—By Father DavidDO89729 December 1979
1. MAYBE HEAVEN'S GOING TO BE LIKE WHAT YOU DREAM ABOUT! Maybe you dream up your own Heaven: Maybe what you get in Heaven is what you always dreamed of! I remember William Branham, a famous prophet that I met in Arizona & California, telling about how he dreamed about Heaven.
2. HE & HIS WIFE WERE CAUGHT IN A BIG FLOOD & he lost her & couldn't find her. He finally found her at the hospital, but she was dying. She died from exposure & shock. (Maria: A flood in the U.S.?) Yes, I think it was the famous big Ohio flood when the water rose 50 feet!
3. WILLIAM BRANHAM GOT VERY SICK & got tuberculosis from exposure & cold & wandering around in the wet & the water & everything & he nearly died too. In fact, I think he wanted to die because he'd lost his wife & child in the flood. Of course it's one of the things that really brought him to the Lord & made him such a great man.
4. HE SAID THAT WHILE HE WAS SO SICK in the hospital & telling the Lord he wanted to die, that he... you know what? He might have had a death experience! He said he dreamed that he was walking across these beautiful flowery fields surrounded by wooded hills, & there was this beautiful little cottage there.
5. HIS WIFE & LITTLE CHILD RAN OUT TO GREET HIM & took him in their arms & loved him & said, "We're so glad that you got here! It's so lovely here!" She took him into the cottage & said, "We've even saved your favourite old rocking chair!", & there it was sitting in the livingroom. He sat down & rocked in it & thought, "How beautiful, how beautiful!" He said,
6. "I REALISED I MUST BE IN HEAVEN because there was my wife & child, but I never dreamed it was going to be this beautiful!—Just like I always wanted! Just like the little cottage we used to live in with my old favourite rocking chair back in Kentucky!—Only it was even more beautiful & better!"
7. IT WAS ALL SO BEAUTIFUL! His wife was so beautiful & the baby was so beautiful & the baby was there & everything! It was all so pretty, & friends were visiting & relatives. Then he said he woke up & he was still there in bed in the hospital very sick—but happy!
8. HE SAID THEN HE WAS REALLY HAPPY BECAUSE HE KNEW HIS WIFE HAD GONE TO BE WITH THE LORD & that she was happy & the baby was happy. They were in a nice beautiful cottage in Heaven with his old favourite rocking chair, so he wasn't sad anymore about it. He was very happy then, & he got so happy he lived!
9. HE HAD FAITH TO LIVE THEN, because he knew his wife & his baby were taken care of & they were okay, & he got well. It was almost like a miracle! The Lord almost immediately healed him & he got better really quick & was cured of TB!
10. HE SOON MET ANOTHER VERY SWEET GIRL THAT HE MARRIED‚ & I think had three children by her. He said he understood why the Lord took his first wife‚ because she wasn't very spiritual & she didn't know the Lord very well. She was rather fearful & worried a lot. They were very poor & she complained a lot about what they had to suffer & all, & she wasn't much of an encouragement to his spiritual life.
11. HE SAID HE REALISED THEN THAT IT WAS BEST THAT THE LORD HAD TAKEN HER, because she wasn't very happy in this world.—And the baby with her, I suppose, so she could take care of the baby. Then he met this woman who was very deeply spiritual, really knew & loved the Lord & was a great encouragement to his spiritual life, a real inspiration, played piano, sang & everything else, because he was beginning to be a preacher.
12. HE BEGAN GIVING HIS TESTIMONY ALL AROUND in churches, like my mother:—About the horrible experience in the flood when they were swept away, his wife dying & his miraculous healing & experiences.
13. WILLIAM BRANHAM WAS ABOUT 10 YEARS OLDER THAN I, & he was just a young fellow then. I think I must have been a teenager when it happened & he was a married young man & had a child & was working.
14. HE'D KNOWN THE LORD ALL HIS LIFE & HAD THIS GIFT OF PROPHETIC VISIONS seeing things happen, sometimes years ahead! He lived as a little boy near the banks of the Ohio River at a time when there was no bridge over the river at Louisville at all. They just had ferries.
15. HE WAS ABOUT 9 YEARS OLD & HE SAW THIS HUGE BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER & he saw men falling off of it into the river! He went home really scared & told his mother & she thought it was a child's imagination. But about 20 years later they built that bridge, & there was something like a dozen men who fell off the bridge & were killed while they were building it! He had seen that happen!
16. HE HAD THIS GIFT ALL HIS LIFE. He'd know things & see things before they happened. Or someone would lose something & he'd know where it was, he'd seen where it was. Or some accident would happen or be about to happen & he'd warn somebody that it was going to happen.
17. HE CALLED IT THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE, to know things that other people didn't know or beforehand. He'd just see pictures of it happening. That's how he got into healing people‚ he'd see pictures of whether they were going to be healed or not. He didn't claim to have the gift of healing at all.
18. PEOPLE WOULD COME TO HIM WITH SOME ILLNESS or sickness & he'd tell them whether they were going to get well or die or what. A lot of times they didn't even know what they had‚ the doctors couldn't even tell them, & he'd tell them what was wrong with them. He could just see it. He would pray for them & lots of them got healed.
19. HE BEGAN JUST BY TELLING HIS LIFE STORY: How he & his wife were swept away in the flood & his wife & baby died‚ & he nearly died, & his vision of Heaven & how he began to want to live then because Heaven was so beautiful! First he wanted to die & then he wanted to live then because Heaven was so beautiful! First he wanted to die & then he wanted to live because he wanted to tell other people about the Lord. So he began giving his testimony & became quite popular in the churches going around telling his story. So he sort of became a preacher.
20. HE WAS VERY SIMPLE. He hadn't had much education at all, & he butchered the king's English! He was just a simple little hillbilly boy really, & he just spoke so simply, like a little child.
21. THEY WERE SO POOR HE HAD TO GO TO WORK right away to help his family because his father died & his mother was a widow then‚ & she had several children. He could remember living in a cold little shack in Kentucky when they ran out of fuel & it was ice cold, there was even ice inside the house! Then his mother couldn't take it anymore & his mother died, & he went to live with his grandmother. He had all kinds of terrible tragedies in his life.
22. THERE WAS ALWAYS THIS VOICE SPEAKING TO HIM THAT ENCOURAGED HIM, that he knew must be the voice of God. Once, he was out in the woods when there was no wind or anything & this whole tree just shook! The leaves rustled & shook & sort of blew, just this one tree, like Moses & the burning bush! He stood there & looked & thought, "That's funny! There's no wind & the other trees aren't doing that."
23. THE LORD APPARENTLY JUST DID IT TO GET HIS ATTENTION as a little boy—he was about 7 years old then. Then the Lord spoke out of the tree & told him to be a good boy. He'd been with some other bad boys that were smoking. The Lord said, "Don't smoke! You be a good boy & I'll take care of you. Some day you'll grow up to be a great man that will work for Me!" The voice of the angel called him right out of the shaking tree & it scared him!
24. HE KNEW IT MUST BE THE VOICE OF AN ANGEL or God or something. He ran home & told his mother. Most of the time they thought it was just his imagination that these things had happened, until he told them things that did happen, & then they began to believe him, that he really had a gift. So he went around giving his testimony & even telling about his calling & his gift.
25. PEOPLE BEGAN TO COME TO HIM & WANT TO KNOW THINGS. "I lost my son," or "I haven't seen my brother for years, where is he?" or‚ "I lost some money that we hid & I can't remember where I put it" & things like that. He'd just see pictures of it. Or, "I'm sick & the doctors don't know what's wrong with me."—He'd just see a picture of a tumor or cancer or something & tell them what was going to happen.
26. SO OF COURSE HE BECAME VERY FAMOUS AS WILLIAM BRANHAM THE MODERN PROPHET! I think there's a book on his life. I'm sure that the Pentecostal Evangel Publishing House in Springfield, Mo. USA would probably have it‚ although they turned against him finally. The Assemblies of God sponsored him for awhile because he was so famous & drew crowds of thousands! We heard about him quite a bit from various religious sources & in Los Angeles when we were there, but we had never gotten to hear him.
27. IN THOSE VERY DISCOURAGING DAYS AFTER I GOT KICKED OUT OF THE CHURCH that I built in Valley Farms, Arizona, I had gone back to college at the University of Arizona at Tempe. We were living there & we heard that Branham had come to Phoenix. So we went to hear him.
28. EVE HAD A TERRIBLE TIME TRYING TO PERSUADE ME TO GO because I was so fed up with churches & church people & religion & Christianity & everything.—Everything except for the Lord! I knew He was real, but I was sure fed up with church people, & I'd seen so many evangelists as religious racketeers!
29. I SAID, "OH, I DON'T WANT TO GO, I'VE SEEN THEM ALL! They're all a bunch of promoters & show men & whatnot, & I've seen it all!" She said, "Well just come, just this once, & if you don't like it, we won't go anymore. Just come just to see. He's famous!" So we went & took all the kids to this huge big tent that held several thousand people.
30. THEY HAD A LOT OF MUSIC & PRAYER & PRAISING & shouting hallelujah, a Pentecostal meeting, & that was all interesting. Then one preacher after another would get up & make a speech. All these little preachers from the local churches ride along on the coattails of the big preachers & sit on the platform. I kept waiting for the big evangelist.
31. THERE WAS THIS ONE LITTLE HICKY HILLBILLY PREACHER THAT KEPT TALKING, & who used all kinds of bad English. He was talking away giving his testimony & I thought, "That's interesting, but when is this big evangelist coming on anyhow? When is this bigshot coming on, the big boy, the famous fellow?" And I turned to Eve & asked her, "I wonder when William Branham's coming on?" She said, "That is William Branham!" I said,
32. "THAT'S WILLIAM BRANHAM, WORLD FAMOUS PROPHET & EVANGELIST?—That little tiny shrimp up there that's talking in that little weak voice & butchers the King's English—that's William Branham the great prophet & evangelist?—No!" She said‚ "That's he, that's the one! I'm sure that's the one."
33. I'D MISSED IT WHEN THEY INTRODUCED HIM because I was getting so bored with all these different preachers getting up & giving their testimony & preaching. The service must have gone on an hour & a half or two hours before he came on. You know how those Pentecostals are, they can go on four, five & six hours in a service!
34. BUT THEN I BEGAN TO REALLY LISTEN WHEN HE WAS TELLING HIS LIFE STORY about when he was a little boy & it was so cold & he was an orphan living here & there so poor. Then he had these dreams & visions & these experiences‚ hearing voices & seeing things, & how God dealt with him & spoke to him even when he was small. I guess that's sort of like what I went through too when I used to go out in the woods & walk.
35. IT SEEMED LIKE I COULD HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD SO CLEARLY! Not out loud like he did, but it just seemed like the Lord spoke to me in everything:—Every flower, every bush, every tree, every animal, every scene‚ every sunset‚ like the Lord was explaining everything to me. Isn't that something? The voice of the Spirit was so clear! That's one reason I liked to go out & get away from everybody & walk through the woods alone.
36. HIS TESTIMONY WAS SO LONG HE HAD TO CONTINUE IT FROM NIGHT TO NIGHT. He was mostly telling about being a little boy this first night & about growing up & getting married & working as a carpenter & almost to the flood. Then he said it was too late & he'd have to continue the next night. So of course everybody came back to hear about the flood.
37. THE NEXT TIME HE TOLD MOSTLY ABOUT THE FLOOD & his wife dying & how he nearly died. Then it was too late again & I had to come back the next night to hear some more about how the Lord saved him & healed him. The first night was about his childhood, the next night about the flood, then the next night about his salvation, his dream of Heaven & all that. We just loved it!
38. WE LISTENED & IT WAS SO ENCOURAGING, because he was not any particular church member or anything, he hadn't really had too much church when he was a boy. He was real poor & kind of a real hillbilly‚ what would have been considered very low white trash when I was a kid, like migrant workers & cotton pickers. (Maria: What a testimony, how the Lord can use somebody like that!—No matter who you are!) Yes!
39. SO WE TOOK THE KIDS BACK EVERY NIGHT‚ & they loved it because he was so simple & so childlike the older kids could even understand it. They were all exciting stories of experiences, not just sermons. They were real experience stories, exciting stories about dreams & visions & miracles & experience with the flood. So we were quite thrilled.
40. I THINK THE LORD REALLY SENT HIM ALONG AT THAT TIME TO BE A GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT IN MY LIFE because it really really encouraged me. It was then, at the end of his meetings, that all the preachers were invited to a special Christian Businessmen's Luncheon at this big hotel.
41. SOMEHOW OR ANOTHER A FRIEND OF OURS GOT ME AN INVITATION & a ticket, because it cost a dollar-and-a-half, & that was a lot of money in those days! Of course in a way it was a money-raiser too, but it was something special just for all the preachers after the meeting was over. I went, & it so happened that the Lord sat me down almost right straight across from him at the next table!
42. HE HAD A GOOD MESSAGE FOR THE PREACHERS, all kinds of good things about how they ought to live it more & they ought to get their people out witnessing more, they ought to get their people to really live the Gospel more than just sitting in church. I thought, "Boy, that's terrific! Just like what we were preaching!"
43. I WAS SITTING RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM‚ about 20 feet away.—Right where he couldn't escape seeing this poor young preacher sitting there in front of him. I was about 30 by this time & we had all four children & had just been kicked out of the church at Valley Farms.
44. HE KEPT LOOKING AT ME & I just knew that he was conscious I was there. I was just sort of sucking on him, drawing on him, because I was so desperately in need of encouragement. I was almost ready to give up.
45. I WAS REALLY DISCOURAGED & WONDERING WHAT TO DO. Here I was a poor preacher with 4 kids & kicked out of my church & virtually out of my denomination because they wouldn't give me another church. What was I to do? I'd just gone back to college on the GI bill. Spring session was almost over. Summer was coming‚ & at this school they didn't have much in the way of courses during summer.
46. WE WERE WONDERING WHAT TO DO, WHERE TO GO. We had this little old Model-A Ford, little V-8 we bought from an old lady for $400, & I had this motion picture projector with a film on Palestine. That was about all I owned beside the big library of books that I finally gave away to the college in Tempe.
