I was born in 1945 in America, with the stage setting being the end of World War II. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, in middle-class surroundings, I was raised by parents who attested to being Christians, but who seemed to be more into the values of being good citizens with strong ethics and good values rather than living Bible-centered lives.
Doing supposed good just for the sake of goodness, without any concrete foundation, did not set well with me as a youth growing up in the 1950s and 60s. In retrospect, I now can identify Christian love and values to be a missing component in that upbringing. In that time and place I had no knowledge of that Christian love.

Eventually I rebelled against the good citizenship ethics and what was proposed as an ethic of “if I say that it is right, that makes it right,” a concept my father probably picked up in military service during World War II.

As a young boy, I believe I had a good heart, but it grew cold and filled with hate.
Due to what I later discovered was a learning disability, I found reading, spelling, and general schoolwork to be almost impossible, and I became a hard-hearted street fighter. Offering protection to my buddies helped me to become popular with the fast crowd. How I finished school without knowing how to read is hard for me to understand. Being an athlete and a pretty good con artist helped within the classroom.

In high school, I found myself failing a course that I had to pass to graduate. An ex-military authoritarian teacher who did not think much of me was teaching the class. About two weeks before report cards were to come out, I conned all my friends into believing that I had just joined the Marines, telling them my country needs me: since the Vietnam war was just starting up. I convinced even my closest friends. Because I was popular, the story spread like wildfire, and guess what? I passed the class.

I had not been living with my parents for the last year of high school because of my rebellion. I didn’t like following rules or having anyone interfere with my life style. I had an after school job working for a meat packing company and was living in a one room hotel in the city center. My parents had impressed on me the need to finish high school and get a diploma and somehow I did.

After graduating from Parkrose High School in Portland Oregon in 1964, I wanted to get away from my town and to be away from my family. I traveled extensively around the nation a number of times. Hitchhiking was my form of transportation; and drinking, fighting, and girls were my life. I was ignorant of the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King, Jr., and just about everything that was current for that time; the only thing that mattered to me was having a good time.

In 1967, I was 21 and doing rather well selling insurance. The hippy movement and drugs were gaining popularity nationwide. In a small ocean town called Seaside, Oregon, for the past few years during spring break, crowds of college students invaded for partying and revelling. Here, riots occurred, and the National Guard was called out, along with an abundance of police officers. This was the third year of the riots and since I had personally been featured in the Oregonian newspaper the year before as a
reveller, I thought I had better make a showing.

I remember standing with my buddies at an arcade on the strip flooded with bodies all looking for a good time. Girls were on our minds along with getting drunk. I recall when Marilyn approached me. She was a very attractive girl with a sweet spirit, a former rally queen from a neighboring high school who was now attending the University of Oregon. She approached me in a loving way and told me how good it was to see me. We exchanged the usual small talk and she asked me to join her at a coffee house. I certainly did not want to pass up an opportunity to spend some quality time with her.
So I went. My buddy Dave followed us, and I am sure he was interested in bumping me out of the way so he could spend some personal time with her as well. The three of us walked from the crowded street into a poorly lit room with tables. We sat down and started talking with folk music playing in the background. Only then did I realize that this was some kind of a Christian outreach. I immediately got up and excused myself and left the building. As I walked down the middle of the street my friend Dave caught up with me and said, “You won’t believe what she told me.” I replied, “What?” He said, “She told me that God loved me.”I looked back at him and said, “Boy she sure did get screwed up. She used to be such a nice girl.” The rest of the night we joked around with our gang, teasing each other saying, “God loves you,” laughing more each time we said it.

A few months later, I was watching a television movie that showed people in an arena singing while lions dragged them off and ate them. I thought to myself that this was the dumbest show I had ever seen. No one would be dumb enough to sing just before a lion dragged him or her off to be eaten, I thought. (At that time I was unaware of the history of the early Christian church.) I began to ponder all the people I had met, wondering if anyone that I knew was that dumb. Scanning names in my mind, Marilyn’s name popped up. Now there is someone that just might be that strange, I thought.
The following week I had to be in Eugene, Oregon, where Marilyn was attending college. So I thought, “Why not drop by and check her out? Surely she could not be that strange.” The image of lions killing those people still burned within me. I arrived at the university and had no idea how to find her. I tried the phone book and found nothing. I thought to go to the administration building, but they had no phone number or address that they could give out. So I concluded that I had tried, but that it probably would have been a waste of my time as I walked back to my car. Without knowing why, I turned around and went back. At the information counter, I inquired about her classes. They showed me her class schedule, and said she was in her last class of the day, and being Friday, I’d better get right over there now or I would miss her.

I hustled over to her building. As she came out of the class we met again and decided to go for a soda and talk. She asked me questions like, “What if a man had a son, and someone had to die, you or the son, and the man allowed his son to die so you could live? What would you think of such a man?” I replied, “Well if that was true, I would say he was a pretty nice guy”. She continued to ask questions, all with the same pattern. Then she invited me to a meeting that night. I thought, Oh no, what have I gotten myself into? Think Jim, think! I did not want to go to some Christian meeting, especially on a Friday night. But because she was so sweet, I conceded. Knowing how these Christians operated, I figured that bringing someone to these meetings made them look like they were doing their job. So, why not help her out? I said that I would try to make it.


When I opened the door to the fraternity house, I saw to my amazement that the room was packed with students; so many that I could not see Marilyn anywhere. After finding a seat I spent the next hour or so listening to a Campus Crusade for Christ presentation by an all American football player who talked about his experiences as a Christian. It all went in one ear and out the other. Finally I heard something that was most meaningful to me; the meeting was over and refreshments were served in the back. I thought to myself, “Well this won’t be a total loss,” as I headed for the free goodies.

As I sat at a table I was approached by a young man who asked if he could share a little booklet with me. I replied, “Go for it, but please note how many cookies I have left because when I am finished with them, I’m out of here.” He said OK and started going through this booklet called the Four Spiritual Laws. The first law said: God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. The second law said: Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life. The third law said: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and plan for your life. The fourth law said: We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. The booklet also included illustrations and biblical verses supporting each law.

Toward the end of the booklet it said; You Can Receive Christ Right Now, by Faith Through Prayer, (Prayer is talking with God). At that point the young man looked at me and said, “Would you like to pray with me right now and invite Jesus into your life?”
I said, “Well, I do have a question for you.” He responded with, “Let’s stop and hear your question and if I can’t answer it, I will try to find someone here who can.” He said he did not want me to pray if I had questions. So I asked if I understood him correctly: “Are you telling me that if I pray and ask Jesus into my life, something from outer space is going to come floating down into my life and I will know it? Is that correct or did I misunderstand you?” He said, “Well, I suppose you could put it that way.”
I said that I had another question: “Do I look mentally retarded to you? What kind of a mindless nut do you think I am? Do you believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, too? I am out of here. You people are insane!” I had always been taught to look up to university students, but I found these to be the most deceived and most gullible people I had met. I was outrage.


But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are
spiritually appraised.
(1 Corinthians 2:14)


I never saw that young man again, and he knows nothing about me or how he got my attention and provoked the anger that guided me to salvation. This guy could be sitting somewhat depressed in some office building in Chicago, thinking he never really did much for Jesus. Yet he was the very tool God used to bring me to the Savior. Doing something for Jesus, even when it doesn’t appear to bear fruit, is far better than doing nothing.


I returned to my motel, very upset and wondering how university students could be so ignorant. Then I considered that the many churches must be intellectually insane also. How could this be? Why has someone not exposed this deception and put an end to this foolishness?

This experience certainly has helped me over the years to understand why people get so emotionally upset at the preaching of the Gospel. When the Gospel is properly presented it will always make someone upset, even mad. It tells us that something is wrong with us and that only a supernatural act of God can rescue us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

At the motel I started to read a little booklet the young man gave me. It was the book of Romans, one of the books of the Bible. I thought maybe I would find a few of the many contradictions in the Bible and go back and expose them for what they were. Suddenly, I had a brainstorm on the perfect way to expose them. The plan was very simple. They wanted me to ask Jesus into my life and if I did, he would come in, right? Well, that’s when my plan would surface. All I had to do was ask him in and when he did not come in, that alone would be the proof that I needed to expose them all as phonies.But there was one problem with my plan: the Four Spiritual Laws said a person must be sincere. How could I be sincere in asking Jesus into my life? Well, I figured that if there really was a heaven, I would want to go there and if there really was a hell, my sin index certainly merited me passing the entrance exam. So what harm would there be in asking Jesus into my life? Would it not be the same as saying “rock come into my life and forgive my sins, or tree save me”? But I wondered, how could I be sincere? Then it came to me: all they were asking was to just pray and be sincere once. So what if I was to ask one hundred times or more? Who would think one sincere request would not get through? That night as I went to bed, I prayed, “Jesus, come into my life and forgive my sins.” After one hundred or more times I fell asleep.


When I awoke the next morning nothing had happened. I was the same. There had been no transformation. I could not get my clothes on quickly enough. I wanted to go back and expose them as being involved in nothing more than a phony racket. I wanted to tell them what I had done and how nothing had happened.

Just as I grabbed the doorknob, within my inner man, I heard the sweet voice of Marilyn saying, “Oh, Jim, won’t you please just try it one more night?” I knew that’s what she would say. So I decided to try it one more night. It would only strengthen my position after all. That day could not pass fast enough for me; all I wanted to do was get to bed and start praying again. The very next morning I awoke and I have not been the same since. I experienced what the Bible refers to as being “born again,” and so the great journey began.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years, many have asked me what happened to me and how did I know that God came into my life? I have replied by asking questions: “Have you ever loved someone?” They usually answer: “yes.” “Have you ever hated something?” Many have answered “yes.” I have inquired whether they have ever been happy or depressed. The answers are: “yes.” I respond by saying that these are feelings that no one can see or touch but wars have been fought over them and lives have been changed because of them, so who can deny that they are real?


When Jesus comes into your life, he comes in such a way that it is undeniable. You can’t see him, but you can experience his effect on your life and others can see his visible handiwork through you. For me the effect was profound. Marilyn and her friend Mary were very instrumental in my life, as I stayed at the university for about three weeks in a home called “His House” A number of Christian guys attending the university lived there. They gave their best effort to get me going in the right direction but I think they were somewhat surprised by how ignorant a person could be in regards to basic education. Marilyn and her roommate Mary tried to convince me that God was going to do great things through me. I did not believe them for a minute because it seemed to me Christianity was centered on education and the studying of the Bible. I had never read a book and for the most part could not read, let alone study. I thought there was no place for me within Christianity. It all seemed so intellectually driven, which eliminated me. Nonetheless, I saw a good reason to read for the first time in my life. I wanted to find out about who God is and what He was all about.

Because I had to spend much time concentrating on each letter within each word, this was a very slow process, until one day someone mentioned that the whole Bible was on tape. That was the best news I had ever heard. I rushed out and got the tapes and a recorder. I even had them transferred onto reels so I could turn them on and listen for hours nonstop. I continued listening each day and at night when I went to bed. I learned a great deal about the God of the Bible. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)


One day as I sat in my chair listening to the tapes, a wonderful thought entered my mind. Why not follow along with your Bible? So I picked up my Bible and followed along verse by verse. I found I had to move much faster than I was accustomed to reading. Keep in mind, I had taken special education classes with good teachers who tried to teach me to read, but I got nowhere. But as Jesus said, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26) This was how I learned to read. Even with my poor basic educational skills I was exceptional in my communication skills and I had the pleasure of leading many to the Lord as a result. Never limit God: . . . .now to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. (Ephesians 3:20)


I took a stand for God and started changing my ways and getting rid of many things I had that were dishonoring to God as his truth and righteousness were revealed to me by the reading of his word. A Christian should not burn the candle for the devil and blow the smoke in God’s eyes. That’s why many in the early Church took a stand for righteousness and got rid of their ungodly things and changed their ways. This truth would certainly be beneficial to the churches of our day.


Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19) And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20) So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. (Acts 19:18–20)

. . . That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23)and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24) and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ephesians 4:22–24)

A few months after my conversion, I attended a training session at Arrowhead Springs, the headquarters for Campus Crusade for Christ. The Crusade had organized an outreach at the Pasadena Rose Parade. I led five people to the Lord that day. Now I could begin to see that the Christian experience did have a place for me. The idea that I could do something meaningful for God, showing my appreciation for what He had done for me, produced a good feeling within me and assured me that I was a part of the Body of Christ.


A few months later, I attended another training session, this time in Cannon Beach, Oregon, about 90 miles from my Portland home. I told some of my close friends that there was a big party down at the coast and that they should not miss it. We all squeezed into my new 1967 Ford Mustang convertible and headed toward the beach. There was Dave with his beer, Don with his cough syrup that he used with beer to get high, and Jeanine and Teri who just came for the party. They were all shocked sober to find out that I had brought them to a Christian conference. The Campus Crusade Christians were great and they took the girls aside for fellowship. Both Jeanine and Teri received Jesus shortly after arrival. Don and Dave went down the street to the local tavern. There they met up with Rod, a staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ who was witnessing to people in the streets around the tavern area. He said Don and Dave were about as pathetic a couple of guys as he had ever met. When Dave and Don returned to the dorm, I heard the familiar bellow of Dave’s loud voice, “Who the hell is this Paul guy?” The very next day they both wanted to go back home, so they hitched a ride back to Portland. The driver began to witness to them, that is, he was speaking to them about the Savior Jesus Christ and how they could personally know him and be saved from the wrath of God. Halfway back to Portland, Don asked the driver to return to the conference. That day my friend Don became a child of God. Don was a very good-looking young man with excellent communication skills. The love of Jesus radiated from him, so in the years to come he won many to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. To date, he is still witnessing to people daily after nearly forty years.

Jeanine also affected many lives. She went to Bible College and later became a teacher. She has spent her life teaching at a Christian school. Some months after the conference at Cannon Beach, I dropped over to see Teri. As she opened the door I was shocked to see she was about eight months pregnant. She invited me in to sit down and told me she wanted to tell me something. “Jim,” she said, “the very day you talked me into going to the beach I had decided to commit suicide. I could not deal with my family and friends in this condition, but since you were so convincing I thought, why not, what’s one more party?” Well you know what happened.


That night I got saved and I want to tell you, Jim, this whole pregnancy has been a breeze. I wanted to thank God for using you, Jim.” I spent much of my time in those days learning and studying the Bible. I continued to share with many the Four Spiritual Laws booklet that had been the tool God used to change my life. One day I walked into a Christian bookstore. A man saw me approach and engaged me in a
conversation. Once again this was God’s perfect timing. He wanted to know about me and my background. When I finished speaking, he said, “Let me show you some books you need to buy.” He showed me Things to Come by Dwight Pentecost, Dispensationalism by Charles Ryrie, and Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin. After our conversation, I bought all three of the books. They have proven to be invaluable to my understanding and to rightly dividing the word of God.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
I read only the first chapter or two of Things to Come. These chapters dealt with biblical interpretation and explained to me the difference between literal and allegorical interpretation. Dispensationalism taught me the difference between the covenants, which also has been invaluable to my understanding and rightly dividing the Scriptures. And Kingdom of the Cults taught me how to think through the Scriptures and showed me the false understanding of many regarding the Scriptures. Later I found that Walter Martin had many tapes on numerous subjects and I purchased them over time and listened to them many times. He was a very compelling force in my life and biblical understanding. God used these books for service in the fields that I plow and I recommend them for those that wish to be a public witness.


I started attending a local church filled with loving people who were committed to learning and teaching the Bible. Many of the members attended or graduated from Bible schools or seminaries. It was a wonderful time in my life where I met Pastor Dennis Cook and his wife Kathy. They lived in a large home and often had people over for fellowship. Students from the seminary rented space from them and it seemed there were always biblical discussions going on. Dennis was a loving, caring person who seemed to always have time for me. I spent much time with Dennis and Kathy over the next few years, even moving in and renting a room from them. Kathy continually
impressed on me God’s care for me. I also met Ann, who later became a missionary to France for many years and Carroll, who taught psychology at a local college. Each week after church we would go to elderly people’s homes to minister. Both Ann and Carroll would play the guitar and sing and I would give a biblical teaching. One of the ladies we visited was confined to her home as a result of having both legs amputated little by little right up to her hips. She appreciated us very much and always made sure we had milk and cookies when we came. Another lady we visited was about 85 years old and had only been a Christian for about three years. Words cannot express the joy she had in her heart as a result of becoming born again. She truly loved Jesus.


I went door-to-door contacting people within the area of the church, inviting them to come on Sunday, offering prayer or just answering questions. One day after knocking on a door, an older man rougher than a cob came out with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He said, “What in the _____ do you want?”
I said, “Sir, I am from the church down the street and would like to extend an invitation for you to come by and visit us next Sunday, if you can qualify.”
He just about spit up his beer and swallowed his cigarette, blurting out, “Qualify? What the _____ do I have to do to qualify to come to your church?”
I said, “Well, sir, you have to be a sinner.”He looked at me and became very serious and said, “No problem at all.” It has always been my hope I planted some seed that grew unto salvation in his life. As I was leaving I could see his attitude towards me had completely changed. You never know what God can use to spark a fire in a person’s life.
Tracts have over the years been a tool God has used to bring many to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. They come in many different forms and relate biblical subjects. Some are just a reproduction of a complete book of the Bible, like the gospel of John. Some have made tracts into comic book form that have been highly successful in many people’s lives. Some people print their own tracts. Some churches have printing presses for the purpose of printing tracts and church members donate their time for their production. There are also big organizations funded by individuals and churches that publish tracts. Tracts have been used all over the world to communicate the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some have said that, as a general rule, a tract is read by far more than the one person who originally received it by the time it is finally discarded.


One Sunday an older man dressed in Western clothes and a cowboy hat was a guest speaker at our church and called himself a “tract pot.” He spoke of his ministry of handing out tracts in the state of Idaho. I thought this was something I could do to get the message of salvation out to many more people. I purchased a bunch of tracts and went to the city center, a main artery for pedestrians. Alone and wondering what I was to do and how I was to do it, I stood there in fear. Here I was, this once-fearless-man, who would fight at the drop of a hat and I did not know what to do and was almost frozen with fear. As people in their suits and ties walked by I wondered, What if someone stops and asks me a question. What will I say? How can I relate to people like this? I also feared that one of my friends or relatives would see me down there and ask me what I was doing. The Christian life is a constant progression in becoming Christ like. I had not yet learned of the one hundred percent committed life to Christ. I still had one foot in the world and one foot in Christianity. I was still concerned about my worldly image before men.


The possibility I would bump into someone I knew would be embarrassing to me because of the personal pride I still had in who I was in the world. Yet this force of the Holy Spirit within me was pulling me in another direction, and that force had me in the city center with tracts in hand. Like a kid jumping off a diving board for the very first time, I leaped in. I started distributing the fliers and found my tracts gone in short order. I bought more pamphlets and saw that this whole thing could become very expensive for me if I continued. But with God’s wonderful timing, that’s when I found out about the American Bible Society. Rumor had it that they supplied people like me with many different tracts. I called the director in Los Angeles and explained to him my desire. He said that he had many requests but that the Society mainly worked with churches and organizations rather than individuals. He suggested that I drop by to meet him if I was ever in Los Angeles. I jumped in my car and drove down to L.A. within a week or so. He was somewhat surprised that I arrived there so soon. Our meeting went well and he agreed to accommodate me with tracts. From that point on I received an abundant supply of Gospels of John, Romans and many other books of the Bible, all free of charge. It was raining tracts and they were all top quality and ready to be passed out.From the American Bible Society’s founding in 1816, they have been focused on translation, publication and the distribution of Bibles to as many people as possible.
Their mission today is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford so all people may experience its life-changing message.

I then realized I had a big problem: Just how would I distribute all these tracts? I had not expected so many. I decided to recruit help. I invited the people who I had turned on to the Lord to come out with me. This approach had proved useful long before we started having group meetings at my home on Friday and Saturday nights.


Back in those days dragging down Broadway Street in Portland was a big deal for teenagers. I organized two groups that worked each side of the street. When the stoplights turned red we passed out tracts to all the stopped cars before the light turned green again. Then we walked back to the starting point and waited for the next red light and started the process all over again.


