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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 12, 2006 06:23PM


It may seem strange to an outsider when I mention the word “status” with regards to MCM. One of the reasons that I had joined MCM was that I perceived that it was an egalitarian “Band of Brothers and Sisters” on a “Mission from God.” We were all equally committed right? We were, as Paul implied in his letter to Corinth, “equal members of the body of Christ” right? This was the “ideal” first century church I had been looking for, right? But status mattered within MCM and I would soon find out how that status affected me!

Now before I describe the change in my own status within the local MCM Auburn site I would like to explore the structure and hierarchy of the local Auburn ministry. I believe that this description of Auburn was the same structure modeled by most other ministry sites at the time. For there WAS a hierarchy within each ministry site AND also in the upper levels of the ministry amongst the pastors and elders, as I would find out later. I was, when writing this part, tempted at first to use the military analogy of soldiers and sergeants - but the idea repels me both because of Bob’s use of the term “God’s Green Beret” AND the dishonor it would do to our men and women in the armed services.

A much better analogy, in my opinion, is that of a plantation. For each MCM site was, in some ways, like a plantation complete with slaves, overseers, house servants, production, quotas and the threat of being “sold down the river” minus your family etc., that is the constant fear of the type of “banishment” that happened to my friend and mentor Peter, who was never heard of or mentioned again.

At the lowest level of the MCM plantation hierarchy were the “slaves” the single brothers being at the bottom of the heap. These single brothers lived together communally and footed the bill for the meeting house and for the pastor’ apartment. They had neither private lives nor any privacy and had to be ready at a moments notice to be called to action. Additionally they had numerous jobs keeping the house and ground in order and acted as “gophers” for the ministry. Their personal needs, when they conflicted with those of the ministry were never considered. In fact the ministry reveled in this and “sold it” to the brothers as proof of their being God’s Green Berets.

Now there were “grades” within the single brother or “slave” hierarchy. At the bottom of this grade were the grunts that were either brand new ‘baby Christians”, those that had not born fruit, or those were not deemed sharp enough to have the potential to go full time. These “low levels” were condemned to a life of servitude - but who might, just might, be able to break out if they worked hard enough and maybe brought some converts in. Or so they were told.

Next grade within this lowest level of single brother slaves were those who were bringing in converts or were contributing significant sums of money because of a having a “professional” job. At the top of this lowest level were those single brothers that were being trained for full time service. These brothers MIGHT have a shot at full time paid ministry if they were diligent enough, if they were submissive enough, if they contributed enough and if they continued to bear fruit. That’s a whole lot of “ifs’ with no promises. Worse yet- did any of the ones who were “striving” for full time ministry REALLY understand what they were signing up for??? I can tell you from my own experience the answer was a resounding NO!

Next in the pecking order that was MCM were the single sisters. It is a toss up as to who had it worse: the single brothers or sisters. For the single sisters were also called upon at all hours to assist and work for the ministry. And any single sister who did not exhibit the traits of femininity that MCM considered Biblical was in for a rough time. They had to dress femininely, they could not be too aggressive or masculine, nor appear too independent. If a brother challenged a precept he could be chastised - but more or less this line of thinking or action was just considered a normal male response to be controlled and channeled. But any female who dared challenge or question the leadership was labeled a Jezebel. They also had to contribute, and work at the “feminine” ministry work and bear fruit…and perhaps, just perhaps they would get the privilege of marrying a brother who was destined for full time ministry. More than likely a brother that they barely even knew.

Over the single brothers and sisters, or “slaves” in the hierarchy were the overseers. These “overseers” on the MCM plantation were the “older” brothers and sisters, many who were single themselves, who acted as shepherds. Their lives were not much easier than the “slaves” because they were “accountable” for their sheep. If a sheep acted poorly it reflected poorly on the shepherd and brought into question their spirituality and ability to “lead” their sheep. Those overseers who were too lenient with their “charges” would be disciplined as “not being a role model” or not setting themselves up as an example. If they were too easy on their charges they could ruin their chances of making it into full time service for wasn’t that the goal? The shepherds were expected to lead by example so when their charges were stuck with a job like renovating the “back house” for the sisters they were expected to be there as well. And they had to set an example in hard work and diligence. Oh and there was a hierarchy within the ranks of the “overseers” or “shepherds” as well.

At this time there were very few married couples as the average age of the sheep at MCM could not have been north of 23 years of age. Marrieds were divided into two camps: 1) Marriages brought about by the “Dating Revelation”, the arranged marriage of MCC 2) Couples brought into MCM already married. The first group had much higher status in MCM. Additionally, in my opinion, the married women who were brought into the ministry were perceived as a threat - especially by the single brother shepherds. These women would sometimes “counsel” their husbands with advice contrary to that of the ministry. Thus they were viewed with suspicion.

Allie fell directly into this camp, as I mentioned earlier. She was a no nonsense person that had a “discernment” for “real or “fake”. As I fell into their orbit with my membership in the music group she and “Matt” took me under their wings. Allie had no problem directly confronting my shepherd and as a “married” woman she carried a convincing authority with her opinion. She was also lucky that she had the friendship of our pastor Missy Caulk - because it meant that she could not be labeled successfully as being a “Jezebel” or being rebellious without Missy’s consent, which was never forthcoming. But inevitably pre-MCM marriages and married women in general suffered under the tutelage of the MCM leadership.

One might easily get the impression that the single sisters who were shepherds had no power within MCM. I would argue that this was not the case and that, in many ways, some of these sisters who were shepherds had as much or more power than the single or married brothers who were overseers and shepherds. Within the group of “sisters” who acted as shepherds there were those who were deemed “prophetesses” who were considered to have “special insight” or “intuition” from God. This elevation of some of the sisters, who supposedly possessed a “special gift,” originated from the wackiness of Rose Weiner. Many of Bob’s goofball proclamations originated in the nonlinear, non-logical, and nonsensical mind of Rose Weiner. Anyone who got on Rose’s bad side was “dead on arrival” in the ministry. Most of the “full-timers” were scared stiff of her and for good reason. Those that crossed her might find themselves a deacon in Iowa City; or worse, thrown out of the ministry. And anyone that she deemed “of God” or “Chosen” was considered anointed and untouchable. There is no doubt in my mind that the power behind the throne of MCM and the elevation in power of certain full timers was Rose Weiner. Now at the local level, at Auburn (and at sister sites like Mississippi State and Georgia) this small coterie of prophetic single sisters in the Rose Weiner mold also held sway. This mirrored what happened at MCM corporate with Rose and her “insights.” These prophetic single sisters influenced things behind the scenes and could either mark a brother or sister - meaning discern that they and their “problems” of whatever sort were of Satan - or they could receive a “word” from God which could alter a person’s life radically. Maybe for good, maybe for bad.

Mike Godwin, aside from Mike and Missy, was the other fulltime employee at Auburn and because of this he wielded great influence at Auburn. My portrait of him is accurate; he was a “true believer”, dry, dogmatic and fanatical. And as I mentioned there was only one other person, aside from Mike and Missy Caulk, who rivaled my shepherd, Mike Godwin ,in influence and power within MCM. I will discuss that person in a moment …

…the whacky revelations continued unabated and Mike latched onto them as if they were actually written in the Bible and thus created more work for the plantation “slaves.” So the “plantation” was always facing requests for more money, special offerings, help for other campus plantings, and the occasional quack-pot schemes …

Overseeing the plantation were our senior pastors Mike and Missy Caulk. At the top of the heap were Mike and Missy Caulk, but it would be wrong to think of them as the plantation owners. They were more like share croppers who got a very small cut of what the ministry produced. They had all the responsibility of plantation owners, but none of the bennies. They served at the mercy of the elders and Bob and Rose Weiner. They had no job security and if they did not produce and if they did not “submit” they could be taken out on a moments notice. In fact they had a double dilemma: if they grew too quickly and the ministry grew very large they could attract the “big Fish” that might come in and “steal" it from them; relegating Mike and Missy to mere bystanders or worse. This happened in Gainesville when the ministry took off and grew. Of course if Mike and Missy did not grow the ministry (grow in the sense of increase attendance AND contributions) they might be dismissed and sent away for help and counseling into one of the smaller ministries.

Missy Caulk was one of MCM’s “hand maidens” because she had been personally discipled by Mildred Russell, Rose Weiner’s sister in law and one of the “head” women of MCM. I eventually met Mildred two or three times at the University of Georgia and I will tell you she was one scary sister. Missy had also worked as Bob’s personal assistant for two years in Paducah and was thus doubly trusted. Mike and Missy’s marriage was a “MCM” arranged marriage so to speak. I am not sure how they faired in their early days of marriage when the Ole Miss ministry was started but by the time they got to Auburn they seemed to have ironed things out. Any idea that Mike and Missy had it made as pastors at Auburn- or that they were living the life of luxury- would be fallacious. Their entire lives were subject to the wishes and whims of the “elders” meaning, at this time, Bob Weiner, Joe Smith, and Bob Nolte. And this is one of the keys to understanding what would happen later on when MCM was dissolved, and it is also a key to understanding why and how EN was structured by Rice, Phil and Steve. Here is how Missy described their experience in working with Bob and the leadership (keep in mind that they pastored, at that time, one of the most successful sites at MCM): “I never felt like I was “given” Auburn. WHO wasn't somewhat intimidated by Bob ?? I think that is part of the whole manipulation thing that occurred in MCM. Some men control like being Santa Claus, other out of fear and intimidation.” But eventually they would overcome their intimidation and fear and set an example of how Bob and his reign of terror could successfully be challenged.

One “small” example of how Mike and Missy’s lives were subject to the whims of the elders had to do with a VERY personal issue: children. Missy and Mike wanted to start a family. And they had to “submit” this to the elders. In Missy’s words: “The worst thing to happen to me was that I was 27, Mike was 30 and we wanted to have a baby. Bob said, “NO, you have enough babies to take care of ........spiritual babies.” However, God intervened and we got pregnant with Christa at Steve and Beth McDowell’s wedding in Memphis. As it turned out 4 other couples in leadership at new churches did as he really didn't say anything after that… But, I did cry my eyes out for weeks..........surprised you didn't hear me!” Bob could not, thankfully, control biology and ultimately he could not subvert, as much as he might unknowingly try, the will of God. For God’s sake the man was abusing a newly married twenty seven year old “girl”, for Missy was no more than a girl at the time! This example alone should suffice to show how the “pastors” and the full timers were both victims and victimizers - Mike and Missy desperately wanting to serve God, but caught in a system that they both intuitively knew was wrong. And being abused and abusing…it was a terrifically bad system that Bob and others bear responsibility for. And they were trying to make the best of it.

Another mistake an outsider would make would be to see the ministries as “homogenous” despite Bob Weiner’s very successful efforts to stamp uniformity throughout the ministries by preaching doctrines such as “unity in the Spirit,” holding frequent staff meeting with full timers, and regular money making MLTS sessions for all. Bob’s idea of motivation was to threaten the sheep or the pastors with dismissal, but I will reveal more of that later. There were, of course, hard core MCM locales led by fanatics such as Bob Martin and Mark Caulk (Mike’s brother) and Walter Walker that made the Auburn Ministry look like a nursery school. These guys seemed to delight in terrorizing their flocks and they seemed to like nothing more than having some poor soul “leave MCM”, at the end of their psychic ropes and then take relish in the joy of destroying the character of these people whilst describing the behavior of such a one to demons and to Satan.