47. I WAS SITTING THERE SUCKING ON HIM & DRAWING ON HIM, just really hungry to get some little word of encouragement from him. A lot of it was very encouraging. It must have been so obvious in the Spirit, the spiritual magnetism must have been so strong, because after all, he was a prophet & he'd had all these experiences about people.
48. I WAS DRAWING ON HIM SO STRONG THAT HE LOOKED ME STRAIGHT IN THE EYE! There were about 300 preachers at this big luncheon, & it was sort of like he was speaking generally to all of them in a way‚ but he was looking me right in the eye & I knew he was talking to me. This could have applied to a lot of the guys of course‚ because we were all out in the middle of the desert in Phoenix. He said,
49. "IT DOESN'T MATTER, YOUNG FELLOW, IF YOU CAME OUT HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT to PASTOR A LITTLE CHURCH & they don't seem to appreciate you. Just be faithful to the Lord, & God's going to do great things for you."—And I just broke down & wept because I knew that was the word for me!
50. THEN AS WE WENT OUT‚ HE STOOD BY THE DOOR like the typical pastor or preacher shaking hands with everybody going out. Of course he had seen in his talk that I was deeply moved & I was sitting there weeping. As I came to him to shake his hand going out the door,
51. HE THREW HIS ARMS AROUND ME & HUGGED ME & kissed me & said‚ "Don't worry, son, don't worry. Everything's going to be all right." Then he quoted that same little verse from the Philadelphia Prophecy. (See Letter No.695.) He said,
52. "THE LORD IS GOING TO OPEN UNTO YOU A GREAT DOOR THAT NO MAN CAN CLOSE. He's going to close all these other doors that no man can open. Don't even try to open them. The Lord's going to open unto you a great door‚ greater than anything you ever dreamed of!—A door that no man can close!" (Rev.3:7-18.) Of course I had no idea what it was. I thought it might be some big church or something‚ talking about doors.
53. SO I WENT OFF WEEPING THEN, HAPPY & ALMOST WALKING ON AIR because I'd had this message of encouragement straight from the Lord, that the Lord was still going to use me! I had felt like maybe my ministry was up, that I was done. After all, my denomination didn't like me anymore because I'd sassed them back & been rebellious to them when they wanted me to leave the church & I wouldn't leave.
54. AFTER THAT WE FELT THAT THE LORD WANTED US TO GO BACK TO LOS ANGELES to go to a Christian college instead of going to a secular college. I thought maybe if I couldn't be a preacher, maybe I could be a teacher! So we piled all of our stuff on that old Ford! You should have seen it! We had stuff piled on top, a baby bed & everything else, almost as high again as the car was itself! We had the whole inside loaded so full that the stuff was higher than the level of the back of the front seat! We'd sit 3 in the front & then we'd have 3 of the kids spread out flat with just barely enough room to clear between the luggage & the ceiling where they could sleep. They had to lie there even when they were awake because it was the only place there was.
55. MY MOTHER MUST HAVE KNOWN I WAS DISCOURAGED, because we had an invitation from her to come to Los Angeles to visit her while we were getting readjusted & trying to find what we were going to do. She had a fairly good-sized house, & we lived in one end. It had this big very large sort of meeting room where she was trying to open up a church & have meetings. I think she thought we could help her, & we did.
56. WE WENT THERE, BUT IT DIDN'T PAN OUT VERY WELL. She was still pretty churchy, you know, & we'd kind of broken away from churches. That experience cured me of ever wanting to be a part of the church system again, & so we wanted to move in to town.
57. THE BEST COLLEGE I COULD THINK OF TO GO TO WAS LIFE BIBLE COLLEGE which was Amiee Semple McPherson's. Mother sort of encouraged that too because she liked Amiee. It was a big college, well known & respected at Angeles Temple. It was Foursquare, a Pentecostal denomination founded by Amiee Semple McPherson.
58. IT WAS TOO LATE TO GET IN ON THE SUMMER SESSION at LIFE, as it was called‚ the Los Angeles Institute of Foursquare Evangelism. It eventually became known as Life Bible College. You know they keep getting hoity-totier all the time. They start off as a little Bible School‚ then Bible Institute, then become a Bible College, & then finally a Christian University, & eventually nothing at all!
59. I DECIDED I'D BETTER GO INTO TOWN TO GET AN APARTMENT & TRY TO GET A JOB for the Summer so I'd be ready to go to Bible College in the Fall. You can't even go to Life Bible College or a Christian College for nothing! So as a man with a wife & family I needed a job.
60. IT WAS REALLY MIRACULOUS BECAUSE WE FOUND A LITTLE TINY ONE-BEDROOM APARTMENT just up this road which sort of wound up into the hills from Life Bible College. It was almost in downtown Los Angeles because the city had grown up around there since she'd built the Temple. When she first built it, it was out there beside a park, Echo Park. But the city had grown so, since she built the Angeles Temple & the college, that the city had built up around it.
61. WHEN WE GOT SETTLED IN THE APARTMENT IT WAS ALMOST TIME FOR SCHOOL TO BEGIN FOR THE CHILDREN. So we looked around to find some Christian school to put them in, because we'd had them in Christian schools most of the time‚ Deborah at least, & now Aaron was ready for school. (Maria: But that costs money‚ doesn't it?) Well yes, it usually does. But I figured I was going to earn some.
62. IT TURNED OUT THAT "LIFE" DIDN'T HAVE ANY PROVISION FOR CHILDREN, no academy or Christian school for little kids. It seemed kind of stupid for them not to have any provision for children & send them off to those secular anti-Christ schools in the System!
63. BUT THERE WAS A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL NOT FAR AWAY run by some old friends of my mother. She'd been a very good friend of the wife of this man, as I recall, the daughter of the famous Turnbulls. We went to Turnbull's church a good deal while I was there too. That was another thing which had sort of led us more & more into Pentecost previously. They had this Christian School, Evangelistic Temple Christian School, which was even within walking distance!
64. SO WE WENT THERE TO PUT OUR KIDS IN SCHOOL. I can't remember everything that happened in between, but by the time we went there to put our kids in school, school had been on for about five weeks already. When we went to put our kids in school, the school superintendent said, "Well‚ we take preachers' kids for half price." But he said,
65. "SAY LISTEN, CAN YOU DRIVE A BUS?" And I said, "Well sure, I'm a good driver. I've been driving all my life." He said, "Well, one of our bus drivers just quit & we're out of a driver for our school bus. I've got all my kids on my hands here & 50 of 'em have got to go home on the bus & I don't know what to do. I've got to get somebody to drive the bus. Have you got a job?" I said, "No, not yet." He said, "Well, I'll give you a job right here!
66. "I'LL LET YOUR KIDS GO TO SCHOOL FREE IF YOU JUST DRIVE THIS SCHOOL BUS!" (Maria: Did he pay you too?) Oh yes, of course. I think it was only $150 a month. That was barely enough to live on, but it was enough in those days. I said, "Okay, I'll try." He said‚ "The driver that's leaving is here. You go study the map with him real quick so you'll know the route before school's out & take all these kids home." Oh me, that was a nightmare!
67. THANK GOD I KNEW LOS ANGELES REAL WELL! I knew the streets & everything because I had driven in & around L.A. for years. All I had to do was try to find these kids' houses or the neighborhood that they lived in. In those days they were doing a stupid thing: They were delivering the kids right to their doors‚ & I didn't believe in delivering any kids right to their doors unless they were real small.—And I finally cured that!
68. ANYWAY, THE DRIVER WENT WITH ME & GAVE ME HIS MAP OF THE ROUTE. He drove it that night & showed me the routes & where the kids all lived. The next morning he had me drive the bus while he stood beside me & showed me where to pick up all the kids, & then went home with me to see if I could find all the places.
69. IT'S QUITE AN ART TO DRIVE 50 KIDS HOME IN A CITY AS BIG AS LOS ANGELES! My whole route was 30 miles long & took me two hours to either pick 'em up or take 'em home! So I started to drive the bus & got paid for it, & the kids got to go to school free! We were happy & we got to be in Los Angeles where there are all kinds of big Gospel meetings & Pentecostal meetings & famous preachers & prophets & all the latest! So we were just like living in Seventh Heaven, & I only had to work about 4 hours a day!
70. AFTER I BROUGHT THE KIDS TO SCHOOL IN THE MORNING I'D WALK HOME because it wasn't too far. But sometimes because I liked to read I'd go in the church auditorium & sit down & read. They had a library, & I'd wait for the evening bus run & just watch the kids & do little odd jobs to help the teachers or whatever.
71. THEY WANTED TO HIRE ME ALSO AS THE JANITOR & have me do the church during the day, but that didn't exactly appeal to me. Not that I wasn't willing, but I was still looking for some opportunity for fulltime service for the Lord. About 5 weeks after I started driving the bus, poor Brother Wheeler, the Superintendent of the school, came out practically tearing his hair! He said,
72. "DAVID, DAVID, HAVE YOU EVER TAUGHT SCHOOL?" I said, "Well, I've taught Sunday school & I've preached in churches nearly all my life. I taught Bible classes & I've taught a little bit. One time I taught for two weeks in a public school, but I don't have any credentials. I never did finish my degree or anything." "Oh‚ that doesn't matter!" he said, "Teachers are born, not made! I want you to come quick & help me! I've got a class of 50 7th & 8th grade students, & the teacher's quitting!" I think it was the 4th teacher that had quit this class that term!
73. "YOU'VE JUST GOT TO COME & TEACH THIS CLASS! The teacher, Mrs. Outhouse, is quitting today!" She had been a missionary to Chile, & he said, "You've just got to come! She's leaving as soon as I can find somebody to substitute for her. Just come in & hold the class for a few days until I can find another teacher." I said, "Well, I guess I could do something." He said, "Don't worry, I'll pay you good, pay you good!" Well, I wound up in the long run teaching the class & getting $300 a month, twice as much salary!
74. I'LL NEVER FORGET THE DAY I WALKED INTO THAT ROOM! I walked in, & she was a great big buxom, I wouldn't say beauty, but red-headed monster almost! She got up when she saw us walk in, & she figured I was the new teacher right away for some reason when he introduced me. She slammed her book on the table in front of these 50 students & said,
75. "THANK GOD! I'M GOING BACK TO CHILE WHERE CHILDREN ARE CIVILISED & respect the teacher & really want to learn!"—& grabbed her stuff & stomped out of the room! I suppose it was probably true. They were a bunch of rapscallions!—If you can imagine, Los Angeles big–city kids, & a lot of them were practically juvenile delinquents that they'd taken to this school like it was a reformatory!
76. THE FIRST FEW DAYS OF THAT CLASS WERE SO HECTIC, I CAME NEAR TO GIVING UP! Here I was driving the school bus two hours ahead in the morning‚ then teaching school all day for six hours from 9 to 3, then driving the school bus again another two hours from 3 to 5, delivering all the kids home again! On the bus I had all ages, everything from little kids on up to the big bullies!
77. HOSEA WAS THERE GOING TO FIRST GRADE, Deborah was in 5th grade by this time, Aaron was in the 3rd grade & Faithy was still a little kid at home, two or three years old. I got to see my kids everyday at lunchtime or recess. They'd come running in & say, "Hi, Daddy!" & we had a lot of good experiences.
78. BUT SOME OF THOSE GUYS WERE PRETTY TOUGH & SOME OF THE GIRLS WERE PRETTY WILD! Some'd been sent there because they got kicked out of so many other schools! But their parents were either Christians or Pentecostals. Some of the parents were preachers & their kids were real rapscallions, real disciplinary cases!
79. IF YOU CAN IMAGINE, FOUR TEACHERS HAD QUIT BEFORE ME! I was the fifth within five weeks, that's about one a week! But the Lord really helped me & I just sort of clowned around for the kids, you know how I do, & they sort of liked me. But I didn't even know where we were in the books or anything!
80. ON TOP OF ALL THAT, HALF THE NIGHT I HAD TO STUDY THE BOOKS to try to catch up with the kids & stay at least one lesson ahead of them so I could be ready to give them their next assignment‚ & that was really a job!—Teaching two classes, both the 7th & 8th grades, about 25 kids in each class. It was almost impossible!—In one room!
81. IT WAS A HECTIC SITUATION! One morning I got up to shave before going to school & driving the bus, & I just said, "Lord, I can't take it! I'm just going to have a nervous or physical breakdown!" I said‚ "Lord, it's just too hard!"
82. SUDDENLY AS I WAS LOOKING IN THE MIRROR THAT SCRIPTURE CAME TO ME, "THEREFORE ENDURE HARDNESS"!—I was just telling the Lord it was too hard, & the Scripture said, "Therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!" (2Tim.2:3.) It was just the answer I needed! I needed to keep fighting & fight a good fight & endure hardness! And you know, that morning I really got the victory to quit worrying about it being so hard!
83. I GOT THE VICTORY & I REALLY FOUGHT & it just seemed like everything sort of began to be better! I knew the route real well & I got it really organised. I made the kids get out there waiting for me instead of my having to stand at the curb waiting for them, & at more convenient stops.
84. I FIGURED OUT PICKUP-SPOTS & A NEW BUS ROUTE. I'd go right to the house for the little kids that were just low graders, but for the bigger kids I didn't see any reason why they couldn't stand out at the corner like all the other school kids & wait for their school bus. I said, "You be here at such & such a time‚ & that's when I'll pick you up. If you're not here I'll just go sailing on by & forget it!"
85. BEFORE‚ I'D USED TO HAVE TO STAND OUT FIVE OR TEN MINUTES WAITING FOR THEM to finish their breakfast or get dressed or something, because the mother was late & blah blah! I just got fed up & wouldn't put up with that anymore! I said, "You be out here‚ & if I don't see you on this corner, if you're not in sight..!" Sometimes they would be running down the block, & if I could see them coming I'd stop of course, "...but if I can't see you, I'll go right on by, & your folks can bring you to school or you can have a holiday!" So I got the bus route really organised. I even got it boiled down to about an hour-&-a-half every morning & evening.—And
86. I TAUGHT SCHOOL ALL DAY, & I FINALLY GOT TO WHERE I REALLY ENJOYED IT! I lasted nearly 3 years there! I got double the salary of the other teachers: They just got $150 for teaching, & I got $150 for driving the bus & $150 for teaching school! So I got $300 a month‚ & that was good wages in those days! So I was soon able to buy a house & furnish it. We also bought a trailer, getting ready to go back out in evangelistic work, & we'd go out every summer. We went out the two summers in between, & then finally in the third year left.