It did not take too long before I started to think of myself as a spiritual big shot around town. But God in his grace has a way of getting our attention when such things happen. He got my attention on a Friday night as I rushed to meet my team. I was running a bit late. I parked the car and walked up the sidewalk carrying three large boxes full of gospel booklets to pass out that night. As I passed a bus stop I saw a man sitting and waiting. With one hand I pulled out a gospel booklet from my pocket and handed it to him. I continued to walk but out of the corner of my eye I saw him look at the booklet and then drop it in a trash can. I immediately turned around, put my boxes down and confronted the man by saying, “Hey, if you didn’t want it, why did you take it?”
The man stood up and tossed a punch at me but since I had spent the better part of my life fighting and was considered by many in my city to be one of the few real tough guys, I reacted by blocking his punch and slugging him back. That did not stop this guy. He once again took a punch at me and once again I blocked it and hit him. The man then got the point that he was not going to win a fight with me so he then tried to kick me. I reacted by grabbing his foot. He grabbed the rail and there we stood.
It had to have been quite funny for people to see me holding his foot as the man stretched out and held the rail. That’s when the Lord showed me, Wait a minute. What am I doing here? Fighting was not in the plan for the night. Once I determined the guy had calmed down I let go of his foot. He turned to my boxes and kicked them into the street, booklets flying everywhere. I humbly got down on my hands and knees, crawling around in the street and picking up the booklets. Exhorting me loudly before
everyone that had witnessed the altercation, he screamed, “You call yourself a Christian?” and much more. I just took it, got my pamphlets and
sheepishly continued on to meet with my friends, a humbler servant.
Sometimes we can be moved by zeal rather than the Spirit of God.
Sometimes we can head off to battle without our armor on.

Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11)Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13) Therefore, take up the full armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14) Stand firm
therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the
breastplate of righteousness, 15) and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16) in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. 17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18) With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19) and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20) for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
(Ephesians 6:10–20)

The main thing to remember is, when you are on the front lines you are going to be attacked and make mistakes. God would rather have you making mistakes trying to do something productive for the Kingdom of God than not making mistakes doing nothing. We also never want to forget the power of the blood of Jesus in forgiving our sins and making us clean before God. Fellowship with God can always be restored with a simple prayer.

In the early seventies before our outreaches on Saturday nights many people would meet at my home for fellowship and preparation for the night of street evangelism. For the past six weeks a young man had been showing up who was different than most as he kept to himself and didn’t enter into the conversations during our fellowship times. Denny was the shiest guy I had ever met. I never really talked to him, even though he continually went out with us. One Saturday night after our preparation and fellowship
meeting we went out to witness, that is hand out tracks and talk to people about Jesus. While I walked down Broadway Street passing out gospel tracts Denny walked up behind me. He stopped me, saying that he did not think he was cut out for this type of ministry. He went on to explain that he had been watching me closely for the past few weeks. He said that he observed that not only did almost everyone take my tracts but many also even thanked me afterward. He exclaimed that nobody seemed to take his tracts. For that reason, Denny told me he did not think he would come out with us any longer.


I looked Denny right in the eye and said to him, “Denny, if you want to believe that satanic lie, go ahead, stay home every Saturday night. Sit on your sofa and watch TV; but if you continue on with us, I believe God will bless you with boldness.” I had explained to Denny how incredibly important his life was before God. I told him of the power of the Holy Spirit to change his life and give him power to proclaim the good news. I explained that by faith his life would be changed for God’s purposes if He would just keep stepping out of his comfort areas. I assured him his best plan for his life would not even come close to God’s wonderful plan for his life. I explained to him even though he might feel inferior to many people on the streets, Jesus had saved him and He was the one that had eternal life. I explained how many of the people that he had been approaching with tracts appeared to be successful but in actuality they were lost, Hell bound and in desperate need of the savior Jesus Christ. I told him God often uses the love of the lowly to minister to the supposedly strong. I encouraged him by faith to just keep coming out with us on Saturday nights and God would bless him. Denny chose to believe my exhortation and that changed his whole life.
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. (1 Corinthians 4:10)

To see Denny today, you would never believe he was the man to whom I refer. He has given out more Christian tracts than anyone I have ever known in my entire Christian life. Denny has printed up hundreds of thousands of tracts at his own expense and distributed them mostly on his own. He has traveled throughout the United States preaching at universities and covering many events with the gospel. For more than a decade now he has testified to tens of thousands of people each day of the week and I see no stopping him in the near future.


During this same period of time, Rod, a Campus Crusade for Christ staff member, chose to break off from Campus Crusade and start his own organization called Outreach. Rod had a great personality. I could not help but like him. He set the foundation for much that I would accomplish in the future years. He opened a storefront office and shop where he designed many Christian publications. He was never too busy for me. He gave me the freedom to drop by to watch him work and talk any time I wanted. As I mentioned, I was lacking when it came to basic educational skills but I excelled in communication, visualization and my ability to listen and learn. As a result, Rod gave me the opportunity to gain priceless knowledge and experience that I use to this day.
One day I went into Rod’s office and explained to him that Garner Ted Armstrong was coming to our town and I thought we should do something. Garner Ted had a weekly television program and addressed current worldwide events. He was very good at it and was very popular back in those days but the program was a front for his father Herbert W. Armstrong’s World Wide Church of God, which was a cult. What I mean by a cult is that they did not believe that within the nature of the one God there are three persons and the three persons are the one God. They also did not believe salvation was a gift of God by His grace though faith and not by works. They believed as do most people that salvation is by merit and that how a person performs in life is the determining factor for salvation. Rod told me he did not know of anything that could be done about Garner Ted Armstrong coming to our town but appreciated my concern. I continued on with my desire for Christians in our town to do something when false teachers came into our town with the intent to suck Christians into heretical deceptions. Again Rod agreed but indicated that we could do nothing. That’s when I asked him what he thought Paul the apostle would do in a similar situation. This was a changing point for Rod. He said, “OK Jim, you come up with something and I will try to help you out.” Over the next few days I thought about what we could do. I came up with the idea of producing a pamphlet with Garner Ted’s picture on the front with the heading “The plain truth is...,” the line he used on his weekly television program. The inside of the pamphlet said, “Don’t believe me... read your Bible.” Then following that were many of the arguments I got right out of Walter Martin’s book Kingdom of the Cults.
For example: Armstrong says… “Do you really grasp it? The purpose of your being alive is that finally you will be born into the kingdom of God when you will actually be God even as Jesus was and is God and His Father a different person also is God!...You are setting out on a training to become the
Creator, to become God!”
(Why were you born? pages 21-22, and Kingdom of the Cults, 1985, page 318). I countered Armstrong in my pamphlet with Isaiah 43:10, Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. And then, Deuteronomy 6:4, Hear, O Israel! The Lord is God. The Lord is one! I opposed Armstrong with many points in my pamphlet on the issues of God’s nature and the process of becoming a Christian. Rod designed and laid out the pamphlet in his shop and it turned out to be very good. The next challenge was getting the booklets into the hands of the people attending Armstrong’s presentation. The simple solution seemed to be to have the guys who usually handed out tracts with me to stand in the front of the auditorium and give them to people entering. However, the more I thought about it, the more I did not like that idea, simply because many people would not receive a tract and I wanted everyone to have one. Warning people of Armstrong’s deceptions and misrepresentations of the nature of God and God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ seemed of paramount importance to me.


Then it came to me. Why not go into the auditorium? It seemed like a good idea but what would we do once in there and how would we distribute pamphlets to almost 3,000 seats? That’s when Rod and I came up with the plan of going in with twenty guys. We randomly walked in a bit early and took seats at designated areas. We put together the exact number of packets of the printed tracts to match the number of the seats in each row. Just before the meeting was to start, Rod, the point man in the front of the auditorium stood up and signaled for us to walk one aisle forward and say, “This is something you are going to need tonight. If you could take one and pass them down, we would appreciate it.” It worked perfectly. The pamphlets were distributed to everyone in the auditorium in less than five minutes. Then we congregated outside the auditorium while numbers of people came out. Some recognized us and said, “Praise God for you guys. I had no idea this was a cult.”


Another opportunity for distributing God’s message through tracts was at massive public events. Each year our town hosted the Portland Rose Parade drawing hundreds of thousands of people. I had the idea to distribute tracts down there to the people so they would have something to read as they waited for the parade to start.

One year Rod joined us. He also involved many churches. Under Rod’s direction a float was built for the parade and Rod printed tens of thousands of newspapers with the gospel message. All the people from the churches handing out the newspapers wore Christian T-shirts that Rod had made up. It was a very successful outreach. This one outreach was a demonstration of the gigantic effect local churches can have on a city to reach the lost. Churches are sitting on resources that God has provided so the Great Commission can extend with power and effectiveness. I have always encouraged Church leaders to personally get involved with unsaved people within their communities by stepping out and being examples for others to follow, just like Jesus did. There are many events each year in every city in the world that unsaved people attend attempting to fulfill the emptiness in their lives. Church leaders and members should make every effort to take advantage of the opportunities to reach the lost at public events. They therefore become the missionaries to their home town mission, for free.

 

As a young Christian I became quite concerned over the Bible verses like: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot, 16) so because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16)


These verses helped to build within me a fire, a desire to live a life pleasing to Jesus that has never gone out. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. (James 1:22)
Jesus said: Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. (Matthew 6:10) Each day in Heaven we will identify with the wonders of Jesus. So that’s how it should be here on Earth. I certainly do not intend to be
tight-lipped about Jesus in Heaven, so why should I be silent here on Earth in my temporal stay?


What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. (Matthew 10:27)

We should all live out what we are in Jesus, new creations, bought with a price. Our citizenship is in Heaven. We should realize our obligation to not be ashamed of the gospel and to be eager to proclaim it. Paul said, I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15) Thus, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:14-16)


As a result of studying Walter Martin’s book, Kingdom of the Cults,
I was compelled to make another tract. The title of this tract was
“The Night I Came Face-to-Face with an Anti-Christ.”

It told the brief story of an encounter I had on the streets one night with a man who claimed he was a believer.When I asked the man if Jesus was the Lord God, he could not answer that question. When I pressed him, his face became all contorted and looked demonic as he shouted insults at me. Most people can profess Jesus as a man, a good teacher, a prophet, or one god of many gods that came in the flesh, but only those of the Holy Spirit can profess Jesus as the one and only Lord God who came in the flesh, the only God in time and space for all eternity — past, present, and future.


This is the understanding of 1 John 4:3 that causes separation between the true and the false believers. . . . and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, where of you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:3)
I also included in this tract some additional powerful verses that showed Jesus is God. I found some of the best people to whom I could distribute my new tract “The Night I Came Face-to-Face with an Anti-Christ” were so called “Jehovah Witnesses.” They reject that the Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New Testament and teach that Jesus is a lesser god that God created. They, as many cults, come to their deceptions as a result of not rightly dividing the word of God. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Jesus said to him, Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ (John 14:9)
I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins. 25) And so they were saying to Him, ‘Who are You?’ Jesus said to them, ‘What have I been saying to you from the beginning? 26) I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.’ 27) They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father. (John 8:24-27)
And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. (1Timothy 3:16)
And, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. (Titus 2:13)

I would gather a group of six to ten volunteers and we would travel to the international conventions of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Tens of thousands of their members would show up for usually three to four days of meetings. They were oftentimes held in large stadiums. I would find out what time the meeting was over, as timing is everything when there is heavy security like the Watchtower has. About 20 minutes before they were let out we would place our tracts on the windshields of the
thousands of cars in the parking lots and surrounding streets. It was perfect. Even if they caught on, there was no way they could gather all the tracts off the windshields before the people got to their cars. We hoped that if only one person picked up the tract and was saved, that is, becoming indwelt with the Holy Spirit and having his sins forgiven through the Lord Jesus Christ, it was worth our time, money and effort. The following is a sample of one of the many letters we received showing appreciation for our outreach. It came from Mission City in British Columbia, Canada: “Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: Lord bless you. We are very impressed with the pamphlet the Lord has given you to minister to the Jehovah Witnesses. We are connected to St. Margaret’s Church, Vancouver.”

I encourage all to be creative and to invest in your own ministry. Oftentimes over the years I have been down on my finances but rather than depending on someone else to get the job done I nonetheless chose to sacrifice by putting my own money directly into what I believed in. Many people put their money into new homes, boats, cars, sporting goods and all kinds of pleasures for self. I choose to reject that kind of lifestyle. I choose to invest my money into where I personally can see the bang for my buck. Making my own tracts was just one way I was able to accomplish this over the years. As a result of this course that I refer to as the “Blessing Stream,” I have been blessed far beyond anything I could have imagined for my life.


Being lukewarm is not an option for me and I would encourage all to take advantage of the many opportunities we all have in every way to communicate the Gospel. Tracts, as in radio, television, signs, banners,t-shirts and many other tools are very beneficial in proclaiming the Gospel to the masses that often fall between the cracks. Yet let’s never forget the power of personal encounters with people. I am not just talking about friendly chit chat but delivering the message of the Lord Jesus Christ by opening up our mouths and directly speaking to another human being with clarity. We not only want to be looking for opportunities to speak to people but we should create them. This approach is what has made my life worth living, and I truly have been blessed.

 

 

During this same period of time, I also had great success in winning people to the Lord through the jobs that I worked. For example, I became a welder since I no longer found inner peace as a salesman. My first welding job was working on one of the many Chevron Oil tankers made in Portland, Oregon. With hundreds of workers, it truly felt like a mission field and I was like a kid in a candy store. My reputation spread quickly among the workers who all appeared to be very tough-looking men. As unbelievable as it may sound, it was not long before the superintendent overseeing the whole job approached me. He started asking me questions about my faith in Jesus. Without fail, we began each day by receiving our work assignments and within about an hour he would tap me on the shoulder and the discussion would begin again. Oftentimes I used chalk to write on the bulkheads, explaining things to him like a teacher in a
classroom would. All the other workers did not understand what was going on because this guy was not someone to whom you just walked up to and started talking. Yet daily he crawled around the inner tanks of the ship until he found me and we would usually talk for about an hour or so.


I also engaged this same superintendent and others in home Bible studies. I put together a booklet that became the tool that guided people into truth and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I desired to make something to be used in follow-up that could be as effective as the Four Spiritual Laws booklet was in conversions. All anyone would have to do would be to read the booklet and look up the verses and all would benefit. I wanted to make it easy to follow and interesting enough to hold interest, yet comprehensive in content, therefore moving a person from the milk of the word to the meat of the word. I used this method of the follow-up booklet for many years with Christians and non-Christians and witnessed many lives change.


The book was named “How Shall I Know Unless Someone Guides Me?”. The book started with a guide on how to effectively have a home bible study. It had many cartoons like a Mickey Mouse watch with the caption: No one seriously would claim that a watch came together of itself without a human builder. Yet many illogically claim the universe, infinitely more complex, came into being without a creator. Another illustration showed a flat earth with ships sailing off it. Below it said: Man thought the world was flat up until about 400 years ago! Roughly 2200 years before man proved the world was round, Isaiah the prophet, had this to say…It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. (Isaiah 40:22)


It went on to say, what are the mathematical odds of Isaiah being right 2,200 years ahead of time? Whatever they are, the odds are against it –but it did happen and not just one time does this happen in the Bible but hundreds of times! The mathematical odds multiply with each additional case. This continues to amaze all minds that seriously consider the implications of this. This point was reinforced by…
‘And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,’ says the LORD: ‘My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,’ says the LORD, ‘from now and forever.’ (Isaiah 59:21)


(During Bible Studies I point out that the book of Isaiah was written about seven hundred years before Jesus, and we have today an actual copy of the complete book of Isaiah that was found in the Dead Sea scrolls that is dated within a few hundred years from the time of the original. That is about two thousand seven hundred years ago. Then I asked if they knew of an author in our day that has written a book that will be massively studied twenty seven hundred years into our future. Usually the answer is no. I then say, but it is possible, isn’t it? They agree, possible but not probable. I then ask what they think the odds would be of some author in our day writing a book that would be read by many people twenty seven hundred years into the future. They say, off the charts. Then I ask what the odds would be if the author within the text of his book were to claim, like Isaiah recorded, that his book would be read and massively studied by people twenty seven hundred years into the future and it happened? That question has a profound effect. It is one thing for something like that to happen but it is an altogether different thing when told it will happen in advance and it actually happens like we have observed.


The point is well made by Isaiah 59:21 and Isaiah 40:22 and many more prophecies which makes the Bible the most unique and incredible book of all times).
The Bible Study guide How Shall I Know Unless Someone Guides Me then showed the chain of communication from God to man, autographs, transmission, translation, interpretation and application with explanations of each. Then the study book went into a section dealing with the inspiration of the Bible. I went into studies on the Godhead and His attributes, and how one can have a personal relationship with God showing He is a person. The book moved on from study to study from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22. Woven in were studies on what is sin and its effect, where did the New Testament Preachers preach, and what happened to these New Testament preachers? We continued to the crossroads of a person’s life, providing an opportunity for them to change direction. “I’m happy to inform you that at this point in our study you have all the information you need to make an intelligent decision whether you want to accept the Lord Jesus Christ or reject the Lord Jesus Christ.” It pictured a man sitting on a fence with a sign that showed Jesus with an arrow pointing in one direction toward heaven. Another sign with an arrow pointing to the way of the world and Hell with the caption, “It is impossible to sit on the fence of indecision. This is the crossroads of your life. Which do you choose? “Yes” to Jesus or “No” to Jesus? I want to think it over is the same as no to Jesus. If they say “No” to Jesus I thank them for their time and end the study.

If they say “Yes” to Jesus, the study continues as a result of them
trusting Jesus to be their personal savior. We then go through studies on the Spirit filled life, Christian growth, explaining what Bible commentaries are along with language helps, Bible dictionaries and how to have topical studies. It then moved into a section on Bible guidance on questionable practices, the effect of conduct upon self, the effect of conduct upon others and the effect of conduct upon God. It then illustrated through use of cartoons what the deeds of the flesh were in comparison to the characteristics of a Christian. We then moved to a study on not letting Satan discourage you. We explain that the mind is a battlefield of thoughts. We challenge them to consider their thinking and choices. Questions like, “Is my will to think Godly or ungodly”.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the
obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Some of the topics covered in the study book included: Our hope in Jesus Christ, being like him, priests of Christ reigning with him, heirs of Christ and so on. The study book then made transition into subjects i.e. are there contradictions in the Bible, was Jesus God, why are there so many churches and what does the Bible say about astrology. I then went into sections on New Testament evidence, Old Testament evidence and then Judging in the Bible. I covered preaching in the New Testament, Evolution, the Koran, Transcendental Meditation, Atheism and ending with science and the Bible.

 

 

 

While I was working in the shipyards as a welder, I met a guy who agreed to let me come to his home for a series of Bible studies. The first night of the study he invited his wife and sister. The following week they gathered 27 more people. This opened a wide door for ministry that turned out to be more productive than I had expected.


Another guy I worked with in the shipyard named Rod was a nonbeliever who sat next to me at lunchtime. We were at our usual places on the floor leaning against the lockers since there were not enough tables for so many guys to sit at. One day He started talking negatively about the course of the world. Each day at noon I stopped talking about Jesus but instead talked about the state of the world and everything in it. After about four weeks this guy looked at me and asked, “How is it with your attitude that we all just don’t go out and blow our brains out?” I said, “Now that’s something I would like to share with you. Could I come by your home and explain my views on that subject?”
He said, “Yes”. Rod and his wife Judy were saved. We started weekly Bible studies at their home that continued for years. It was as a result of Rod’s encouragement that I started an organization called “Bridging the Gap” which years later became “Bible Believers.” Rod thought that I could use this organization to raise funds for the ministry but I rejected that idea. It did not set well with me to think of the Christians I knew and met as potential financial givers to my ministry. There was a huge conflict within my mind and spirit as to the personal relationships I desired with my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I was far more concerned with encouraging people to give of their time to personally get involved in the ministry than encouraging them to support my ministry. I do not condemn the many ministers that have used fund raising as a means of support but it was not and still is not something with which I care to get involved.
So Bible Believers organization is used as more of an umbrella for publications and offers other believers a sense of unity within our ministry.