Mike and Missy led what was probably the most “laid back” MCM location, and for a time, one of the most successful (in terms of money and baptisms). Because of this, for years I could not understand how they tolerated a person like Mike Godwin, given Mike Caulk’s very funny and laid back demeanor. Now I realize that Mike Godwin did all of the dirty work, so to speak. That he was a perfect counterbalance to Mike Caulk’s “easiness”. Mike Godwin was the “true soldier” who kept the ministry in line. Of course the second Mike and Missy stopped producing money and converts they would be subject to discipling and correction and possible exile to a smaller ministry by the MCM elders. But for the time being they were allowed to get away with doing a number things as they saw fit … So Mike and Missy did their best to shield us - although when the brass showed up they got “up tight” so to speak, and, despite all that they did, this was still MCM after all. A horrible controlling system it was that they were in. And we all were part of the system and contributing to it and to the evil it did.

Now one group that I did not mention, thus far, in my discussion of the hierarchy of the MSM, was the band, or as it was referred to at Auburn, the music group. Music was very important to MCM, extremely important. In my plantation analogy I have yet not discussed the “House Servants” - the privileged few who did not have to chop cotton, tote water, and act as slaves to the overseers and masters, and, who were allowed routinely to enjoy some benefits of the plantation setting and of the masters. For the house servants were members of the music group. It was felt in MCM that music set the tone, allowed us to worship God, and showed everyone that God was in control and blessing us. Our internal and external services centered on the Auburn music group. The music group set the pace for all the meetings and ensured that the sheep were prepared for the message from God by “plowing their hearts ” with inspiring and “good” music. And if you were kind enough to read the earlier parts in my story, you can see that the “national” music group for MCM, the Praise Band, made a huge impression on me. They were a primary mover in all outreaches, second, only to Bob Weiner and Joe Smith in influence on the crowds who were converted. The music group was so important to MCM that the members of the group at Auburn were exempted from the normal routine and mundane duties that I have listed like “setting up for meetings’, cleaning and maintaining the house and importantly, cooking, and most importantly the “spur of the moment” requests that chewed up so much time. They were the “House Servants” of the MCM plantation. Because of the “spiritual importance” and this “earthly” exemption, getting into the music group was a “fervent wish” of many of the brothers and sisters, regardless of their talent or lack there of. Brothers and sisters were constantly trying to learn to play a guitar and work on their singing, hoping that they could get a shot at this band. Hoping beyond hope that Mike and Missy Caulk would notice their “unbelievable” talent and commitment.

Now Matt, who I have already introduced you to, had a level head, was a good guitar player, and was also spiritually mature as well. He was chosen as the music group leader early on after the Praise Band left Auburn in 1978. It was important to have an accomplished “actor” as leader of the music group because the leader had to be perceived by the flock as “in tune” with God and the Spirit, really experiencing worship - catapulted, if you will before the very throne of God. Literally, Matt would “lead us” to the “throne” worshiping with softer songs and then, perhaps, celebrating our victories with wild songs like “John Saw the Multitude” which would elicit much clapping, shouting, and dancing. Like I said the music group leader truly was a “worship leader.” A service was solemn, worshipful, introspective, joyous, or militant, or maybe all of these based on the music and the attitude of Matt, our music group leader. But the music group leader also had to be a “thinker” who, although having the “appearance” of being “swept away” by holy worship or raucous celebration, had to continually think about the next song and the “agreed upon” (from preparation in the staff meeting and rehearsal) direction- was he to hype the crowd up and then bring them down in slow soft worship?, or would it be all joy and celebration and militancy? It had to appear spontaneous (to be of the spirit) but it was also carefully rehearsed. Another purpose of the music group and leader was in providing the “sound track” for the “Movie” for the MCM service. Try watching a horror movie without a soundtrack that evokes fear, or a love story without the dramatic music when the two lovers reconcile. Without the sound track the emotional drama of the movie dries up and becomes less plausible. So it was at MCM, music was used to set and manipulate the emotional tone of the service and of the people participating in it. For Bob Weiner and MCM had learned from Hollywood that music could capture, and would channel, the emotions of people. Matt fit the bill for a music group leader in both being an “actor” and a “thinker”- and he made the job look easy- but it did take a lot of practice and experience to pull it off and make it look “naturally Spirit led.”

The individual members of the music group were also seen as somehow special and anointed since they had been entrusted by the leadership with the very important ministry. They must be “super spiritual” if they were leading God’s Green Beret right into the very throne room of heaven for worship. Getting into the music group, then, immediately elevated your status and power within the ministry. The members of the music group were extremely talented and had “proven” themselves in the ministry … And with the exception of Mike Godwin and the pastors, no one had more power than our music leader Matt within Auburn. No one. And the brothers and sisters in the music group had more privilege and status than anyone, including the “inner coterie” of “prophetic sisters” that I mentioned earlier.

Well, I had no inclination or even an idea of getting into the music group- nor even a fantasy of doing so. Music mania ruled, at least at Auburn, and almost all the brothers I knew purchased a guitar and were learning how to play. I had taken piano for five years, but as soon as I was able to quit, despite my Mother’s protests, I did so. I had learned how to sight read music and at my high school joined what amounted to a singing fraternity sponsored by the school. I was also in a barbershop quartet that won a State contest and had actually been nominated and accepted as one of a thousand “Outstanding High School Musicians of America” my senior year in high-school. But at Auburn I had dropped all of this music stuff- because of my busy schedule - and frankly gave it little thought. No one at MCM even knew of my past musical experience and any talent I might have for such. So what happened next is a puzzle to me - and one I simply cannot explain. Was it a “Word from God”, a “Coincidence” or “Pure Luck?”

That summer the official national MCM “ Praise Band” that “Ellen” was a member of, had broken up, and JC, a member of the Auburn music group, tried out for the new “national” band - and had “won” a place in it. JC’s departure left an opening in the Auburn MCM music group and tryouts were commenced. There was a mad scramble by anyone and everyone with a lick of musical talent to fill his place. I did not try out - and did not even consider doing so. As I said I had no fantasy of joining the band.

But for some reason one of the “prophetic single sisters”, Patti (who later married Nick Pappis), had taken a liking to me. She had Missy’s ear and Missy had taken a liking to me as well. I had also, as I mentioned, become friends with Matt and Allie. So it came as a complete shock when Missy and Patti stopped me after a meeting, with no Mike Godwin in sight, and said “Tikie, Patti has a “Word from God” that you should be in the Band.” I was staggered. “But I can hardly play an instrument - there are much more talented people than me who could do this!!!” I answered. Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, my protest seemed to confirm to them that I was God’s chosen for this role. Patti and Missy took me by the arm over to Matt. “Matt, we have a word that Tikie is to be in the band. What is your witness?” (Translation: “Do you agree?” Matt looked at me and handed me an instrument. “Play something and sing” he said. We had never talked about my music background so he did not know what I was going to do. So I gulped picked it up strummed a few chords and sang. He smiled and said “Well, you are full of surprises aren’t you?” Missy and Patti beamed at me.

After all of the try outs, after all of the brothers and sisters thinking and praying about getting into the band, it came down to this: Patti having a “word” and me strumming out a few chords and singing for twenty seconds. So I was in the music group- and there was no second guessing that decision because the pastor’s wife and the most powerful single sister (a prophet) had declared that this was God’s will. And this changed my life because I was now exempt from all duties except for the music weekly practice on Friday nights, and even better I was out from under Mike Godwin. I was now under Matt and Allie, it was decided. I felt like had gotten a get out of jail free card. In place of Mike Godwin’s dour counseling sessions and laying on of hands and asking questions about my growth now I got Matt’s grin and a “Hey lets go grab a Frosty, I’m paying.” You may think I am kidding after all I have told you about all tribulations I endured under Mike Godwin, but 90% of my “shepherding” from Matt and Allie came sitting at a table at Wendy’s (just up the street from the MCM house) eating a Frosty or mooching dinner at their apartment. I was free - and I felt some guilt knowing that in comparison to other single brothers (other than the two or three shepherded by Miltie…and Miltie for some reason was a McDonald’s not a Wendy’s aficionado) I was on easy street! The whole thing, by the way, was presented to Mike Godwin as a fait acompli and there was nothing he could do about it even if he wanted to. For he could not trump Patti the single sister prophet, Missy Caulk the Pastor’s wife, Matt the leader of the music group- and he would not have dared to cross Allie. Not if he had any sense.

At the same time Dr. Carl, concerned about my plummeting grades and my 25 hours a week at the pizza joint, had wrangled a job for me at the local Goodrich Tire Dealership that a graduating engineering senior, a student of his, was vacating. I would work Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-6:00 pm and Saturdays from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm. It reduced my working hours about 10-15 hours a week- plus no more working to midnights. It was a sales job- my Dad had always distained sales as mere “pedaling”. I protested to Dr. Carl that I knew “nothing about sales.”.He retorted “Don’t kid yourself, Mr. Tok, you could sell ice cubes to Eskimo’s and it will give you more money in less time.” And he was right, it was a classic draw against commission job that consisted of upgrading customers to more expensive shocks, selling premium tires, or getting the “price conscious” customers to buy “retreads” which had fantastic margins. The first Saturday on the job I made $ 100 in commission, more than I made in an entire week slinging pizza. In fact I was so successful that the owner offered to let me buy in and go full time. But I did not want to be in the tire business. On average, in my new sales job, I started earned about $ 200/week the equivalent of $ 500/week in 2006 dollars. I was now working half as many hours as I had been and had effectively quadrupled my salary. This was fantastic money for me and for a college student. It also was the first time I had considered that I might be cut out for sales and marketing.

The new job (with fewer hours and more money) combined with my new “status” and the correspondingly reduced work load at MCM gave me more time to study. My grades started gradually improving because of all of this, although they never reached the level of my pre-MCM GPA. I was starting to find my balance at MCM - and continued to “reel” old friends into the Ministry, much to my amazement and pleasure. This was important because it meant I was still bearing fruit and making converts. After nine months in the ministry, after some pretty tough initial trials and tribulations things were looking up for my “MCM walk”, my finances, and my grades.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 12, 2006 06:29PM


... At the lowest level of the MCM plantation hierarchy were the “slaves” the single brothers being at the bottom of the heap. These single brothers lived together communally and footed the bill for the meeting house and for the pastor’ apartment. They had neither private lives nor any privacy and had to be ready at a moments notice to be called to action. Additionally they had numerous jobs keeping the house and ground in order and acted as “gophers” for the ministry. Their personal needs, when they conflicted with those of the ministry were never considered. In fact the ministry reveled in this and “sold it” to the brothers as proof of their being God’s Green Berets ...

... My break with my previous life was now complete. In five short weeks the conversion process was pretty much over and I was beginning to assimilate into the culture of Maranatha Christian Ministries. My vocabulary now included new phrases and words that gave a new meaning to every thing I saw around me and that I heard. This is the special language that MCM had given me. This special language allowed us to communicate within the group at one level without giving away the “true intent” and meaning of our conversations to an outsider. Whether the installation of this special language in the members was deliberate on behalf of the leadership or whether it was unintentional I will let the reader decide. I am unclear on this myself.

I moved into the Maranatha House in mid November, and was, for the time being, given a private room. That would last only a short time and I would go through a succession of roommates over the next three years - the roommates being selected by the leadership of Auburn with no input from me. This routine roommate shuffling would occur every six months with the ostensible reason being to "help my spiritual growth". The leadership would decide to “team” me with someone who could support my “spiritual weakness,” or for me to do likewise to another brother. I had some roommates I really liked and enjoyed both being with and getting to know, I had some that I disliked, and I had some, frankly speaking, that were psychotic. About the time my roommate and I had our routines and relationships figured out, or in some cases, about the time that I had established a friendship with a roommate, it would be time for the roommate shuffle again. I now surmise that this was to keep us from forming “real” relationships that were not directly monitored by our shepherd, in my case Mike Godwin, who was administrator of MCM and also oversaw the affairs of the house.