87. BY THIS TIME WE'D ALREADY HEARD ABOUT FRED JORDAN & THE SOUL CLINIC. Even when we were building the church at Valley Farms, we'd listen to their program. We were really sold on his message & his method & all, & he was fed up with the churches too!
88. HE HAD THIS BIG SCHOOL IN HUNTINGTON PARK FOR FAMILIES. They were sending whole families with little children to the foreign field & had about 300 missionaries! My own denomination wouldn't even send me because I had four! So we kept up with them the whole time. We went to their meetings often while we were there.
89. WE REALLY WANTED TO GO OUT IN THE SUMMER IN EVANGELISTIC WORK & work for the Lord however we could, & we'd bought this trailer & we were living in it. It was Christmas week & we were home for Christmas vacation from school. I didn't have to drive the bus or anything, & we heard this program inviting us to challenge the Lord.—It was the Soul Clinic!
90. "JUST GIVE EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT TO THE LORD & see if He won't do great things for you to use you" & so on. "Come on! If you've got a family & children, it doesn't matter. We'll take you in, feed you‚ house you, & send you to the mission field!" Well‚ that was a pretty tempting offer!
91. RIGHT THEN HE WAS BEGGING FOR MISSIONARIES FOR ISRAEL! Dear Fred, he didn't know anything about Israel. He didn't know it was virtually impossible to go there as a missionary. They passed laws against allowing any new Christian missionaries & adding any additional missionaries, & you couldn't proselytise because Israel's so anti-Christ! Well anyhow, we didn't know that, & I guess the Lord just used it as the bait, because I wanted to go Israel, & he was begging & pleading for missionaries for Israel!
92. I DECIDED, "WELL, THAT'S IT! I'M FED UP WITH THIS SCHOOL business & school bus! I'm going to go to that school!" So I went down & told Mr. Wheeler when we went back to school on Monday to teach, "Mr. Wheeler, I'm giving you notice now, I'll give you two weeks' notice!"—Which was about what they required then‚ as you got paid every two weeks.
93. "I WANT YOU TO FIND A TEACHER TO TAKE THIS CLASS as soon as you can. I'm going to that Soul Clinic School". He said‚ "Well, I understand Dave why you want to go. I know you're a preacher & you want to be a missionary, so I'll do the best I can."
94. DURING CHRISTMAS WEEK WE EVEN WENT TO CLASSES AT THE SOUL CLINIC just to see what it was like. Eve would stay home & take care of the kids, but she even went to a few & left the kids with somebody else. I was determined to go: It just sounded great to me & I had a great time! I said,
95. "IF IT'S THE LORD'S WILL FOR ME TO GO, HE'LL FIND A TEACHER, MR. WHEELER." And lo & behold you, that afternoon he walked in with two teachers! A couple that had taught there before had just returned & walked in to the school for a visit that afternoon! The husband was a preacher & the wife a preacher's wife and they were out of a job. Here were two teachers, which was what that class needed! He said,
96. "WELL, HERE THEY ARE! GOD ANSWERED YOUR PRAYER already!"—& I just said, "Thank the Lord!" I started to show him the bus route on the way home that night & the same thing next morning & helped him get adjusted to the class, which was more than they'd done for me! She helped him teach the class too.
97. I WAS IN CLASSES AT THE SOUL CLINIC THE NEXT AFTERNOON!—Tuesday afternoon! (Maria: So you just left?)—Boom!—Here they were, just like that! I'd told him I'd go as soon as they could find teachers, & the Lord sent them right in! PTL!—He never fails!
98. BUT THE SOUL CLINIC AT THAT TIME WAS HAVING A PROBLEM WITH TOO MANY FAMILIES at their school & so many kids, that they said, "We just haven't got room to house you!" Lotti, Fred's sister who handled applicants, said‚ "We can feed you if you can get to the school building."—That was the big six-story hotel downtown on Skid Row where they had one whole floor devoted to dining room & classroom & all that sort of thing, several floors of dormitories‚ & the bottom floor was a mission & chapel. She said,
99. "IF YOU CAN GET HERE TO THE SCHOOL‚ WE CAN FEED YOU three meals a day in the cafeteria, & you can come to the classes‚ but you'll have to house yourself. We haven't got another room for another family out at Huntington Park!" They housed the singles downtown & the families out at Huntington Park, & they kept the kids out there during the day while the parents came in to the school.
100. I SAID, "WELL, WE'VE GOT OUR LITTLE TRAILER."—That little black trailer that we bought to travel! We hadn't found our work yet really, but we were trying to prepare for it. We figured, "Well, now we're going to get sent to Israel to be missionaries!—Only a three-month course at the Soul Clinic & they send you to your field by faith!" I thought, "I'm soon going to be in Israel!" So we said,
101. "WE'LL STAY IN OUR TRAILER AT THE TRAILER PARK & trust the Lord for the money for the space rent. We'll come in to go to classes."—We had this old taxi cab. She said, "You can leave the kids in the daytime at Huntington Park at the nursery"—that's where Faithy got the lice—"and come on in & we'll feed you. The kids will be fed at the nursery, but we can't house you." So we stayed in our trailer.
102. WE GOT UP EARLY IN THE MORNING & ATE BREAKFAST TOGETHER in the trailer. I still had a little money left over in the bank. We'd drive over to the nursery & drop the kids off, & then drive on right downtown to the school. It was always hard to find a place to park, but anyhow, we did. A few times we went in on the streetcar.
103. WE TOOK THE SOUL CLINIC COURSE & THEY SENT US TO TEXAS. We took our trailer & had seven blowouts on the way! Then in Texas we were living in luxury compared to the rest of the missionary trainees: They were living in tents & under tarps & sheets of tin, & some of them just under the trees, roughing it‚ kind of like the hippies.
104. THE TEXAS SOUL CLINIC WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A MISSIONARY TESTING-GROUND. A few of those who got there first with families got cabins. But when they ran out of cabins you just had to live out on the grass under the trees, & there wasn't any grass & not much trees! But you were allowed to have a trailer, & we had a trailer. We were living in style compared to the rest of them! Even the cabins didn't have water & everything like we had! So we really had it made!
105. OH BOY‚ HOW I HATED THAT PLACE! The three months we were there were the hottest they had had in years! They had a three months' drought, where it was up to 110 degrees every single day for three months & no rain! When it finally did rain at the end, all that deep dust turned to deep mud! It was horrible, just terrible! I got fed up with the place & the whole thing, & said,
106. "I DON'T THINK THIS IS THE WAY TO TRAIN MISSIONARIES, sitting out here under the hot sun doing nothing, just trying to learn how to survive, not witnessing or anything, because it's too far to town to witness!" I was just going to quit the Soul Clinic & leave!
107. EVEN FRED CAME BY & SYMPATHISED WITH US before we left, & sat in our little trailer & gave us $10. I never dreamed I was going to be working for him for 15 years! Since we didn't have anything else to do, I had lots of time to work on my old taxi‚ & I overhauled the engine, put in new rings & everything so I'd be all ready to leave. I was going to just drive back to Los Angeles.
108. I THOUGHT EVEN TEACHING SCHOOL WAS BETTER THAN THIS, even driving a school bus! Because by that time they passed the new laws in Israel that you couldn't go‚ & there wasn't anyplace else I was interested in going. I thought, "I'll go back to Los Angeles & volunteer to go as a pioneer to a kibbutz!" I thought I'd go that way, because in the early days they were recruiting kibbutzers for the kibbutzes. (Maria: But what did you do at the Soul Clinic then? Did you have classes or anything?) Yes, we had classes every morning at the Texas Soul Clinic.
109. THIS OLD FARMER WAS SORT OF RUNNING TSC AT THE TIME & it was mostly classes & meetings & stuff like that. On the weekends they'd go in to witness in the big city. We had a lot of free time. It was mainly a kind of test course in survival. If you could survive at TSC you were doing great!
110. A LOT OF PEOPLE COULDN'T MAKE IT & QUIT. But a few made it & were appointed missionaries & went to the field. Of course the best promotional cases were what he took first:—Like this one guy with nine children he sent to Okinawa, an ex-serviceman who wanted to go back there & be a missionary to the servicemen. He was a great big guy who looked like John Wayne. He was a character! They finally made him head of the camp. It was an experience anyhow.
111. IF YOU STUCK IT OUT THREE MONTHS THEY'D GIVE YOU AN APPOINTMENT, which meant that you could have this paper that showed you were an appointed Soul Clinic missionary. Then you had to go out & spend three to six months still in the States on the road & try to raise your fare & your support in pledges: Your fare in cash & your monthly support of at least two or three hundred dollars in pledges from friends & contacts & church people or whoever.
112. BUT BY THE TIME THAT THREE MONTHS WAS UP THERE AT THE CAMP, I WAS FED UP with the whole thing & finished! I didn't even want to have anything to do with the Soul Clinic! I told Lee Shelley who was the missionary director, "I don't think you have to do it this way!
113. "I THINK YOU CAN GO BACK TO THE CHURCHES & CONVINCE THEM that they should witness! We've just got to take this message to the churches & tell the people. I believe you could get them to go out witnessing & win souls, & I want to be a missionary to the churches now, & I want to go tell them." Meanwhile‚ I had to figure out something to do. So we drove all the way back to Los Angeles with the car & trailer, & had a big breakdown on the way that delayed us a week!
114. EVE WAS SO MAD BY THIS TIME, BECAUSE I WAS QUITTING THE SOUL CLINIC‚ THAT WE LITERALLY SPLIT UP! She took the two younger children, Hosea & Faith‚ & went home. She said, "I'll go home till you make up your mind what you're going to do!" So she went home to Louisville, Kentucky‚ to her folks. We split up, & I took the two older children, Deborah & Aaron, & went out to live with my mother. That was really heartbreaking, that was a sad trip!
115. THE CAR BROKE DOWN BECAUSE I HADN'T PUT PROPER BEARINGS IN IT after I overhauled it. I did a good job, but I didn't know you had to put new bearings in too. The bearings battered up the driveshaft & we broke down & had to park out behind this garage for a week while they put in a new driveshaft that cost $90 that we had to borrow from Eve's brother. Finally my mother sent me the money to get the rest of the way to California. We were living with her & Dad, me & the two kids, while I was looking for a job.
116. SHE GOT ME THIS JOB WITH DR. MICHAELSON OF THE FIRST HEBREW CHRISTIAN SYNAGOGUE. He was a converted German Jewish judge & rabbi preaching the Gospel. He had about 500 radio stations all over the world preaching the Gospel to the Jews! Of course that was right down my alley, that's what I wanted to do! But it turned out to be an office job, which I soon got fed up with!
117. HE GAVE ME A FULLY-FURNISHED HOUSE FOR MY FAMILY, & I SENT FOR EVE, & she finally reluctantly came. She'd work in the office part time too, because there was a lot of office work, all the letter opening & filing etc. But sitting eight hours at a desk opening mail & reading mail & filing & all this, that really didn't appeal to me.
118. I TOLD DR. MICHAELSON I COULD DO BETTER THAN THIS JUST GOING OUT DOOR-TO-DOOR trying to win souls & witnessing to the Jews, & trust the Lord. He said, "Well, you just be patient & we'll have something for you." But, of course, he was short on office help, & good help is always hard to find. He used a lot of volunteers who weren't much good & made a lot of mistakes.
119. WE PUT OUR KIDS BACK IN THE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL where they'd been before, where I had taught & driven the bus. Of course they were always looking for help too‚ & right away they wanted me to drive the bus again. So I thought, "Well‚ that's not too bad."
120. I TOLD DR. MICHAELSON I COULD DRIVE THE BUS IN THE MORNING & BE AT WORK BY NINE in the office, but I'd have to get off two hours early in the afternoon to drive the bus between three & five, & they only operated the office till five when they'd close it up. I said I'd be willing to take less salary & everything, because I really wanted to get out & be more active.
121. WELL, IT WASN'T LONG UNTIL THE SCHOOL WANTED ME TO TEACH AGAIN, same class, same kids, everything. I was fed up with the office job, & I finally told Dr. Michaelson, "I can still work here part time, but they want me back at school." He said, "Well, you can't serve two masters. You'll have to vacate the house so I can have somebody else take your job." But he was real nice about it. He said,
122. "I'LL GIVE YOU A MONTH TO FIND ANOTHER PLACE." So we found another little house & bought it. It had an unfinished house beside it that I finished, & we furnished it & started living there. Dr. Michaelson was real good to us‚ he helped us with furniture, gave us a refrigerator & all kinds of things. He was real sweet & did all he could for us, I'm sure‚ largely because he was a good friend of my mother. So I went back to schoolteaching that year, but that's when I started getting sick with heart trouble & everything.
123. I THINK I REALLY GOT OUT OF THE WILL OF THE LORD GOING BACK TO THE SAME JOB that He'd once delivered me from. The Lord spoke to me several times, definitely in prophecies & Scriptures & verses in the Bible & so on, that we had to go.—Get out, just go! That's when I finally got that verse. I said, "What am I going to do, Lord, I've got these two houses now, fully furnished‚ with renters & everything?" He said,
124. "SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST & GIVE TO THE POOR, & COME FOLLOW ME‚ & thou shalt have riches in Heaven." (Mt. 19:21.) So I finally took it literally. I was getting so sick & having so many heart attacks that I was afraid not to! I got so many direct prophecies, even from people in the pulpit, & more verses of Scripture etc.
125. WE HAD TROUBLE AFTER TROUBLE! Although we were better off financially with a good job, making good money‚ & had a nice house out in a nice area & all, I finally just got fed up & told the Lord, "Okay, I'll go!"
126. HE SAID, "SELL ALL THAT THOU HAST", SO THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I DID! My father got furious! He said, "David, don't you dare quit another job unless you've found another one! Don't you shut one door till you've opened another one!" But I just went ahead by faith & I didn't even heed the voice of my loved one, my father. I said, "The Lord told me to go regardless‚ even if I don't know what I'm going to do. We'll just hit the road & go out & preach the Gospel & witness!"
127. SO I SOLD EVERYTHING, & I HAD JUST ENOUGH TO PAY ALL MY BILLS WITH $30 LEFT OVER, & the old taxi cab & the trailer, & we started out across the country! Mother said, "I've got a meeting in Pennsylvania in October, next Fall. If you ever make it as far as Pennsylvania, I'll use you in my meeting & you can come there."