One of Rod and Judy’s friends, a single mother named Sharon, used to come to our Bible study. This was about the time I made up my first Christian stickers. They said things like; “Read the Bible,” “God Hates Sin,” “Repent,” “Trust Jesus” and many other sayings. Sharon was shy and would not go out to the streets with me but she was addicted to putting up my stickers everywhere. I have never seen anything like it. Sharon was shot to death by her boy friend on the college campus she was attending. She was breaking up with him because he was a non-believer. He killed Sharon and then killed himself. Sharon was a single mother trying to raise her daughter and further her education. It was a tragedy but at least Sharon had done significant things for the furtherance of the Gospel while she was alive that are on her heavenly account. There are many public places stickers can be placed where the gospel message can go forth. For example: they go well over graffiti in public rest rooms, they fit perfectly over porno displays, in addition to many other wonderful opportunities for placement.

As a result of the Bible studies I had at Rod’s house and at the homes of other co-workers, we decided to start a Bible study on the job at lunch time. The studies were productive and positive in many men’s lives, but each day a big guy we called “Baby Huey” came up to where we all sat and said the most perverted things any mind could imagine. He was about 6’6” and about 260 pounds — a mountain of a man. He would come in each day for about a minute and unload on us and then walk off. When we would see him in the yard he would always be nice but each noon he let it fly on us. This went on for a year or so before I changed jobs. About six or seven years later I was walking down an aisle of a department store. I felt a big hand grab my shoulder. I turned around and to my surprise saw Baby Huey. He said, “Guess what happened to me?” I asked, “What?” “I got saved,” he replied. “Praise the Lord!”

During this time of the Bible Studies at Rod and Judy’s home, I became friends with one of the girls at the church I attended and we started talking each Sunday. Karen was her name and she was a nice-looking and intelligent girl. She always carried her Bible and liked to talk about biblical matters. One Sunday she invited me to lunch at her apartment that she shared with another girl. I noticed a large Buddha statue sitting by the davenport. I told her that I had something serious to talk to her about. I opened my Bible and went through a number of verses that addressed God’s attitude toward idols:
The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 7:25)
No, but I say that the things which the gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. (1 Corinthians 10:20)
I told her in no uncertain terms that she needed to get rid of the Buddha statue.
I did not see her for some time after that luncheon. When I finally met up with her again, she sat me down and said she wanted to tell me something. She explained that after lunch that day she told her roommate what I had said and they agreed to get rid of that very nice, very large Buddha. But she then told me that neither one of them could get rid of it. Weeks passed as they each reminded the other that they had to get rid of the Buddha. But she said they just seemed to be powerless in doing so. Finally, one day they together picked it up and took it out onto the driveway and smashed it to pieces with a hammer.


She said that I would not have believed how hard that was for them to do. But when they finally started smashing it with the hammer she felt that something supernatural happened that was really strange. She explained that breaking the Buddha released evil. From that point on, both she and her roommate started to experience a far greater Christian walk. She later married a pastor of a successful church in town. Normal encounters we all have with people on the job, in church and just out and about can be turned into productive ministry opportunities. My view of myself has always been one of being in full time ministry no matter where I was or what I was doing.

In Portland, Oregon there is a Bible School named Multnomah School of the Bible. John G. Mitchell founded it. He was an elderly man who had been responsible for sending missionaries all over the world. The school’s professors were gracious men of God who were wonderfully gifted in their understanding of the Scriptures. I inquired about attending the Bible school but was unable to come even close to their standards of entrance. However, I learned I could audit the classes, which meant I paid the fees but did not have to take the tests and also did not receive grades or credits. That was great news for me, since I didn’t give a tinker’s darn about grades or degrees and I hated tests.


I remember my first day in John Mitchell’s class. He walked in and gave a brief testimony on how he was saved. Then he said he wanted everyone to know that as he stood before us that very day, he was not one ounce better off in God’s eyes than a split second after he became born again.That thought of imputed righteousness for all who trust in Jesus has stayed with me over the years and has been a real rock in my understanding. Jesus Christ alone is what has made me righteous before a Holy God. It is His doing, not mine. He alone deserves the glory and praise for all things, not me. Good works are good but what is the motive behind them? My motive has always been one of appreciation for the gift of Salvation that was freely given to me. Furthermore, God does not need me. He was doing fine before I showed up. My motive is not to add anything to Him. That would be ridiculous. Nor is my motive to add anything to myself but to direct my fellow man in the way of the Savior. This is truly loving your neighbor as yourself.My time at Multnomah became invaluable to me as it taught me how to study the Bible. Multnomah also exposed me to many tools such as: Bible dictionaries, commentaries, word studies, theology and more, which God has made available.

In the seventies the Billy Graham Association produced a movie called, Time to Run. The Association collaborated with the churches in cities and towns throughout America to have an “altar call” after the movie was over. Those people who wished to come forward were met by counselors who were ready to lead them to the Lord.

The Association required the counselors to go through an extensive training session in which I eagerly enrolled. When the counselors finished their training they were assigned to a theater to which they were committed to be each day for approximately two weeks while the movie was showing.

Following the training, I was assigned to the newest and largest theater in my town.
At the exact time the Billy Graham movie came out, a movie called The Exorcist also came out. They were both showing in the same theater only about 45 minutes apart. People were lined up outside the theaters and around street corners to view the movie of their choice. The Exorcist was a (1973) sensational, shocking horror story about devil possession and the subsequent exorcism of the demonic spirits from a young, innocent girl from a divorced family. The Exorcist was noteworthy for being one of the biggest box-office successes and one of the first “blockbusters” in film history. It pre-dated Jaws (1975) and surpassed The Godfather (1972) as the biggest money maker of its time. It remains one of the few horror films nominated for best picture. However, it was also one of the most adverse films for its controversial content.


When the movie Time to Run was over there was an invitation for people to come forward and receive Jesus Christ as their personal savior. That is when we counselors would lead them to the Lord. But in between, while The Exorcist played, people came rushing out visibly shaken and often crying as a result of the frightening content of the movie. We counseled them and oftentimes led them to the Lord. Much of our work was done in the restrooms since many ended up there. One guy was even saved on his hands and knees, bending over the commode, green and sick.Between showings, I often talked to a girl named Janet who was a staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ and who worked the same theater. We noticed a little old man who put everyone else to shame by not letting one person slip through his fingers. He passed out tracts to
everyone, engaging them in conversation. He never seemed to take a break. One night we approached him and told him we had been watching him and were wondering what his motivation was.


He responded by saying, “I don’t want their blood on my head.”
Needless to say we both looked at each other as he walked off and said, “What kind of a weirdo is he”? Some years later I found in my studies what that little old man
referred to: . . . and when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, ‘your blood be upon your own heads! I am clean. From now on I shall go to the gentiles.’ (Acts 18:6)
When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’; and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19) Yet if you have warned the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself.” (Ezekiel 3:18-19)
When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. 9) But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your life.” (Ezekiel 33:8-9)
Therefore I testify to you this day, that I am innocent of the blood of all men. (Acts 20:26) Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. (Colossians 1:28)
But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! (Luke 12:5)


So over the years, the concept of warning my fellow man of what awaits him without Jesus Christ as his personal savior has become a main part of my ministry. I hope no one ever gets thrown into the lake of fire for all eternity and then says “you mean there were people that knew how terrible of a place this was going to be for me and they never warned me?” From my point of view warning the unsaved and offering them a way of escape is an act of true Love.

 

 

 

In the early seventies the Jesus Movement was coming on strong. In my town a local church started a Christian coffeehouse named the “Prince of Peace” in their basement. It soon became the place for Christians to hang out on Friday and Saturday nights. They had free coffee and other drinks and homemade cookies, breads and cakes. They had live music upstairs and numerous large round tables where people sat around talked and listened to the music.


I found the coffeehouse a great place to meet people. It wasn’t long before I took teams of people from the coffeehouse down into the streets to minister and then return for refreshments and fellowship.


The director of the coffeehouse was Ron Rohman. He was usually around to counsel and often shared words of encouragement from the stage. He also personally talked with people about a fully committed life to Jesus. Ron was also involved in street work. For nearly 40 years, he and his wife Karen were almost daily found in Portland, Oregon’s city center. Of all the people in the Northwest that I’ve met over the years, Ron has to be one of the most faithful. Few have put as many man-hours into the proclamation of the gospel. Ron has labored for decades with churches and pastors, attempting to set an example and providing a living-day vision by “his” life of what Christianity should be like. Ron has changed many lives by proclaiming the Good News to all with whom he has come into contact. He is about as close to a modern-day prophet or apostle as one could find. He teamed up with a man named Marty who was also dedicated and
faithful to the street ministry. Together, they preached, handed out tracts and personally engaged people in conversations. Marty was almost blind but the lack of good eyesight did not keep him from seeing the jewels within the scriptures nor hinder his dedication. As the years went on Marty became a powerful open air preacher of the Gospel.
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Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel - Frustrated by church growth contests and recruitment techniques, in 1965 Smith took over as pastor of a tiny congregation in Costa Mesa, California. While watching hippies gather at Huntington Beach he and his wife were moved to find some way to reach these lost youth with the gospel. In 1968 Smith recruited Lonnie Frisbee and John Higgins to start a drug rehabilitation and commune called The House of Miracles. Smith’s openness to the hippie culture sparked thousands of hippies to come to the church where he functioned as their father figure. Under his leadership, Calvary Chapel has spawned hundreds of similar churches and is cited as one of this half century’s church growth phenomenons.
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Jim Durkin and Lighthouse Ranch - In the summer of 1970 while Jim Durkin was experiencing dissatisfaction with his ministry, he was approached by several Jesus People looking to begin an evangelistic ministry to the hippies. Though initially hesitant, Durkin allowed the young group access to one of his apartment complexes helping them establish a coffeehouse outreach program. As the ministry blossomed they looked to him for leadership. He acquired an abandoned coast guard station eleven miles outside of Eureka, California allowing the young Christians to use this as their new home. They dubbed it the Lighthouse Ranch. By 1972 the group had grown to between 250 - 300 active members. Under Durkin’s oversight the group began to send out church planting teams all over the world eventually calling their growing organization Gospel Outreach. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Gospel Outreach (GO) continued to send out missionary teams including successful campaigns in Mendocino (California), Germany, Nicaragua, and Hawaii. With 100 affiliated churches worldwide the Gospel Outreach network is one of three denominational legacies of the Jesus People Movement.
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Jack Sparks and the Christian World Liberation Front - One of three founding fathers of the Christian World Liberation Front (CWLF) on the Berkeley campus of the University of California in 1969. A former statistics professor and Campus Crusade worker, Sparks felt the need to begin a campus outreach to left-wing student activists.
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It’s hard for me to express the sweetness of those days. I have never seen anything like the love and dedication of those in the Jesus Movement. I met many wonderful people who had great impact upon my life. They were examples to me of what Christianity was truly meant to be. One family, the Unsickers, had three daughters, all attractive and appearing to be quite different, except for their love for Jesus. I was always welcome in their home, as were many others. Their mother was as good of an example of a Christian wife and mother as anyone could ever hope to be and the father always started every meal by reading from the Bible and briefly commenting on what was read.
They were related to the Miller family who did not live far away. Sharon, the oldest daughter, was a best friend of her cousin, Linda. The three of us often met for fellowship at the coffeehouse on weekends. I grew to be a close friend of Linda. She was a godly young girl who loved the Lord and His Word. We often went to the streets and talked with people about Jesus. She was a wonderful example for me of what a Christian girl should be like I had a great deal of respect for her.
One year at the Portland Rose Festival fun center by the waterfront, Linda and I handed out tracts and talked to people about Jesus while
thousands of people walked around to see all the activities.

As we walked through the Festival grounds handing out tracts, we approached a large crowd of people. We walked over to see what was happening. We saw a nice looking man, about thirty years old, standing on a park bench, preaching. He was captivating and surrounded by people, some screaming insults and others mocking. The preacher was not moved by any of them but rather was as forceful as a freight train. His content seemed to be hellfire and brimstone. He challenged Christians. He said that if they were out sinning everyday, more than likely they were not Christians at all. The more I watched, the more I was spellbound. I did not want to continue passing out tracts with Linda. I just wanted to stay and watch and listen to this man.


Finally I looked over at Linda and said, “You know, I think I could do what this guy is doing someday. I would just want to do it a little differently.”


Linda looked back at me and said, “No Jim, no, I don’t think so.”


I was crushed in my moment of inspiration. Linda was about the most spiritual person I knew and I looked up to her. I felt the Spirit working within me, compelling me. How could she say such a thing?


I looked back at her and said, “What do you mean No?”
She responded by saying, “No Jim, not someday. You should be doing it right now!”


That statement put me under great conviction. And, as is common with everything that is motivated by the Holy Spirit, the enemy will come in and give you every reason in the world why you should not do what God wants you to do. For example: You’re too much of a sinner, you don’t know your Bible well enough, what if you make a mistake or misrepresent God, what if someone sees you from your job and so on. Early on in my
Christian experience, I was given the ability to detect these red flags. So I just made it the general rule of my life to turn against such devilish drivel.


The next night I went back to the fun center a little early. I saw the preacher standing there again, talking to some people as he readied to preach again. I walked over to him and introduced myself. He said his name was “Preacher Ray.”

I told him that I had watched him for some time the night before and asked if there was a chance that I might give it a try tonight. He responded to me in a forceful way by saying, “This is not the only bench in the park. Go find your own park bench!”


I stepped back and walked away bewildered. I thought of going home, but I just kept walking through the fairgrounds. Then I noticed under a large tree a park bench that appeared to be the perfect place to preach. I stood by the bench, then I sat on the bench, then I stood some more. I wondered what should I do? How could I, how would I? The main thing I remembered was fear. Keep in mind that I used to be one of the town’s tough guys who feared nothing, who would fight in a New York minute. That was just a few years earlier, so I felt I was more than competent to handle any problem. It just did not make sense why I was so fearful.


Finally I climbed up on the park bench and watched people walk by. Then I got down and then I got back up. Then I opened my mouth and started speaking. For the first time in my life, my purpose — why I was created, why I was on this Earth — was confirmed to me in the Spirit.


I started communicating all I knew about Jesus and the Bible. A crowd formed and seemed to grow bigger and bigger. Someone asked me a question and I remembered what the Bible said. Keep in mind the thousands of hours I had spent learning the Bible by listening to the reel-to-reel tapes. Then another question came from the crowd; the answers seemed to flow from me. Yet another question and that’s when I remembered what Walter Martin had said about such a question. I responded with what I had learned from him. It went on and on for hours with no consciousness of time.


Right about this time, a police officer friend of Preacher Ray approached him and asked, “Who is your friend down at the other end of the park?”
Ray responed, “What friend?”


The officer said, “You mean you don’t know him?” The officer then said, “Well, if you don’t know him, you should. You think you can draw a crowd, you should go down there and see a real crowd.”


Preacher Ray shut down his preaching pulpit, thinking maybe Holy Hubert was in town. He walked down, worked his way into the very large crowd and saw the guy to whom he had earlier told, “Go find your own bench.”


Preacher Ray and I became friends and are to this very day. He has had a wonderful ministry of preaching about sin, righteousness, and judgment. Preacher Ray had spent much time in the parks of Portland preaching and talking to hippies. He often gave them money for food and more than once, the coat or shirt off his back. One time in Washington, Ray gave the very shoes he wore to a hippie. Some time later in Oregon, some hippie spoke out from the crowd saying, “Hey, you’re the preacher who gave your shoes away.” Ray’s preaching was intense, but in person he was a gentle, kind, loving man. He put his actions right behind his mouth.


He once told me a story of how he weekly frequented a certain park for better than a year and how he saw a hippie smoking marijuana each time. This continued to go on until one day Preacher Ray showed up and that same kid was not smoking his marijuana. That made Preacher Ray curious. After he finished preaching, he approached the young guy and asked whether there was something wrong. The young guy replied no. Ray then said that, for over a year now he had seen the young guy smoking marijuana each day as he preached but today he was not. Ray wanted to know if something was wrong. The young guy looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Everyone is entitled to a day off once in a while, aren’t they?” In Preaching the Gospel it is important to break down the barriers whenever possible and let people know you really care about them and their lives.


A good friend’s exhortation caused me once again to place my faith in the word of God and climb up on that park bench and start proclaiming the Gospel that changed my life.
I encourage all to be less concerned about how the people of the world see you and more concerned about how God sees you through faith.
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)


I continued preaching at Portland Rose Festival fun center every night until the event came to an end. Within the next few months I may have open air preached a half a dozen times or so. But one thing is for sure, open air preaching was now in my blood. I had a new passion to experience the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through me to change people’s lives.

 

 

 

Many of the people from the Prince of Peace coffeehouse planned to go down to Santa Cruz to a Jesus People Festival called the “Festival of the Son.” There, people from all over the country met on top of a hill for a three-to-four day festival campout with music, fellowship and lots of good home-cooked foods.


One morning the leadership of the festival had lined up about ten to twelve guys on top of a hill above all the people and announced the various biblical topics on which each of these guys was going to teach. As they announced open-air preaching I thought, “Now that is for me”. I went over to the area designated for the teaching on open-air preaching. That is where I saw a number of others in a large circle surrounding a 265 pound, 6’5” guy who had a commanding presence, spoke with authority and introduced himself as Jeremiah Baldwin. He had been saved at the Young Life Campaign Camp in June 1964 and was asked to preach at a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting a week later. He was very active in Young Life, Campus Crusade and the Murray Hill Baptist Church from 1964 to 1967. Because He was well known in Jacksonville, Florida as a ‘hood’ and an athlete, (high school all-American football player), he was continually asked to preach and teach from the time that He became a Christian.


His presentation on preaching at the festival that morning went something like the following:
The idea of God having more than one attribute than that of “love” is something we all need to understand. Yes, only one verse in the Bible says that, “God is Love.”
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
(1 John 4:8)
But Jeremiah added that many other places in the Bible declare
also “what God is.”
Deuteronomy and Hebrews speak of God as a “consuming fire.”
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)
...for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)
Jeremiah continued to say: the Bible also presents God as, “Man of War,” “Hating all workers of iniquity,” “Being angry with the wicked every day,” “Judging Sodom and Gomorrah,” “Flooding the earth,” “Bring tribulation judgments” and in the Book of Revelation, “Throwing people into Hell.”


Jeremiah continued by strongly rejecting the modern-day idea of a feminine God. He exhorted us to accept the full biblical nature of God and to present God the way the Bible does telling the whole truth. One of the leaders of the festival who was monitoring the session declared that this session was going to have to end because no one was getting anything out of it.


At this point, I stood up and declared dogmatically that not only was I getting something out of it, but that it was very inspiring to me. Backing Jeremiah came naturally to me and the lack of fear of what others thought and a love for the truth were imbedded deeply in me, as they should be in all Bible-centered preachers. A muscular guy named Leroy from Bakersfield, California, along with a number of others also stood up and agreed with me. We all supported Jeremiah in his presentation, which caused no small stir. Jeremiah prayed in front of everyone for all to settle down and told those who didn’t want to be in the class to feel free to leave.


Jeremiah continued, showing some banners with bold Gospel messages on them. He spoke about how we should preach in public, explaining what it was like and how to get and keep a crowd at events.He talked about how the heaviness of preaching dealt with
confronting sin and cults and all the works of the devil, as well as worldly Christianity. Jeremiah clearly presented the biblical support for street preaching. He gave biblical examples on where to preach: Elijah openly confronted the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18:40); Jeremiah preached in the streets and at the gate of the Lord’s house (Jeremiah 7:1-2; 11:6); John the Baptist preached in the wilderness of Judea (Matthew3:1); Jesus preached openly in numerous towns and synagogues (Mark 1:38–39), on a mountain (Matthew 5–7), and boldly confronted the Pharisees and the scribes (Matthew 22–23); Peter stood up and boldly preached at Pentecost (Acts 2), Stephen boldly preached to the Jewish council, even when he was being stoned (Acts 7); Paul preached in the synagogues immediately following his conversion (Acts 9:20) and on Mars’ Hill (Acts 17:22).


Jeremiah then brought out a number of captivating points:
1) “Open rebuke is better then secret love” (Proverbs 27:5);
2) “O generation of vipers” (Matthew 3:7);
3) Forthright name-calling from Jesus (Matthew 23);
4) Jesus cast moneychangers out of the temple (Luke 19:45-46); illustrating Jesus was not effeminate.
5) Peter preached heavily to Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:18-24);
6) Filled with the Holy Ghost, Paul said, Thou child of the devil. (Acts 13:9-10)
When Jeremiah finished, Leroy and I followed him back to the camper in which he traveled to colleges and events to preach the Gospel. He explained that, with the prices of motels and food, traveling in a camper was much more affordable. As we sat in the camper Jeremiah continued to teach. Time passed by quickly. The next day we all left and headed back home.