I was lucky enough to escape this constant monitoring of friends and roommates by dint of my friendship with Matt and Allie, the married couple I had met. Although Mike Godwin could rule the roost, so to speak, amongst us lowly singles, and especially among the single brothers living in the House, I soon sensed that he was not on such solid footing with the married couples, especially with Matt and Allie. For whatever reason I felt Mike Godwin was a little scared of Matt and Allie - especially Allie. Allie was sweet and soft spoken but she would tolerate any junk from Mike. This was my lucky break I soon realized. For I had a secret place carved out in my friendship with this couple, not unlike that of Winston Smith in George Orwell’s book “1984”, who found a small corner of his room where he could not be observed by “Big Brother”. I am fairly sure that amongst all the single brothers living in the house I was the only one who could get away from the 24/7 scrutiny of every aspect of our lives. Not that I realized all of this consciously, but when Matt and Allie would invite me over for supper at their apartment I would look forward to that evening like a soldier being sent on furlough. Later on Phil and Karen Bonasso, who were friends of Matt and Allie would also become part of our "friendship of five." ...

... Perhaps I could land yet another job, a second job to pay tuition. But then when would I study if I did this? Oh, and apart from the time required for my pizza job, there was the time required for all of my assigned duties MCM and the “official” MCM meetings. The total hours of “official MCM meetings and duties” ate up about 18 hours of my time per week. The assigned duties would rotate weekly - perhaps I would have to clean all of the bathrooms, perhaps I had to do the lawn and rake the leaves, perhaps I had to clean all of the common areas or perhaps it was my turn to set up and take down for the meetings. It was all the same: about 18-20 hours of free labor for MCM per week.

But just looking at this schedule of “official MCM duties and meetings” did not really tell the whole tale - because it excluded the following types of requests which happened weekly and even daily: “Brother we have two sisters moving in can you help load and unload the truck?” or “Brother I sense you are having a tough time and need some deliverance - lets get together” (get ready for a two hour deliverance session-the thought of these deliverance sessions alone would keep us “on the reservation”, so to speak) or “Tik, This brother needs some deliverance are you available?” (this meant two hours of praying and casting out demons but at least some other poor sucker was on the hot seat) or “The Band is going on a gig can you load the van up?” or “This week we are going to do the service on the front lawn of the student center lets load all of the chairs and equipment, oh and could you run back to the house we forgot the programs and flyers?” or “We need these posters put up in all of the male dorms and frat houses, can you do it?” Or “We are sending a SWAT team in to help open up the South Carolina/Florida State/GA Tech ministry- can you miss a weekend of work and drive back all night Sunday so you can start the week with no sleep?” or “as a gift to the leadership lets imitate Jesus and wash and wax all their cars or give them a special gift to honor them.”

It was almost impossible to say “no” to these requests without being labeled as “selfish”, “world centered”, “putting yourself above others”, “not having a servants spirit” or being labeled has having a “spirit of laziness” or being infected with “worldly concerns”. Not doing this stuff would retard whatever chance you might have of going into the ministry full time or at the very least of being seen as an “over comer’ by the leadership.

Well I’ll stop this line of writing before I start retching up my lunch. Yikes…I now see that I was in such a hurry writing the last paragraph that I forgot to include other “optional” things like the “campus blitz” days on Saturdays where we would go two by two witnessing and handing out tracts on campus for a couple of hours or standing outside the arena before, during, and after basket ball games handing out tracts, or starting “front clubs at the university” such as the “Fellowship of Christian Students” that was really a hook and bait for MCM, or the one thousand and one other things that helped “market and sell” MCM and ensnare fellow students, things that I have thankfully blanked out of my mind.

When you add in all of this “busy work” and “kingdom” work the time commitment for MCM was 30hours/week, sometimes 40 hours/week. All right – enough already. As I said, the work at the pizza shop would consume 25 hours per week of my time.

And, of course, lest I forget, there was that little bitty thing called engineering school. I was scheduled to take 17 hours of class next quarter in engineering school. As I have told you, the rule of thumb was about 1.5 hours of studying for each hour of class work. Total time for school and study should have been about 42 hours a week if there was any hope of making my grades. So if one was brave enough to add it up the time required for school, work, and MCM activities totaled close to 95 hours per week. For those of you still with me that is about 19 hours a day. Was sleep required? I hoped not because this schedule showed I was running out of time. And like I said I was running out of money too ...

... “Now make your fist into a ball, there you go, I can see that vein now.” The nurse in the white coat swabbed my arm with alcohol and then massaged the bulging vein with her finger. She took a very long sharp and large hollow needle and quickly stuck it in my arm. The clear plastic tube that was fitted into the needle immediately filled with blood and began draining into the bag attached to it. The bag was quickly filling with my warm, crimson blood. The needle and the catheter hanging from my arm felt cold and my arm and chest ached. I was reclining in a plastic covered reclining chair, there were about fifteen of them lined up in a row- and I could see the other fourteen “donors”. Most of them, with the exception of Patrick, a brother from MCM, were in their early sixties and had the washed out look of winos or derelicts.

I had gotten the idea of selling my plasma from Patrick back in early March. Mike Caulk, our pastor, stood up in one of our week – night fellowship meetings with a very grim expression on his face after praise and worship time. “Brothers and sisters the Devil is attacking the Ministry.” A low murmur ran through the crowd. I wondered what this attack was, was someone ill, had there been a fire at one of the ministries? We waited expectantly and anxiously. “God, as you all know, told the elders last month that the Ministry needed to replace the single engine ministry airplane.” I remembered this fundraising effort - there had been innumerable bake sales, car washes in the near freezing February weather, and a walkathon to raise money for the “new” twin engine airplane. I had kicked in about $ 150 from my stash of $ 400 in the bank. I was now down to $ 250 in the bank. And I was barely holding my own with expenses.

We waited for Mike Caulk to continue as he looked through the legal sheet of paper with notes. “We found out yesterday that a piston cracked on one of the engines in the new plane- and the plane is now grounded. Satan is attacking us in the midst of our success. But God will triumph here - and we will answer the call of the elders and of God. The Ministry as a whole must raise $ 75,000 to cover the costs of replacing the engine. I am counting on the Auburn ministry to come through in a strong way, as usual.” He went on to outline a series of fundraising efforts including a special offering urging us all to give “sacrificially” during March.

I sat back in my chair in the meeting. I remembered the all out effort to raise money for the twin engine plane. The discussion of how this new larger and faster plane would enable the leadership to spend more time ministering. It would speed the work of evangelizing the world, of how it would carry more people and more equipment. But the cost of the plane had never been mentioned - and I had never considered what that cost meant to all of us and the drain it imposed on our finances. Even now $ 75,000 to repair an engine is a chunk of money - in 2006 dollars it was the equivalent of at least $ 175,000- and seemed a huge sum to all of us in the Auburn ministry. And this was on top of the money we had raised to purchase the plane. I remember thinking this - but the thought went no where. Did MCM REALLY need a plane? At the time MCM had about 30 ministry sites and 4,000 members. Campus Crusade dwarfed MCM in size - yet CCC has never had a corporate plane. But no one, including me, thought to ask that question, or maybe dared to ask it. So the whip was cracked and we went into high gear fundraising mode.

I did not really have time to participate in the fundraisers, but I made time anyway during March. One night Patrick, my new roommate, and I were talking about how we could raise money to help with the engine problems. Patrick let me in on his secret. I decided to try it - in order to help out with the fundraising for the plane engine and maybe boost my bank account as a side benefit. And that is why I was sitting in the clinic in a recliner watching two pints of my blood drain into the bag.

The bag was full now. My arm really hurt now and I was chilling. “Okay honey”, said the nurse, “I’ll be back in a jiffy.” She unhooked the bag from the catheter, but left the needle and the tube hanging from my arm. She put the bag with my blood in a centrifuge and it started whirling around with the sound of a rusty mixer. In about two minutes the red corpuscles of my blood were separated from the yellow/clear plasma. She drained the plasma out of the bag into a plastic bottle and then brought the bag of “red blood cells” back to the chair and reattached it to the catheter sticking into my arm. The blood minus the plasma starting draining back into my arm. It continued to hurt. This part always hurt.

The “rules” were that you could give Plasma once per week. It paid $ 25 per “drain. That was the equivalent of $ 60 in 2006. But Patrick and I were “gaming” the system. There was one blood/plasma center in Auburn and one in Opelika, a town about 15 miles away. On Monday we would donate plasma in Opelika and on Thursday we would donate plasma in Auburn. So we doubled the amount we could earn despite the prohibition on more than one plasma “donation” per week.

It was a great gig - but there was one drawback. I started getting sick. I could not recall having been sick and in bed since I was a little kid. Since I had begun doing this in March, three months, ago I was sick a lot. First it was a bad cold, which I could not shake that turned into bronchitis, then it was the flu. Then there were the headaches I got and I was tired all the time

But…my plasma brought in on a monthly basis about $ 200/month; the equivalent of $ 400/month in 2006 earnings. This was equal to what I earned in slinging pizza in a month. I banked some of this extra money but about half of it went into the ministry offering plate or special needs offering. Like the “plea” to fund the repair to the twin engine plan. Or the plea the next month to “purchase a house” for the “new” MCM planting in Argentina where apparently God had James Thomas speaking fluent Spanish after one week on site.

It was announced in April of 1979 that Auburn had once again exceeded the special offering goal and that the Ministry had been able to replace the engine. I could tell Mike Caulk was relieved and pleased. For my part I had thrown about $ 200 into the special offering - most of it coming from my “plasma” money. And so the entire ministry had been “flogged” so that Bob would not have to fly commercial. My guess is that at least 200 first class commercial airline tickets per year for the next five years could have been purchased by the Ministry at a cost equal to maintaining and paying for this plane. Not coach tickets but first class tickets! But we could not have God’s anointed fly first class commercial could we? The time of God’s prophets and apostles were too precious to be wasted in commercial airports, right?

I, in the meantime, continued to suck it up as best I could with my ministry work, my “work” work, and my studies as best I could. My grades and finances reached their nadir during the Spring Quarter 1979 - I barely eked out a “2.0” C grade average. My engineering scholarship was gone forever. Lost. With my work schedule and my ministry efforts I also was permanently exhausted. And donating four pints of plasma a week was not helping me either. I was always sick and tired all the time ...

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 15, 2006 06:20PM


At the end of the service Bob called Mike and Missy Caulk up to the stage. “Now, he said, “I am going to be here preaching at Auburn only two more nights, at least for right now” There was a groan from the crowd and shouts of “stay longer” and “don’t leave.” “Now, now” said Bob, “it is God that is doing the things here - I am just sowing the seeds. Trust me I will be back and keep tabs on things here!” And he laughed. “Next week you are going to have a real treat in store. You see I am the evangelist that lays the ground work, that gets the ministry going, that ploughs up the earth. But starting Monday the person who will water and tend the soil is coming - a person who will help build up this work.” He paused. "A man with a deep and passionate understanding of God, and a true and real prophet of God in these last days - Joe Smith. He is anointed by God and will be a true blessing to all of you. He will prophesy over you and change your lives.”...

... We were all disappointed that Bob Weiner had completed his preaching stint and that the Praise Band had left well. And we wondered who this Joe Smith, this “Prophet” that Bob had talked about? and what he would teach? Rather than the praise band, two guys with acoustic guitars launched in a rousing series of songs and we all stood and sang and clapped. I noticed that sitting up front next to Mike and Missy Caulk a fellow wearing a blue cardigan sweater and a white turtleneck- he was older - about 45-50 years old, which to a 19 year old seemed ancient. The singing ended and there was a time of prayer - and someone shouted out in tongues and someone else shouted out the “interpretation”. I was starting to get the gist of this. It did not strike me at the time but almost all of the tongues and interpretation at MCM in the general session were prophecies from God extolling the great new work and his blessings on those that walked with him and the sin on the campus that was breaking his heart. Mike Caulk took that stage and said “Tonight we have a real blessing from God - we will be hearing from Joe Smith.” He gave Joe’s background as someone who had been called out from industry and anointed by God to teach and preach and prophesy.