128. WELL, THE LONG & THE SHORT OF IT WAS THAT WE WORKED OUR WAY CLEAR ACROSS THE UNITED STATED just witnessing & singing & showing my slides in school buildings & on the side of the post office & all kinds of trailer camps, sort of like our kids do today. We worked our way all the way across to Pennsylvania, & finally were in the meeting with Mother. That's when I was still trying to teach the churches to witness. I was also showing Fred's film about how he started the Soul Clinic & witnessing, & that was a foot in the door to talk to them about witnessing.
129. WE HAD THE MEETING WITH MOTHER, & THAT'S WHEN I HAD THAT VISION OR DREAM OF MY DEATH & meeting Dr. Koger. (See No.679, "Another Holy Ghost Story!") At the end of our meeting with Mother when we were praying about what to do, the Lord told me to go to Miami & establish this missionary school there. Mother wanted to go to Miami anyhow for Christmas—in the middle of Winter it was cold in the North—so we went down to Miami for Christmas & visited all the old friends.
130. I KEPT TRYING TO ENCOURAGE MOTHER TO GO IN WITH ME ON THE SCHOOL business. I knew she'd be a big attraction & she had a lot of friends & influence & they could help support us, but she wouldn't have anything to do with Fred Jordan! She said, "If it has nothing to do with the Soul Clinic, okay. But if it's got anything to do with the Soul Clinic, I'll have nothing to do with it!"—Just like today in the Family! So finally she & Dad just picked up & took off & left us there, because I was determined to stay no matter what & do what the Lord told me to do—I was scared not to! So we stayed & they left.
131. I FELT LIKE MOTHER HAD REALLY DESERTED US. We had a going–away reception or farewell for her, & it would have been a marvellous opportunity for her to introduce us to all her old friends that she'd invited—there were a couple hundred people there & get them to back us in our new project of this missionary School there, Florida Soul Clinic. It was just heartbreaking!—
132. SHE BRAGGED UP OTHER PEOPLE & NEVER EVEN INTRODUCED US, even almost acted like we weren't even there! I don't know if she even had the kids sing that night. Eve was just in tears! She never said a word about us. I think she finally did let the kids sing, that was about all.
133. SHE NEVER SAID A WORD ABOUT OUR PROJECT‚ never made an announcement that we were going to start a Soul Clinic school, or "Please help Dave now in his project here", or anything like that, & just left us flat! We were practically both in tears & felt deserted & forsaken, & they left. I was just furious at my mother, & I almost had nothing to do with her for years after that.
134. WELL, THE LORD DIDN'T DESERT US! He had been good to us! We had left Los Angeles with an old car, trailer, family of six & only $30 in my pocket, & we arrived all the way to Miami, Florida with $300, same car, same trailer, same family!—PTL!
135. I THOUGHT SURELY THE LORD WAS GOING TO OPEN UP SOMETHING RIGHT AWAY & give us a nice big building & we could advertise & get our school started. Sometimes it's a good thing you don't know the future, or you'd probably quit! We were parked in this nice trailer park paying trailer rent, I think $25 a month.—We still had $300.—But!—
136. THE MONEY BEGAN TO GO DOWN, DOWN UNTIL WE WERE ALMOST OUT of money & we weren't even going to be able to pay our trailer rent! So finally Eve said, "I guess you've just got to get a job, that's all! The Lord just hasn't opened up anything for us to have a school." We were trying to start at the top instead of the bottom, trying to find a building first, like the churches, & then we were going to get our school going, & blah blah. It just didn't work that way.
137. FINALLY I HAD TO GET A JOB, & I WENT TO WORK FOR THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY on the 12th floor of the courthouse as a special investigator. It turned out it was mostly investigating cases in the files, digging out bookies & whatnot. I worked there for about three months until I got that call from the Lord one day as I looked out the window across that beautiful sunny view of Miami that I loved.
138. THE LORD SAID, "THE WHOLE WORLD LIETH IN DARKNESS!" To the Lord it was darkness & wicked people! He said, "You're just sitting up here pounding on a typewriter & going through files, which amounts to persecuting these poor little bookies‚ nothing but worldly governmental business!" I said‚ "But Lord, I've got to support a family!"—& the Lord turned around & used the verse on Himself,
139. "HE THAT CARETH NOT FOR HIS OWN IS WORSE THAN AN INFIDEL!" (ITi.5:8.) "If I don't care for you, I'd be worse than an infidel. If you go out and do My work fulltime, if I don't pay you as good or better than a worldly employer, then I will be worse than an infidel!" I said,
140. "OKAY LORD, I'LL QUIT!—But the rules here say I've got to give them two weeks notice." I got straight up from my desk right then, walked over and gave Sarah the head clerk my notice, and she was flabbergasted! She said, "Oh no no no, you can't! You just got the job all nice & learned & we don't have anybody else—I'll go talk to John Marsh about it!"
141. SO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY SUMMONED ME TO HIS OFFICE & he said, "Sit down Dave, I want to have a little talk.—What's this business about you wanting to quit? I was just thinking about raising your salary, giving you $55!" I said‚ "You know I told you when I came in here that I was a preacher, but I just didn't have a job right now & wondered if you could use me. Well, I just heard about an opening in my own kind of work!"
142. I DIDN'T WANT TO TELL HIM THAT I WAS JUST GOING TO WALK OUT ABSOLUTELY BY FAITH into nowhere with a wife & four kids, or he would have thought I was really crazy! He said, "Well then, I understand. I certainly understand, you've got your calling, & that's where you should be! You've done a good job‚ & anytime you ever want to come back, the door is open—we'd love to have you!" I said,
143. "WELL, I'M NOT LEAVING RIGHT AWAY, I'LL WAIT TILL YOU CAN GET SOMEBODY ELSE. But if you find somebody else even before the two weeks is up, I wish you'd let me know, because I'd like to even quit before that if I can. The quicker I take this other job the better." I walked into the office the next morning & they already had somebody! The Lord was in a hurry!—Ha! PTL!
144. I THINK GOING HOME THAT NIGHT WAS THE HARDEST THING I HAD TO DO, to go home & tell Eve I quit my job! She said‚ "Honey‚ how are we going to pay the rent?" "Well, they gave me two weeks parting salary, & I got this money & we can pay the rent, I can even pay it for a couple of months now maybe, & by that time the Lord will have done something." She was really upset!
145. BY THIS TIME I HAD BEGUN TEACHING SOUL-WINNING CLASSES AT NIGHT. I had eight soul-winning classes going a week:—One on Sunday afternoon & one every night of the week in different places, all the way from West Palm Beach clear down to Key Largo past Homestead!
146. SO I WAS KEEPING BUSY FOR THE LORD‚ EVEN THOUGH I HAD A JOB in the daytime. I was really working, but I was really wearing out fast too, burning the candle at both ends! I kept busy teaching soul–winning & going to churches having Bible classes, & of course we got a little bit of offerings from those, too, that helped. So I decided, "I'm just going to quit & serve the Lord fulltime!"
147. I KEPT THESE CLASSES GOING, & MOST OF THEM DID REAL WELL. They started booming & we got a fairly good income from those classes. Of course then, as the message got hotter when I was free of the job, why the churches got hotter too, & I began losing churches & classes. (Maria: What did you do to get them upset?) Well you know, the message got a little too strong: Witnessing!
148. I STARTED PUSHING THEM OUT REALLY WITNESSING; I'd say, "Now next time we meet together here we're not going to have class. We're going to go out door-to-door witnessing!" I had a good big class that had been coming regularly. All of a sudden we'd get there the next Friday night, & maybe only one or two people were there!
149. THEY WERE ALL SCARED STIFF TO GO OUT WITNESSING! At first I was just getting them ready with the preparatory soul-winning course of the Soul Clinic. But then when it came to actually going out witnessing, nobody showed up, & that killed my classes‚ because they didn't want to witness. But we made a few real good friends & contacts who were steady reliable supporters.
150. I HAD ONE CLASS AT NIGHT AT THE LOCAL SKID ROW MISSION. That's where we got Willy our secretary. Not Fred's Willy, but our Willy, who was one of our best standbys & really did a tremendous job operating the office for us. We advertised in the paper that we were going to have this class, & she read the ad on the church page & came to the Skid Row Mission that had nothing but bums there!—& she was a high-class secretary!
151. THE HEAD OF THE MISSION SAID WE COULD USE HIS OFFICE for a soul-winning class. So we did‚ & she was the only one that showed up, our only student, dear Willy! So we just taught her faithfully once a week in that class. She was a legal stenographer, a very smart brilliant girl, like you, Honey!—Our only student‚ week after week, for several weeks! And she got the message & right away wanted to forsake all, quit her job & come work for the Lord!
152. I SAID, WE'VE ONLY GOT THIS LITTLE TINY HOUSE & THIS LITTLE TINY TRAILER." "Oh"‚ she said‚ "I'd love to live in a trailer!" She was our best & most faithful worker‚ taught classes, everything! She was with us three whole years, from 1954 to 1957.
153. WHEN I QUIT MY JOB I DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO GET SOMETHING WHERE WE COULD HOUSE MORE THAN ONE STUDENT, maybe two or three. The thing that crystallised it was that Fred wired me that he had five Soul Clinic missionaries coming through on their way to South America. They had to stop in Miami to get their papers in order & their tickets, & could I help them? Could I at least house them for two or three nights until they got everything straightened out? That was when we were just desperate!—So,
154. WE'D FOUND THIS LOVELY LITTLE COTTAGE that we wanted to move to, & we were desperate for money to pay for it. It was only $50 a month‚ but we had to pay two months in advance. I said‚ "Well, if the Lord wants us to have that house He'll supply the money somehow & He'll save it for us till we get there." So I said, "Why don't we go by the post office on the way to see it?"—And in the mail was a check for $100 from Fred to help us take care of the missionaries! PTL!
155. SO WE WENT STRAIGHT OVER, & SURE ENOUGH THE HOUSE WAS STILL AVAILABLE & we paid the money on the spot! It was a gorgeous place & located out near the airport where the missionaries were coming in! We moved the trailer onto this little hidden place way back out in the jungles by the canal, a perfect place to hide a trailer in Miami where you couldn't even park a trailer on your property! We were totally hidden. I think in the big house in the front they were assembling materials for Castro in Cuba. We always suspected them of that because of the stuff we saw stacked & delivered there. They said they were connected with some Cuban airline!—Ha!
156. WE MOVED THE TRAILER & WILLY & US TO THE HOUSE, & all of my family still stayed in the trailer. We slept Willy on the couch, & scattered the missionaries all over the place. It only had one bedroom & this big livingroom, so they slept on the floor—that was standard Soul Clinic procedure—like our Hippies years later!
157. ANYHOW, THE MISSIONARIES ARRIVED & WE HELPED THEM GET THEIR TICKETS AT HALF PRICE through a Brasilian airline agent that I'd won to the Lord there in the ticket office in Miami. I used to love to go out & visit the airport & pass out tracts & witness, & the kids would sing. That's when Shep‚ one of our teachers at the Soul Clinic, came through. They were top missionaries!
158. FRED WAS ON A BIG DRIVE TO OPEN UP SOUTH AMERICA, so he sent his top personnel‚ some of the top teachers & leaders, including Shep & Dale & several others, five all together. I think it was two women & three men. So we kept them there in the little house nearly a week while we got these tickets & papers & all, & then saw them off.
159. THAT'S THE TIME WHEN I GOT CAUGHT ON THE PLANE! They'd shut the door while I was on the plane telling the missionaries goodbye. I felt the plane move & I said, "Hey‚ what's going on?!" Right away Shep knew what was happening, that they didn't know I was still on the plane, & he quick yelled for the hostess! She said, "Oh my God, you're not travelling on the plane?"
160. I SAID, "NO, I'M NOT GOING TO BRASIL!" She said, "Stop the pilot quick!" They ran up to the cabin & had the pilot stop the plane! But they said, "They've already moved the steps back to the hangar!" And I said, "Never mind, just open the door! It's not far‚ I'll get out!" You know, even on that kind of plane you're about 20 feet above the ground!
161. SO I JUST GOT DOWN ON MY HANDS & KNEES & DROPPED DOWN to where I was hanging from the bottom of the door by my hands, & then dropped down to the pavement! The guards came running over wondering what in the world was going on! I said, "It was an accident! They almost took me to Brasil!"—And finally everybody laughed.—It was funny!—But anyhow, I got them off! This was a part of the vision God had shown me for Miami, that we were to have a school there not only to train missionaries‚ but help missionaries coming through, getting to the field & back.
162. THEN WE STARTED OUR LITTLE TINY SCHOOL with dear little Willy Student in our little tiny cottage. We didn't start with big things. The Lord gave us a verse something like "despise not the days of small things." (Zech.4:10.) So we really started at the bottom then!
163. IT WASN'T LONG TILL WE HAD MORE GOOD CLASSES GOING & supporters & help. I think even Fred sent us a little help, not much‚ because he was struggling too, & he had a lot of missionaries to support & everything. But finally, by June of that year, from Christmas to June, we had some money.
164. WE FOUND A BIG HOUSE THAT THIS CHRISTIAN FRIEND OF OURS RENTED TO US for only $100 a month, a huge big place with several buildings. There we had as high as 45 students in one class at one time! We operated there for about a year I think, till the next Summer when I got interested in television.
165. WE SENT 25 MISSIONARIES BY FAITH TO SEVEN DIFFERENT CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES, & we trained as high as 45 at a time! I think we finally figured out we trained about two to three hundred all together, that went through our 3-month courses.
166. WHEN THE NEXT SUMMER CAME‚ I FOUND I COULD GET FRED'S TV SHOW ON THE AIR FREE! I felt that that was really worth the work & the ministry‚ to get the Gospel on television where we could reach millions instead of just a few! Fred told us to close up the school. I think one reason was, it was competing with Los Angeles, & we were doing better than they were! He said, "Get out on the road & I'll support you fulltime to get the TV show on the air!"