I think it is fitting for me to make a disclaimer here: I will tell stories of the many preachers I have met over the years. In doing so, I do not want anyone to misunderstand. I may not hold to their views concerning the Scriptures. Preachers, as churches obviously hold many varying views. I would not feel comfortable attending the personal churches of many open air preachers, but I do feel comfortable preaching to the lost with them because the core message of all open-air preachers is the same. Simply put, the message to the lost is 1) You’re in trouble; 2) Jesus is the only way of escape; 3) Recognize sin, righteousness, and judgment; 4) Heaven or Hell await you when you die; and 5) Trust Jesus, He is the only way of escape.


I am fully aware some street preachers do not use wisdom or sound judgment at times.
Nonetheless just because someone beats their wife doesn’t mean we should put away the institution of marriage. Just because someone abuses food doesn’t warrant that we all stop eating. Just because some preachers have abused the ministry doesn’t mean all preachers have abused the ministry. It is unfair to broad stroke the whole ministry in negative tones when only a relatively few preachers have been guilty of unwise practices. For the most part the preachers I know are sincere, loving, and willing to risk it all for the sake of the lost for whom Christ died.


But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28)and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, 29)that no man should boast before God.(1 Corithians 1:27-29)


Holy Hubert, one of the main guys that started all this modern day open air preaching, used to say, “We’re not all going to agree alike but we should all love alike.”


In addition, befriending many open-air preachers over the years has made my life delightful and has been a pleasure. These preachers are committed and have strong convictions toward their love for Jesus and their desire to represent him like the men in the Bible did. I have noted however, as churches, many preachers do not see eye-to-eye on things and often tend to not want to associate with each other as a result of their varying views. I am not one that would advocate changing or giving up dogmatic views for the sake of friendships or getting along. I am one, however, who believes we can have a good attitude toward one another while maintaining our differences. Seeing and applying the thread of unity within the Body of Christ is paramount to the heart of God and should be our desire as the Bible testifies.


Picture an old couple in their eighties wanting to have a nice Thanksgiving Day dinner. They have seven children and want to invite them all over for dinner. So they call Donna, their firstborn, and tell her of their plans. Donna says she would love to come but she will not come if her brother Jeff comes. They then call Ben and ask him to come, and he says he will come only if they can assure him that his sister Patty will not be there, and on and on it goes until none of the kids come. Now I ask the question: What should be the motivation for the seven kids to lay down their differences and come? Well that’s easy, it would please their parents. And that should be our motivation to try to get along with our fellow members of the Body of Christ, because it’s pleasing to God.

Preacher Ray has spent his life touching lives through preaching and being real with people as illustrated in the story of the hippy in the park. Jeremiah touched my life as he has many by communicating truths that are often times ignored by most. We can all touch lives by being unified members of the Body of Christ, as Holy Hubert use to preach, and still have our differences.

 

 

 

A few months after I met Jeremiah, I took a trip to, California, where Jeremiah lived. There he was a leader in a local Christian fellowship. Many of their members lived in a run-down RV park. All of them were single and pushed the concept of being single for God.


Robert from the fellowship and Dennis Agajanian, who became a popular Christian Music Evangelist, traveled to Berkeley where they met Holy Hubert, Billy Graham and Bill Bright who founded Campus Crusade for Christ. Jeremiah started making big banners with gospel messages on them. He also painted gospel messages on vehicles and made Christian T-shirts with bold gospel messages. With a lot going on back in those days, the Christian fellowship felt obligated to bring the gospel message to all.

They emphasized the idea that all believers should be in the race (Luke 9:23; 1 Corinthians. 7:32–34; 1 Corinthians. 9:24; and Hebrews. 12:1). Jeremiah is still totally committed to the ministry to this day.

This is what I ran into when I got to California. Our Bible studies were three or four hours long and I learned about sectioning. Sectioning is a process they practiced in which they created topical sections as they read the Bible and added verses that applied as they went. For example, a section on “abortion is wrong” included Isaiah 49:1, Jeremiah 1:5, Galatians 1:15, Luke 1:15, Psalms 22:10 and Psalms 139:13. As the studies continued more verses that are applicable to the section are added and the process becomes a lifetime endeavor.

Everyone there was doing something and everyone was zealous. They treated me like royalty each and every time I went down there and they always paid for everything. They were all neat guys with strong bodies, good personalities and very loud voices. Everyone wanted to make sure they were heard. One guy, Neal, was a wonderful young man who was very impressive to me. Each day he went to high schools or junior highs and talked to kids about Jesus. I think he hit every school in LA at least once.
Dennis Agajanian, also was impressive. He sang and played Christian songs with his guitar. He was not a member of the group, but spent a lot of time in fellowship with them and was a lot of fun to be around.


A few months after I had returned from California I got a call in the spring of 1973 from Jeremiah. He told me he was going to preach up at the University of Washington with Holy Hubert and wanted to know if I could come. Little did I know how this would change the course of my life. I had never preached on a college campus before, nor had I met Holy Hubert. We were to meet in front of the student union in Seattle. Jeremiah put up his banner and Holy Hubert began preaching right in front of the student union. Hubert told the students they were ignorant, they didn’t know where they came from why they were here or where they were going. Soon a large crowd gathered, just like at the fun center where I first preached. The crowd threw out questions on all kinds of topics and like a machine gun, Holy Hubert fired back with answers. Someone would say something like, “Some of the biggest nuts in the world come to this college” and Hubert would reply, “When did you arrive?” Holy Hubert was an expert at mixing a little sugar in with his powerful messages for the cause of Christ. Students loved it regardless of how enraged they may appear from time to time. Their continual presence hour after hour was evidence to reinforce my point that they loved Hubert. Someone else would say, “You can’t argue with an idiot.” Hubert would reply, “Sir, I’m not arguing with you.” It went on and on and I loved it. Hubert would move from humor to serious subject matter and back again making it very hard for the student to button hole him into some typical Christian stereotype that would justify them writing him off.

When Holy Hubert called me up to preach, it was amazing. I felt like I had been doing this my whole life. On a college campus, even the poorest students were far more advanced than myself in the basic education skills. Yet, the Lord graced me with the ability to deal with all the questions that were asked of me. The Spirit spoke through me, confounding the minds of the brightest students on campus.
This experience led to Holy Hubert and me becoming good friends. Hubert shared with me that he had met Preacher Ray in 1965 at a tent meeting and they decided to preach on Skid Row in Portland Oregon.


The following is an excerpt from Hubert’s book, Bless Your Dirty Heart, where Hubert describes their first day of preaching. “Nothing happened the first day.
Late in the afternoon of the second day, one of the drunks threw a pitcher of water out of an upper-story window and it splashed over the top of my head. That furnished humor for the derelicts but not enough to attract a crowd. The following night, the same drunk threw water on Ray. This time, the odor led me to believe the
liquid was not solely water.” Bless Your Dirty Heart, 1973.

Hubert first preached at a college in 1965 at Portland State in Oregon because Preacher Ray wanted them to give it a try. Then Preacher Ray suggested they go to the University of California at Berkeley. So off they went.Hubert was a short man with reddish hair, freckles all over his face, and a few missing teeth. The man we called Holy Hubert had memorized most of the Bible, which none of us believed at first. Only after random, spur-of-the-moment tests did we become believers. We would say, “OK Hubert, what does Isaiah 32:3 say?” And he would quote it. He never failed.Hubert went to Berkley during one of the most difficult times in our country. Berkeley was a site of ignition necessary for discontent to become revolution. Hubert jumped right into the middle of all that and made no small stir himself.

Hubert is the most well-known preacher ever at Berkeley.

His preaching started a trend that has spread like wildfire to most universities in the country. Other preachers now regularly show up at universities, oftentimes having no understanding that Holy Hubert and preacher Ray were the guys who started it all.
My daughter, Joy, played basketball and my wife and I went to all her games. After one of her high school games the parents of one of the girls on the team asked my wife Toni and me over for pie and coffee. They were Christians and lived in a wonderful home. As we sat making small talk, Debbie, the mother of my daughter’s teammate turned to me and asked what I did. I responded to her question by saying, “Well I do a lot of
different things.” That’s when she pointed her finger at me and said forcefully, “I know you do something and I want to know what.” She was very direct and she knew I was always at my kid’s games no matter what the times were. I was sociable with the fellow parents but nobody understood how I could always be at the games and wondered what I did. So I responded to Debbie by saying, “Do you really want to know?” She said, “Yes,” and added, “There is something very different about you and I want to know what it is.” Then I very gently attempted to share with her that I was an open air preacher who preaches on university campuses. That’s when her husband Gene, a prominent attorney in Portland, who had said very little up to that point, sprung off the couch and said, “I told you so!”He was not referring to me at all, but brought the discussion right back to one he had previously had with his wife Debbie about his experiences as a college student at Berkeley. He then went on to explain to us his experiences as an unsaved college student in 1968. For about 2 years he made a point to often listen to Holy Hubert preach at Berkeley. He told us how he became born again as a result of watching a Billy Graham Crusade on television. Gene then made the point forcefully that he believed that much of the reason he responded to the Billy Graham Crusade’s call to salvation was because of Holy Hubert’s preparation work through preaching the Gospel at Berkeley. Then He went on to explain to his wife and us how important open air preaching was to him and many other university students. He also went on to tell of a good friend of his who also used to listen to Holy Hubert at Berkeley. He got saved and now is a pastor of a large church in the mid-west.

A professor at Multnomah School of the Bible once told me of a trip he took to Berkeley.
He had been asked to visit for a secular conference on archeology. One noontime he walked around campus and noticed a large crowd of students gathering.
The professor was a big man and peered into the crowd to see what was going on. There, he saw Holy Hubert.

At that time, the professor recalled asking himself, “Is this the best Christianity has to offer these students?” He started to walk off when something stopped him. He turned back to the crowd once again. Rather than gazing at the little red-haired man, he recalled looking to the crowd. He scanned the faces and saw they were all intently listening to what this man was saying about Jesus. He then said that God taught him an important lesson that day. What more could anyone ask, than to be surrounded by unbelievers 2,000 years after the resurrection, all of whom intently listened to an explanation of the gospel. While describing this event to me, He looked at me and said, “Webber, go preach the gospel!”

Jeremiah Baldwin, of the California Christian Fellowship stepped out by faith and responded to the call of Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel as did Preacher Ray and Holy Hubert. In doing so, as Jesus did, he set a good example for me and others to follow. As a result many lives have been challenged and changed for all eternity.

 

 

 

 

When I returned home from my trip to Seattle, I thought a great deal about all that I had been exposed to. I contacted my old friend Rick and asked him to paint a Christian banner for me. The banner was 6 feet wide and 10 feet tall. On one side, it said, “If being born has not given you much satisfaction, try being born-again.” On the other side, it said, “Jesus saves from Hell” and “Read the Bible while you are able.” I started going to the area colleges and streets with this banner. I bought a camper and “Christianized” it with sayings like, “If Christ died for you, why not live for him?” Over the next ten years, Rick painted many banners and sandwich boards for me and other preachers. I could not even begin to guess how many. And Rick never charged anyone a dime. They were all free.


About this time, Denny, the shy guy, started going out with me. Denny and I decided to take a trip across the country to preach on college campuses. We did not have much money, so when the California Christian Fellowship sent us a credit card to pay for the gas on the trip, we realized that this was a super blessing.
We loaded the camper with about 2,000 pounds of literature and took off for Idaho, Utah, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania,Illinois,Kansas and California before returning home again.

We usually arrived on campuses in the evening and found a place to park. Then we’d staple our posters up on all the bulletin boards where students posted their messages. We found postings for Sun Young Moon, E.S.P., Krishna, gay news, yoga, transcendental meditation, The Way, Bahai, the Revolutionary Communist Party, Young Socialists and so on. Student bulletin boards as a general rule are located all over campuses and we wanted to take advantage of this free advertising method. We made our poster headings bold by saying, “WARNING” or “PUBLIC NOTICE.” Below the heading, we gave the gospel. We would also place our stickers in key locations. We thought that our posters would testify to those students who did not actually come into contact with us through our preaching. Therefore, by using the posters, we would testify to almost all the students who attended the college. We also realized that our outreach extends longer than one day because our posters and stickers would continue the message long after we were gone. We strongly believed that we should witness to as many as possible and that we would please Jesus through our work. After all, one of the last things Jesus said prior to his ascension was, . . . But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
All this traveling was taxing. Preaching all day and then driving to the next college is hard work. Oftentimes we drove three to six hours to get to the next college. We would arrive late at night, then place stickers and posters and finally get to sleep, only to get up in the morning, head to the student union, to pass out tracts, begin preparing for preaching by 11:30, and start the whole process all over again. By the weekend we were generally worn out and praying our voices would be back to full strength by the following Monday morning. By 11:45 each morning, we had our banners up and had begun
preaching the gospel. We usually preached about three to four hours and were able to hold a crowd for much of that time. This time gave us a wonderful opportunity to share Christ and to address all kinds of questions and objections. Although many Christians were glad to see us preaching on their campuses, some felt we were using the wrong approach. Just as one old preacher used to respond when someone informed him his approach was wrong while preaching on the streets of Chicago, He would say, “I like the wrong way I am doing it better than the right way you’re not doing it.”

After many presentations, we established a system that worked for us. For those who did not believe, we centered our presentations around the following four basic questions:
1) Can you give me one good reason why you’re not a Christian?
2) Can you give me one good reason why you don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God?
3) Can you give me one reason for not believing in God?
4) Can you give me one reason why you don’t believe Jesus was who He said He was?

These questions always provoked responses by some and others asked questions of us and made remarks. The questions and answers drew crowds and kept the people there for hours. Often, reporters from the school newspapers published our story with pictures of our banners, that were distributed to all the students of the college.
The Penn State Daily Collegian wrote the following:
Members of Bridging the Gap, a religious organization operating out of Portland, Oregon, preached to listeners outside Willard Hall, bearing this sign and passing out “Know your Bible” cards. The group’s members travel mostly to college campuses.
From Oregon State University’s Barometer, the following appeared in “Listen to the Editor”:
“I read with interest your recent editorial on James Webber, the
Christian street preacher who keeps bugging everybody to read the Bible. Boy, he has some nerve, telling people they are going to Hell unless they repent from their sins and accept Christ. You’re right when you said it is hard to understand why someone would endure jeers and insults when he has absolutely nothing to gain. I’ve heard that some people have gotten so mad at him, they have resorted to physical violence to try and shut him up, but even that hasn’t worked. That guy is so stubborn, he kind of reminds me of those Apostles in the Bible that went around preaching to everybody and stirring up trouble. They wouldn’t shut up either. Why can’t he understand that people today don’t want to hear that stuff? All that talk about dying and the Judgment Day just makes people depressed. Besides, why worry about Doomsday when we have more important problems to think about, like the hydrogen bomb, the dying oceans, pollution and worldwide starvation. Religion, like you said, is a personal thing you just don’t want to talk about with some stranger. Just because the Bible says that Christians should preach the gospel everywhere, does that mean they have to do it?
“If James Webber would just be quiet and limit his sermons to the campus religious groups it would be OK. That way when we die, if there is a God, we can always say, ‘Well, nobody told me about this,’ or perhaps we could quote your editorial and say, ‘Scare tactics don’t work.’ If neither of these answers seem satisfactory, maybe we should all listen to what Mr. Webber has to say.”

Student newspapers continually spoke of us long after we were gone from the campuses. Provoking this type of thinking certainly had its merits and worked well on university campuses.

Our campus visits also provoked many letters. For example:
“I wish by this note to say thank you for your efforts for Christ. It restrengthened me and I was pleased to hear your message. Thanks again, Yours in Christ, Douglas”
“Dear sir or madam, The other day I saw a leaflet produced by you up on a wall at the University of Kansas. I would like to know if it would be possible to get a large quantity of the same leaflet for distribution to my relatives and acquaintances. The leaflet I have in mind has the word ‘Warning’ at the top in huge bold letters and it ends with, ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.’ It is the most striking religious leaflet or tract that I have ever seen and I would like to get a hold of 50 or 100 of them to pass around. Sincerely, Christopher .”

My first nationwide preaching trip with Denny was certainly a “Love Trip,” because we really loved it. Even if no one would have been saved and no one was exhorted or strengthened, they all would have had opportunities that other-wise they may not have had. Reaching out to others in Love with the truths of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is really a “Love Trip.”

 

 

 

Right around August 1974 I took a swing-shift job as a welder at a heavy equipment manufacturer in Portland, Oregon. I quickly became known as a born-again believer. In December 1974, an electrician on the job named Lyn Ford approached me and said he had a personal problem that he wanted to ask me about. Lyn was liked by everyone but had not yet been saved. He explained that the next-door neighbor lady had been
spending a lot of time with his wife Marilyn. The neighbor was a Christian and had involved his wife. He went on to say they walked around the neighborhood praying for all the people in their homes. Also she kept trying to get Marilyn to join her church. He asked me if this was normal and what I thought.

I replied by attempting to use a little reverse psychology on him by saying, “Lyn, you have a serious problem here and it’s not going to get any better.” He asked me what he could do. I said, “Well, at this point it would appear to me there is no hope for you and I think things are only going to get worse for you.”

He said there must be something he could do because he did not want a divorce.
I said, “You are very fortunate to have contacted me because I am one of the few people who can straighten out this whole thing for you.” Then he asked if I would help him out. I said, “OK, I would come over to straighten things out for you but I at least want something to eat while I am there. Being single, it helps to be able to minister on a full stomach.” Lyn said, “No problem,” and was very appreciative. A few days later we set a date to meet before work.I showed up at the Lyn’s home at the time we had agreed upon. Lyn met me at the door.

Once I entered the home I noticed something only an extremely upset woman could produce, kind of like a dark gray smoke that could be cut with a knife. I was in my work clothing, looking a little rough around the edges. I looked into the dining room and to my surprise I saw a table set for a king, with a white tablecloth, silver settings, all kinds of condiments and extras, like a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. In awe, I looked to the kitchen and noticed where I sensed the heaviness coming from. It was indeed Marilyn, and she was clearly unhappy for being made to put together this elaborate dinner.

I kept my composure and acted as if all was normal for me. After a very good dinner, I suggested we conduct a Bible study. I pulled out my Bible study book and started going through it with Marilyn, as Lyn eagerly looked on. Marilyn was a very strong-willed woman with a good logical mind. She easily shifted gears from her anger with Lyn and me and got right into the Bible study. I asked her if I could come back the following week for another study and she readily agreed. I made it clear that no dinner was required for the following week’s study.

Marilyn saw that Lyn was listening to the study. Lyn was eagerly waiting for me to help his wife out of the problem He thought might destroy their marriage, while having to listen to every point I was making to his wife. The following week I asked Lyn if he could help me out by looking up some of the verses for us. He agreed, so I showed him how to use the Table of Contents and how he could easily be of help to me. For the next few weeks Lyn assisted me by looking up the verses. On January 15, 1975, we were midway through the study and I was making the point that all people will live eternally. They either spend eternity in Hell or in Heaven. At that point, Lyn leaped from the table and ran out of the room. Marilyn and I were stunned and we looked at each other, not understanding what was going on. We sat there wondering where Lyn went and why. Ten minutes later, Lyn came back into the room a saved man, with a purpose for living, a hope for the future and with new life within him. He was born again.
Becoming a Christian totally changed Lyn’s life, as well as mine.

Because Lyn was such a likeable guy, he started recruiting people to our Bible studies. We changed our study days to Saturdays and often packed the house. People were being saved right and left. Lyn’s mother, grandmother, sister and brother-in-law, children and all kinds of their friends and neighbors were all saved.

I eventually finished all the studies in my “How Shall I Know Unless Someone Guides Me?” Bible study book with this group. So, for the first time in order to continue the study with this group, I started giving Bible studies right out of the Bible. I took a book of the Bible and provided verse-by-verse studies. This method not only taught the people attending the Bible study classes but also taught me. For eight years we held Bible studies that lasted three to four hours and Marilyn always provided a big meal for everyone afterward.