Joe stood up and my immediate reaction was one of disappointment “this is no Bob Weiner” I remember thinking. Bob was all energy, pacing the stage, making karate like chops with his hand, speaking in whispers one moment and shouting in the next. It was a real circus, in the good show sense of the word, when Bob was preaching. Joe began and spoke in a very deep Eastern Kentucky twang. Where Bob sparkled when was on stage Joe was very low key. He spoke softly in very conversational tone. He had a deep infectious laugh which made me feel warm. In fact in about 10 minutes I felt I was listening to an elder uncle with a warm welcoming tone and a sincere concern about each and every individual in the room. He spoke of his love for Jesus and Jesus’ love for each and every one of us.He would pause sometimes at the end of a sentence- a deliberate pause and slowly break into a warm smile. His manner invited you to relax and hear the good news, at least that night it did. His talk was on Jesus and who Jesus was. He used as his text the story of the shepherd who looked at the 100 sheep-tenderly caring for them and how when he realized that one sheep was missing he spent the hours looking for it. He described how when the shepherd found the lost sheep he “kissed it, and calmed it, and petted it and removed the briars and thorns from its coat. “You see, Church, you are that one sheep, that lost sheep that meant more to him than anything. And, of course, Jesus is that shepherd, and you, all of you here, are that one sheep that he wants to love, to kiss, to pet, and to remove the thorns and briars from your lives. To keep you safe.” The contrast between Joe Smith's “slow build” deep baritone voice and kind and loving demeanor and Bob Weiners electric and dynamic presence could not have been more dramatic. And the contrast was incredibly effective at making me, anyway, think: “Wow! This church, this gathering of believers, these leaders and shepherds are incredible so different but so effective.” It reinforced the specialness of the group and what I was involved in.

Joe asked us to do something that I felt was a little strange that night. And in hindsight I believe, what he requested was completely heretical to the Evangelical Christian norms. He told us that many of us could not relate to Jesus because of our poor relationships with our fathers. Many of our fathers, he said were abusive or to busy for us. He said we would start that night to fix that problem of properly relating to Jesus. He asked us to close our eyes and then to imagine we were, if we were guys, throwing a football with Jesus. “Imagine him standing there, with a kind look on his face, throwing the ball with you, asking you about your day. Telling you that you throw looks great. Reaching over and giving you a hug.” For the girls he said “Imagine you are a little girl, and you are in a swing and Jesus, with a kind loving expression on his face is gently pushing you and talking to you and then he kisses you with a tenderly fatherly kiss. Let’s all be silent and imagine that.”

Now alarm bells were going off in my head. I can’t say that I had never been explicitly warned NOT to imagine myself physically with Jesus. In fact I did have this “historical” image in my head of Him calming the seas and preaching. But it had never entered my head to do what Joe was suggesting. It did not seem right to me. And I believe that this practice was a form of idolatry expressly forbidden in Genesis. I think I have made it clear that I am not here to dispute whether the “gifts’ of the spirit exist today or not, or even about MCM concept of water baptism. I share this to simply point out that this was a practice that the “old Tik” found distasteful, a practice that should have sent up warning signals, once again. A practice I believe that indoctrinated us even more into the “specialness” of who we were - God’s chosen. And didn’t Paul explicitly WARN the early Church NOT to fall into the trap of thinking that one section of the Church, say those converted by him, were more special say than those converted by Apollos. This “specialness” this focus on the fact that “we” were going to “rule and reign” that we were God’s green beret- all of this is heretical and wrong, based on specific admonitions and warnings in the epistles. But the "old Tik" was not in control any more and the locks were being fitted to the door of the closet “he” would be banished to. For I ignored what my “head” was saying and thought “if this kind gentle sounding man, who has a love for Jesus is saying that this is okay- then it MUST be alright.”

After a minute or two Joe said “Everyone open your eyes. Now I feel that God has some specific prophecies that he wants to speak to people tonight, about His plans for people, and about answers to prayers.” I sat up. Until this point all the prophesies had been pretty generic, like the ones I had described in the services. Now Joe stood with his eyes closed.The room was tense and silent with anticipation. “God” he intoned in his Kentucky accent, “is telling me that someone here is concerned about the health of their mother, Their mother has been diagnosed with cancer." He opened his eyes. “Now who is that?” He scanned the room. Now my “radar” was going crazy. This reminded me of the time that Sheila and I, on a dare, had visited a fortune teller in Phenix City, an army base town about two hours from Auburn. A young girl raised her hand in response to Joe’s question. “Come up here sister.” The girl walked up, wearing an expression of apprehension. “God is speaking to me that you have been praying for your Mom. Is this correct? The girl nodded yes. "And you have been praying for your Mom’s spiritual walk as well haven’t you?" The girl started crying and Joe put his arm around her and gave her a warm tender smile. “God is going to answer your prayers tonight.”Joe said. “First saith, God I am healing your mother even as we speak. Second I tell you my daughter that your witness shall result in the salvation not only of your mother but of your entire family. Glory to God…Lets give God the glory…”

The place went ballistic. I even found myself clapping. I had seen the gift of prophecy exercised- not some general statement of prophecy but a specific one.The girl sat down with tears streaming from her eyes amid “amens and halluejuhas and Thank YOU JESUS!” And this kept up for about forty minutes. Joe would close his eyes, reveal what God was telling him, ask who the prophecy was for a person would come up, and go through the questions bit. Was it real? I had seen almost the same ritual last year at the Fortune Teller that Sheila and I had visited. A thought that is put into the head of the seer. Then confirming and leading questions. I brushed those thoughts aside. Everyone in the meeting room seemed excited and overjoyed at what they were seeing and hearing. And they were hearing prophetic utterance straight from God.

Now it is clear that from the epistles that the gift of Prophecy is given to the church. I happen to follow baseball and a hitter who bats .350 would be considered one of the greats of all time. And a quarterback with a season completion average of 70% would be considered phenomenal. But what standard does God have for His prophets? And by inference what standard should we, as Christians have for those utter prophetic utterances from God? The standard, of course, is 100% accuracy. All of God’s prophets were accurate 100% of the time in the proclamations. Period.100% of the time. So our standard should be that we demand and insist on 100% accuracy. Think about it, if God KNOWS everything and is NEVER wrong then how can any prophetic utterance attributed to him be incorrect?The answer is none of the utterances can miss the mark or be shown to be wrong. Not if God is perfect, and he is. If the prophecies are false are then the person is a false prophet: the kind we are warned against over and over by Paul. Prophecy is a powerful thing - it can cause people to change the course of their lives - I liken it to nuclear fusion - it has tremendous power and the potential for tremendous good and tremendous destruction. I believe and I will show that many of the prophetic utterances by Maranatha Leaders and by future Morninstar/Every Nation Leaders over the years were wrong. Dead wrong and inaccurate. And by God’s standards these leaders are false prophets. That includes Joe Smith...

... At the rest of the Maranatha services that week Joe Smith begin teaching on how we would “rule” and reign, how Jesus literally made us “Sons of Gods”. How we would literally rule the “Nations” as Princes make the "wicked Bow before us", how our commitment to Jesus “now” was our preparation for this. To be fair to Joe he also preached on the love of Jesus for us and for the body. But implicit was his view that it was very much a conditional love. That as long as we were in “right” standing we were “Sons of God.” It was unstated but left hanging that those who were not in "right standing" were not Sons of God. And who or what determined if a person was or was not in right standing? I would find out soon enough. Joe also reinforced the role of the elders and shepherds. He cited the fact that the church had apostles and prophets. He implied, and he may have stated implicitly that he, Bob Weiner and other leaders like Bob Nolte were the “new” apostles and that God was revealing Himself to the elders. He cited the counsel of Jerusalem as examples of this that sent Paul and Barnabas out with a covering. And then there were the continuing nightly examples of “specific” prophecies. All done as I described.

I promised you that I would show that Joe Smith and other Maranatha “prophets” were FALSE Prophets for the simple reason that their prophecies were wrong. Let me relate two such specific false prophecies given by Joe Smith that come to mind readily because of their egregiousness. BTW this type of false prophesy continued throughout my time at MCM and, I believe, is perpetuated today in Every Nation Church.

At this point in the evening Joe had preached for about an hour that night. Then he begin and had been thrilling the congregation (and I use that term purposely) with his marvelous “gift” of prophecy. We were all mesmerized and at this point "I was in the groove." Joe had continued to reassure us that God continued to heal, the gifts were for today and He still had his “Prophets.” So Joe paused and closed his eyes- but this time he looked at a young bearded man in the congregation, Daniel, and said "Young man come up here God has a word for you.” Now Daniel was a very soft spoken person, a very talented musician and had just joined the Auburn Ministry. I was drawn to him because of his kind demeanor and his obvious love of Jesus. Daniel walked up to the stage and Joe gave him that warm, slow spreading smile of his. “God has a word for you,” Joe said in a sweet gentle tone. “God is telling me that you have hurts- deep hurts and He wants to heal them.” Daniel nodded at Joe and an expectant look grew on his face. “Thus saith the Lord” Joe’s voice took on a more commanding, deeper tone, “I have seen your hurt and am sending my healing powers to your heart. You and your father have had a bitter relationship and I the Lord will heal this relationship and bring you back together and indeed I will ensure that your father will be saved and will know me.” The place went nuts shouting “hallelujah”, and “amen” and praise Jesus. Daniel had a strange look on his face as he sat down amid the shouts and clappping. I was sitting next to my married friends Matt and Allie and I noticed that the two of them exchanged worried and knowing looks. And then Matt leaned over and whispered “You should know Daniel’s father has been dead for a year."

My head started spinning as I considered what Matt had told me. I was not privy to the counseling that went on between Daniel and his shepherd but at this point I would donate heavily to hear a replay of that conversation. Did anyone confront Joe on his false prophesy? I doubt it because there was a rule modeled after a scripture from the old testament:“Don’t touch God’s anointed."

Let me share one more example of false prophecy and that had to do with a “word” that was given Peter and his wife Rita. Rita and Peter had a boy who was a toddler at the time. Peter had graduated from Auburn with a degree in Building Science and had gone to work for a large building construction firm in Opelika a large town about 20 miles east of Auburn. Peter was making, for a recent college graduate, a pretty decent living and would, as a hard working and diligent worker, be able to expect to have a decent career. Keep in mind that very few of us had “decent” jobs. Most of us “in” Maranatha were either students or worked part time as part time students. The few that had full time paying jobs were working at minimum wage or slightly better. Peter was brought up for a word of prophecy the same manner as Daniel was. It was a very solemn and serious affair. He was told “Thus saith the Lord, I am going to raise you up as a mighty business man who will run companies who will prosper and in that prosperity you will give back to my work and I will increase your prosperity ten fold…etc… etc…etc and you will start your own business and I will bless you and your household." So Peter mortgages his house, based on the “word” from God and starts his own construction business in the midst of one of the toughest recessions of the century (thank you Jimmy Carter) and proceeds to lose everything and declares bankruptcy and before it was over could barely take care of his family.