167. AT THIS TIME WE WERE GETTING RUMORS ABOUT FRED HAVING SOME PROBLEMS, & that's when I asked the Lord if we should continue working with Fred or not? The Lord said, "As David with Saul", just as clear as anything! So we closed up the school. We'd only gotten as far as Jacksonville when the clippings began to pour in about Willy having his baby unmarried & blah blah! This was Fred Jordan's baby by his secretary, & all this big scandal—a big shock for church people!—Ha!
168. ONE THING HE HADN'T DONE WAS TO REALLY BREAK HIS PEOPLE WITH THE CHURCHES ENOUGH. A lot of them were being supported by churches & church people, & of course they were just scandalised! Even if they loved him & understood & all that, why they still had to quit him. Lee Shelley split off & took the whole missionary work & all the missionaries with him, as well as Fred's mailing list!
169. FINALLY FRED GOT DOWN TO WHERE HE HAD ALMOST NOTHING BUT HIS TV SHOW, no school, no people, no missionaries—which may have been of the Lord, to get him to concentrate on television. I stayed with him for all those years putting his show on over 300 television stations all over the United States, & 1100 radio stations, & preached the Gospel to millions that way!
170. WE STAYED ON THE ROAD WITH OUR TRAILER FOR A YEAR. We went up around the Northeast & then to Kentucky, & then down to TSC again where we still had a few missionaries. They were having big fights over tongues & Pentecost, & he wanted me to take it over, but this old farmer wouldn't let go!
171. I FINALLY GOT FED UP, & WE MOVED BACK TO FLORIDA with our trailer. That's when we got a big house in this fancy section, put our trailer on it, & finally got run out! We were on the beach for awhile, Miami Beach. We came back from Key Largo to go to Miami Beach & a little house there where we tried to evangelise the Jews, but of course they're almost impossible!
172. WE HAD THIS BIG OLD MANSION IN MIAMI & WE TAUGHT SCHOOL THERE, at our Soul Clinic school. We got the Camper, & I was still in TV work. That's when I had the fight with evolution there in Miami & they condemned the building & we had to move out. So I took the family in our Camper & hit the road again. I was still working for TV, but the kids were working on the side, witnessing, singing & litnessing. By this time they were getting to be teenagers.
173. THEN WE HAD THE EXHIBITS AT THE WORLD'S FAIR FOR TWO YEARS. The first year was with Fred's encouragement, & the second year was more or less on our own with the Soul Clinic exhibit. We collected a lot of names for mailing lists, & that's where Jeth & Deb came to work with us. Jeth & Deb managed the exhibit for awhile‚ & then they went to work for Fred through that. When we were finally leaving there‚ Ho & Faith were running the thing practically by themselves!
174. THEN MOTHER SAID SHE WANTED TO SEE US, so we all went to Texas to have a visit with Grandmother. That's when we began having those marvellous revelations from Grandmother, amongst them the Warning Prophecy!
175. SHE WENT WITH US THEN ON THAT 7,000 MILES-OF-MIRACLES TOUR clear up into Canada & to the World's Fair in Montreal where the kids sang & witnessed. Then we went back down to Miami with that young couple from New York, former drug addicts.
176. WE ALL WENT WITH MOM ON A BOAT TO THE BAHAMAS, & we witnessed over there in churches. We had a terrific message for the churches, & by this time we had a pretty good team! It was something different & new, & they'd give us a good offering. Then we went back by boat to Miami & got the Camper & took off again.
177. MOTHER HAD BEEN TRAVELLING WITH US, MIND YOU, IN THE CAMPER all this time, this whole trip!—Can you imagine, for an old lady nearly 80! That was our little family of six, & we had Josh part of the time. We had his brother part of the time, & we had Lydia part of the time, & different ones part of the time stayed with us off & on under the awning!
178. WE COULD SLEEP AS HIGH AS 12 SOMETIMES, poor Grandmother! But she put up with it & survived it—she was a real trooper! She was pretty tired by the time we got back to Miami, & she took a plane to Dallas. She said she'd meet us in Dallas at the Holiday Inn‚ & so we drove there with our little team.
179. WE DROVE TO DALLAS & THERE WE HAD ANOTHER TERRIFIC PRAYER SESSION in the Dallas Holiday Inn, with prophecies! That's when we got the prophecy that said we should get our brother "Simeon"—that was Hosea who was away in Texas doing some work. He was working a lot with the Full Gospel Businessmen, the Christian Businessmen then. "Get Brother Simeon* who had stayed behind", he was the brother who had stayed behind in the Bible, &
180. "TRAVEL WEST TO THE LAND OF THE SETTING SUN & there it shall be told thee what thou shalt do." So Grandmother took a plane to California‚ & we had a double wedding before we left the Ranch! Caleb & Lydia, & Aaron & Sarah‚ got married right there at the Ranch‚ & I was the preacher! (*See Gen.42 about Simeon.)
181. THEN WE ALL LEFT IN THE CAMPER & DROVE ALL THE WAY TO GRANDMOTHER'S LITTLE COTTAGE in Huntington Beach, witnessing on the way. There was barely room behind it on the alley to park. We tried to get in the churches there, & oh, they were cold & hard!
182. WE HAD THE WORST TIME TRYING TO GET IN THE CHURCHES IN THE LOS ANGELES area of anyplace in the whole United Stated! They'd seen everything, heard everything & they weren't interested in anybody that had anything to do with the Soul Clinic or with witnessing, or a bunch of little kids singing, or whatever! So we couldn't get in the churches for support.
183. THE KIDS WERE BUSY WITNESSING ON THE BEACH to the hippies & the surfers, & that was fruitful. But there wasn't any way it could support us, at least we didn't think so. We never dreamed what was going to happen, of course. But Mother kept begging us to just go down & witness to those hippies.
184. "YOU'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING FOR THE HIPPIES! Go down to that Mission, maybe you can work with them‚ maybe they'll help you." She was hoping they'd hire us as their staff or something. She said,
185. "THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO WORK WITH HIPPIES! They're just church people & have church meetings‚ & the hippies don't like it! And they don't like the way the hippies dress, & they just don't like hippies!"
186. WE DID HAVE TREMENDOUS SUCCESS WITH THE HIPPIES in the meetings we had at the Light Club, which had been a Christian Full Gospel Businessmen Mission, but Dave Wilkerson had helped to start it. They gave it over to us because they weren't accomplishing anything. On the nights they had their church meetings, like a mission, there was nobody there but church people! The hippies stayed away.
187. ON THE NIGHTS WHEN WE HAD OUR MEETINGS THE HIPPIES JUST PACKED IN because we had nothing but kids, kid singers & kids' testimonies!—And we didn't preach church! We just preached Jesus & the Endtime & the Warning Message. It was just geared for the hippie generation & the message they wanted to hear & needed! They wanted to hear Bible Prophecy. After all, here's the atom age & they're scared, & they want to know what's going to happen, & we could tell 'em! TG!
188. SO WE PACKED 'EM IN, UNTIL FINALLY THE CHRISTIAN BUSINESSMEN JUST GAVE US THE MISSION completely & turned it over to us free with rent paid!—Left us the furniture & everything to use, the only thing they took was the grand piano, & we were glad to get that thing out of there!
189. WE HAD A TREMENDOUS TIME! We packed that place 50 to 75 kids every single day & every night! We fed 'em & we slept 'em, & I saw something was really happening & was going to really explode! I just knew it! I saw the Lord was really doing something!
190. THAT'S WHEN I BEGAN TO COME DOWN & TEACH in my dark glasses, beret, baggy pants, old torn jacket & tennis shoes, looking more like an old beatnik instead of a hippie! I was teaching the classes, & things were just booming!
191. WE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO SUPPORT OURSELVES, BUT THE HIPPIES TAUGHT US! They were used to scrounging & procuring & provisioning‚ & they established the sandwich routes & food shops where we had regular pickups. We ate Kentucky Fried Chicken & sandwiches & everything you could possibly imagine! It fed everybody down at the mission & everybody at the house too!
192. PRETTY SOON WE HAD TO HAVE ANOTHER HOUSE BECAUSE THE STAFF WAS GETTING TOO BIG! Deborah wanted to come work with us, & she dragged Jeth reluctantly along‚ dragging his feet. But at least as long as there was a job & salary in it he didn't mind. I told him he could be more or less his own boss, just handle the office & finances & the mail.
193. WE WERE BRANCHING OUT THEN & OUR FIRST BRANCH WAS TUCSON. We went to Brother Ware's church in Tucson & took it over, Faithy‚ Miguel & a bunch of our kids. We were just a tremendous hit there too! Our message was a terrific hit & our method, music, testimonies‚ witnessing & everything!
194. THE LORD KNEW IT WAS TIME & it was what the kids needed! We had the message, the method & the music! Things were just booming! We were going great guns when you* came in January & worked in our office out in Grandmother's garage typing letters until April. (*That's Maria‚ now our Queen!)—1979.
195. THEN THINGS BEGAN TO GET TOO HOT FOR US! We got all that publicity‚ front-page headlines everyday in Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa & Santa Ana, & the System began to fight, & we began to have arrests! They arrested the Costa Mesa 14 & the Golden West Six & put them in jail for witnessing on campuses!—USA!
196. WE PICKETED CHURCHES, JAILS & SCHOOLS! We had sit-ins, march-ins, protests & everything the kids loved, everything that was radical! It was just going great! Terrific!—And I loved it! I was master-minding the whole thing from behind the scenes w/Jesus!
197. NOBODY EVER SAW ME HARDLY, OR EVEN KNEW WHO I WAS or I existed! Except finally when I got the vision of having the church walk-ins I would lead the parade, because I knew the churches pretty well! I'd wear an old Japanese kimono & this funny big medallion around my neck, & slippers. I looked like an old hippie for sure!
198. WE'D WALK INTO THESE CHURCHES 50, 60, 70, 80 STRONG! It scared them half to death! Some of them called the cops, & finally things got too hot for us! We had our big explosion, our big boom, our big initial start, push, & then the persecution came & we had to get out of town!—"Flee the City!"—Mat.10:23.
199. THEY WERE PLANNING AS USUAL TO GET THE BIG BOY when they found out he was me! They were going to charge me with this, that & the other, contributing to the delinquency of minors & all kinds of stuff. This is kind of a quick rundown resume just to review the whole story real fast, because I'm really zipping through it. There's a thousand stories in almost every bit of it, but I'm just trying to bring you kids up to date to show how we did it & what happened.
200. THAT'S WHEN WE HIT THE ROAD, & YOU (MARIA) WENT WITH US! That's when I asked you if you wanted to be Jeth's secretary or mine, would you like to stay there & help him or go with me? I don't know why you chose to come with me!—Why, can you tell me?
201. WE HADN'T EVEN HAD ANY ROMANCE! I wasn't even doing anything then, or kissing you hardly or anything! I remember I came in one day when you were at the desk typing & you complained that you had a stiff neck, & so I rubbed your neck.—That was all!
202. THAT'S WHEN YOU BROKE DOWN & WEPT & confessed you were in love with Jeth & what could you do‚ a man with a wife & five children! So I told you then, "Well, how would you like a promotion?" (Maria: "The best cure for an old love is a new love!") Yes, the best cure for an old love‚ is a new love! So I dropped some pretty heavy hints I guess, huh? Ha, ha!
203. CAN YOU REMEMBER WHY YOU MADE THE DECISION TO COME WITH US instead of staying there with a nice secure job?—You decided to hit the road with the Old Rascal! (Maria: Well, I knew who was the boss!) Ha, ha, pretty smart girl, pretty smart Leo, she came with the top officer! So you joined us in the Camper then.
204. THE FIRST NIGHT OUT ON THE ROAD THE FOLKS ALL WENT TO SOME MEETING in the home & the kids were singing & Mom was always sort of the MC or manager. She loved those meetings, so she went in. But you were always kind of tired for some reason. You almost didn't make it at the Club, you went to sleep sitting there! (Maria: I thought I was going to backslide, because I was so tired!)
205. YOU ALMOST GOT KICKED OUT FOR NOT GOING TO THE MEETINGS! I'll never forget when Esther came & said, "There's a little girl here who says she's sick & has a headache & she doesn't want to go to the Club tonight." I said, "You just tell her that 'as they went they were healed'!—That that's required!—She's got to go to the Club or else!"
206. I WAS TOUGH ABOUT IT, & I guess you must have thought I was a monster to make you go to the Club sick with a headache & tired! But you went, God bless you, Honey. I've got to give you credit, you've got guts! You're a real soldier!
207. SO YOU WENT WITH US, & that first night out, while they were all in this house at this meeting‚ you went to bed. I stayed out in the Camper usually reading or doing work or writing letters, & I just went back there & you were sleeping on the top bunk. I always kissed everybody goodnight, & we got to kissing goodnight, & ahem, we really got to kissing! And from then on it was love at first sight! (Maria: Oh‚ it was love at first sight before, when I first saw you!) Yes, maybe so.
208. I'LL NEVER FORGET WHEN WE FIRST MET IN GRANDMA'S DINING ROOM: You came in for supper & you gave me that cute little kiss. You were so sweet & affectionate & girlish. You won my heart with that first kiss, Honey, so soft & sweet. I thought, "Wow, she looks like a little prudish church girl, but she sure don't taste like it!"
209. SO WE HIT THE ROAD & WE ALL MOVED TO TUCSON. We were going great in Tucson, booming there, packed the church out! We had trailers & campers & trucks & buses & everything parked all over the place. The first convoy was led by us. The next one by Jeth out of Huntington Beach‚ & the final one by Shad. We finally had nearly everybody out of Huntington Beach because of the persecution there.
210. THEN THE PERSECUTION BEGAN TO RISE IN TUCSON! The Catholics had a petition signed by 9‚000 names to close us up & get us out of town, because we were winning so many of their kids, especially at the University of Tucson.
211. THAT'S WHEN WE FINALLY ORGANIZED ALL OF OUR CARAVANS & vehicles into a big convoy & left town. I remember then when we got to El Paso we split into three groups. One went to Florida, one went North, & one went to the Midwest. It's a long story, but that's how we got started.
212. WE WENT FROM THERE ON UP TO LAURENTIDE, CANADA, where this Doctor had offered us his campground. We met there, & there were about 150 of us! We were having all those meetings. It's a long story. By that time you & I were living together steadily. Mom left of her own free will‚ because she always preferred her own ministry to me, & I guess so to this day.