We also started a Bible study at work. Each day, ten to fifteen people attended, in addition to one of the foremen who joined us on a regular basis and another who dropped in at times.

I could have worked with Lyn for years and seen no change in his life. He could have approached me and I could have responded by saying I would pray for his wife. But since I had prepared myself and was eager to be a servant of the Lord, I got personally involved in Lyn and Marilyn’s lives and as a result, many people have come to experience new life in Jesus. We only get one time passing through this life and I, by faith, want to make the best of each opportunity I have to be involved in other people’s lives for the Kingdom of God and hope you do too.

 

 

 

In May 1975, I quit my job to attend Multnomah School of the Bible for an eleven-week summer field study in biblical geography and archaeology. Thirty-six Multnomah Bible School students, two instructors and one female teacher and chaperon attended this study. We were to camp throughout the Bible Lands, staying in tents and cooking our own food.

We landed in London on May 30, 1975. We went to Paris and visited the Louvre, The Louvre Museum, which has dominated central Paris since the late 12th century and is filled with more things than the mind can imagine. We then continued to Florence, Rome, Pompeii, Corinth, Athens, Thessalonica, Philippi, Istanbul and Troas. We visited most of the churches of Revelation chapter two, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Smyrna. Then we explored Ephesus. The city bore the title of “the first and greatest metropolis of Asia.” It was distinguished for the Temple of Artemis (Diana), who had her chief shrine there, for its library and for its theatre, which would have been capable of holding 25,000 spectators. And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. (Acts 19:26) Also, we explored Galatia, Tarsus, Sidon, Tyre and Damascus.
And it came about that as he journeyed, he was approaching
Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4) and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 5) And he said, ‘Who art Thou, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.’
(Acts 9:3-5) Then we went on to Jordan, Petra, Amman, Jericho, Galilee and Mount Carmel.

And he said, ‘I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and you have followed the Baals. 19) Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.’ (1 Kings 18:18-19)
Then we explored Samaria, Jacob’s Well, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the excavation at Tel Beer Sheva, the Wilderness of Sin and St. Catherine’s Monastery. Set beneath the mountain where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments, the monastery library preserves the second largest collection of early codices and manuscripts in the world, outnumbered only by the Vatican Library. We slept on top of Mt. Sinai, then continued on to Kadesh-barnea, first mentioned in the Bible during the time of Abraham and later during the Wilderness Journey. After the Exodus, the Israelites remained for many years at and in the vicinity of Kadesh. We also went to Jerusalem (old city), London, the British Museum and home again. Of course, we saw just about everything in between. This trip offered me a much broader perspective of the Bible than I previously had.

Some of the highlights for me were the Louvre and the Coliseum in Rome where Christians were martyred. To see the hiding places of the Christians and their writings on the walls in the catacombs was a real eye-opener. To see Pompeii and hear the history of the city was very interesting. To witness the depth of sin in which the people of Corinth lived was staggering. The remains of the city of Ephesus were amazing, along with Petra and Masada that were also highlights.
Masada has a legendary status in Israeli mentality. Here the fight for Israeli and Jewish independence was fought with such a strength and fidelity that the people taking this as their last resort, chose to die rather than surrender to the Romans. With the fall of Masada in year 73 AD, the state of Israel came to an end for a period of almost 1,900 years. Seeing St. Catherine’s Monastery, the old city of Jerusalem and the British Museum was priceless. To be able to share Christ with a packed room of young men in Turkey late into the night was a blessing. This was against the law there. A young man asked another student, Dan, and me to come to his home and tell him about Jesus. We had previously been told not to speak to anyone about Jesus as we traveled throughout the country. But we sneaked off in the dark of the night to a home that, to our surprise, was packed with people wanting to know about Jesus. That night in that packed little home with so many asking us all kinds of questions about Jesus and the Bible, we were blessed. It had such an impact on Dan’s life that years later Dan returned to Turkey as a teacher and has been doing missionary work there for over twenty years now
One night we were camped by the sea in Lebanon. Having just finished a campfire dinner, I suggested to Dan and another fellow traveler that we walk into the town located about a half-mile from our camp to see how the locals live.

We walked around the small Lebanese town and eventually came to a church. I suggested we go in and see what the inside was like. The church was quite different from any American church I had ever been in. Lots of pictures, colors, statues and much gold were everywhere. In the front of the church was a man dressed all in black with a long beard and a bonnet-type hat. I wanted to take a seat and watch him. So we three big Americans in casual camping clothes sat down in the front row and watched this man. He started swinging these unusual pieces of metal. Out came smoke and incense as the metal clanged back and forth. The motion caught us off guard. We had never seen anything like it. He swung the smoke and incense out in every direction, even toward us. Then he stopped. He stood, occasionally looking at us. We looked back at him, wondering if we should leave or what, but we did not want to hurt his feelings. After a while, we heard voices, and in came about thirty to forty well-dressed men. Then we heard more voices and in came thirty to forty well-dressed women. Shortly after that, we realized we were sitting in the front row of someone’s wedding. We didn’t know what to do. We did not want to insult anyone, yet we felt we should not be there. We chose to stay. After the wedding, we joined the line with everyone else and shook hands with the newlyweds and then left. To this day, the bride and groom may still be wondering who those guys sitting in the front row of their wedding were, because we did not know how to speak their language, nor did they know ours.


For two weeks, I worked doing archeological excavation at Tel Beer Sheva in conjunction with the University of Tel Aviv. I would enter into discussions with many of the foreign students from all over the world. The Jewish students seemed most upset with me, as we had many discussions and they were not able to deal with my questions and beliefs. They asked me if I would be willing to meet for a debate with Professor Yohanan Aharoni, the director of the whole archeological excavation project and a world-
renowned archeologist who was Jewish and lived in Israel.

Keep in mind that I was there with a biblical study group from Multnomah School of the Bible and was probably the least qualified to enter into any discussion with this professor since most of the other Multnomah students were graduates, or at the least, third- or fourth-year students. I agreed to the debate but only told a couple of friends from the Multnomah Bible study group.

The day of the debate was hot. The debate organizers set two facing chairs in the middle of the camp that was surrounded by tents where hundreds of students lived. Our group was the only Christian group within the camp. Forty to fifty students surrounded the chairs, all to watch the Jewish professor destroy the Christian. When the other Christians and leaders of our group saw what was going on, they freaked out and went for their tents, not wanting to suffer the embarrassment of what was about to
happen to their faith.

On the trip I had purchased a Jewish Bible according to the Masoretic text, “Sinai” Publishing House 1972 printed in Tel-Aviv, Israel. I sat across from Professor Yohanan Aharoni with my Jewish Bible in hand. It had Hebrew on one side of the page and the English translation on the other side. I told him that I had been having discussions with some of the Jewish students at the camp and had questions that they could not answer. I further explained to him that they had set up this meeting, claiming that he would be able to answer my questions. I told him that I would refer to the English translations of the Hebrew in my Jewish Bible and asked him if these were acceptable translations to do so. He looked it over and said, yes they were. I asked if I could start by asking him a few questions. He agreed. I turned to Genesis 1:26 and read, . . . and God said let us make man in our image, after our likeness. I asked, “Who is God talking to?”
He replied, “I am not sure.” I said, “Well, it couldn’t be an angel because angels are not made in the image of God and after his likeness.” He agreed.
I said, “It couldn’t be another God he is talking to since there is only one God; do you agree?” He said, “Yes.”
Then I pointed out that verse 27 changes from plural to a singular:
. . . so God created man in his own image. I again asked, “Do you have any idea who God is talking to here?”
He replied, “No.”
Then I turned to Proverbs 30:4: . . . what is his name, and what is his son’s name if thou canst tell? I pointed out to the professor that what is his name . . . in Proverbs 30:4 referred to God, and asked him if the Son could be who God was talking to in Genesis 1:26.
He said, “I do not know.”
I then asked him if he knew the name of God’s Son.
He again replied, “No.”

I then turned to Isaiah 9:5 in their Bible, Isaiah 9:6 in our standard Bibles. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the
government is upon his shoulder: and His name is called pele-joez-el-gibbor-abi-ad-sar-shalom (the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace deviseth wonders).”
I asked if he knew who this spoke of, and if it were possible that this was the same person to whom God was talking in Genesis 1:26, His Son (Proverbs 30:4).

The professor said that he thought Isaiah 9:6 was talking about the coming Messiah. I asked him if he was aware that Christians believe Jesus Christ is that Messiah, and that they even refer to him as the Mighty God and everlasting Father. He replied, “Yes.” I asked him if he cared to comment on all that I have shown him. He said “No.”I then asked him why, within this Bible I held, God would not have prophesied about the coming false messiah who would impact the world like Jesus had (speaking from their point of view). Since the entire Bible is filled with prophesies of the true Messiah, why, I asked, was there not one word of the false messiah who would rein for thousands of years before the true Messiah came. And why, I asked him, would the false messiah imitate all the true Messiah’s prophesies to the point that the peoples of the world even date their calendars by the false messiah’s birth death and resurrection.
The professor said he had no idea.

I went into more verses and points and the result was the same in every case. It was a mighty blessing for me to observe how the Holy Spirit worked through me that day.
The experience of traveling through many of the places the Bible
refers to certainly broadened my Biblical understanding and made it in a way far more real to me than it was before the trip. In addition to all that, it has helped me greatly to be a better representative of the word of God in my home Bible studies. It also has over and over again helped in my open air ministries whether on the street or on a university campus. People often have great questions and it’s a blessing to be able to give them good answers. It is one thing to tell of the many places and biblical references from reading about them in a book. It’s an all together different thing to have actually been there and seen and smelled and walked the places in person.

 

 

 

 

When I returned from Israel I found Lyn and Marilyn Ford still very excited about following Christ. I resumed the leadership role of the weekly Bible study. People continued to be saved and we were deep into building disciples as the fruit of our ministry. Once I settled back in, I focused on a new outreach. I put together a tract for the skiers at Mount Hood Ski Resort. On one side it said, “Free lift ticket;” on the other side, it said, “Drop ticket,” with the appropriate Bible verses on either side. For example:
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43) it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44) it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44) I went into the lodge and bars asking, “Did you get your free lift ticket yet?” People swarmed me grabbing for the tracts. Everyone seemed to have a good attitude about it once they found out what it really was and I observed many reading the verses that were applicable to the side they were reading.

There are many opportunities right where we are to be a witness for Jesus. We do not need to travel half way around the world to be a witness when there are so many opportunities right in our back yard.

One day some of the members of our Bible study group went to a restaurant. It was part of a very popular chain of about six locations owned by the same family in our city. They kept their restaurants clean, served good food and attracted a large percentage of the Christian clientele from our city.

On the way out, I noticed an astrological vending machine in the lobby. I told the guys to wait a minute. I went into the dining area and said in a loud voice, “May I have your attention please? I just noticed in the lobby of this restaurant an astrological vending machine. Since God does not want us to have anything to do with astrology or the promotion of astrology, I suggest you get up out of your seats, leave your meals, pay your bill and never return to this restaurant.” You could have heard pin drop. Then I turned around and walked out. We immediately returned to the Ford’s home and started calling all our friends. We suggested they call the restaurant to complain and to say that they would not do business with a restaurant that promotes astrology. That evening, I called the restaurant and started to complain to the manager. He interrupted me, saying, “Sir those machines have been removed from all of our restaurants and they will not return. We never want to experience a situation like we have had today ever again.”

Shortly after this time, I had just finished a couple of hours of street preaching in downtown Portland when I was approached by a short man who worked in one of Portland’s finest men’s clothing stores. As I walked down the sidewalk, he explained that he had seen me preaching on the corner and that he was a Christian also. He was a bubbly little man who was excited about Jesus and what he saw me doing. He said his name was Bill and he explained that he used to be a top executive in Chicago, that he sold everything and moved to Portland after becoming a Christian because of family responsibilities. In the process of moving, he experienced a number of financial setbacks and was forced to go back into retail sales. We had a delightful talk and exchanged phone numbers.

For some time now I had been housing young Christian men at my house and I was running out of room. I had already made a number of additions to my little house to create more space for each new guy who moved in. As a matter of fact, the house was something to see. One day I was at Preacher Ray’s home. He was moving and had an 8-by-10 pigeon coop he was leaving behind. I asked if I could take the coop. He said, “sure.” I took the coop home, cleaned it up and painted it inside and out. That week, I got a call from Bill, the man I had met on the street. He told me that he had quit his job and was by faith going into the ministry full-time. He wanted to know what I suggested. I told him to drop by. I showed him the pigeon coop and said he could stay in it, study his Bible and preach the gospel, all the while paying no rent. He took the deal. Billy was about 30 years older than me and had fought in three major engagements in World War II. He planted himself in that pigeon coop and studied his Bible day and night, only leaving to preach with me. He became a very good friend of mine and kept preaching until the day he died at over eighty years old. We ended up nicknaming him “Brimstone Billy.” He stayed with me for a number of years until he went to the Los Angeles area to preach for about ten years before returning to Portland again. He was beaten and jailed numerous times in Los Angeles for his powerful preaching. Billy and I had more exciting times than I could possibly remember to tell. One day we were having coffee in a restaurant when I stood to my feet and said, “May I have your attention? May I have your attention please?!?” Everyone became silent and then I announced that we had a man of God with us today who was going to share a few things with us. I then pointed to Billy to rise and speak. But, as a street preacher, he was far too embarrassed, so I had to say, “Well, Billy is not up to it, so I will share a few things with you.” I gave a good gospel message and sat down.

Billy told me then that he did not believe what I did was of God. We talked about it a bit, then got up and walked out. Billy held both hands to his face, repeating to me, “Jim that was not of God. That was not of God.” Just then, an old Studebaker car screeched upon us and a little old man wearing a straw hat shook his arm out of the car at us, saying, “Praise God for you boys. Praise God for you!” The man then said he was in the restaurant, heard my message, bowed his head in shame and cried out to God in prayer to please deliver him from his spiritual paralysis. That was a turning point in Billy’s life that helped him to become even bolder than he already was. Oftentimes we went into crowded restaurants and I would act as if I was Billy’s son. I would ask him questions like, “What was wrong with living with a girl?” or “What was wrong with smoking marijuana?” and many other questions, all of which he would answer with biblical reasons just loud enough for others to hear. Often I would say, “Well, that’s just your opinion. Let me ask some of the people here sitting around what they think.” We would end up in great discussions with many listeners. Although I cannot put Billy into words, he was one of the many unique people God has given me the pleasure of meeting. You had to meet Billy to believe. In his later years he would tell people that the nicest thing anyone ever did for him was when I let him stay in the pigeon coop free of charge, so he could get to know God and his Word.

We started holding our Bible studies two days a week rather than just one. I would call a Mormon Church, a so-called Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall, a Buddhist temple, ect., and inform them that we had a group of believers who met weekly. I would tell them that the subject of Mormonism (for example) had come up and that we concluded it would be better to hear about Mormonism straight from a Mormon rather than from Christian sources. I would then ask if they had a representative they could send to our study group. I explained that some of the people in our group were pretty sharp, so we didn’t want just anyone coming but we wanted someone who was an expert on the beliefs. I told them they could make a one-hour uninterrupted presentation and that they could even try to make converts. I told them we would record their presentation so that we could continue to study their positions after their representative left. I also told them that we would like to be able to ask questions at the end of the
presentation, if the speaker was comfortable doing so.They always agreed and someone wanting to set a date and time would generally call a few days later. I would go over the details again, emphasizing the point that experts were preferred for the presentations. Once they arrived, they usually sat or stood in front of our group and we would start the reel-to-reel tape recording just before they began.

Questions would follow the presentation and the speaker’s responses were all recorded.
The meetings were always orderly and respectful, but direct. Often after the meetings the speakers were very complimentary to us. Many responded by saying that they had learned some things they were unaware of. Following the meeting we would go back over the presentation, the questions and the responses in our study times. We found it an excellent way of learning the Bible. In communicating with others, it is essential to not only understand the opposing view but to be able to properly represent it in an acceptable way for those to whom you are making your points.

An important thing I learned from these presentations was that oftentimes it is better to ask questions rather than to tell what you believe to be the truth in one-on-one encounters with those who hold different views. So often I say, “If I am wrong, I would want to be corrected and if you are right, I would want to be a convert.” Then I say, “I do have a few questions that if I could get answered would probably cause me to join your group.” They always agree to answer my questions. This technique places me in control. And when I hit the bull’s eye with the right kinds of questions, I hopefully steer them to a place of seeing the errors of their ways.

 

 

 

 

After I returned from my biblical journey, some of the guys who also went to Israel started joining our Bible studies. We determined that we would start attending events in Oregon and Washington. We started going to events like the Pendleton Roundup, Octoberfest, football games, basketball games, March of Dimes Walkathons, beaches, parades, parks and Hare Krishna conventions. Preacher Ray and I even went to Oregon’s first gay festival.Our intent was always to preach the gospel, to be a testimony of the saving power of Jesus and to make Jesus Christ an issue everywhere we went. As a result of research in our home Bible studies we found the following:
Preaching Defined:
1) The word for preaching in the New Testament has the following
meaning: In the New Testament...the word (for preaching)... “does not mean the delivery of a learned and edifying discourse in well chosen words and a pleasant voice. It is a declaration of an event. It always carries the
meaning of: to cry out aloud... to announce to proclaim... to implore someone to declare.
2) The compound verb for preaching means; to speak forth... to declare publicly to set forth audibly (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Kittle’s Vol. 3, p. 703, 717).
The preachers of the New Testament did something. We have to ask ourselves just what did the preachers do and how did they do it. Do we see something similar in our day? If so where? What happens when you stand in public, open your mouth and proclaim the Gospel? How do people see you? How do your Christian friends see you?

If you were living in the times of the early Church would you want to support and encourage preachers? What about in our day? Do you want to support and encourage preachers?

It is interesting to note that in Ephesians chapter six, verses10-12,
Paul speaks of putting on the armor of God and then goes on to say, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Paul continues with some of the most important points made in the Bible in regard to the saints and then Paul concludes with a request for prayer for himself.
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11)Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:10-12)
“And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20) for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:19-20)

Boldness Defined: COURAGEOUS-TO HAVE CONFIDENCE…TO SPEAK BOLDLY OR FREELY…TO DARE TO DO…FREEDOM OF SPEECH…UNRESERVEDNESS IN UTTERANCE…TO SPEAK PLAINLY…TO SPEAK WITHOUT FEAR…TO SECURE PUBLICITY
(Expository Dictionary of the New Testament Words, W.E. Vine,
p. 137-138, Fleming H. Revell Company 1966).
{James Elsman Preaches manger square in Bethlehem Christmas 2005.}

Open air preaching is the best way to spread the gospel to the most people, in the least amount of time, at the least expense and virtually anyone can do it.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 – January 31, 1892) was a British Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among virtually all Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the Prince of Preachers and who wrote… “It would be very easy to prove that revivals of religion have usually been accompanied, if not caused, by a considerable amount of preaching out of doors or in unusual places. No sort of defense is needed for preaching out of doors, but it would need very potent augments to prove that a man had done his duty who has never preached beyond the walls of his meeting-house. A defense is required for service within buildings than for worship outside of them (Lectures to my Students).

George Whitefield was born on December 16, 1714 at the Bell Inn, Gloucester, England, and died in Newburyport, Massachusetts on September 30, 1770. He was famous for his preaching in America which was a significant part of the Great Awakening movement of Christian revivals. He wrote, “I believe I never was more acceptable to my master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open field. . . I now preach to ten times more people than I should, if I had been confined to the churches” (Journals of George Whitefield)

At Multnomah School of the Bible, students were required to have a Christian service which meant they had to be involved in some ministry for an hour or two each week. I offered to provide that service to students who wanted to be involved in active evangelism. Over the years this gave me the opportunity to meet some wonderful young Christians who were dedicated to the Lord’s service. One year the students put together a little book for me with some of the following comments:

Jim,
I thank you for your dedication to getting out the gospel. Cindy and I appreciate the opportunity you have provided for Christian service. We have both really enjoyed it and have learned a great deal, we look forward to working with Bridging the Gap in the future.
Thanks again,
Fred and Cindy

Dear Jim,
Thanks so much for providing a neat Christian service! As I’ve said before, I really have enjoyed myself (especially the most sinful place in town for ice cream...no). Have a good summer and may the Lord bless you and your ministry richly. I’ll be praying.
In Christ, Marilyn

Jim,
Thanks for providing a unique and challenging Christian service for my year here at Multnomah School of the Bible. Your style and viewpoints were stimulating to my thoughts and actions. This activity has given me an inside look at needy people and one way of confronting them with their need. Thanks for your many hours in planning and guiding the group.Love in Christ, Don, Grad student 1977–1978

Dear Jim,
I’ve really learned a lot about evangelism and how to get a grasp on overcoming my fears in sharing the gospel.
Mike

Dear Jim,
What did I learn from Bridging the Gap (BTG)? Last summer I stayed very excited because I really looked forward to working with BTG. One thing I really appreciated was, you did not have to get involved or do anything. You never were forced. I learned many things about street preaching which I will be able to use for the rest of my life! While I was with BTG I felt as though I was in New Testament times with Paul. I’m going to Trinidad this summer and I will be in a very high crime and morally corrupt area. I will need all the boldness I can get. Praise God for BTG. It is the greatest thing to be able to stand up boldly for Jesus Christ. (Of course words are never adequate.)
Thank you, Michael

These testimonies illustrate the value of being involved in the lives of others. No one paid me for the many hours I spent with these young people over the years, yet I was personally blessed in great measure.