All because of a prophetic utterance from “God’s anointed.” Were any of these prophets held accountable by the elders or pastors? Well, of course if you had gotten this far in my story you know that the answer is NO!They were NOT held accountable and the fact is that as far as I know not a single person who provided false prophecy was every confronted. They were untouchable because if the only people that could have confronted them were the Pastors, who were appointed and given their positions by the very False Prophets they should have confronted. If a “sheep” or rank and file had spoken up they would have been labeled as “bitter” and/or “devisive” and before you could shout out “ Shaballaba” they would have been subject to having a “spirit” cast out of them and told to repent. And if that did not work they would have been declared apostate and thrown out of Maranatha and suffer the loss both participating in God's end time mission and what for all purposes was their family. If you are in a group, whether it be EveryNation or another Pentecostal movement I urge you, as Paul advised the early Church “to test the spirits.”

Ask yourself are these "Prophets" of EN tested, do we "test" their prophecies, do we hold them accountable. We must be wise like the foxes because as Jesus warns us "their are ravenous wolves who seek to devour..." Paul also warns us over and over again to beware of false prophets and those that would teach strange doctrines even if they appear as an angel of light. The EN and MCM prophects appear as angels of light most of the time speaking on behalf of God, with power but without his authority. We should demand that those claiming to have the gift of prophecy should be held to the standard given in the Bible: 100% accuracy. And for those who are not 100% accurate who would lead the "little ones astray" Jesus has a harsh warning "It would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their necks." Of course I did not realize the tough standard that should be applied to Prophets, nor did I realize the implications if one confronted any of the top leaders in “God’s new movement”.

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 15, 2006 06:27PM


By late 1980 I had worked my way into the top echelons of the Auburn Maranatha Campus Ministries. I had a lot to be proud of. I was responsible for personally bringing about 20-25 people into the ministry and only three or four had washed out. In turn over a four year period these people had brought at least 10-15 people in to MCM - not counting washouts. I had been elevated into the music group, which for better or for worse, was considered to be the heart of the MCM Auburn Ministry. I was leading the newbies class teaching the red book every Sunday morning in the most pedantic way imaginable. I was now shepherding six brothers. I wish I could tell you I was a “Matt” or “Miltie,” but I was too compliant with the MCM scheme - but I can tell you that I was NOT a Mike Godwin making their lives a living hell either. I led my share of ridiculous and humiliating “hootah” sessions for ridiculous infractions. I held my share of 6:00 a.m. mandatory “prayer and discipleship sessions as well. I was turning into a mini-me MCM shepherd.

In business today, my company takes great pains to understand why people purchase and where we get our business from. If I had taken some time to carefully examine where my converts were coming from and if I had then asked some whys about the where and who I was converting it would have given me some a pause. For although 20-25 people had come on board through my ministry, almost every one of these converts had known me from my pre MCC, "old Tik" days. Only ONE convert had come on board who had NOT known me from my prior life. Not only that but if I had really examined this from a "business" perspective, I would have seen the following trend (that I have reconstructed some twenty years later):

Tik’s converts into the Auburn Ministry
1978 (four months): 9 converts
1979 (twelve months): 9 converts
1980 (twelve months): 4 converts
1981 (6 months): 1 convert

Anyone in business or sales would see an immediate problem here. My "sales" or converts per month were declining at a dramatic rate beginning early on in 1979. Not only that but a close examination of the source of my "sales" or converts would have been equally disturbing. For as I mentioned almost EVERY one of my converts to MCM had been friends or acquaintances from pre MCM. I was trading on my "old" reputation as a very good friend to people, a leader who attracted folks (I know this probably sounds self aggrandizing, but I do expect to be held fully accountable for this in the next life after I depart this one) and who was considered an all around "nice guy." Despite the push back and anger of some of my very good friends like Sheila and "Mom," there was another set of my old friends who literally followed me into MCM. They did this because of their own needs and their trust in that fact that if "Tikie were doing it, it must be good." So I was like a brand new life insurance salesman who racks up great results during the first six months of his career and then quickly runs out of steam because he has sold policies to all his friends, neighbors and brothers in law. I never considered this aspect of my “bearing fruit” of course. But it made sense if one gave it any thought.

First, anyone who knew the "new Tik", and the "new Tik" alone would probably not have wanted what he had. For I was dogmatic and caught up in my MCM world of black and white, Jesus and demons, working my ass off for no pay and little reward with the added benefit of all the abuse I could tolerate. Plus I really did not nor could not socialize and make "real" friends outside of MCM. This was frowned upon and even if it were not frowned upon, when in the world would I get the time to make friends outside the closed world of MCM? In fact, what was true for my experience was also true for the Auburn MCM site. After the initial success of the ministry in 1978 growth slowed. These are my own estimates of what happened at Auburn, for sure they are not exact, but they are in the ballpark. They reflect the net membership ( including the washout rate which I estimate at about 20-30% per year) from 1978 (start) to 1980 (the great “send out”).

Auburn Ministy Estimates
1978 September: 25 members (transfers in from other sites)
1978 December: 120 members
1979 December: 180 members
1980 December: 200 members

Keep in mind that we probably had churned through another 200 people, at least, who were "serious" members who left because they had the good sense to do so. The decrease in the rate of increase in growth reflected, on a larger scale, the same problem that I began encountering in bearing fruit. The ministry increasingly isolated itself, its membership appeared for the most part extreme, with the added bonus of a spate of articles in the student and local newspapers about the “sociological cult” issues that I have discussed thus far. None of the local student religious organization would recommend nor associate with MCM and the ministry had a bad rap throughout the student population. I don’t think anyone in the Auburn Ministry was conscious of this, or would admit it, or perhaps they were in denial. In fact Mitlie’s speech on this very topic, as we have seen was dismissed by the local leadership who had their heads in the sand. But this did not make it any less true. This pattern would play itself out at almost every location; one year of brilliant and rapid growth followed by a year or two of decent growth followed by stagnation and decline. This pattern and the lessons learned from it were absorbed by the founders and leaders of EN and were incorporated into the "plan" they developed to avoid most of the pitfalls of MCM. Of course they were fixing symptoms, not root causes - painting over rotten timber rather than examining and replacing the cracked and unstable foundation.

Well, in 1980 all of the shepherds who were deemed to have “full time potential were assembled in Mike Caulk’s office. This excluded Miltie who had destroyed his chances by speaking his mind, and JC who had “looked the beast in the eye” and did not like what he had seen. This was a called Monday afternoon meeting and we did not know what to expect. Matt and I thought that perhaps Mike and Missy were being sent out, or God forbidm there was going to be an announcement on some new crazy venture. And there was. Mike waited until we were all in his office and he looked around. “As you folks know I just returned from Gainesville yesterday. God has shown the elders that it is time for us to break out - to really get ready to build the Kingdom and to start moving quickly to establish the His true church.” I glanced around - everyone was intent on what Mike was saying. My own thoughts were something like " I thought we WERE moving fast and we doing this very thing. But I kept silent. He continued "There is going to be an immediate need for pastors and evangelists and full time sisters, and we have to identify these at each ministry." Everyone started murmuring and talking, my heart leapt with anticipation. This was it, we had been talking for three years about His kingdom coming and the great explosion of converts, and now it was actually happening. “Well, we are going to photograph all the high potential brothers and sisters” (all of us gathered there). You will need to write a two page essay on your walk with Jesus, your conversion experience and what you have accomplished in the Kingdom. Also we are going to contract with the university to video tape a five minute session of the brothers preaching on a topic of their choice. Here is the schedule, we start next Thursday and we will be filming at the campus a/v studio.” And he handed out a schedule to the ten brothers standing there. The sisters would not audition, but would submit their photos and essays. Matt, Phil Bonasso and I were high fiveing each other on the way out - with Phil jabbering about the “Great commission and the fields being white with the harvest”…actually all three of us were doing this non-stop. I was so excited that I could hardly sleep.

By this time at Auburn all of the over-seers and shepherds with the exception of Matt, Miltie, and me had been completely Copelandized and Haginized with the ring leader being Phil. Everyone was walking around talking about the “power of the Word” like it was some type of atomic force field. For me, it never seemed to stick or make sense. I had a more balanced view - well as balanced as a nut case MCM member could be. So while all the other brothers were focusing on preaching the best Kenneth Copeland/Kenneth Hagin sermon they could, I sat at my desk in my (wonderful) single room and prayed and thought about the biggest problem at the Auburn site. In fact, although I did not realize it I was using my newly honed sales and marketing skills from my work at the Goodrich store. At the store I simply asked the customers what they were trying to accomplish, what they wanted, and tried to give it to them. I love the saying that a customer does not want a quarter inch drill bit they want a quarter inch hole. So when students would say “I want a cheap tire that will last along time” I would steer them towards a “retread” that costs half as much as a radial ply tire, but made the dealership twice the margin. I did not “sell”… I solved problems! I asked myself what was Bob Weiner looking for in the video tape? He was NOT looking for a sermon on the “power of the word”. He WAS looking for an energetic preacher who could snag a couple of hundred souls. Someone who would stand out on campus. He was looking for a “total package.” Now Mike Godwin had already cautioned me “Don’t get your hopes up Tikie, we don’t think you are ready to be a Pastor, maybe not even an evangelist, perhaps you need to go out as a lay helper. Well this time Mike was correct, and I wish I had followed his lead here. So I went to work. I picked my five minute sermon - one that I thought that would stand out from what I figured to be the pack of 100 sermons on the power of the Word aka Copeland and Hagin that would be filmed all over MCM that week. I also thought about what I knew Bob and Joe liked in their preachers.

I had had the opportunity to work with two of Bob’s rising young star preachers Greg Ball and Rice Broocks on a couple of outreaches that the Auburn Music Group had been sent to. One gift that I have is a real gift for observation and analysis. I did not really understand the gift I had at this point but it boils down to this: the ability to observe “what is being done,” “why it is being done,” “what affect it is having,” and “what could be done differently” to achieve better or cheaper results. I like to say I use my brain and my gut in equal portions. At the outreaches I had watched Greg and Rice in action closely. First they preached like they had done no preparation. It appeared spontaneous when they spoke. But I had chanced onto Rice, early one morning rehearsing and rehearsing his stump speech. He was not the least embarrassed about it and told me, “I over prepare so that when I am actually preaching it I can concentrate on the message and what God is saying and not on the words.” Later in life I read where Winston Churchill used this same ‘over prepare and appear spontaneous approach’. It turned out that Greg Ball used the same method when I spoke with him. In fact I have had the opportunity now to speak publicly in front of hundreds of people many, many times and in front of thousands at least four or five times. I am not ashamed to say that I used the approach that I learned from Rice. I am also not ashamed to admit that I used the same speaking techniques that I think came naturally to me, but that I perfected by watching and learning from these two guys.

Now in the three or four outreaches (including one at Auburn) I worked with and got to know Rice and Greg. Greg was a very intense person, but he could be a very affable: nice, warm, and fun loving. At the outreaches we bonded and seemed to click instantly. I think part of it was the southern frat boy thing going on and part of it was that I fit his idea of what a single MCM brother should be. Later in my own outreach I would see Greg in action - the same fun loving guy. No mistake though he could be a butt kicker - and at staff meetings and gathering I saw him tear into those that disagreed with him or challenged him or got in the way of what he wanted to accomplish. Although on the surface they appeared to be cut out of the same mold, Rice and Greg were very different people. Their public preaching and speaking styles were the same - Greg’s was a tad more natural and his stories were woven a little more seamlessly into his sermons. I will take a risk and say that I always felt like Greg was sincere, and although very intense - he also had a hair trigger temper that could explode unexpectedly. Later, I will discuss Greg and Helen and our outreach program when I was full time. Rice was, as I said cut out of a different cloth. Rice was very narcisstic, compared to Greg (who was naturally self centered, but at the time did not actually believe the universe and God centered around him) much like Bob Weiner and Phil Bonnasso. In fact Rice had the classic NPD, in my opinion. He not only acted like he was the center of God’s plan, but he actually seemed to believe it. He could be very friendly and very charming, but there was something in his manner that told me “keep this one at arm’s length”… where as I felt Greg to be very genuine in his offered friendship. So I tried to think about Greg and Rice’s style while working on my “sermonette”… and to be different and stand out from the others also auditioning. I also practiced my “five minute sermon” over and over and over.