213. AT LAURENTIDE WE HAD CLASSES & Josh got to be a bigshot, to where he was almost jealous of his classes. That's where Rachel & Sam got married & where I really sort of fell for Rachel, or she fell for us. So I was afraid of her & got her married off to Sam safely. (Maria: So he could keep her until the appointed time.) She served her time & her purpose, thank the Lord, & maybe she'll come back someday. It sounded like she will, like Nebuchadnezzar. (See No.763.)
214. FROM LAURENTIDE WE ASSEMBLED AN EVEN BIGGER CONVOY FOR DEMONSTRATIONS, in Virginia outside of Washington. We had all those demonstrations in Washington & in New York at the U.N., where earlier Aaron had thrown Warning Tracts down on the floor of the U.N. from the balcony. Then on to Pittsburgh, Chicago & then south‚ Memphis & New Orleans.
215. NEAR NEW ORLEANS THEY ARRESTED A WHOLE BUNCH OF US! They put 25 in jail & sent 25 home. Those rednecks really hated hippies even though they were Christians! We were peacefully law-abiding, sitting there having classes in the park when 50 sheriffs & deputies surrounded us with guns, checked everybody's I.D. & took 25 to jail for not having proper I.D.'s or being under age! They told us to get out, to leave & not stop until we crossed the border, & we did!
216. WE WENT TO HOUSTON & CAMPED OUT IN THE PARKS around there. We witnessed & kept picking up more & more souls & more & more members & disciples. That's when we slept in that mud & rain & water till I got desperate that the kids have a better place to stay!—So,
217. I FLEW OUT TO LOS ANGELES & BEGGED TSC FROM FRED. He said, "Well, providing I can use it & promote it," & he gave certain conditions. So I went back with the happy news that we could have TSC, & we trekked up to Dallas, then Ft. Worth & then TSC. We arrived at TSC with about 125 in February of 1970 & occupied the place. That's where we really boomed & grew! CBS did a couple specials on us & we grew to nearly 300! Even the cowboys, the local farmers & ranchers, respected us at last!
218. IT WAS IN THAT YEAR, SEPTEMBER 1970, THAT YOU & I TOOK OUR TRIP TO EUROPE to start pioneering over there to see prospects of moving overseas.—Which we did! In fact we were thinking about going to Israel, & we did go to Israel. We thought we were going to all go to Israel & start a kibbutz! Ha!
219. LITTLE DID WE REALISE WHAT WE WERE GOING TO FIND IN ISRAEL! The Lord changed our hearts there & showed us what a horrible people the Israelis were, how anti-Christ, anti-God they were! They were not His children nor His people at all, & He was fed up with them & going to destroy them! We had our famous "Breakdown" & change of doctrine! (See Letter No.66.)
220. NEXT WE WENT TO CYPRUS, & IT WAS ON THAT TRIP THAT WE STARTED REALLY WRITING THE MO LETTERS more & more, until finally we were writing all day everyday! We went to Cyprus 3 months & back to London, & by this time I was bugging the kids to come to Europe, tremendous opportunities, hungry young people!
221. IN MAY 1971 WE HAD TO GO HOME TO TRY TO STRAIGHTEN OUT JETH & DEB, the usual troublemakers, who were about to split up & cause all kinds of trouble. We were afraid they were going to split the Family. So we went back to Dallas in May of '71 & straightened them out.—For awhile!—Ha!
222. WE STARTED SENDING OUR FIRST TEAMS TO ENGLAND‚ Faithy & Ho, Dutch Ben & Miriam, Apollos & Lois, Jonas & Jochebed‚ Miguel & Becky & some other folks that went with that first team. They began to open up works then in London while we were still in the States.
223. COLONIES BEGAN TO BOOM IN THE STATES, & before we left for Europe again we had 50 Colonies in the States, were back again pioneering in Los Angeles & the Northwest, & had a dozen Colonies overseas! We went from London to Amsterdam, & Amsterdam to Paris & Rome!
224. BY THE TIME MARIA & I RETURNED TO EUROPE, THERE WERE QUITE A FEW COLONIES ALREADY ESTABLISHED in Europe. I remember we arrived exactly the same day, same month a year later in London! The Immigrations officer looked at my passport & said, "Do you have any special reason why you always land here on the same day?—April 13th!" So we left U.S. in September 1970, came back in May 1971, & then we returned to London April 13th of 1972. We had arrived back from Israel to London on April 13th of the previous year, the same date!
225. SO THEN WE WERE BACK IN LONDON & THINGS WERE REALLY BOOMING! That's when the MO Letters finally hit the streets, praise God! Then London got too hot for us & we had to go to Tenerife, & you know the rest of the story. PTL! Amen?—The Family of Love!
226. OKAY, I THINK IT'S TIME TO STOP. It's going on 3 A.M. & we've been doing this for four hours!—And I was hungry long long long ago. God bless you, Sweetheart, you really suffer so long! (Maria: Suffer? It's beautiful!)
227. I THINK MAYBE THAT'S THE SHORTEST I EVER TOLD IT, so maybe we can manage to publish that. I think other times we've made it too long. Anyhow it will sort of give the kids an idea of how we did it. Right now they're doing it, & they can do it again!
228. AS SOMEBODY SAID, "THE WORLD HAS TO BE EVANGELISED IN EVERY GENERATION!" We've done ours, now they've got to do it again! Eve & I did our generation, & our kids did their generation, now you kids are going to have to do your generation, PTL! Amen! TYJ!
229. LORD, BLESS THE KIDS & ALL THE FAMILY AROUND THE WORLD! Now they're everywhere! They've been in over 100 countries, preached the Gospel to many nationalities, & we're over 100 nationalities right now in the Family!—With over 900 Letters in 80 languages!
230. YOU'VE FULFILLED EVERY PROPHECY YOU PREDICTED would happen, at least thus far‚ & You've scattered us around the world to preach the Gospel to many nations! The Family has remained at about 7,000 just like You prophesied in the early beginnings, that there would be 7,000 of us at least, & that's about where we seem to stay. It's about all we can handle‚ I guess, Lord, & about all that can handle us!
231. YOU'RE STILL OPENING UP NEW MINISTRIES, still blessing, still winning souls‚ still sending out missionaries‚ & still helping us preach the Gospel in all the world, & still supporting us, Lord. Thank You Lord! Bless the kids everywhere, continue to make them a blessing. Bless us today & keep us, & give us strength & wisdom to accomplish whatever You want done. Thank You for it all, in Jesus' Name‚ Amen!
232. SUCH A MIRACLE! SUCH A WONDERFUL THING! Millions of miles of miracles all over the World! Hallelujah! TYJ!—& millions of souls saved for Eternity! We just couldn't be any happier till we get to Heaven! PTL! TYJ forever!—He did it all!—With your help!—Keep on rollin' till Jesus comes!—Amen? Hallelujah! Keep'm rollin'!
233. IF YOU WANNA HEAR THE STORY IN GREATER DETAIL by one of our boys who was one of those Hippies in our early days from the Light Club on‚ with the exciting personal account of those thrilling Road Days of the giant convoy & the pioneering of Europe, read Sam Warner's "We Are the Children of God!"—serialised now in chapters running in the Family News!—Our big 164-Pg new Mag!
234. IT'S SO INSPIRING & ENCOURAGING TO SEE WHAT GOD HAS DONE!—And "greater works than these shall ye do!" (Jn.14:12.) Hallelujah! Amen! Help your missionaries throughout the World!—And don't miss a copy of the Family News!—Send in your Report & gift or tithe with your correct address on time every month! GBAKY! WLY! KGFG!—Are you?
[Old Goldies & Articles:]
HIPPIES SUFFER SERMON FOR FEED-IN
By THOMAS EDWARDS Staff Writer
Huntington Beach Haven [@1968]
Desperate pleas from parents of runaway youths are tacked to a small bulletin board leaning against the inside of the storefront window.
Above the announcements, a tiny sign echoing a distant plea of optimism reads "You can help change the world."
Lingering near the entrance, a few bearded, beaded and sandled youths look guardedly toward the rear of the room for signs of the nightly feed-in—trays laden with sandwiches.
THE SCENE—Huntington Beach's newest hippie haven—a gathering place that has become a center of controversy for the city's residents and the visitors who frequent it.
The Orange County Light Club, located unobtrusively on Main Street a few steps from the Huntington Pier, is the temple for the crusading evangelists of "Teens for Christ" and the visitor can expect pressure salesmanship for Christ to accompany the menu.
The interior is a facsimile of a Japanese teahouse resting on a large patchwork quilt, replete with psychedelic lights, live musical entertainment and quotes from the scriptures updated to the mid-'60s hip dialect, adorning the walls.
Furnishings are sparse—six large wooden tables fashioned out of donated telephone company cable drums each about a foot tall. A few folding chairs line the front of the room and an elevated stage, doubling as altar and bandstand, is tucked away in the rear.
But the main physical attraction for the youths is the perennial coffee urn jutting upwards in the center of the room, dispensing a seemingly endless stream of potent caffeine.
"How are you? Do you know Christ?" is the standard greeting, and new comers—seldom well—versed on the subject—are unable to collect their thoughts in time to counter and limit the conversation if they so desire.
BUT MANY frequent visitors have become adept at escape and evasion tactics, easing toward the door if it even appears a sermon is coming, then waiting in the shadows of nearby stores for the feed-in.
The mission is operated by Rev. David‚ his wife Jane, sons Paul‚ 21, and 19-year-old Jonathan, and daughters Faith, 17, and Linda, 22, and 19 other youths who claim to have been "saved" from evil in the past few months. All live communally in a large house donated by a wealthy Huntington Beach businessman now vacationing in Michigan.
They assumed control of the storefront mission last month after aiding its predecessor‚ Teen Challenge, for five months.
The operation is financed by donations.
Group members make the rounds of catering services‚ and bakeries for the food. They claim there is a steady flow of funds from interested individual and church groups.
The hippie church opens at 8 p.m. every evening and remains open until midnight, but the members are available for emergencies at all times.
YOUTH wander in aimlessly, passing under a large white peace dove emblazoned over the door. They recline on donated patches of carpeting, scan the miniature booklet of Bible verses given to them as they enter and talk with friends or the nearest stranger.
There is a relaxed mood as Paul strums his guitar at the microphone and sings pop songs subtly interspersed with spiritual phrases.
The subdued atmosphere doesn't last long. The music stops‚ and the phalanx of crusaders trod forward to redeem.
There is a self-admitted zeal among the members. "We are a little fanatical," Paul says.
One visitor‚ echoing the thoughts of many‚ objects to this. "They are always pushing this religion on us; they never leave us along‚" he complains. "Sometimes, when you go in every night, it gets on your nerves."
THE disgruntled youth admitted that he only came for the food and left early because of the sermon. He missed the feed-in by five minutes.
Many of the drifters have little choice. The roastbeef or meatball sandwich, donut and coffee, is all they eat.
Paul, who acts as spokesman for the missionaries, is enthusiastic about the program. He realize most of the visitors come only for the free food, but he claims he still reaches more youths than the churches and he says there is a steady flow of persons into the hippie church who are interested "in a new scene" regardless of their previous religious preference.
Come nitely after 8 to
THE LIGHT CLUB
1/2 blk. from beach
116 Main St.
Free feed in & live music
CAN YOU DIG IT?
Tract: I know you can dig that almost everyone today is hung up. Why? Because you've been sold a phony bill of goods, not reality. You've let the churches pull the wool over your eyes about Jesus, who He really is. I don't blame you for getting uptight with the Christianity most churches peddle!—That Jesus is some kind of middle-class materialist or a milque–toast character that wants to spoil your bag with a bunch of rules! He's no namby-pamby cat! In fact He really socks it to you with some really heavy stuff! He took the rap for you so you could have real life! We've all blown it‚ but He's willing to forget it if we'll just own up we can't go it alone and ask Him to help. None of us can make it on our own. He made us, so He's gotta fix us up; so He made it for us, and all we have to do is take Him for a free ticket on that ultimate eternal trip! Do you wanna shake your hang-up? Just thank Him for takin' the rap for you, and take Him for your best buddy. Check it out and see if the things He said and did really jive! Man, He's the cool One! Being one of His hep cats is really where it's at! His program's really groovy but it's tough! You gotta count the cost and see if you got what it takes. It doesn't mean having your own bag and doing your own thing. You gotta love Him more than anything or body. You gotta do God's thing—not our own ego trip: like going outta your way to help other cats see the light. It may put you uptight with some and wreck your status, but He'll never let you down! So if you can't dig the System, get hep to Jesus—read the Bible for yourself, not what some hung-up nut says about it! If He's your bag, it's a heavenly trip! If not—bad news!—You are on an eternal bummer! He busted out for you. Why not tune in to Him, turn on to the Bible and bust out to His PEACE & FREEDOM FOREVER!—CAN YOU DIG IT?
TEENS FOR CHRIST—From the Daily Pilot
THE ULTIMATE TRIP—David of Huntington Beach stands before two betrothed couples and preaches against the established church. Sandaled minister, founder of the Light Club, hopes to create spiritual revolution through appeals to younger generation.
Hippies 'See the Light'
Huntington Ceremony 'As Good as Marriage'
By PAMELA POWELL
of the Daily Pilot Staff
"Education is the greatest enemy today of the true civilization. It only takes you two years to talk, it takes you the rest of a lifetime to keep your mouth shut."
So said David B., founder and promoter of the Light Club in Huntington Beach, preaching to the hippie congregation in the aftermath of the first local double betrothal ceremony.
"The Bible calls it betrothal, it's just as good as getting married. You make the vows and everything. I guess it's like an engagement‚ but stronger," said his 17–year-old daughter, Faith.
The purpose of the club at 116 Main St., is to help young people find the way through Christ. "This is the ultimate eternal trip. I found the real peace, joy and satisfaction. I talked to everyone and they didn't have an answer," Miss _____ said.
"Jesus said 'I am the way‚ the truth and the light‚’ either he's got to be the biggest liar or a reality," the young honor student said.
Members of the club are reformed hippies, or just young people looking for the "truth." Some say they are former drug addicts.
The club is open daily until 2 a.m. and provides free food, a place to relax, a prayer room and folk entertainment.
The songs all with a religious message are sung by several followers of the group. The long–haired, hippie clothed audience sits silent throughout the numbers, shouting "Amen" at the end of each.