Jesus said we were to build disciples (Matt 28:19), which involves time and is often inconvenient. The key to this type of ministry is to recognize your identity in Christ regardless of your circumstances, education, finances, or responsibilities and to have convictions that you are here for a most important reason. Let what is most important take precedence in your life, that is, who you are in Christ.

I often went back down to the fun center at the Rose Festival. One year I preached while a large crowd formed. A man who ran a food concession stand across the way became enraged at my preaching. He came over and tried to hit me but was unable, so he hit and kicked one of the other Christians standing by who attempted to assist me. I only saw hate and anger in his eyes.

The following night I returned. The man saw me and approached me again. He said that when he and his wife went home the night before, they discussed why he was so enraged by my preaching. They took out their family Bible and read. As a result, he and his wife bowed their heads in prayer and asked Jesus to forgive and save them. They both noticed an instant change in their lives, so they woke their five children and led each one of them to the Savior. That night I looked into that man’s eyes and saw new life.

That same evening a young man named Ron walked by. I later learned that as a result of watching what occurred that night, it changed his life. He became a mighty open-air preacher, a Tract-Pot and the greatest evangelist I have ever known. He plastered my signs all over his barbershop. Many people said he would lose his business as a result of it. But, his business blossomed. All the Christians flocked to his barbershop. Each day in the barbershop was like attending a Bible study. In addition to the Christians, many unsaved people came in for haircuts. Once Ron had them in the chair and started cutting their hair he would lean over and ask them if they knew Jesus. If they didn’t, he acquainted them with the Word of God and the power of salvation.

Oftentimes, Ron and I rode the light-rail together into the city for an outreach in which he would talk about Jesus and I would ask him to keep his voice down, saying that the other people riding did not want to hear about Jesus. He would respond surprised, asking me why they did not want to hear about Jesus.
I would say something like, “Well, they do not think they are all that bad.”
Ron would say, “Well, that’s not what the Bible says,” and he would read a verse aloud,
The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9) Then I would boldly ask the people on the car if they agreed with that verse, and that is when the discussions would start. By the time everyone got off at their stops, they would have heard the gospel of salvation.

In the late seventies our Bible Study group arrived in the city one evening and went to the Rose Festival fun center. A tall young man with blue eyes and blond hair approached one of the girls from Multnomah School of the Bible. He intensely asked her questions and engaged her in conversation. She also had blond hair and blue eyes. Her name was Sherry and his name was Jack. Jack had a college degree in political science and was a good communicator.

It was love at first site for Jack. But Sherry, knowing full well that Christians should not get into relationships with the unsaved, held her ground. Each night Jack returned to talk to Sherry. After the festival was over Jack wanted to keep seeing Sherry. But Sherry told him that the only way that was possible would be if he came to our weekly Bible studies. Jack agreed, but he would not come into the room or talk to anyone. Week after week he would stand next to a telephone pole one block down the street. Often, he waited for Sherry in the rain for three to four hours, the length of our Bible studies.
After about a year and a half, Jack wanted to marry Sherry but Sherry said she could not marry a non-Christian. She told Jack that if he were serious about marriage, he would first need to meet with me. About three more months passed before Sherry called to tell me that Jack wanted to meet with me. Jack and Sherry arrived at my home, sat down and then God started speaking through me. It lasted about one hour. I did almost all the talking and then they left.

I brought out many points to Jack, starting with: something by it’s nature is eternal, or something non-eternal emerged from nothing. From nothing, nothing comes. I ask him if it was reasonable to think that the butterfly wing, the snowflake, the rainbow, the eye ball and life itself came about without intelligent design. I pointed out the calendar dates to the birth, death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I told him the human testimony is that Jesus walked on water, healed the blind and so on. I told Jack that Jesus lives and wants to live within his physical body but won’t come in against Jack’s will. I went on with many points like these. One week later Sherry called me and informed me that Jack had accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior. They both started attending the weekly Bible studies. Since then, they did get married and have worked together, testified to and encouraged millions of people across America to trust Jesus.

 

 

 

During the mid-70s and 80s, I continued preaching on college campuses in the Pacific Northwest. Back then you could pick up the newspaper each week and read advertisements inviting people to various meetings, such as the Summit Lighthouse, transcendental meditation, Buddhism, Bahai, scientology, Hinduism, Spiritism, Eckankar and other Eastern religions, along with many new religions and thoughts.
However, in the meeting advertisements they would always claim, “our teachings are compatible with Christianity.” Knowing God’s attitude toward false religions and distortions of the gospel and knowing these groups intended to deceive people into their falsities, I contemplated my responsibility and what God would have me do.
. . . but even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that, which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9) As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that, which you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8–9)
After much thought and discussion with membe
rs of the Bible study group, I concluded that I needed to warn those attending the meetings about the deceptions into which they were about to walk. But the question was: How do I do it?
I decided to go right into the meetings. I took about ten to twelve people in with me and we sat in different seats around the auditorium. As soon as the meeting started one guy would stand to his feet, raise his hand with the newspaper and say, “Excuse me, I come from a Christian background and your ad in the paper says your teachings are compatible with Christianity. If that is true, I will be happy to stay. But if it is not, please tell me so I can leave because I only want to associate myself with Christian beliefs.” The speaker would always say, “Do not worry, our teachings are completely compatible with Christianity.” Then that guy would sit down. About a minute would pass and another person would stand to his feet and raise his hand saying, “Excuse me.” The speaker would always say, “If you can hold all questions until the end, I will be more than happy to answer them.” The person standing would say, “Yes sir, I would like to do that, but under the circumstances I can’t. The young man who asked the previous question deserves a correct answer. Since I am a student of comparative religions and am here doing research tonight, I must say your teachings are absolutely not compatible to Christianity.” He would thank the speaker and then sit down. That is when I would stand to my feet and say something like, “What the heck is going on here? Now things really appear to be confusing. Who is telling the truth here?” I would point to the man who said he was a comparative religions student and say, “You have made a very serious accusation toward the speaker. Now let’s just see if you can back it up.”
I would ask him to stand once again and give me one good reason why this man’s teachings were not Christian. The speaker would interrupt and say, “No, let’s just wait till the meeting is over for this kind of stuff.” The other people with us in the audience would then join in and say, “No! We want to hear! This is interesting. We want to hear what he has to say,” and so on. This would subdue the speaker and I would then once again direct the question: “Can you give me one good reason why this man’s teachings are not Christian?” At that point, the man with the comparative religions background would introduce one of the speaker’s teachings and explain what the Bible had to say, showing a clear difference. All the time, he would direct his response to me. The issues generally centered on varying views of polytheism and always made Jesus something less than the one and only eternal God for all time. I would turn back to the speaker and say, “Is that true? Do you teach that?” The speaker would generally respond with some evasive gibberish, but in the process would confirm the point the man had made. I
would look back to the student of religion and say, “Do you have another point to prove his teachings are not Christian?” The process would happen once again. Often this would happen three to four times until the speaker would walk out of the auditorium. At this time, someone else would walk to the front of the room and announce that he was a Christian who wanted to share a few things. Then he would give them the gospel. When the meeting would break up, often six to eight groups of people gathered around the Christians to discuss matters.

When the gay rights issue first surfaced heavily, an advertisement in the newspaper announced a meeting to consider this issue. I decided to go. As I sat in the auditorium I wondered what I could possibly do since I was there on short notice and only had one or two less-than-outgoing people with me. I decided to walk to the front of the auditorium, right up onto the stage and up to the microphone just before the meeting was to start. I announced that it was my pleasure to address so many this evening. I explained that gay rights was a difficult subject for society to accept, so therefore, we needed to look at the history of it in order to be fair. I pointed out that in order to understand it, we had to go back in time to some of the earliest writings on the subject. I pointed out that those writings were found in the Bible and that I would like to share a few
passages from the Bible with them so that all could properly understand the issue. I opened my Bible and read the following:
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an
abomination.
(Leviticus 18:22)
. . . there shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, or a sodomite of the sons of Israel. (Deuteronomy 23:17)
. . . for this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27) and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (Romans 1:26–27)
A man from the side of the stage came out and tapped me on the shoulder. He whispered into my ear asking how much longer I was going to be. I told him I was about ready to wrap it up and then finished with a good gospel message. It cost me nothing but my time to go to this meeting and I can know for all eternity that at least I stood up and took a public stand against the unrighteous deeds of the wicked while I was here on this earth.
And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath On the nations which have not obeyed. (Micah 5:15)

Regardless how nice this world seems to so many with all their
possessions and pleasures, the real issues are how does God see the world and are you lining up with His perspective?

On one evening I took a large group to a transcendental meditation meeting that advertised for all to come. As usual I met with my group ahead of time and explained our strategy and goals for the evening. Once the meeting started our people asked the normal couple of questions. Then a real big guy who had come with us for the first time stood to his feet and disregarded what I had instructed prior to the meeting. He got very contentious. I could easily see that things were getting out of hand and that something needed to be done. I rose from my seat and walked to the front of the auditorium to address the people because the speaker looked visibly shaken. Just before I started to speak someone must have called the police because the doors of the auditorium swung open and in came about six police officers. One officer walked to the front of the meeting and started speaking with much authority and emotion. He said, “I do not know what is going on here tonight and I really do not care.” Then he said, “I will tell you all one thing and that is whatever is going on here tonight is going to be done in an orderly way or you’re all going home.”There was complete silence from all who were seated. I sheepishly raised my hand and asked in a broken voice, “Officer? May I continue now?” He said, “Certainly,” and I now became the chief speaker of the night. I gave my complete rundown on the issues and then broke the meeting into smaller discussion groups. For about one hour or so all the Christians who came with me took active roles in the many ongoing group discussions.

Each week back in the late seventies and early eighties it seemed the newspaper was full of cultic advertisements. I came home from work one evening and as was my usual practice, I checked out the newspaper to see if any cultic groups in town were attempting to deceive Christians. Only one group caught my eye. I made a few calls and about five guys showed up on short notice. Because I had no knowledge of this group, we went down to the auditorium early to do some “pre-strike” research. Fortunately, we found the speaker arranging displayed books that were to be sold to the people attending the meeting. He was a tall man, dressed nicely and wearing a large cross. I
approached him and started asking him questions about his beliefs. I was unable to come up with anything of substance that would merit our intervention for the cause of Christ. He was a very personable guy and gave me much literature on his group. I took the guys I had come with aside and told them that I believed this group was cultic but had no evidence to substantiate my gut feeling. I decided to look through the literature the speaker had given me to see if we could find any fault in it. The pamphlet was cleverly put together. Only toward the end of the brochure I looked through did it become clear that the movement was polytheistic. By that time the meeting had already started. I told my guys that I might have brought them out on a wild goose chase because the meeting had already started and the seats were filled. I apologized for wasting their time. One guy said forcibly, “God had us all come down here for some reason, so are we going to do something or not?” I said, “OK, let me think.”
Not knowing what I was going to do, I walked right into the meeting and up to the front, stood next to the presenter and started speaking to him as if we were continuing the discussion we had before the meeting began. I calmly and politely said, “The problem I have is, as I was looking through the literature you gave me I found it says this . . ., that within the heavens there are many gods.” I read it out loud.
He said, “Yes, what’s the problem?” I then said, “When I compare it to what the Bible says, they don’t agree. I then read: ‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, In order that you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.’ (Isaiah 43:10)
In a calm voice, he said, “If you will just patiently wait until after the meeting, I then will explain it all to you.” As I held the newspaper up, I said, “I would normally be more than happy to accommodate you, but in this case, since you have advertised that your teachings are compatible with those of Christianity, I think you are obligated to explain yourself now.”

He then took a step or two backward while his face became contorted. He proclaimed in a mystical voice, “Look at me.”
I responded by bending a little bit forward and leaning toward him while looking straight at him. In that same mystical voice, he said, “You look at me, right in the eyes.”
I bent over a little bit more and took a couple of baby steps toward him, as if he had put me into some kind of a trance. He said in a strange voice, “I am the Way, yes, I am the Truth, and I am the Life.” Right then, I sprung up with lightning speed in a full preacher’s stance and pointed my finger right into his face and said, “You are a devil and I rebuke you in the name and power of the Lord Jesus Christ!” Like a balloon that had just been popped, the speaker was deflated so all could see. He turned and sheepishly walked out of the auditorium. That was then my opportunity to share the gospel with the audience, after which we broke up into small discussion groups.

As a result of the testimonies of the Christians that were going out on these “Cult Busts” it seemed there was always someone new that wanted to go and be a part of standing up for God and his word.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2) preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)

One night many students of the Multnomah School of the Bible showed up at my house for an outreach. As I entered the living room I saw a gorgeous young girl sitting among them. I found that she was a new believer and a new student at Multnomah. To make a short story even shorter, we were married within a few months.

At that time, I drove a bright red van with big yellow letters on one side that read, “The Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins! Was buried . . . arose . . . and was seen. Believe it and be saved.” The other side of the van had a big Bible and said, “Read the Bible.” The front said, “Prepare to meet the Lord.” And on the back, lettering said, “Turn to Jesus, turn from sin.” You can imagine the look from the father of my new bride upon our first meeting when I drove my van into the driveway of his plush California neighborhood. That truly was a Kodak moment.

You might ask the question: What made her so different that you would want to marry her? There were many reasons, but one has always stood out in my mind. A few weeks after we met I took a group to another “cult bust” meeting. As we walked into the auditorium where the meeting was held we heard weird Eastern music. A movie screen flashed all kinds a satanic images. Among them at times, they flashed a picture of the “so-called” Jesus (a false distorted image of God) on the screen.

Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.” (2 Corinthians 5:16) We felt the presence of evil everywhere.
This was not new to me. A few years earlier I had dropped by another of the Summit Lighthouse conference in our town but attended with only one other person. We were quickly ejected from the auditorium when I began rebuking the speaker in the name of Jesus.This time however, I went with about thirty people, knowing full well they had an excellent security force that traveled with each conference. I had made up some signs that had handles on them, which I gave to all the people that were not preachers. Once the meeting started, each time the speaker said something that was untrue, one of our group members raised a yellow sign with red letters that said, “False.” At which time the speaker would stop what she was saying and demand that security “get that person out of here!” The security would eject that person from the auditorium.

Then she would start up again, but soon another person in a different part of the auditorium would raise a sign reading, “That’s a Lie.” She would stop the meeting again, demanding, “Get that person out of here. I am not on trial here!” It continued on and on with signs reading, “Rip Off,” “Wrong” and so on, until all the people with signs had been ejected. Finally the preachers began one by one rebuking her from their seats with loud voices in the name of Jesus.

One lady went for the stage, rebuking her in the name of Jesus and then another followed. Each time the meeting was stopped and then restarted again. Finally, I made my appearance, which caused no small stir because six security guys jumped on me, wrestled me down to the floor and choked me while no one could see. At that point, Toni, my wife-to-be, screamed, “They’re choking him! They’re choking him!” That’s when I knew that she was my kind of girl! The choking was quickly stopped as a result of the scene Toni caused with her natural street preacher’s voice. We were all finally ejected from the meeting but we left one person in undercover with a tape recorder. To his surprise, another man who none of us knew stood up and rebuked the speaker about 20 minutes after we left. During this whole cult bust, many people left the meeting. One man, Thomas, left with us and ended up moving into my house with me and the other guys. Just a few years earlier a guy by the name of Arthur at one of the same meetings of the Summit Lighthouse followed me out after I rebuked the speaker and came to live with me.

A few months after this, Lyn Ford married Toni and me. We lived in my house which had so many additions that it looked like a train being pulled down the tracks.
The cult busts of those days were quite unusual in comparison to normal Christian outreaches but we saw the necessity to take a stand against the evil of our day. Far too often many Christians complain of how evil the world is without realizing that Christian apathy often is the reason for the world’s condition.

 

 

 

During this time we became much more active in preaching against the homosexual movement. In addition, a new issue —abortion —came to our minds. Some might ask the question: Why don’t you just preach the gospel and forget all these other issues? Our response is that we try to follow the examples set forth in the Bible and represent things the same way God has done.

The preachers in the New Testament did not just preach the gospel, they also spoke and wrote on many topics. They used these issues as doors to the gospel to convey the true character of God toward sin.

For example, in Paul’s life, we find the many following topics
discussed:
· Philosophy (Acts 17:18)…
· Epicureanism (if it feels good, do it) …
· Stoicism (self-abasement)
· Homosexuality (Romans 1:26–27)
· Taxation (Romans 13:7)
· Adultery (1 Corinthians 6:9)
· Idolatry (Colossians 3:5)
· Other religions (Acts 17:22–31)
· Freeloaders (2 Thessalonians 3:11–14)
· Perjury (1 Timothy 1:10)
· Gluttony (Philippians 3:19)
· Prostitution (1 Corinthians 6:16)
· Drunkenness (1 Corinthians 6:10)
· Greediness (Romans 1:29)
· Envy (Galatians 5:26)
· Murder (Romans 1:29)
· Strife (Romans 1:29)
· Lying (Colossians 3:9)
· Gossiping (1 Timothy 5:13)
· Arrogance (Romans 1:30)
· Jealousy (Galatians 5:20)
· Fornication (1 Corinthians 6:9)
· Stealing (Ephesians 4:28)
· Covetousness (1 Corinthians 5:11)
· Unmercifulness (Romans 1:31)
· Untrustworthiness (Romans 1: 31)
· Love of money (2 Timothy 3:2)
· Ungratefulness (2 Timothy 3:2)
· Self-love (2 Timothy 3:2)
· Recklessness (2 Timothy 3:4)
· Swindlers (1 Corinthians 5:11)
· Love of pleasure (2 Timothy 3:4)
· Treacherousness (2 Timothy 3:4)

When our ministry group found out what really was going on in the case of abortion, we were compelled to warn, educate, and rebuke those who were supportive of abortion.
We started by going to the abortion clinics. There we found a group of Roman Catholics — called “Rosary for Life” — actively taking a stand against abortion. We started working with them. We thought when we find someone doing something good that does not affect any of our personal convictions, why not demonstrate the Spirit of Christ and be a peacemaker rather than take on another division that will accomplish
nothing other than limit the effectiveness of what needs to be accomplished by all? As far as we could see, no other Christians within our city were doing anything. I was finally arrested for preaching at the abortion clinic and ordered by the judge not to return to the clinic or go to jail.

Since I did not want to go to jail, we went back to the drawing board to consider how we could have an impact on what we considered the greatest sin that has ever been perpetrated in the history of the world. What could we do in our city to get the attention of people on this issue?

That’s when it came to me. If abortion is legal and most people think nothing is wrong with it, then why would they object to us displaying symbolism of what it is and of what is going on in our city every day in the abortion clinics.

I made a cross about 10 feet tall. Then I went to the thrift stores and bought baby dolls. I took the clothing off them and sprayed them with red paint so it appeared they were bleeding, then I hung them from the cross.

I then sprayed the inside of a clear plastic bag red and filled it with the same kind of bleeding dolls. It looked real. Then I stuck a large sword made by a woodworker through one of the bleeding dolls. I got a doctor’s outfit that one of our guys who carried the sword wore. I made other signs like, “Abortion is Murder,” “If it’s not alive, why do you have to kill it?” “All the babies I know are against abortion,” “Women, stop killing your babies” and many others.