My sermon was on 2nd Samuel 5:23:
… David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, "Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army." So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. Basically I said “If we MCM will wait on the Lord, and follow His signs we will route the demons from Hell and take over his Kingdom.” And I wove, at least from my perspective a vivid story of David and his men slay and killing and hacking the Philistines to death. I did not wait on some “feeling” to come over me on what to preach. - I thought about what Bob and the others wanted to hear and how they wanted to hear it, I thought about the technique that would work and I thought about the package that they would look for. And I hit a home run. The other nine brothers had “waited on the Spirit” so to speak and preached on “the Word this and the Word that.” When I got up I was completely different, completely rehearsed and used the same arm and hand gestures that I had seen Bob, Rice and Gregg used…and I noticed that the brothers in the audience as I was being video taped were scribbling notes. I was also wearing the frat boy uniform - khakis, starched button down shirt and a blue blazer. I even had the cordovan penny loafers on that were invisible. In short I had used the same tactics, the identical approach and tactics that Rice, Gregg, Bob and others use to woo people into MCM. And it is the approach I used in planting the church I was sent to. I can assure you that some part of me was sincere about David and doing God’s will - but it the whole exercise was aimed at one thing: being named a pastor rather than an evangelist. And it worked. It was canned, it appeared natural, but was unnatural, and the message was tailored to create and affect that said “WOW.” Later Bob told me that my five minute sermonette had been among the best.

Six weeks later at a concave at MCM Auburn the great “send out was announced” there was a huge map showing where we would be going pinned up to a wall. It was announced there that Mike and Missy would be leaving for Ann Arbor. Matt and Allie along with Richard would be heading up the Auburn Ministry after Mike and Missy left. Phil and Karen Bonnasso and Roger would be going to USC in Southern California. We sent numerous brothers and sisters out to other ministries, and I would be going, as a head pastor, to a large Midwestern University along with a couple I had never met and a single sister from another ministry that I knew slightly. Well it was a huge night for the Auburn Ministry and a festive night. In about 8 weeks we would all be heading out to our new lives, or to temporary jobs that we would take. Mike announced that there would be a “boot” camp in Gainesville for all new pastors in about seven weeks.

That afternoon I stopped by to visit with Dr. Carl and to show him the latest iteration on my senior design project I had been slaving over. “Well Mr. Tok, you have to be pretty happy about this- you pulled yourself out of your slump and you are going to finish up with just above a B average. I think you were capable of better…but not bad, not bad.” I grinned, a “not bad” from Dr. Carl was like anyone else doing cartwheels in front of me. “How did your interviews go?” he asked. I had had six interviews one with a major oil company (this at the height of the energy crisis) two with Gulf explorations companies, and one with a huge multi national company as part of their nuclear power development program. It was pretty exciting and thanks to Dr. Carl’s “prep” for the interviews and his rigorous instruction over the last three years I had landed four offers for more money than I could imagine. I paused…”Well Dr. Carl I have four offers…”“Very good Mr. Tok- who are you going with? - wow to be twenty one again and have the world by the tail!” His face framed by his long hair broke into a broad grin. “…but…” I continued…”I have decided to turn them all down…” Before I could finish he broke in: “Great! That’s great- so are you going to take Dr. Jenkins and me up on the masters offer?’ They had approached me a month ago about a teaching assistants job, it paid a pittance but it came complete with free tuition and free fees for a master’s degree. I am fairly sure if the MCM “great send out” had not occurred I would have stayed in Auburn with MCM- done this two year gig gotten my masters and my life now would now be completely different. “Uh …no…” I answered. He sat up and peered at me through his long bangs. “Then what are you doing?” “Well, you know this group I am with?” “Look Mr. Tok, this group, I know all about it Mr. XXXX (he meant “Mom” our frat RA and the engineering graduate assistant who had left last year with his masters) was all aghast at your involvement with it. Although I never mentioned it I was pretty sure that these people were responsible for both your financial and academic problems three years ago. So what are you going to be doing with them?” “Well, I am going to be a full time worker for them.” He looked at me for a full minute. “Well, if you were my son I would give you an old fashioned butt whooping right now. What a complete and utter waste of talent. Look, Mr. Tok we all know you are a religious fanatic, it’s a free country right, but do you have to throw away all of your talent and hard work to boot????” I looked out of the window for a moment. The “old Tik” was rattling around again- making noises and whispering in my ear. What about my education, and what about money- could I really walk away from these job offers? And what about the problems Miltie had spoken about- what about the things I had glimpsed in JC’s eyes? But I shook off those growing concerns. “Dr. Carl you have been a great friend and mentor to me. But I have to do what God is telling me to do.” ”And are you SURE this is God?” he asked. “I am sure it IS God, I am sure of it!’ I said. But I wasn’t at all.

It was a hot June day in 1981 and Phil Bonnasso and I were loading his car with our luggage from Maranatha House, which Phil and Karen had taken up residence in after Mike and Missy’s moved into their house. “GLORY Brother - we are just like Luke Skywalker on our way to see YODA! We are going to learn how destroy Satan. Just think of it Tikie all of the new pastors will sit at the feet of the masters. G-L-O-R-Y!” Phil and I had gotten our assignments as pastors and we were heading to a two week so called boot camp being run at Gainesville by Bob and Rose Weiner and others. I was not sure exactly what we would be doing in Gainesville and Phil and I talked about it all the way down, with Phil shouting and claiming scripture and the two of us praying in tongues. Phil and I figured that they would review the different plans and steps within that plan to grow our new ministries. We had seen a number of the plans put into place at Auburn and they had been fairly successful: Starting Christian Clubs by finding or converting a professor and getting them to sponsor a Victory Club. We would have two or three students, who would go with us on the planting, work with Christian profs to “front’ a club for MCM. These were examples of “action plans” implemented by the ministries. We also expected to further hone our witnessing skills and learn how to write and deliver a good sermon. It was late afternoon when we arrived at the Gainesville House and we signed in at the registration desk after a ten hour drive.

We received a welcome packet with a schedule plus a large binder - the operating manual. I had taken a peek at Butch’s about a year previously, but had only leafed through it for a few minutes...

... One of our brothers, a converted frat boy, like me, Butch had graduated and because of his zeal for Christ, his friendly spirit, and probably his good looks had been sent out as the full time evangelist for Mark Caulk, who was heading up the new ministry planting. Butch had gotten the MCM manual and us single brothers who were interested in going full time had read it with interest and peppered Butch about his going full time. We were excited and envious. Butch told me “wow it was great to be in Gainesville - I spent time with Bob and Joe and they had Greg [Ball] and Rice [Broocks] teach us a course on preaching and evangelism.” Butch held up a book he had been given about street preaching and the great Welch revival that had occurred at the turn of the 20th century. I found the official manual somewhat disconcerting. In fact, until Butch came back from his orientation in Gainesville I had not even known that such a thing existed. There were some information about organizing the new ministry, and how to begin, ideas on how to break into the local colleges and campuses, most of that stuff I was very familiar with because we were doing them or had done them at Auburn. But the majority of the manual was concerned with fund raising. How to present your case to potential donors. Examples of stories to tell, how to build a donor list and how to host dinners, or even better to get someone to do it for you free. How to solicit independent churches and approach them. How to ensure that the congregation, once established was tithing or more. How to track and deal with non- tithers. What and how much must be sent to HQ. And then reports, reports and reports on finances, activities, $ /head every measure you could imagine. Mostly it was about money and getting people to give money ...

... I believe there at least 50 brothers and sisters that were going to serve as Pastors (if married then the spouse would also serve) Evangelist and Teachers. That evening we all went out dinner and it was very exciting - many of us full timers were clones of each other. There were good looking girls decked out in the Laura Ashley clothes that were sweeping the coast, the look favored by Preppies and Rose Weiner. Many of the guys had on khakis and button downs. Now I had broken out the “preppiest’ outfit I could put together. Those of you that were members will remember what it looked like: Cordovan Loafers, Pink Shirt, Chinos , Blue Blazer (the kind that have the gold buttons) and
a rep tie. Big deal, you might ask, does it really matter what you were wearing? The answer was: it did matter.

The next morning we all assembled in the Gainesville House, it was set up in a chair and table manner with seven or eight tables in two rows, facing a raised platform on which was a table with 6 chairs facing us with a speakers pulpit. Bob welcomed us and took us through the agenda. “All of here are going to part of the “New Awakening” the greatest revival and movement of God in the world. IT is a NEW THING?? AMEN?” “Amen” we all shouted. At that point we started going through the operator’s manual. Bob and Joe had also chosen a number of current fulltime pastors who had served as such for at least five years. They took us through ways to raise money. Bob and Joe emphasized, that although MCM would provide “seed” money to get us started, we should begin raising outside support immediately. Most of the first day was spent listening to Nick Pappis and others talk about how they raised money. How to approach “good” churches (meaning independent charismatic churches) and to contact all of our friends and family to get money from them. Bob told us “Always overshoot the amount you need from each person. For example tell a business man you would like for him to donate $ 500/month if you REALLY want $ 50/month. A good place to work this plan is The local Full Gospel Businessmen’s Association. If you tell them that souls that are at stake and ask each business man for $ 500…they will give you something, it might be $ 100/month. Always ask for a HUGE amount, then the amount you ACTUALLY get will seem reasonable.” “If you can get ten of these successful businessmen to give $ 100/month you have raised $ 1,200 dollars per month (this would be the 2006 equivalent of $ 3000/month or $ 36,000/year).” Then he and Joe talked us through how to identify churches that would be receptive to sponsoring us. “The best place to start are independent charismatic churches. Don’t waste your time in denominations - and stress the fact that you will be a self supporting missionary to change college campuses.” Joe Smith took over: “Now, we are going to front you $ 10,000 (the equivalent of $ 25,000 in 2006) to get you started. But we expect that each ministry starting in January (six months later) to begin paying us back with interest.” In the book was chart detailing the “payments” to be paid back over a three years. Now it sounded pretty generous for MCM to front us $ 10,000. But I did not realize that Bob and Joe had been on their own “fundraising effort.” My understanding now is that MCM had “raised over $ 300,000 for the “great send out.” That is, they had the cash up front. Also keep in mind that Bob “encouraged” us to raise enough money per month to support ourselves, and, maybe to support the ministry (advertising etc). There was another issue: if Bob and Joe had already raised this money specifically for the “great send out” why should the local ministries have to pay the money back? MCM had cash for this venture coming from the members of the “1,000 club” plus other money from other outside donors. Since this money was raised from outside sources- shouldn’t any money we paid back go to the donors who originally gave it? By making the new ministries “pay back” the money MCM made money on the “money donated”. I am confident that none of the donors to the “great send out” knew that their donations would have to be “paid back”. In essence MCM [aka Bob and Rose] were double dipping. It was a twist on Robin Hood: “Take from the Rich” and then “Take from the poor”. In my opinion it was a scam of massive proportions. Also since the “great send out” was theoretically “self funding” it could and would double or triple the amount of cash coming in for the MLTS. One problem was that the ministry was growing too large for a national MLTS every quarter, but MCM was able to solve this issue, as we will see. Of course this MLTS and Great Send Out Scheme only held up if: 1) The Great Send Out plants could actually pay the money back (of course if they could not then MCM broke even at worse), and if, 2) MCM could keep the pastors on the reservation…the ministry was in effect doubling and it would begin taxing Bob Weiner’s and Joe Smith’s ability to personally control and dictate events, and finally if, 3) There was not large scale unforeseen disaster, like a major investigation of MCM tactics and cash flows that would expose the hypocrisy and viciousness of the ministry.