Some, carried away with the songs, cry "Praise Be the Lord" or "This is out of sight".
"This is what they're looking for." Miss said. "That's why they take drugs to go on a trip. They're looking for something spiritual.
"They want something every day," not just Sunday. This is what Christ would have done if he were here today and he is here today."
The betrothed couples said they are former hippies. Danny Anderson, 21, of Westminster was betrothed to Christine Zoffarano, 16, of Huntington Beach and Harvey Cuflik, 22, of New York who says he is an ex-drug user, was betrothed to Jane Barber, 18, of Santa Ana. The "betrothal" is akin to engagement.
"You never could have gotten me to do this five months ago," Anderson said. "I'm not better than anyone in here, but my spirit is perfect."
After the ceremony‚ complete with ring and a kiss, each gave a brief talk on how he or she became a member of the club and Teens for Christ.
The sandaled minister then spoke of his condemnation of the church as an institution and the hopeful revolt of youth against the established church.
"Preachers say go to church and bring your money. Christ brought them in from the streets, but not to a building," he began. "Now the church says build a big building and denomination. Christ said 'where two or three are gathered there am I in the midst. The greatest commandment today is don't miss church on Sunday. You can live like hell the rest of the week as long as you enter the church on Sunday.
"The church is about as far away from what Christ preached‚ as capitalism is from communism," he yelled. "All you guys that get busted are in good company. Christ and all his followers were put in jail and so was I. They got you with your backs against the wall in some cities here. You can't even stand, sit or kneel on the sidewalks, if you've got long hair."
_______ and his followers, after almost a year in Huntington Beach, continue the daily prayer sessions, Bible study lessons, singing on the beaches and passing out of free food in the hope of creating a spiritual revolution.
"I am here for a revolution," he said emphatically, "not violence, guns, swords or molotov cocktails. This revolution doesn't kill it gives eternal life."
Come nitely after 8 to
THE LIGHT CLUB
1/2 blk. from beach
116 Main St.
Free feed in & live music
Christ Teens Told To Picket Golden West
By JAMES McNABB, JR.
of the Daily Pilot Staff
The sandal-shod Teens for Christ have been ordered by their "spiritual adviser" to begin picketing Golden West College as one member of the militant Huntington Beach sect faced arraignment today on week-old trespassing charges.
"Uncle" Dave leader of the band of hippie-appearing young people‚ announced the sandwich board protest Sunday at the conclusion of an evening meeting at the First Baptist Church of Fountain Valley.
The Teens, headquartered at 116 Main St.‚ attended morning worship services at the First Christian Church of Orange then wound up their 24-hour-day personal evangelism with the panel discussion in the sanctuary of the Baptist Church at 17415 Magnolia St.
Both visits were by invitation. Previous march-ins were surprise processions during worship services.
The decision to send pickets to Golden West stems from the Dec. 6 arrest of six of the self-named "Christian revolutionaries" found distributing religious tracts on campus.
Police were summoned on campus by dean of students Dale A. Miller when the band allegedly refused to either halt evangelizing or get off campus.
Teens for Christ Brave Winds to Picket at GW
By JAMES McNABB, Jr.
of the Daily Pilot Staff
Eighteen picketing Teens for Christ battled blustery winter winds Tuesday as they picketed Golden West College in Huntington Beach and promised to return today.
Led by former professional picketer turned Teen for Christ Daniel Anderson, the band of robed young people marched for about three hours in a large oval on the heavily trafficked Edinger side of the junior college campus.
The self-styled "Christian revolutionaries" said they are protesting the Dec., 6 trespassing arrest of six of their brethren found distributing religious tracts on campus.
Spiritual adviser to the band, "Uncle" Dave 49‚ watched the procession from his car parked on the south side of Edinger.
He accused Miller of circulating a "partisaned bulletin prejudiced against the arrested teens." added he was "going to pray about pressing charges against the college administrator for his alleged violation of a section of the state education code by passing out the memorandum."
Miller admitted he refused to allow to circulate a defense of the Dec. 6 arrests. "If there is going to be any dialogue, it's going to be in court," he said, referring to the Jan. 9 trial date.
"My communiqué was for the staff. They broke the law. I've respect for the courts and plan to wait until Jan. 9," he said.
No incidents were reported during the picketing.
The Teens for Christ, headquartered in the "Light Club" at 116 Main St. have since November been marching unexpectedly into churches and onto school grounds to spread their brand of Christianity.
They have repeatedly claimed American education has "become the stomping ground of atheism and Communism."
They believe Americans have turned from Christ to materialism and are doomed to suffer the wrath of God.
Marian Tortorella, 18, of Brooklyn, was among those arrested and was to be arraigned today before Judge Phillip McGraw in West Orange County Municipal Court.
Five others pleaded innocent at their arraignment last Monday.
Full congregations greeted the band at both the Orange and Fountain Valley churches.
_____ in dark glasses and wearing a wooden ox yoke around his neck told wide-eyed Baptists‚ "We believe in the message of Jeremiah, the prophet of doom, who wore a yoke as a symbol to his own people of their coming bondage." [—It won't be long now!]
The 49-year-old former high school teacher shouted to the 200-strong congregation that America has "forgotten God."
He stated the public school system had become the sounding board of "atheism, Leninism, Communism and evolution and was anti-God, anti-Christ and anti-Bible." [—Amen!]
______'s daughter, Mrs. Faith Dietrich, speaking to a question of the group's opposition to alleged hypocrisy in organized religion, said the Teens are "tired of seeing people in churches sitting on their haunches doing nothing."
She added teenagers would be "thrown out of school if they believe in Christ."
H.B. SEEKS NEW IMAGE (same page in newspaper as above)
Huntington Beach today stands at a crossroads. Oil has always been the lifeblood of this city which started out to be the Atlantic City of the West Coast and ended up as a boom town. Newer residents and city planners now envision Huntington Beach as "the Miami Beach of the West Coast" and oil is being hidden behind trees and fences.
Crowds of young hippies preaching a new and alarming brand of religion also pose a problem to the image of Huntington Beach.
Photo Caption: BRIDGING THE 'CHRISTIANITY GAP' IN ORANGE
Teens' Jim Ballester. Mrs. Cecil Bonebreak
TEENS FOR CHRIST—Ex-hippie group, turned Christian, pickets civic center in Westminster in protest of arrests for "trespassing" at Golden West College. Six persons were arrested when they refused to cease handing out religious leaflets last Friday. Five, James William Burke, 27, Jonathan 19‚ and Joseph Neal Langford, 18, 605 1/2 10th St., Huntington Beach, and Nancy Esther Dewar, 18, 6271 Myrtle Drive, Huntington Beach, Douglas Gene Toerper, 19, 105 10th St., Huntington Beach, will face trial in municipal court, Westminster, Jan. 9. Arraignment has not yet been set for the sixth, Marion Tortorella, 18, 605 1/2 10th St. The hippie–dressed teenagers have been visiting different churches in Orange County.
Church Hoppers Protest Arrest
By JAMES McNABB, Jr.
of the Daily Pilot staff
Turning from Bibles to sandwich boards, the militant Teens for Christ Sunday Picketed the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana and the Huntington Beach Police Department.
They were protesting continued confinement of five brethren arrested Friday on trespassing charges at Golden West College in Huntington Beach.
Earlier, a roaring motorcycle police escort unexpectedly accompanied eight carloads of the church-hopping teens from their headquarters in the "Light Club," 116 Main St., to the Huntington Beach city limits.
The target of their fourth consecutive Sunday church march was the Shield of Deliverance Center, 115 E. 6th St.‚ Santa Ana.
But the self-styled "Christian revolutionaries" got off to a halting start when three cars in their caravan were pulled over by Huntington Beach police for alleged traffic violations.
A Fountain Valley patrol car zipped into the procession as it crossed into that city on the way to the San Diego Freeway.
The hippie-appearing band which has thus far made surprise invasions of seven county worship services was welcomed to the Pentecostal congregation by the Rev. Bill Byrd‚ pastor.
Daniel Anderson‚ leader of the group, sat with the Rev. Byrd in the chancel area. Other members of the band sat in the front rows of the sanctuary in Santa Ana.
Anderson later addressed the congregation, speaking for a return to primitive Christianity. The Teens are opposed to what they term "hypocrisy of organized religion."
The 45-member band joined the congregation for a soup and punch lunch in the basement of the old downtown church, the former United Presbyterian Church building.
Some 20 of the Bible-carrying young people later picketed the nearby new Orange County Jail Facility, where five members of the group are being held on misdemeanor trespassing charges after allegedly failing Friday to leave the Golden West College campus when requested to do so by the administration.
Near dusk they returned to Huntington Beach where for a short time they picketed the police station.
Huntington Beach police officers had arrested the accused trespassers after being summoned to the campus by dean of students Dale A. Miller.
About 13 members of the group were discovered on the junior college campus handing out religious tracts‚ which is an illegal act, said Miller.
No incidents were reported during Sunday's church visit or picketings.
"It was the first time that a congregation has been receptive to us," said Mrs. Steve Harris, 22, of 19860 Coventry Lane‚ Huntington Beach. "I never saw anything like this before. They were so warm."
"Our Negro brothers weren't as particular about the way we dress‚" said Anderson.
Last week the group was ousted by ushers from the Garden Grove Community Church and two weeks ago the unexpected visitors were sharply reprimanded for noise making by the Rev. H. Syvelle Phillips, pastor of the First Assembly of God in Santa Ana.
[—FREEDOM FADES!—And they said it "Couldn't happen here!—It already has!]
2 Hippie Church Coeds Sent Home From School
By JAMES McNABB Jr.
of the Daily Pilot Staff
Two pretty girls affiliated with the church-hopping Teens for Christ Thursday were sent home from a Huntington Beach High School, one with a five-day suspension slip and the other with orders to slip out of her Biblical gown into something less comfortable but more modern.
Assistant Principal Owen Miller said one girl, a junior, appeared on the campus at 15871 Springdale St. robed in illegal Biblical dress. [—Ankle-length]
She was reportedly discovered talking about Jesus to another student and was handed the five–day suspension when she refused to obey orders to halt her preaching.
Miller said the other girl's suspension came in conjunction with truancy charges, but the petite, brown-eyed senior denied the suspension Thursday was connected with alleged skipping of classes.
She stated it was her fourth suspension since the term began but insisted only the first two were for truancy. The third was three days for passing out gospel tracts on campus, she said.
Principal Glen Dysinger said the girl member of the militant sect had a two-month record of disregarding the anti-religion statutes.[—Anti-Christ!]
"She has persisted to violate the Education Code which restricts the distribution of religious and political propaganda. We're approaching the point of referring her to Wintersburg," he said.[—Hallelujah!]
(Wintersburg High School is the continuation high school in the Huntington Beach Union High School District.)
Both girls were taken home by the campus security chief Obie Moore. The junior later returned to classes after changing from her robe.
"I had to do what my mother wanted me to do, so I put on the same kind of dress that all the school robots wear," she said.
The girls said Thursday afternoon they would continue "to spread the saving grace of Jesus Christ on campus."
According to the senior girl, the two organized a noon prayer circle and Bible study class which in two months has grown from three to 14 students.
She accused the administration of persecuting students who "proclaim their love of Jesus."
"I don't understand why they do this to us. Six months ago my life was one big booze party. I was never happy. And then I was led to the Lord and, Praise God‚ happiness and joy have constantly filled my heart. I want to share my own peace of mind with others," she said. [—HALLELUJAH!]
The oustings Thursday were the Teens for Christ second brush with campus law within a week.
Last Friday six members of the group, headquartered in the "Light Club" at 116 Main St., Huntington Beach, were arrested on trespassing charges at Golden West College.
The charges stemmed from their alleged refusal to get off the campus when they were found handing out tracts.
Five of the six were arraigned Monday in municipal court. A sixth person, Marian Tortorella, 18, is scheduled to be arraigned this coming Monday.
50 'prophets' march on Plaza‚ and all is quiet
By Richard Foster & Christopher Chandler
Fifty persons marched on the Civic Center and other places in the Loop Thursday—peacefully and somewhat mysteriously.
They wore red robes, pounded staffs on the sidewalk, passed out literature & prayed. Their spokesman talked about the death of America and quoted Jeremiah.
Some wore gold or silver earrings in their left ears. Others walked through the Loop with wooden yokes around their necks.
They came to Chicago, their spokesman said‚ because "God told us to follow the cloud—where the action is."
At the Civic Center‚ they stood wordlessly for about 10 minutes, opened scrolls with biblical inscriptions and, one by one‚ knelt in prayer for another 10 minutes.
On one of the scrolls the words of the prophet Jeremiah were inscribed:
"O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, & wallow thy self in ashes; make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us."
Another scroll read, "He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword and by the famine and by the pestilence."
Many of the 50 bore ash marks upon their foreheads.
It was a young group, mostly white, with a few beards and some long hair in evidence. Only the spokesman spoke.
He said the group has about 7,000 members.
"Prophets of Peace" or "God's Children".
He said they came because of "the mourning and warning of the death of this nation which has forsaken God and worships the works of its own hands."
The spokesman identified himself as Joshua. When asked his address he replied "Egypt, the old world."
And his last name?
"Levy," he replied.
By the end of their trek through the Loop, the prophets had attracted five disciples, who silently joined the march. One of the converts, a young motorcyclist from Elmwood Park, explained:
"I'm just trying to understand."
The prophets, followed by cars of suspicious policemen for most of their journey, departed east on Monroe St. into Grant Park, where they boarded buses for a destination as mysterious as their origin.
Photo caption: Red-robed "Prophets of Peace" march across Civic Center plaza & get double-take from two passersby. (Sun–Times Photos by Joe Kordick & Duane Hall)
Page 20, Section 1, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Sunday, December 28, 1969
Seek Meaning, Truth Despite Parents' Objections
10 Houston Youths Join 'Revolutionary Christians' Group
By STEVE SINGER
Truth Despite Parents' Objection
'Revolutionary Christians' Group Seek Meaning,
David had been down the Hallelujah Trail before.
About three weeks ago, he'd gone to the camp of a wandering band of self-styled revolutionary Christians at Bear Creek Park in west Harris County to "see what I could find."
Now he was back, reaching the group at their new campsite in Duessen Park in the Lake Houston woodlands of northeast Harris County.