Our group of people went right down into the city’s center during the noonday rush with these signs and symbols for display. We would show up at public events with the same displays. Needless to say, our statement went over like a lead balloon.

We were written about in the newspapers, spoken about on radio and television and eventually arrested. We ended up going to court with a jury trial that lasted weeks. At each hearing of the trial, the officials of the court had to bring all those dead babies, signs and my cross with the babies hanging from it, from the courthouse property room and through the hall into the courtroom as evidence.

We won our case and had a lot of fun in the process while watching all the people who had to look at our signs and bloody dolls for hours at a time. All the while, they attempted to rationalize their pro-abortion views with the symbolism of the dead babies staring them in the faces.

I later concluded that the seriousness of the issue of abortion needed to be brought to the attention of the city, state and national government in a greater way if we were to ever see a change in the law. So I decided to set an example by running for city council. I figured, if nothing else, I would get free space in the voter’s pamphlet to communicate the crime of killing unborn children.


I decided to take it a bit beyond just the voter’s pamphlet by printing literature and signs, and arranging for radio and TV coverage. I made up thousands of four-page newspapers and distributed them throughout the city.

The newspapers featured cartoon pictures drawn by Rick. The newspaper dealt with primarily two issues: homosexuality and abortion. One cartoon pictured a big bull dyke (lesbian) police officer handcuffing a young Christian girl wearing a “Read the Bible (Lev. 20:13)” T-shirt. Captions with hearts surrounded the dyke, saying, “Now honey, there’s no problem... All I want to do is frisk you.... She’s a fox!” The Christian girl says, “Help, Lord Jesus!” The telephone pole had a poster on it that read, “Gay Pride Week.” The Christian girl’s sign was lying on the sidewalk and read, “Pro Life — Stop Abortion Now!” All this, plus the current mayor of the city of Portland looked out of a window onto the arrest with the caption, “Don’t worry, ‘Butch.’ Your people supported me ... I’ll back you!” which referred to the homosexual community in Portland.

Other pictures in my newspaper featured United States Senator Bob Packwood sitting in blood that flowed down the steps from the door of the abortion clinic. He wore a “Vote for Bob Packwood” button with the caption “I represent you!” Reaching out of the window of the abortion clinic, a man dropped a big bag of dead babies into an already packed trash can of aborted babies. On the side of the abortion clinic, a big banner said, “Vote for Packwood ... We kill kids.” Below the banner were pro-”wrong” choice demonstrators holding signs, one a hippy looking guy holding a sign that read, “Old Folks Next.” A businesswoman held a sign that read, “Business Careers First.” An overweight woman eating a Twinkie held a sign that read, “Sorry... not enough food!” and wore a T-shirt that read, “Save the whales.” Another sign read, “Gays for Abortion,” and an athletic looking guy held a sign that read, “We play...welfare pay$!” In the congressional record of April 23, 1970, Senator Bob Packwood said, “I introduced S.3501 to legalize abortion in the District of Columbia...when this bill went in, I indicated my hope that legal restrictions of termination of unwanted pregnancy would be removed in all fifty (50) states.”

Needless to say, the newspaper I created was packed with information that exposed the sins of abortion and homosexuality within the city and caused no small stir. The front page of the newspaper had a picture of Abraham Lincoln with a quote, “We the people are the rightful masters of both congress and the courts — not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the constitution. To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

In the voters’ pamphlet that was distributed free of charge to all registered voters by the state throughout the state was a picture of me and the following description of my positions:
1.) Portland police should respect human morality. How would you like to be taken into custody, handcuffed and frisked by a homosexual or lesbian and then placed in a squad car at their disposal? I believe it should be required for homosexuals and lesbians to identify themselves and a person given the right to request that a heterosexual be present. Suggestion: They should possibly wear a special “homo-badge.”
2.) Since 1973 I have spoken out against the greatest crime of all time — the mass murder of the innocent unborn children by abortion. It is my goal through proper education to see the law changed to stop this horrible useless killing. Pro-lifers are needed in all phases of government if change is to come. By the way, all the babies I talk to are against abortion!
3.) I disagree with Supreme Court Justice Douglas, who said: “If the Supreme Court does it, it is all right.”
4.) The best land investment short of striking oil is to establish an abortion clinic. They are padding their wallets with children’s blood.
5.) I believe that persons over 60 should not have to pay property taxes.
6.) We need to curb crime. The only way to do that is to get the attention of the criminal.
7.) We need ordinary common people with good common sense in government. Far too often our politicians are educated into the realm of stupidity.Well, I did not win the election, but I did come in third in a field of seasoned politicians. The same year Edward Kennedy ran for president of the United States and also lost; “Praise God.” And Ronald Reagan won!

Publicly speaking out on the sins of the day is what every Biblical preacher should be doing. After all, the best of the best did it.
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11)
For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. 4) For John had been saying to him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her.’ (Matthew 14:3-4)
And having been prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.’ (Matthew 14:8)
When you preach the gospel there is always a price to pay. Jesus Said:
The world cannot hate you; but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. (John 7:7)
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” 20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21) for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

 

 

 

Ron, a man from the first church I ever went to with Dennis and Kathy, asked me to come to a meeting of the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) to take a few minutes to share my ministry with them. I went to the meeting and told them of my ministry. After the meeting I met Ruben, the head of UGM and the one who took it from a hand-to-mouth ministry thirty to forty years earlier to a multimillion-dollar ministry. A few days after the meeting Ron called to say that Ruben wanted to meet with me and offer me a job as the director of the mission.I had never been paid for ministering in the past, but always dreamed I would someday not have to work a regular job and be in the ministry, so I met with Ruben and took the job.My job was to oversee the skid row mission. Speakers from churches would arrive each evening and give a gospel presentation to a chapel full of down-and-out people living on skid row. After the service we fed them. I tried to keep the mission clean. I also made sure we had good food for all the people to eat after the service. If the food was not food that I personally felt comfortable eating, I did not want to serve it to these people. Often a church representative was unable to come so I would give the message. This gave me experience I didn’t have up to that time.

I really enjoyed the years I spent as the director of the Mission. I was able to meet many wonderful people. Most of them looked like bums but once I spent time getting to know them, they were no different than anyone else. We were able to provide housing for the homeless and I made a lot of new friends. One guy named Ron, was probably mentally off to some degree, but I loved to hear him talk about Jesus. He was truly one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. There was also a little old man that lived on the streets named Johnnie. He sang gospel songs in the
mission while playing the piano standing up and bouncing around with joy. I am sure angels in heaven rejoiced to hear him sing. Without a doubt, He was one of the best I have ever heard sing about Jesus.


One night a young man named Doug approached me after a service in which I had given the message. He said he would like to talk to me. I told him he could come by for a meeting the next day. He showed up for our meeting and after talking to him, I came to the conclusion that he had done about as good of a job of destroying his life as was humanly possible. I then talked to him about Jesus and he became born again. The change that occurred was miraculous. To this day, his father, who was a successful
international steel salesman living in a high-rent district, claims that I was his son’s savior. Of course, that is incorrect, but that is how he viewed the dramatic turnaround in his son who was as good as dead as far as his father was concerned. Doug went back to school and became a professor, got married, had two children and went to Turkey to be a professor of English and undercover missionary.

Doug while in turkey took his family on a trip to Saudi Arabia. Doug and his wife were killed by a driver driving without head lights. Doug’s parents and his children brought their ashes to my home, dug a hole and placed them in the ground with a tombstone covering them. Doug’s parents said he always liked the view from my mountain top and they were sure he would have wanted to be buried on my property. It was a very touching scene to see the grandfather, an old man by now, with the two young children digging the grave hole and then having all of us joins hands as my wife Toni sang “Amazing Grace”, as we buried the ashes.Directing the mission was a wonderful experience for me. Ruben, the head of the mission required all staff members to attend a weekly meeting. The staff determined they needed a discipleship program that would help some of the young men with whom we came in contact in the streets by housing them somewhere away from the street environment. I suggested they appoint Terry to direct the facility. Terry was a real soldier for the Lord with a brilliant Bible mind and a good heart. I had met him on one of my trips down to California Christian Fellowship. Terry was offered the job and took it.Ron, who first invited me to the Union Gospel Mission was a police officer in the city of Portland for over ten years. He gave up his job and retirement to become the pastor of the UGM Bible Church. Ron loved children and wanted to start a bus ministry. He recruited Terry, me and others to go into some of the poor areas of our city on Saturdays and invite children to church. So, that is what we did. On Saturdays we recruited children and on Sundays we picked them up in big school buses and brought them to church. We had seven large school buses and hundreds of children pouring into our church on Sunday morning. Toni and I had over a 100 children, many from single parent families in our class. This ministry truly separated the men from the boys. It was hard work but it supplied many invaluable blessings.

 

 

 

 

An international convention of the Watchtower Bible and Tract
Society
was scheduled in Seattle. The so-called “Jehovah Witnesses” do not believe that Jesus is the one and only eternal true God of all times, as the Scriptures declare: . . . For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on his shoulders; and his name will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, eternal Father, prince of peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Thus says the Lord, the king of Israel and his redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides me.’ (Isaiah 44:6)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)
I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’ (Revelation 1:8)
He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)
We decided to send a team to Seattle to hand out tracts and display our banners that said, “Jesus Warned Against False Teachers,” “Jesus is Jehovah” and so on. I could not be there the first day but the other guys went ahead. Shortly after they arrived I received a phone call from Lyn Ford who informed me that the Watchtower security and the Seattle City Police said our group could not be anywhere on the Kingdome property, therefore nullifying our outreach. Lyn asked me if I thought they should all just return.
I told Lyn to hang loose; that I needed to think about it and that I would get right back to him. I started to think and seek God. That is when the idea to call the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) popped into my mind. I called them and explained the situation. They told me they would check it out and get back to me. Less than two hours later ACLU representatives called me back and told me that the Watchtower group wanted us to be there and that we would have no restrictions. I called Lyn Ford back and informed him I would be in Seattle the following day.

We arrived with about fifteen guys and started putting up our banners right in front of the Kingdome. A fancy golf cart drove up with three very well-dressed older men. They inquired whom James Webber was and I stepped forward and identified myself. They said they would like to talk with me and asked if I would get aboard the cart so we could talk. I said OK and we bussed off. They drove me into the Kingdome and into an impressive room that resembled a large New York office filled with people and then into a private room. One of the three men led me into the room and informed me that he was in charge of the whole convention. He was very nice, friendly and gracious as we made small talk. Then he leaned over the desk and asked what church or organization we represented. I asked him why he wanted to know. With a soft and pleasant voice, he said that they just wanted to know who to sue. I said, “No problem, but I think that is going to take a miracle.” He asked, “Why?” I said, “Because I’m in charge of all these guys and we have just a small organization and represent no church. If you plan to sue me, it truly is going to take a miracle for you to get any money out of the lawsuit since I have no money and doubt if I ever will since I am dedicated to serve Jesus by faith.”
He quickly got up and said, “I’ll take you back now.” His friendly disposition changed to cold and closed as he dropped me off. I told him that I enjoyed meeting him and hoped he had a nice day. He said nothing and drove away.From that point on over the next two days, we had no problems and were given complete freedom to preach and talk to whomever we wished. Terry and I tag-team preached and drew a sizeable crowd that was listening to us make comparisons between the teachings of the Watchtower and those of the Bible. Terry started crying, begging and pleading for them to turn from their false beliefs to the living God. I saw a care and compassion for lost souls that I had never seen before or since. I thought this may be how God feels. Yet He has bound himself not to force anyone to have a love relationship with Him against his or her own will. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) Contrasting Terry’s care for the lost, once after preaching I crammed into a van with about eight to ten preachers and said, “I have a question to ask you guys.” I said, “I listened very carefully to each of you preaching and it would almost appear to me that all of you guys would really like to see those people burn in Hell, am I right?.” They all said, “That’s right.” I informed them that they should not be preaching with that attitude. A preacher’s job can be very hard and dangerous and can be seen as “us against them.” But the “them” should never be looked upon by us in any other way than with mercy, compassion and kindness. In a way, it matters little how they perceive the preaching but it matters greatly that each preacher’s heart is bound in love, not wishing any to perish but all to come to repentance.

As we were all walking out to our cars on the final day of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society convention, a teenage boy hiding behind some cars signaled us over. He told us he had been listening to us for the last two days and he knew we were right and the Watchtower was wrong. He told us he had to hide behind the cars because his family members were all Watchtower believers, but he wanted to know how he could become a Christian. We explained it to him and prayed with him as he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior.
. . . for by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, It is the gift of god; 9) not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9)

Salvation is simple enough for a child to receive, yet impossible for those unwilling to believe in the one and only eternal Lord God Jesus Christ and trust him and him alone for Salvation apart from personal merit.

 

 

 

 

Well all the guys in our house got to be a little too much for Toni and me while raising a family, so we sold the house — which was a bit of a miracle since no one in their right mind would want a house with all my additions. However, the real estate business was booming and some investor stepped in and bought it. In the end, they bulldozed the house and all that remains is a vacant lot to this day. Toni and I bought 3.2 beautiful acres on the Wilson River about 45 miles from Portland, Oregon. We had little money but were able to build a cabin on the river. We got some chickens, horses, dogs, rabbits and even a cow. We were having good times and I brought guys out from the city to minister to them in that natural environment. About 3 miles from our cabin was a prison camp and since I had already done prison ministry at the Oregon State Penitentiary, it was easy for me to gain the position of camp minister. I went to the camp each week and held Bible studies. Each Christmas I brought a group from the church we attended to the prison camp. Toni, my wife led in Christmas music and we brought gifts and refreshments. The prison ministry was a wonderfully gratifying experience.

Around that time I had the idea of putting the Book of Revelation to music. Toni used to be with the “Young Americans.” She was a very good singer and she also played the guitar. The idea of a music album was about as foolish of an idea as I could come up with since I did not sing or understand music. Humming was about the best I could do.
In high school I took a chorus class. One day the instructor, Mrs. Finley, called me into her office. She was someone you did not mess around with. She said, “Jim, how would you like to make an A in my class this year?”

I said Sure, since I was used to getting D’s and F’s in all my other classes. Mrs. Finley explained how it would work; “When everyone else is singing, I want your mouth moving but I don’t want any sound coming out. Can you do that for me? If you do that I will give you an A.” And she did.

Nonetheless, I was compelled to put the Book of Revelation to music. I roughed out a song, keeping it almost word for word right from the Bible. Toni put it to music. I had heard of a guy named Scott who had just graduated from seminary and was starting a recording company, so I contacted him. He liked the idea and started to work on it. He was very talented.

I also called Dennis Agajanian, whom I had met at California Christian Fellowship in Long Beach — he was the big guy wearing a cowboy hat and playing the guitar. Dennis became a good friend of Billy and Franklin Graham, performed at crusades and was considered the fastest flat-picking guitar player in the world. He graciously agreed to help with the project. It was a wonderful experience for Toni and me. We learned much about the recording business. The end result was a recording of ten songs called “Songs of Prophecy.”

Once the project was finished we decided to contact churches to perform concerts. We decided Toni would sing half the songs, and then take a break as I spoke to the congregation. Then Toni would sing the rest of the songs. One year we performed fifty concerts. I had never before been in most of the churches in which we performed.

Yet regardless of how diverse these people were in their views and some issues from the Bible, I recognized the presence of the Spirit of God in every place we went.
It was a little tricky getting in to meet with the pastors. In the time in which we live, we might stand a better chance meeting with CEOs of major corporations in America without appointments than with many pastors. I did not want to waste time playing the game of going through all the boards and the many hoops that churches want you to jump through. Our concerts were free and we were only there one day. All we wanted to do was to bless them.

I came up with a plan. I walked into the churches looking kind of down and out. When I got to the front desk, I would bow my head and the secretary would ask me if she could help me. In a low crackly voice I would ask, “Can I see the pastor?” The secretaries would always ask, “Do you have an appointment?”
I would reply no in a weak distorted voice. She would then ask, “What is this regarding?” Looking up with sad eyes, I would tell her that it’s
personal.

She would then tell me to wait there for a minute, feeling compassion for me and not knowing whether there had just been a death in the family or that maybe I was a poor lost sinner wanting to be saved. After hustling in to speak with the pastor, she would return and ask me to follow her. As soon as I would walk through the door of the pastor’s office my appearance would change like a supernatural miracle and I would reach out with a nice smile and say, “Thank you pastor for taking the time to see me today.” I almost always got us a date to sing in the church once I made my presentation. Who knows, maybe the words “We sing for free” might have helped.

Dennis Agajanian later wrote the following letter of recommendation:

To whom this may concern:
I have known Toni Webber for over twenty years. She has been one of the only female band members I have used along with two others who worked with me for only a year. I will always use Toni Webber because of her dedication to Christ, and because she can perform commensurate to her ability to sing any harmonies with me on any songs. She is a gifted guitar player. She started playing the guitar at the age of fifteen. I had the privilege of winning Musician of the Year by the Christian Country Music Association in Nashville at the Grand Old Opry in 2001, 2002, 2003 and the Entertainer of the Year by the same at the Grand Old Opry in 2002 and 2003. I am very particular who plays guitar with me. Toni has always held her own in my band. Vocally she can sing and communicate with young and old. She sings the old hymns. Many of them are Billy Graham’s favorites. Toni has done numerous concerts with me and will continue to perform with The Dennis Agajanian Band as long as she chooses. Toni is a gifted songwriter. She is the first lady of Christian Country Music. She is married to a minister of the gospel. James Webber, her husband, travels all over the United States witnessing to college students. He has been in the ministry for years. Toni is a great mother, along with being a registered nurse. She has had over the years a heart for missions. She can perform with your worship band. She can perform in any situation, be it a morning service and do a concert in the evening. If you have any questions concerning who I am, you may call Pastor Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa,
California, or you can call the Billy Graham Association. I have worked for Mr. Graham for the past twenty-six years now. I perform at all of Franklin Graham festivals as a guest. He has been my best friend for as long as I have performed with his father. If you have any questions concerning Toni Webber, please feel free to contact me.
I trust that you will find Toni Webber to be a blessing to your congregation.
God bless you in your decision.
Dennis Agajanian

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2) For by it the men of old gained approval.
(Hebrews 11:1-2)

We can by faith Move Mountains, lives can be eternally changed, doors can be opened and new heights can be gained, just trust Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

In the early eighties I was offered a position of pastor at a church. Over the next few years I gained much more respect for the hard work that many pastors do weekly. I learned of the problems so many church members have with their personal lives and families. I learned of internal church problems with members and leaders. All in all, it was a very good experience for me.I placed a large circle around the area of the church and made it my goal to personally drop by and meet each and every family within that circle. Doing this was a wonderfully meaningful experience and beneficial to the growth of the church. One week I went into the community and passed out free tickets to a banana split pig-out. Kids from all over came. We put together the longest banana split I have ever seen, the length of the church. Kids loved it and we had music, fun, and the gospel.

One interesting experience as Pastor was when the Billy Graham Association offered to pay in full for my wife and me to go to Lake Louise in Canada for a pastors’ training conference. It was a beautiful setting where they taught pastors how best to build churches. Hundreds of pastors from all over Canada and the United States were there. In one of their group meetings in an enormous auditorium, a speaker posed an idea to the hundreds of pastors. He pointed to a large door and said when he gave the signal he wanted all the pastors to do exactly what they would do if Jesus Christ came walking through that door. When he gave the signal some pastors immediately dropped to their knees and then turned to their chairs and bowed in prayer. Others stood and bowed in prayer. Others raised their hands into the air. Others fell face-down, laid out on the floor and so on.


My wife, Toni, felt a little uncomfortable, because I was unmoved and sat in my chair just as I was before the signal was given.Once everyone else had gone into their positions, the presenter started to speak. I stood with my hand in the air and said, “Excuse me, may I ask a question?” The speaker politely asked, “Can you please hold all questions until the end?” I sat back down. A few minutes later a tall older man in a business suit tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Are you the one who asked the question?” I said, “Yes I am.” He told me that he was the leader of the conference and would appreciate it if I would not interrupt the speaker in the middle of his presentation. I said, “Oh, I did not do that.” He said, “Oh, I am very sorry. I thought you said you were the one with the question.” I said, “Yes, that was me.”
He said, “Well, I thought you just said you did not ask the speaker a question.”
“That’s right, I did not. You see,” I explained, “the speaker had asked us to do what we would do if Jesus were to walk through those doors and as for me I would want to ask him a few questions about the Bible I have not quite worked out yet.” The man broke up laughing and said he had a few questions himself. We became good friends for the rest of the conference.