Well, we got together on the second day and begin working on witnessing and preaching tecehniques- we learned how were to go after the frats, sororities, football players, basket ball players and cheerleaders. The “sharps.” “If you go after the sharp leaders then they help in bring others in and you can point to these “sharps” and it will attract others” said Joe. Bob pointed at the crowd “Some of you have afros and long shaggy hair. I expect you all to have short hair cuts by tomorrow morning." He then grabbed Phil Bonnasso and pulled him up on the raised platform. Phil was always wanting to be noticed by Bob and Joe, and this afternoon he would be, but not in the manner that he wished. It was a typical exercise in humiliation and fear by Bob. Phil stepped up on stage. He was wearing a disco silk shirt, platform shoes and polyester pants. His hair stood up in a thick black shock at least three inches in height, and in the back his hair flowed down in back to his shoulders. “This is the kind of image that we CANNOT have on campus. Sleazy 70s” disco out fits and this…this…bush of hair. You look sloppy brother, get a hair cut and invest in some decent clothes.” Then Bob looked out into the audience of newly minted full timers. :”Tik come up here on stage.” Bob turned me around like a model. “This is what we need - the clothes, shoes and look that “says” we are the best, we are in God’s will and blessed financially.” “See how Tik looks - all of you should try to dress and look like him.” I was both embarrassed and proud at the same time. But the way this was handled gave me pause. Okay, maybe some of the brother’s clothes were outdated- but very few of them had ANY money at all. Some only had one or two decent sets of clothes. Did Bob have to humiliate Phil, to make his point that we should have an updated wardrobe? I have asked myself WHY someone, especially someone who was a self proclaimed “apostle” of the new church, would behave like this? This was very typical of the way Bob handled things. He would pull up some poor guy or girl and humiliate them for not looking the right way, not smiling, no dressing right not performing to his standards. Then he would pull up a brother or sister who DID have what the “underperforming” did not have and praise them. Any study of the auto-crats of sociological cults would show this behavior is common to such leaders and groups. First the autocratic leader strikes fear into the hearts of everyone who is not producing or performing to his “standards” by humiliating some poor person. Everyone in the audience realizes “that could be me up there being humiliated.” Then the autocratic leaders brings up someone who is conforming or performing and “over praise” them. While that was going on everyone would think “Wow, I would like to earn that praise.” The positive praise would make people want to produce and conform, while the humiliation struck fear into everyone by showing what could happen to anyone who did NOT conform and perform. I saw Bob Weiner, Joe Smith, Bob Nolte and their understudies Rice Broocks and Nick Pappis use this classic technique over and over again. “Sit down you two” Bob said as he pointed to Dennis Darville who was an up and coming evangelist. Dennis never got sucked into the “horrible” behaviors that MCM modeled and reinforced. Dennis was a preacher with a talent equal to Rice Broocks and Greg Ball. But having worked with him on outreaches and roomed with him he was a very humble and loving Christian. He left MCM without being tainted by the sins that would be visited on the entire ministry by the MCM leaders. Bob brought Dennis up on stage. “Okay, I looked in the parking lot before we got started and I saw a bunch of beat up clunkers. If you as a pastor are going to be a REAL LEADER someday then you must drive a sharp car. Dennis has a Datsun (Nissen) 280 Z convertible. Kids flock to him when he shows up on campus in that car.” “I expect everyone, when they get to their ministries to be driving a brand new sporty car, AMEN?” shouted Bob. Well I was all into fancy new cars, and I had managed to save about $ 2,500 (equal to $ 6,500 in 2006 dollars) from my “tire and shock” job. But no one else, that I knew, unless their parents were wealthy and gave them everything wanted, had a nickel on them. They could barely afford rent much less new car payment. But we all shouted back “Amen.” Then Bob shouted “okay there are so many sloppily dressed brothers and sisters we are going to take you to they guy who takes care of my wardrobe and we are going to give you $ 1,000 [equal to $ 2,500 in 2006] to spend that will come out of your $ 10,000 seed money. He broke us into two groups and said “I am going to have the sharp dressers help the lousy dressers pick clothes out. “ And he pulled about thirty brothers he had designated as lousy dressers into a line and then directed those of us he thought dressed nicely to help them. And off we went to the haberdashers. All forty of us.

Meanwhile Rose was having her way with the sisters. Here is what happened to “Lucy” Rose was apparently pontificating about prayer and vision and the fact that the married women were co pastors but must submit to their husbands. And how God would bless the sister with prophecy and discernment. Then she went off on clothes and weight and the fact that “she could not believe that your pastor’s would allow you to come down here dressed like some of you are. Sloppy, with out of date clothes.” Lucy (not her real name) is called up on stage by Rose. Here is what Lucy writes: "So Rose brings me up in front of the sisters. “First, in love, I want to use this sister as an example of what we cannot have representing Jesus and MCM on campus.” Rose continued “this girl is over weight , she’s fat. We are going to pray over her and the rest of you that are fat to rid you of the demon of gluttony. Anyone who is overweight will not be able to go to their ministry until they hit their ideal weight.” "Secondly, look at the clothes, you look like some kind of hippy, not a Godly woman. I expect all the sister to wear appropriate make up. That blue eye-shadow makes you look like vampire.” Lucy continues: “I was so embarrassed and mortified. I was standing there in front a bunch of full time women who were being told “don’t be like this was ONE. I tell you Tikie I was in shock and cried all night about it. But do you know what is strange? I did not resent what Rose did but was crying because of me not measuring up.”

I won’t bore you with the rest of the time there - bookkeeping, reporting, financial targets. I do remember that Phil and I slept in a couple’s house who apparently had two small children. We were supposed to sleep in the kid’s bunk beds but they were too uncomfortable even for my twenty one year old back. So we dragged the mattresses onto the floor and slept on them there. By the end of the “boot camp” I had a real pit of fear in my stomach. I was in shock, because I was beginning to realize exactly how the ministry functioned. It was a BIG STICK and small carrot approach. Every day at least one or two brothers or sisters were humiliated for some infraction, stomped on in front of everyone. And at least one or two would be brought up and praised. Bob heaped praise on Rice, Dennis, Greg and Nick.

I also met Leo Lawson for the first time. Leo went on to pastor churches and to become the head of ENLI. My impression of Leo was not so good. The only one trying to spend more time with Bob Weiner than Phil Bonasso was Leo Lawson. In fact Phil commented on it to me. Leo came off as a rough sort to me- more like a mob boss. I also spent some time around Nick Pappis who told me that he had dropped out of medical school to go full time with MCM. I later talked to members of his home ministry and found out that this was simply not true. The guy really gave me the creeps and later on would cause me much trouble. Nick was scheduled to come up to my ministry in wave TWO a few weeks after Greg and Helen Ball were to finish up at my ministry. By this time I was beginning to see the wisdom of laying low, getting out of there and producing big numbers.

And the “ole Tik” was suggesting things like “its not too late to go back after those job offers you had ” or “Working in your Dad’s business might not be such a good idea.” But I brushed these thoughts aside- the only friends that I had were in MCM…and wasn’t this the fulfillment of the fantasy of the ideal Christian Church that I had been dreaming of almost four years ago? Phil and I drove home that afternoon and I begin plotting my fundraising scheme. Believe it or not by working two full time jobs and going from church to church and hitting up businessmen I was able to raise a “war chest of over $ 15,000, the equivalent of about $ 40,000 in 2006. Plus I had monthly support pledges of over $ 1,000 (equal to about A$ 2,500/month in 2006) by the end of July. I actually took Bob’s advice, and by having my father co sign the note, I bought a brand new Ford T Bird courtesy of a $ 300/month car payment. It was a ridiculous purchase for a poor new preacher! There was no big send off for me at Auburn for the simple fact that fully 70% of the ministry was being sent out. I said my goodbyes to Matt and Allie who were staying and to Mitlie who was heading up to Michigan. For a week or so after coming back from the Gainesville bootcamp I had toyed with the idea of asking Mike and Missy if I could come with them, as JC had suggested, working as a lay brother. But my pride stood in the way, besides didn’t I have a Word from God over my life about saving thousands. I loaded up my stuff at the end of July and headed cross country for a rendezvous with my new ministry co workers. As I turned the corner at Magnolia Avenue I saw the “famous” Marquis sign out front of the MCM house and it read “Are you Ready for what God has for you?” I gunned my car forward and thought “I sure am!”

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 15, 2006 06:35PM



It had started well enough. In fact, it had completely exceeded any expectations about getting the ministry off the ground. Our “Crusade” had begun the last week of August and coincided with the frat rush at the large Midwestern University I was assigned to start a ministry at. I felt really blessed, because despite the fact that almost thirty “new ministry plants” were being started, I had been able to snag Greg and Helen Ball to help us. The days of getting Bob Weiner for three weeks along with the Praise Band and more money than Fort Knox to kick-off a new ministry were over forever. MCM’s new plan called for starting thirty new ministries in the fall of 1981 and then thirty to forty every year there after. So we would have to approach these kick-offs very differently than MCM had in the past.

I spoke with Greg at length about our plan. We would hit the large and most prestigious frats first. I would leave the sororities alone, at least until our single sister arrived. We would go to the frats on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings and then have services on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. We would set the bait and try to convert kids at the frat houses and then get them to our meetings to set the hook and get them committed to MCM. We agreed that if we could hook some leaders, then they would bring other “sharps’ with them. We also decided to target some athletes – possibly using FCA as a way to get to them. Our goal was to “grab” kids who would then do our work for us. We had no choice because we had limited funds and a small number of helpers.

We had two door openers: one was a ten minute movie about surfing and Christianity. It used west coast surfing terms and great colorful shots of Christian surfers and gnarly lingo. It was cool for its time. The other door opener was the movie Cross and the Switchblade that we would use to fill our auditorium the first Saturday after we opened. We would throw almost all of our initial seed money at this opening gambit - we would either succeed or flame out right at the start. I figured if I could get Greg in front of a four to five hundred kids in the first couple of weeks that we would nail some converts.

Our team was slim, about one fifth the size of the planting team that had arrived to open Auburn up. Our single full time sister had been deemed “too fat” by Rose and would not be joining us until she had lost at least twenty five pounds or so. This hurt, but there was nothing I could do about it. Jim, my co-pastor, his wife and two children arrived in mid August. We also had three working couples and three working single brothers to help us get started. I did not give much thought to this at the time- but the lack of working brothers and sisters and they cash they provided would prevent the ministry from every getting on a solid financial base.

But I knew how the frats worked, I knew the “rules” and I looked the part and so did Greg and Helen. So we would start where we were “strong.” I knew that there would be a few “nominal” Christians in the frat, I would locate them, pitch them on what Greg and I were doing (helping people live a more “idealistic true first century Christian life), and then try to snag the leader or leaders. The leaders would then bring a bunch of followers with them. These would reproduce, and before you knew it we would have a congregation of two hundred. And it worked. I looked through the IFC booklet at the Student Union before getting started. Size predicts prestige in frats and I honed in on the seven largest ones, especially the ones that highlighted the fact that they had student athletes or student government involvement by their members. It was pretty simple - I would head into the frat prior to rush wearing my button down shirt with khakis frat boy uniform. I would find the President and/or chaplain - tell them we were reaching out to Christians and students in the frat and ask if we could show a “cool” surfing film. I acted like we were an “officially” sponsored university group without coming out and saying we were. And I snagged us six “events” at the largest frats on campus during the first two weeks of school. We put posters up for the “event” just like Randy and Ellen had at Auburn three years earlier.