He stood at the edge of the pine grove and toyed with the strap of his motorcycle helmet as the smoke from the fires for the noon meal drifted over his head.
One of 10
A youth named Michael greeted him with a smile and a nod. Instead of hello, Michael said "Praise the Lord."
Soon David an 18–year-old machinist, was accepting Jesus Christ, kneeling among the pine cones and needles with Michael's hands on his head.
David is one of 10 Houston youths who have joined the revolutionary Christians since they first parked their buses and vans and set up their tents on Dec.2.
Most have come to Jesus for the same reasons they have turned off their folks, played with drugs and eventually dropped out. They say, as many other young Americans have said in this decade‚ that what American society and the system offer them isn't enough. They seek more meaning—or at least more truth.
For many, Jesus is the answer, a reprieve from what a blond-haired former surfer from California's Huntington Beach said was the "Ultimate Friday night kick of getting high on grass and watching the roller derby on the tube."
And for most, Jesus just didn't come whooshing down the wind tunnel, filling up all the empty spaces with His message for life. They all had some earlier exposure to the church and the temple, a church they now put down with a rather solid thud.
So they join the revolutionary Christians, whose members now include 10 married couples, 45 single males, 20 single girls and 10 children, the youngest three months old. The group has traveled 15,000 miles in the year since they formed, spreading the gospel, trying to get the kids off the drug hook and bringing their message of impending doom to society.
They provide little of the formality and tradition of organized religion, although each member carries a Bible and smaller tracts of verse.
Their church is in the open air, or "if the Lord wants to bring us closer together and sends in a cold front", they move into a big tent and stoke up a pot–bellied stove.
Tobacco, Alcohol Out
There is a certain amount of ritual‚ however, with morning Assemblies and evening Bible reading‚ singing and discussion of the Scriptures.
There is also required Bible study and meditation. The children are always being asked by the elders to recite the verse they learned the day before.
They say the Lord provides for them, but they get a hand from relatives and friendly merchants who donate goods and food.
The revolutionary Christians don't use tobacco or alcohol. The single men live in a large tent. The single women live in the buses and campers and small tents.
John, who said his troubles began when he was Seat No.469 in Row M in a history lecture class at the University of Houston, said a friend told him about the "hippie Christians."
"Before that‚ I'd really been just drifting," he said. "I'd dropped out of school and spent about six months using drugs just trying to get it together. I'd done a lot of reading on spiritualism, meditation and that sort of thing.
"Then a friend gave me a small pocket Bible. It was hard to understand some of the old language but it was really telling it the way it is. Then I got married and asked my folks for a Bible for a wedding present. Then I came out here and saw that this was truth so I decided to stay. I must have cried for three or four hours I was so happy to have found Him."
Another David, who had been a junior at Sam Houston State a month ago, first met the group at a roadside park near Huntsville. He went back to school for a week to decide whether to "accept the word of the Lord" and then rejoined the group in Houston.
Von, a dropout from Memorial High School where he was "going through the motions" of his senior year, said:
"I was leading a senseless life, I'd get stoned in the morning to get through classes, stoned at noon to get through work and stoned at night to get past my parents. When I came out here I felt turned inside out. I felt so powerful that I came back and asked to stay."
But their happiness is not shared by their parents.
True, Von's parents have visited him at the camp and plan to contribute an electrical generator, but John says his parents called him a maniac and kicked him out when he tried to explain what he'd done by quoting from the Bible.
"They said my God was different from their God while I was reading from Genesis," John said. "When my wife went home to say good–bye‚ her folks hid her brothers and sisters".
Michael, another Memorial dropout and the first to join the group here, said his folks told him they'd "rather see me in an insane asylum or out pushing dope than out preaching Jesus and living in a tent."
But Thursday was Christmas and many of the parents came out to see their children. Some brought things the group could use, such as kerosene lanterns, blankets and money. John's folks brought out "about $100 worth plus a flowing gown for Gail. Others used the day for another try to get the kids to come home. Michael's folks asked him to come home for dinner and to receive his gifts but asked him not to do any preaching. He didn't go because "that would have been my most important reason to go."
Once the visitors had left, the group began to celebrate the holiday.
The cooks were preparing a 15-pound ham that a grandmother of one of the boys had given them.
They didn't have a tree because "of all the trees around us" and they exchanged good wishes and blessings instead of gifts. There was a 10-hour Bible session.
Today their leader, Joshua Levi‚ will pass out presents—shampoo and soap and toothbrushes donated by a local druggist.
REPRINTS OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES PRINTED ABOUT THE CHILDREN OF GOD
FOR MORE INFORMATION‚ WRITE TO
TEXAS SOUL CLINIC
MINGUS, TEXAS 76463
Photo caption: MORNING ASSEMBLY BY THE REVOLUTIONARY CHRISTIANS
They Read the Bible, Discuss the Scriptures and Sing Songs
SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 1970
Religious Teachings Attract
Some 150 Crusade Trainees
By JOHN McCLESKEY
"Today's younger generation is now relying on drugs throughout the nation in an effort to seek true personal identity and solutions to society's ever-mounting social, governmental and economic problems. Our delegation is assembled here to fulfill God's teachings according to the Bible. Praise the Lord, brethren."
These idioms were voiced Thursday afternoon by Jonathan Byrd, former Huckabay resident and spokesman for the "Children of God" assembly now residing some five miles south of the Thurber community. The site is owned by Henry Jordan of Los Angeles‚ founder of the Texas Soul Clinic in 1946.
Initiated in 1967 by Byrd's parents, the Children's working teams began traveling throughout the United States recruiting members for their movement and reorganized approximately five months ago to begin solicitation in several major cities. This tour included sessions in Washington, D. C.‚ New York City‚ Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago and recently Houston before entering their Erath County confines.
Byrd noted that the retreat now has 150 members participating in the religious testimonies. Twelve tribes have been designated with each group being responsible for one specific chore such as vehicle maintenance‚ sewing, washing and caring for the young children.
Situated on the cliff's peak overlooking vast countryside near Thurber, the Children's camp has one main classroom where Biblical sessions are conducted throughout the day, one central dining area with a capacity of 110 persons, designated male dormitories on the camp's western boundary, women's dormitories to the east, one central office and housing facilities for the married couples and staff members.
The delegation's spokesman emphasized that the establishment was not merely a summer camp or weekend resort but a full-time organization devoted to reaching individuals through the word of God. "This camp is living proof that our students are dedicated persons training to be full-time evangelists and thus serve the Lord in every aspect of life. This is not a rehabilitation program for hippies, although most of our patrons were college students at one time and have experimented with drugs in some manner."
Most of the students are from 18-25 years of age with wide-spread backgrounds ranging from Spanish, to Canadians and even ex-Black militants seeking to reach God's word.
Some of the delegates‚ such as Byrd's parents, are middle age as several preschool youngsters under seven years of age reside at the camp. Special classes have been established for these younger students with emphasis being placed on Biblical readings and scripture memorization.
The extended Biblical sessions‚ which proceed about 11:00 a.m. daily and continue for nearly six hours, drill these young students through lengthy studies as some five-year olds have memorized up to 30 verses of scripture and one resident even quotes 40-50 chapters of the Bible.
Each individual in the commune has visions of one day being a group leader, according to Byrd, as a tribal hierarchy has been established with each overseer having an assistant who in turn has an individual working with him. Therefore each tribe maintains a constant training program.
Questions concerning food and clothing supplies brought the ready response that "miracles still exist as in the early church. Our worldly possessions were delivered to the altar and God utilizes them for our continued care and protection."
"Children Of God" Assembly Residing At Texas Soul Clinic Near Thurber
The camp maintains one frame building for clothing storage as patrons use the commissary when their specific needs arise. Byrd added that "the general public has been extremely generous throughout our wide-spread crusades. The majority of businessmen are very cooperative as many farmers and grocery stores donate any extra produce which may be available."
Byrd commented on the success of his six family members during their two years of religious teachings. "We have gained 150 students in our short tenure and the projected results promise to be great as the movement progresses.
"Drugs seem to be the major problem confronting today's young people throughout the United States and the spiritual need that drives them to these extremes is the main thing. It is this spiritual deprivation which causes people to use drugs for escape and then turn toward violent revolutions. These individuals are attempting to counteract this spiritual need with drugs and then revolts.
For these persons seeking some type of change, the best weapon against such activities is the teachings of God found only in the Bible. Our Country is only as strong as its young people and these individuals must find some system of witnessing to realize success.
Today's young people have rapidly diminishing standards as God and the Bible are outlaws on the majority of college campuses. We have seen results ranging from California to Florida and know that the majority of young people are on drugs and desperately need the word of God to escape from the addicted society.
Our organization has found throughout extended campaigns that communal living will work only on a voluntary basis; therefore Communism will never survive because the force factor is being used instead of the basic motive which must be love."
This interview with Byrd was followed by a tour of the camp's plant and finally the central office where two young ladies were typing Biblical outlines for the upcoming day's studies. Cathy, one of the headquarter's typists, told of her experiences in Miami, Florida while studying there and living as a heroine addict for almost two years. She met the Children's team during their Florida stint, became affiliated with the group‚ stopped the use of drugs while suffering no withdrawal symptoms and has been with the crusaders since that date.
Another passer-by named Miguel told of similar drug problems and his cure after assistance by the sect. A pre-med major from California, he had completed three and one-half ears of undergraduate work and began taking L.S.D. with professors about one year before his complete withdrawal from school. It was in his dilemma of searching for identity and "some purpose in life" that he met Byrd's wife in a California headquarters and "found his true calling in life."
Claudia, a retreat resident and approximately 20–years of age, told of her association with the group while living in Miami. Having a background of strict association with a prominent religious denomination and not experiencing the drug problem identified with many camp students, Claudia joined the organization during its early campaigns because of her desires to break with the strict regulations confined to the Establishment or society in general.
These three confessions evidenced the extremely varied backgrounds of Children of God students and their specific reasons for identification with the religious group.
Byrd stated that the children have a training period of about six months before a team is sent out with married supervisors possessing additional, needed experience. He added that the group had no definite plans concerning their tenure in Erath County and lauded the location, facilities and cooperation received during there residence here.
"Praise the Lord, brethren. We will continue our witnessing and efforts to save the nation's younger generation as God will continue to lead the way and provide any needed assistance. Amen."
At the present time the Soul Clinic has centers in Dallas and California, but he said others would be opened in other areas as soon as possible.
When asked who footed the bill for the operation of the Clinic, he said the young people themselves provide some of the operating funds. Then interested persons that knew of the work donated generously as well as wholesale produce, grocery stores‚ and other businessmen in Dallas, Fort Worth and Mineral Wells. Then‚ once a month, a group makes a trip to California where supplies are obtained.
As the interview ended and the reporter was told "God Bless You" many times‚ a helicopter came over the horizon, hovered over the commune momentarily‚ then as the reporter drove out the gate, it started making simulated strafing runs right down the main street. The reporter stopped his car and watched the ordeal for about ten minutes. Finally the helicopter left and the residents of the Soul Clinic calmly went back to their work.
For Further Information
Please Write to
TEXAS SOUL CLINIC
ROUTE 1, MINGUS,
Palo Pinto County
PRINTED IN THE INTEREST OF MINERAL WELLS AND PALO PINTO COUNTY
MINERAL; WELLS, TEXAS 76067 THURSDAY, MAY 28, 1970
Former Hippies, Addicts,Study Bible At Thurber
Reports over the past few weeks that a hippy colony was being established near Thurber, prompted an ADVANCE reporter to go to the area this week to investigate.
The colony was supposed to be located about three miles south of Thurber just across the south line of Palo Pinto County, in Erath County.
As the ADVANCE reporter came to the location so described, he came to a huge padlocked iron gate with a sign next to it that stated, "Friendly visitors welcome from noon till dark. Honk and walk to the gate and someone will come to assist you."
The reporter honked and one young man came running from a car parked atop a small hill a short distance away and another came up riding a bicycle.
They greeted the reporter cordially and one set out in search of the director and the other one unlocked the gate and invited the reporter to come to the visitors room.
In a short while, the director appeared and introduced himself as John. The reporter stated he had several inquiries as to what was happening there and would like to do a story on the place.
John said he would welcome a story and would give all the information needed. When asked if it were true there was a colony of hippies located there, John answered, "Nothing could be farther from the truth. Former hippies‚ yes. We have former hippies, drug addicts, militants and other radicals in our midst but each of them has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and are here training to lead others from their wandering ways."
John said the organization was called the Soul Clinic and was founded by his family about two years ago. The property the Clinic was on was owned by Fred Jordan who was born and reared there, and consist of 400 acres. He said the deeds stated that it could only be used for organizations involved in Bible study.
The youthful director stated the primary purpose of the Soul Clinic was to carry the message of the Bible to radical elements on the colleges, parks and other gathering places for young people. He said no church or other religious organization had any programs to reach these young people. The Soul Clinic has buses that carry teams to areas of disturbance where they can talk to the militants, the revolutionists‚ and radicals to try to get them to accept Christ and put this zeal and enthusiasm to work for the Lord.
As the reporter was escorted over the grounds of the Soul Clinic, the director explained the program involved at the Thurber location. He said there were approximately 150 young people in the Clinic at this time between the ages of 18 and 25. Thirty of these are staff members that conduct the Clinic. He said about one-third of the enrollment there was female. Some married couples live there with their children.
The director explained their philosophy in the commune was that every one shared each other's property and the work involved in taking care of so many people. The students are divided into tribes of eight, with each tribe responsible for some phase of the operation.
The students work three hours in the morning, study three hours in the afternoon, then have five hours of classes in the evening.
Part of their training while at the Soul Clinic includes vocational training to enable them to earn a living after they leave. Vocations include cooking, farming, photography and printing.
A student will have three months of basic instructions when he first arrives, that includes memorizing 200 scriptures of the Bible. After this, they will have three months of advanced training‚ then sent into the field for three months, after which they are ordained and given charge of a crew.
At the present time the Soul Clinic has centers in Dallas (end of article)
Photo caption: SEEKING NEW LIFE—A new shipment of recruits are shown here two weeks ago on arrival at the Soul Clinic at Thurber, to start a new way of life. Many are former hippies, drug users, radicals, and revolutionists. Their aim is to lead other young people to believe in the Bible.