Even though I was pastor of a church I was still active in open air preaching in cities and on universities. One day I got a call during the time of church service preparation from Cindy (known as Sister Cindy). She was coming to town to preach. Cindy referred to herself as a former “disco queen.” After listening to the preaching of Jed Smock in 1977 at the University of Florida, she was saved. Cindy and I preached at some of the local colleges in the area.

Cindy was colorful and direct, challenging young girls to live righteously and holy before God. Cindy spoke of eternal hell fire and would say “lake of hell fi-rrrrrre!” and used other captivating word distortions.

To my surprise, while Cindy spoke of modesty to the young women at Reed College, three girls stripped off their tops and started dancing around. I decided it was time for me to preach. Again, shortly after I began, two girls and a boy stripped off all their clothes, started dancing around and then climbed up a large tree and perched on limbs like birds. They listened to me preach the rest of the day. Since the crowd was quite large the police came at one point. They said I was creating a disturbance. I responded by asking, “Why are you so concerned about me and not those ‘naked J birds’ in the tree?” I pointed to them and the officers shook their heads and walked off.
Jed Smock was a hippie in the sixties in the San Francisco Bay area. At the University of California in Berkeley, Jed often observed the radical students who shot questions at Holy Hubert and listened to Hubert’s responses. Jed never imagined he would be doing the same thing five years later.

Jed later became a professor of United States history at the University of Wisconsin and then moved on to Indiana State University to be a research assistant for the Institute of Research on Human Behavior. In 1971, he gave up on the system and returned to Levi’s and long hair. He traveled to the southern coast of Morocco and joined a band of hippies living on the beach. During a beach party, a man who appeared to be an Arab suddenly walked into the midst of the party, planted a big rugged cross in the sand and preached about Jesus.Jed was taken by the preaching as the others mocked. Shortly after that, he returned to Terre Haute, Indiana. One day he came upon an old high school friend, Clyde, who had become a preacher and was preaching to a crowd. Jed was moved. When the preaching was over Jed and Clyde went across the street to the local Burger King where Jed met the King of Kings. Jed has been very instrumental over the years in influencing and training many open-air preachers. Many college students have been saved through his ministry.

In 1983, Cindy married Jed Smock. Jed has worked harder and covered more colleges and universities in America than any preacher in the history of America. He draws large crowds and provokes students to live lives of holiness.

After my time serving as pastor at Community Bible Church I became involved in counseling a severe alcoholic. Earlier he had been successful in the real estate business. He had many properties and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank. I thought, since I was tired of welding, if I could do one-quarter as well as he had done, I could be set for full-time ministry. I paid $300 dollars to begin real estate school. After my first hour, I took the headphones off and said to myself “I just got ripped off for
$300 dollars.” There is no way I would ever learn all this stuff and pass the test. At the time, however, I had no other direction in my life so I decided to hang in there. To my surprise, I passed the test and became a realtor. It was great. I could work whatever hours I wanted and still be active in the ministry.

One day Rick approached me — Rick, he is the guy who was saved through doing the illustrations for my Bible study book. He painted the banners and sandwich signs for preachers. Rick said he needed more space for his sign painting since he was no longer with the Coca Cola Corporation. He asked if I would look around for a building for him. One day I showed him a property I had found but he was not interested in it. As we were driving off, I saw a big building on a prime corner with great traffic flow, a for-sale sign in the window and said, “Now that’s what you need.” He said, “Yes, but I could never afford that.” I told him I would look into it. To make a long story short, Rick and I became partners and we bought the building together. I renovated the apartments above and the commercial space below. Although I later bought him out of his interest in the building, he continued to use the building to base his sign business, which became very busy. I recommended he train Steve from the church in which I had pastored. Steve became the new sign painter for all the preachers, at no charge to them. Steve later broke off from Rick to start his own sign business. All the computerized sign-making equipment was surfacing and Steve wanted to get into that. He did not have the money at the time so I told Steve that he could buy all the stuff he needed and put it on my credit card. But I wanted Steve to buy two of everything and to commit to teaching me all he learned on how to use the equipment. He agreed. Shortly after, I became the sign and T-shirt maker for the preachers. During this same time, I bought 110-ten acres on a mountain overlooking Portland and moved from my Wilson River property to the new property.

I was doing OK back in those days but things were still tight financially with all my obligations. I wanted to be much more free to do ministry and needed more money. So I made an appointment with Ruben, the head of UGM. He had not only made Union Gospel Mission of Portland, Oregon financially successful, but had also become a millionaire on his own. I explained to him my goals over a cup of coffee. He wrote me a check shortly after and I started receiving monthly checks from him in support of my ministry. Never in my life have I known anyone like him. He supported children’s camps, missions, street people, Christian day care schools, individual ministers, churches, children’s bus ministries and much more, all with his own money to promote the claims of Christ.

As a result of Ruben’s financial help I was able to do extensive college and event preaching around the country along with international traveling. Jesus said, . . . but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
I take this verse as personally applying to me. So I want to be a witness for Jesus until the day I die. If I stumble I quickly apply the following: . . . if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) And then I keep moving forward.

I have always figured that if Jesus forgives me, who am I not to forgive myself? Do I have a more righteous standard than Jesus or am I more holy and godly than Jesus? Obviously not. That’s why they call it the Good News. Jesus forgives and I accept.
I have often told the story of a fight I got into before I was saved. I was in hundreds of fights back in those days. Of those many fights, I only lost twice, once in the fifth grade, although I came back the next year and beat the kid. Then one in college, where to this day I believe God took my power away to prepare me for becoming a Christian. It was very humbling. The one fight that stands out most was with a guy who would not stop coming at me. He was unable to hit me and was taking a terrible beating but just kept coming. He was beaten badly with blood all over him. After a while of beating on this guy I started to get an ache in my side and it just kept getting worse. Then it became apparent to me that if something did not change quickly, this guy was going to start beating on me because he just kept coming. So at the right time I turned and ran off. Now that is how I have tried to live my Christian life. No matter what the world, the flesh, or the devil throws at me, no matter how hard they hit me, I just keep moving forward for the glory of God. Thank you Jesus!

The days we live in are different than any other time in the history of the world. When my grandfather was born they still had not discovered the airplane. Shortly after I was born, they flew to the moon and back. Today, I can jump on an airplane and fly here and there. I can be a witness for Jesus (Acts 1:8) to hundreds of thousands, even millions of people in a few short days by being in the right place at the right time.
With Ruben’s financial help I was able to do that. Keep in mind a ministry like mine is best supported by local churches rather than an individual. However, churches as a general rule do not see the value in open-air ministries in helping them with their goals of building churches.

Even if they did, they would want what they consider to be good representatives acting for them. Oftentimes, people like me do not fit their criteria. Although the Bible does open a large door for the open air preacher even if he falls short of perfection. You see the most important issue is not the messenger but the message.
Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; 16) the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17) the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. 18) What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice. (Philippians 1:15-18)
Even if some church did like me and I did fit their criteria, there would always be the ongoing problem of some Goody Two-shoes from the church whining to the pastor that one of his or her friends or family members heard me preaching and was offended. This places the pastor in a position of juggling his desire to build a church versus the command to preach the gospel. So it is much easier for pastors and church leaders to just ignore guys like me. Jesus himself ran into the same problems that all open-air preachers do: The world cannot hate you; but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. (John 7:7)


According to The International Standard Bible, Encyclopedia, there are two different kinds of ministry . . . Two Different Kinds Of Ministry... It can be traced in the Epp. of St. Paul and in other parts of the NT. It is seen in the Didache, in the Pastor of Hermas, in the Epp. of Barnabas, in the apology of Justin Martyr, in the writings of Irenaeus and elsewhere. (For a full list of authorities, cf Harnack, Texte u. Untersuchungen, 11, ii, 111ff.)
The one ministry differs from the other in function, and the
distinction depends on a conception to be afterward examined — that of “gifts.” The common name, in apostolic and sub-apostolic literature, for the members of the one kind of ministry is “those who speak the Word of God” (laluntes ton logon tou Theou). Modern writers have called it the charismatic, but perhaps the better term is the prophetic ministry; while to the other class belong all the names which are given to denote office-bearers in the local churches. The two existed side by side. The great practical distinction between them was that the members of the former were in no sense office-bearers in any one Christian community; they were not elected or appointed to any office; they were not set apart for duties by any ecclesiastical ceremony. The “Word” came to them and they were compelled by inward compulsion to speak the message given them to deliver. Some were wanderers; others confined themselves to their own community. They were responsible to no ecclesiastical authority. Churches were encouraged to test them and their message; for the “gift” of discerning whether a so-called prophet spoke a truly divine message was always
presupposed to be within the local church. But once accepted they took a higher place than the office bearers, they presided at the Lord’s Supper, and their judgment in cases of discipline could overbear ordinary ecclesiastical rules. (THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA VOLUME III, PAGE 2057 EERDMANS, T.M. LINDSAY II.)

Regardless of how we see it, we should all respect each other within the body of Christ and not look at brothers as enemies just because their ministry is not the same as ours. This principle should apply not only to the churches but also the open air preachers.
If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18) But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19) And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20) But now there are many members, but one body. 21) And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ (1Corinthians 12:17-21)
And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second
prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
administrations, various kinds of tongues .
(1Corinthians 12:28)

So yes, I believe we are one Body in Christ and should be unified. I also believe the open air ministries should be funded by the local churches regardless of the implications. After all, would not the churches have wanted to support John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter or Paul, even the Martyrs of the faith? Nonetheless it would have been a bit hard doing the things I have done over the years while being a fundraiser at the same time. My position has always been that since what I have done has not been done in some dark corner, God can raise up those he desires to support my ministry. I should not have to go out to the churches and put on some show with the underlying motive of soliciting funds. From my way of looking at things, churches should be standing in line with the hopes of playing a part in helping people like me, the same way they would with Jesus or Paul or any of the rest of the guys in the Bible that did open air preaching of the gospel.

The issue is not about me but about the gospel going out, warning and alerting the vast number of people in the world of the plights before them and to the way of escape. It takes time, money and faithfulness.

Let’s face it, if any of the guys in the Bible were to show up today on a street corner preaching, most churchmen would walk right by and pay little or no attention to them, thinking they were some kind of a kook. But then if they were to find out it really was Paul, Peter, John the Baptist or any number of others, they would then go into bidding wars on whose pulpit the street preacher would speak from the following Sunday.
Open air preaching has provided me with many opportunities. I was able to travel to the Festival of the States in St. Petersburg, Florida. They have a big parade and festival events. People sit for hours waiting for the parade. That provided the opportunity for me to walk by them with my sandwich sign and the gospel message on it and be a witness. It was a long walk but worth every step. I was able to stop and talk to people as the opportunities arose.

One of the blessings of this kind of an outreach is that young kids come up with their own testimonies of faith in Jesus. And when they say, “Boy, I sure am glad you’re here today,” it doesn’t get much better than that.

The Boston Marathon is another great opportunity where more than a million people show up to watch the runners. Just walking around with a sign declaring who you are and what you are placing your faith in is powerful. Identifying with Jesus in this bold way provides an example for others to follow, an exhortation that certain ones should be a little more aggressive in their own testimonies for Jesus and a call for others to turn to Jesus. Fenway Park, where the Boston Red Sox play their baseball games, is one of the greatest spots to witness. Thousands of people ride the subways to the games and are funneled down one street to the stadium. By positioning yourself in the right spot you become a beacon to all.Preachers are able to steal their minds for a few moments in the midst of the fanfare of the day and point them to Jesus: “There are winners and losers. Don’t strike out, hit a home run. Trust Jesus.”Sporting events often draw the worldliest people in the country. The fact that many do not appreciate your presence is a good indication that you are where God wants you to be. Many Christians argue themselves out of the many blessings that God graciously offers by second-guessing how sinners will perceive them. Is this the best way? Don’t they see you in the negative rather than the positive? If the prophets, apostles, early church members and Jesus were to have applied this same psychobabble to their ministries, more than likely they would not have been stoned and killed for their faith. With over eighty thousand runners, the Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco is a must for those wanting a quick experience. Just be prepared for some nude bodies running by you. By going out the day before and driving the route, you will find suitable places to display your banners or signs, preferably in a spot where runners walk up a steep hill. You can encourage them with a truth horn, to “Run from Sin! Run to Jesus!” and so on. If this were the only event an open-air preacher ever hit in his entire life, he would have boldly testified of Jesus Christ to more people than 90 percent of all Christians have, in their entire lives, all within an approximately two-hour outreach. The Blooms day Run in Spokane, Washington, is another great run that attracts tens of thousands of runners. Not only have I been able to testify to the runners over the years, the Spokesman Review newspaper printed and distributed a large picture of me with my sign to the people of Spokane.

One year a lady runner about sixty years old stopped and approached me. She said, “I know you’re the guy that put all those Trust Jesus signs up on the road ways.
Well, let me tell you something; one day as a result of many things going on in my life I finally decided to commit suicide. The very day I was driving to the place to commit suicide, I passed one of your signs on a pole next to a road I was driving on. The sign said Trust Jesus. I said that could be my problem; I need to Trust Jesus. I pulled the car over and went to Jesus in prayer. Now I want to tell you, ever since that day I have been on the high road for Jesus and life is wonderful now. Thank you.” I had placed a number of “Trust Jesus” signs on poles in Spokane in different places along the route where runners were to pass; just like the one the lady saw the day she was going to commit suicide. The lady had put two and two together and figured out who had put the signs up. It was a blessing for me to hear her testimony, since much of the work we do for the Lord is by faith, trusting that the Spirit will do work with His word in people’s hearts. The Trust Jesus signs witness inexpensively, testify to hundreds of thousands of people a day and have been doing so for decades all over the roadways of America.One blessing of the Trust Jesus signs on poles, trees and such is that they all have humble, gracious and loving attitudes. They all have the same theology to both the saved and the unsaved. They do not fight among themselves. They do not take coffee breaks, lunch breaks or vacations. They have no family responsibilities or employment issues. They work hard all the daylight hours and even at night. They come alive in between catnaps whenever bright lights shine on them. They are out in all kinds of weather. They get the attention of the multitudes and shout out as loudly as any street-corner preacher: “Trust Jesus.”

In Macon, Georgia, a massive street party is held in conjunction with the Cherry Blossom Festival. The Macon Telegraph newspaper printed a large picture of me carrying my “Jesus Saves From Hell” sign in the Sunday paper. It truly was a blessing for me. Over the years I have promoted the message that “Jesus Saves Sinners from Hell” a great deal. As I look to the scriptures I see Jesus emphasizing this point. We would know very little about Hell if it weren’t for Jesus. So I have always figured that if Jesus made such a point of it, then so should I. Many in our day look at the statement that “Jesus Saves from Hell,” as being negative, unproductive speech. Some would even say it is hate speech. But with little contemplation, one is forced to conclude it’s a positive and loving statement. It not only points to the problem but it offers the solution.
. . . and do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
...then he will also say to those on his left, ‘depart from me,
accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.’
(Matthew 25:41)
. . . and I saw another angel flying in midlevel, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; 7) and he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God, and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.’
(Revelation 14:6–7)

The Calgary Stampede is another excellent opportunity to come in contact with many from all over the country and many remote areas of Canada. I have never experienced anything but productive encounters at this event. Each morning they present free breakfasts in chuck wagons, parades, Indian displays and street shows into the early afternoon that draw thousands of people. You have to pay to enter the rodeo fairgrounds in the afternoon but it is worth the money if you wear a bold Christian T-shirt that testifies to thousands all day long and into the night.


I could go on and on about the events around the country and places that are excellent to witness, such as Washington D.C., Seattle’s Sea Fair Hydroplane Races, the Torchlight Parade, San Francisco trolley turnaround, Hollywood Boulevard, Street of Stars, Rodeo Drive, Fisherman’s Market, the Super Bowl, Spring Breaks, Mardi Gras, Time Square and much more.

As I stand with my sign at the events, I think of myself as a very accessible biblical information booth. They all have the opportunity to take advantage of by simply placing the right importance on what is most important.

So all of these outreaches are wonderful opportunities the churches of America could embrace. If they could only place the same importance on reaching the lost as Jesus and the guys of the Bible did, along with some modern day open air preachers. Oh what a great honor it is to represent Jesus in public to the peoples of the world. Nothing will build a church faster and better than the testimonies of excited members telling their stories of reaching the lost by personal involvement, telling others of the glorious message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses,

and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4) These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. (Revelation 11:3-4)
And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. 8) And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9) And those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10) And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
(Revelation 11:7-10)


One might ask the question: Do you ever have any problems with the police? The answer is yes. From the start of my preaching I was influenced by the approach of Jeremiah of the California Christian Fellowhip. This approach was to submit to police when a problem occurred and to go somewhere else to preach. Now of course I would debate with police in regard to my rights, but as a standard practice leaving in response to police problems was the course for many years. Jeremiah felt it was better to preach than sit in jail and waste your time in the courts.


It is a shame that so many police and city officials throughout our land have little or no respect for the Constitution in regard to the preaching of the gospel, particularly considering the vast amount of case law that has been established to protect our rights over the years.Yet, Jeremiah’s approach was right. When it’s your word against that of a police officer you will always loose. They will lie. And many times, the ones who do the most lying to prevent you from doing what God has called you to do are the so-called Christian police officers. Most of them will not be truthful to what they saw you doing but will distort the facts as a means of causing you harm. Please keep in mind that I do not hate police officers. If someone is breaking into my house, I am not going to call a hippie but the police. The police do many wonderful things each day across our country. I am only referring to their conduct in protecting our rights of freedom of speech and our right to preach the gospel.

Two things changed everything: One was over the abortion issue. As a result of the controversy over abortion, many legal groups formed to protect the rights of those demonstrating against abortion. For the most part, these legal groups had Christian values, so it was easy for them to swing over to help us. They were funded by different methods and none required us to pay for our legal protection. Therefore, it put us in a place where we could fight against city officials to ensure our constitutional
liberties.

The second thing that occurred to change our rights was the invention of the handheld video cameras. This was a gift from heaven to us preachers. For the first time we could record exactly what we were doing and the way we were doing it. We were also able to record exactly what the police officers said to us. We could now be far more aggressive in standing our ground. Most of the time, police officers changed their conduct toward us once they found they were being recorded. As a result city officials and police officers were put in their place by federal courts.

The following notice is what I place on the backside of an ID card that I use when police officers ask me for identification:
Notice to Law Enforcement Personnel, the minister identified on the face of this card is an open-air preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and has the right to pass out literature, preach, and display signs in your public areas (Coates v. Cincinnati 402 U.S. 611 and Edwards v. S. Carolina, 372 U.S.229/ Furr v. Town of Swansea, F.Supp.1543). This applies to high schools and grade schools as well as colleges and municipalities. The minister has the right to stand and exercise his religion in the preaching of the gospel upon all “quintessential” public forums (Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474; U.S. v. Grace, 461 U.S. 171, 176). His preaching the word of God may offend some people, but this is not legal ground to prohibit his preaching (Simon & Shuster v. New York State Crime Victims Bd, 502 U.S. 105/N.Y. Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254). He has the right to be loud enough to be heard (Saia v. New York, 334 U.S. 1943) and to be protected by law enforcement if the crowd is offended by what he is preaching (Hedges v. W.C.U.S.D. No. 118, et al. 9F.3d 1295). If your school, City Attorney, or officials wish to talk to me, please extend my cooperation, but do not stop this person from speaking. And do not play games with “prior permits,” etc., or we will sue anyone involved. Section 1983 suits will subject you to damages and our attorney fees. See Title 43 Sect. 1983 of the United States Code. This is a FEDERAL CASE, and allows us to sue individuals, like policemen and guards, personally. See, also, the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” Title 42, Sect. 2000aa. Damages could run beyond $1,000,000.

The open air preachers should be preaching the gospel and not getting all entangled in the courts, but if we are to preserve our rights and freedoms we may have to defend them, as Paul did.

If then I am a wrongdoer, and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar. (Acts 25:11)





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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