history. Our church was organized by a group of believers in 1867 who came to be known as the United Brethren Church. During the early decades, the congregation experienced several milestones - calling several pastors, locating property in Viola to build a church upon and growth in numbers of members, giving and church ministries. Membership dwindled during the 1930s and 1940s and the church was closed until Rev. John Larsen reopened the church in 1945 as the Viola Community Church. In 1973, the church became independent during the 25 year pastorate of Vern Merck. When Les Stevens became the bivocational pastor of Viola Bible Church in 2007, the congregation agreed to affiliate with the Southern Baptist Convention.

In 2017, Pastor Les felt the call to plant a new church in the Chester Woods area of Southeastern Rochester, passing the pastorate to Robert Morgan.

Pastor Morgan retired in December of 2017. Since then Pastor Jim Benson has been helping guide the congregation.

Even though Viola Bible Church has a long history behind us, we believe God is still eager to work in the lives of men, women, boys and girls today. We believe our world is facing great challenges. These are days when God desires to have personal relationships with each and every person. We invite you, your family and friends to be a part of our church family.