I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. — 2 Timothy 4:1-4
Jan Markell is truly a “watchman on the wall” (Isaiah 62:6). She loves her Lord and His Church. She boldly asserts that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. And she has dedicated herself to guarding His Church from both internal heresies and external attacks.
She is a very unlikely candidate to serve the Lord as a prophetic voice to our nation. She was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she grew up in a home with an Orthodox Jewish father and an elapsed Evangelical mother.1
When she was 11 years old, some Christian neighbors invited her to go with them to a nearby Baptist Church to hear the famous Messianic evangelist named Hyman Appleman (1902-1983). She later said that she was not sure she understood all that he was talking about, “but that man convicted me.”2
When she shared his message with her mom, she got convicted also and decided to get the both of them active in a church where they could grow in the faith. “We ultimately found a solid Baptist church, and we got very involved.”3 It happened to be a church where Bible prophecy was taught, and so, as a teenager, Jan began to learn God’s Prophetic Word.
Getting into Ministry
When she was 30 years old, Markell visited Israel, read Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth, and got involved with Messianic Judaism — all in one year’s time!4 For two years she worked with Jews for Jesus. Then, in 1982, she formed her own ministry and called it Olive Tree Ministries.
Those early years of ministry were very busy and exciting:5
When I began Olive Tree Ministries, I ministered in hundreds of churches, home fellowships, women’s groups, and even some men’s groups. Every week I would pile my small vehicle with a 12 string guitar, sound and audio-visual equipment, books, and a map and head toward destinations large and small. My audiences were enthusiastic as I shared messages focusing on Bible prophecy, Israel, Israel in prophecy, Christ in the Passover, Jewish evangelism and current events.
But this frenetic activity did not last for long. In 1985 she was forced to greatly curtail her ministry due to being afflicted with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.6 She battled this condition for 21 years until August of 2000 when she was very suddenly and miraculously healed.7
In April of 2001, with her new-found energy, Markell started a radio program on one local station. A year later, she started holding Bible prophecy conferences. As she put it to me in an email message, “I was in my 50s kind of starting over.”8
Today, her radio program is syndicated on the Salem Radio Network and is broadcast weekly over 850 radio stations. Her annual prophecy conference attracts an audience of 3,000 to 4,000 per day.9 Her listeners say “Jan is a reality check on the news.”10
When asked if she preferred to be called a Messianic Jew or a Christian Jew, she replied, “I am just a Bible believing Christian with a Jewish heritage.”11
Her mom died of cancer in 1987. Her dad became a believer in Yeshua in his waning years. Jan spent two years at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota where she earned an Associate degree. She has never married. Her ministry headquarters is located in Maple Grove, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.
Jan Markell is a strong woman with strong opinions, but one interesting thing I discovered is that she often expresses her opinions through other people. She does this through the people she invites to speak at her conferences, through those she selects to interview on the radio, and through the authors she quotes extensively in her articles.
In the second segment of Jan Markell’s denunciation of apostasy in the Church, we’ll look at her views on how the Church should look at Israel.
1) Personal email message from Jan Markell to the author dated April 24, 2017, page 2.
5) Jan Markell, “An Open Door Closes,” April 4, 2017, www.olivetreeviews.org/news/headlines/item/12501-an-open-door-closesjan-markell, page 1.
6) Email message, April 24, 2017, page 3.
10) Worldview Times, “Jan Markell,” http://old.worldviewweekend.com/world view-times/bio.php?authorid=23.
11) Email message, April 24, 2017, page 3.