We had posters printed for our showing of the movie the Cross and the Switchblade and the ten of us spread across campus - putting up at least one thousand posters. The posters were beautiful and they cost us about $1,500 to have them reproduced locally. We also signed a two year lease on a large hall being vacated by a Jewish Group on the eastern edge of campus and right on the main drag. It was near off campus housing and the student shopping area. It was a great location, but needed painting and carpets. By the time we had paid the first and last month rent and one month’s security deposit and completed the “rehab” we had blown through all $8,000 left from our seed money from MCM corporate. But I had built a war chest of $ 15,000 on my own. And we were tearing through that as well at a rapid rate.

Greg Ball, in my opinion, was the best evangelist and preacher in MCM. Whether in a small group or a large crowd no one could top him. His sermons were effortless, he had a boyishness about him that attracted both men and women, he was good looking and fearless. He also had a hair trigger temper and a manic focus on his goals that nothing could stand in the way of. Helen, his side kick and wife, was a sweet, beautiful, and gracious southern girl who was an inveterate campaigner with the added benefit of keeping Greg’s testosterone in check. Well as much as that could be done, that is.

Greg, Helen and I quickly learned our roles and how to work as a team. At our first frat we had about thirty guys and little sisters in the common room. We showed the surfer short movie, Greg did his “Jesus is looking for real men and women to take over the world” talk that lasted ten minutes. I would ask for people to bow and close their eyes and commit and then to look me in the eye and then to stand up. Greg, Jim (my co-pastor), Helen, and I would afterwards go immediately after those that made a commitment, and I would bee line for the “sharpest ones” there.

The upshot was that at the end of the first week we had “snagged” about thirty kids including two frat Presidents. That Saturday we had to turn people away at the door of the Maranatha Hall from the Cross and the Switchblade and I spent the entire movie out on the front steps witnessing to people who wanted to get inside to see what all the fuss was about. After the movie, Greg stood up and ripped out a twenty minute tour-deforce sermon, the kind that would bring a grown man to his knees about Jesus and his suffering, and his looking for the faithful that would follow him and the fate of those that did not. It was an exhausting night with many, many, prayer and counseling and “hootah” sessions. We were completely understaffed for such a response. At about one a.m. that morning the hall had cleared out and the ten of us including Greg and Helen were sprawled on the stage, exhausted and in awe of what had just happened. “Greg, if my numbers are right, we just topped one hundred commitments and we will be baptizing all week long.” I said. We high fived each other and Helen said a beautiful prayer thanking God. Then Greg threw his head back and laughed “Brother God is just getting started. Well the first month was heaven, Greg and Helen were there the first three weeks of our kick off. One of my best memories is the night we gave it a rest and went over the Jim and Dana’s house (my co-pastor and wife). All of the MCMers who had joined us were there along with a few of our first fruit converts. Jim was cooking on the grill and Dana threw some records on and we were all dancing and singing…and Helen and Greg were jitterbugging like professionals.

But there were some danger signs. Greg had a hair trigger temper. I interrupted him during one of his frat talks, I don’t remember the reason why, but in the parking lot he dressed me down. “When I am speaking NEVER interrupt me, because you are interrupting GOD when you do that!’ he shouted. I was taken aback and had planned on confronting him about it afterwards,but the funny thing was he acted, five minutes later,like it had never happened. Walking into hall with his arm around my shoulder laughing and joking about the night. I truly believe Greg to have been one the most gifted preachers and evangelists in North America (he still might be). But he had a temper and an ego, and his involvement in MCM, his ongoing collaboration with Rice Broocks and Phil Bonnasso and EN, served to warp and twist his personality until, in his mind, the ministry he worked in and his own ego became inseparable. An environment with more restraint, more honest assessment of leadership would have served Greg much better.


The first week in October Greg and Helen headed off for their next assignment…and our troubles began shortly after they left. We had converted some campus leaders, one was president of the largest Greek fraternity on campus. I have given him the name “Tiketwo” because he reminded me of myself, and people actually thought we looked and acted like brothers. He was a Methodist who was dissatisfied with his church. He had a steady girlfriend who I will call “Sheilatwo’, because she looked like my old friend Sheila, only in this case we converted her as well and used her to “pop” Helen Ball into her sorority and snag about seven of her sorority sisters for MCM. “Tikietwo” and “Sheilatwo” were responsible for bringing in, personally, at least twenty kids. And the REALLY scary thing for me was that “Tiketwo” really, really looked up to me as an “ideal” Christian who could do no wrong. And this began to weigh heavily on my conscience. And so I started the daily red book and discipling sessions, and casting demons out of kids who were just being kids and got them on board and committed, and started witnessing classes. We got a Christian prof to front a Victory Club and were able to convert two baseball players through an FCA sponsored event.

Then, with almost no warning things begin to go down hill and quickly. First, Headquarters in Gainesville loaded us up with corporate literature and brochures for the tune of $4,000. This ate big time into the war-chest that I had established on my own. As I mentioned, our seed money from corporate was long gone. Second, about five thousand Forerunner Newspapers at 50 cents a throw begin to show up every other month. I mean stacks and stacks of these things. These cost us, if my memory is right about $ 2,500 at a whack. And there was no arguing with Gainesville about accepting or paying for these things as I will show. The Forerunner was Rose Weiner’s brainchild. Rose wanted to start A Mother Jones newspaper, but instead of being a “leftie rag”, it would be a “rightie rag’. It was chockfull of articles by Theonomy writers pontificating about the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth etc etc etc. It was the old “Manifest Destiny” of America doctrine repackaged to highlight the kooky and inane doctrines of MCM. Well we were supposed to “sell” these things at best, or at least give them away. Either was very hard to do, it turned out.

So like a good trooper, and to get them out of the meeting hall, we organized work parties to put these things out in stacks on campus. And this was during autumn. A very windy autumn. And the wind blew the papers all over campus. I mean no one was actually picking these things up to read them. At least the campus “commie” left wing rag had a sense of humor and some good cartoons. The Forerunner was about as interesting as the white pages of the phone book. We had stupidly taken the time and effort to stamp out local ministry address and phone number on every paper. This was infinitely stupid. Because I got a phone call from the campus police. “Hello” I said as I answered the telephone. “Yes this is Captain Jim Smith of the campus police. I am trying to reach the person in charge of MCM at Big University.” “That would be me, Tik Tok.” “Well Mr. Tok you have managed to cover the university with your papers, they are every where, in the trees, in the fountains and complaints have been filed with us. First you don’t have a permit to distribute papers on campus, second even if you did we require you have to have approved paper boxes, third it is going to cost us at least $ 10,000 to clean up the campus. I am going to give you a break - either you clean these up in the next 24 hours or I am going to bring you in on a misdemeanor charge of littering and creating a public nuisance. Any questions?” So we went back and for fourteen straight hours we cleaned up papers.

And the Forerunner, literally being all over campus, piqued the interest of the editor of the official campus newspaper. Who, being a smart kid, called me up to try to find out WHAT we were and what it was we were trying to do. Our converting over 100 kids, the infiltration of the fraternities, the conversion of a couple of baseball players, and three sold out Saturday nights at the Maranatha Hall had gotten a lot of attention on campus. When the phone rang and it was the editor of the campus newspaper, I was too naïve to give it much thought. He asked questions about me, my background, where I came from, about Greg, what MCM was, who headed it and where our headquarters were located. About a week after Greg and Helen had left Jim, my co-pastor, walked in with a paper under his arm. ”See this yet?” he asked. “Don’t tell me that you found another Forerunner in a bush,” I laughed. “Tikie this is serious!” and he laid the newspaper out in front of me. Front and center - the headline on the weekly campus news read “Cult on Campus?” And below it in a printed frame was a photo of Greg and I on campus with about eight or ten students gathered around us praying. The story read, “Maranatha Christian Ministries came to town last month with a splash. Their new “Hall” is packed out every week and their posters promise “Real Christian Answer to Life’s Pressing Questions”. But who are they and what do they want? Despite their claims to lead students to an “Abundant Christian Life” their reputation at other college campuses tells a different story. “I would not recommend this ministry to any student” said Dr. Herb Butz Dean of Student Affairs at the University of Florida. “We believe that this group uses cult like tactics to entrap and cut off lonely or idealistic students, interfering with their studies and recruiting them to perpetuate the group and its goals.” It got worse from there and they quoted me as “Pastor Tikie” and laid into the tactics we used including posing as a “campus sponsored” club when in fact this was not the case. It also had interviews with fraternity members, where Greg and I had preached, accusing us of coming into the frat under false pretenses, stealing their members, then effectively cutting them off. They also questioned where our finances were coming from and the fact that we expected the students to tithe and support us. They contrasted our taking up offerings from “poor” students with that of other ministries like Campus Crusade and the Baptist Student Union. Although there was much truth to this, there were some differences between what they wrote and what was actually happening. One was that we had not encouraged the fraternity and sorority members to leave their organization - I felt like that they could do more good inside the frats than if they left them. But of course since we WERE MCM, we “ate up” all their free time.

The article was a disaster. We now had about 120 members, counting the ten that had come for the planting. It was a great start - but only a start. And now with the spate of articles about MCM Jim and I noticed that our first time visitor attendance dropped off dramatically. Another part of the problem centered on our finances. Jim did not have enough outside support coming in for him and his family. We knew this was a problem upfront but thought it would solve itself once we had the ministry rolling. So I was subsidizing him out of my $ 1,500 per month in outside contributions I had pledged to me. The rent, because of the wonderful location, on the hall, was about $ 1,800/month. The cost of our initial blitz had taken our seed money to zeros plus my own war-chest balance was now down to about $ 2,000. Our offerings were only averaging about $ 300/week despite our “success” in numbers after three months. I have not mentioned that I paid a MCM “tax” of about 12% on my monthly $ 1,500 plus I threw 10% of that in the plate. And on top of that 10% of the ministries gross income for the Ministry went right back to Gainesville.

And to top it off Nick Pappis, “Lead Evangelist” for MCM came to town the week after the article appeared. Nick was a second generation Greek. He was a shouting “hell and brimstone” type preacher - a “blue collar” type without much of an education. He was gruff and rough - but he could preach for two hours straight and could quote scripture after scripture from memory. Bob Weiner thought he was MCM’s best evangelist.

Well Nick shows up after one night at Jim and Dana’s House and confronts me. ”Look brother I can’t stay in that house under those conditions.” “What conditions?” I asked him. “The kids [Jim and Dana’s children], they are too noisy, I need time alone with God, quite time, I can’t concentrate on my preparation and prayer time.” “Okay, Nick, you can bunk in with me if you would like.” He stepped back and gave me a look of disdain. “Brother, I am God’s anointed, and I need to separate myself. I want you to book me into University Hotel.” I groaned inwardly. Our cash situation was not desperate, but it would become desperate in a matter of weeks. ”Nick, we simply don’t have the funds to do that, we are counting every penny.” ”Your problem brother, is that you have no FAITH and your people ARE NOT giving. You are too easy on them - and because you are NOT challenging them to give you are ROBBING them and GOD of a huge blessing.” He had stepped up and put his chest into mine. I did not flinch. “Look Nick, these are poor college kids, we only have a handful of people with full time jobs…we can’t beat these kids over the head, they are getting their money from their parents or scholarships.” My mind wandered back to my first few months in MCM - I wanted to protect my “sheep” from what happened to me. I had not yet realize that I could NOT do this - that I was at the mercy of the leadership of MCM and people like Nick. “B-r-o-t-h-e-r” he slurred the words out slowly. “You are doomed to failure with this type of faith and belief. You are the leader here - and your demonic attitude about faith and money will infect your flock. I am going to have to straighten you out and your flock.” This went on for about twenty minutes - with me being under the mistaken impression that this was “my church” and that I actually had a say in what Nick could talk about or do with the congregation.

Then all of the sudden Nick had the phone in his hand and he was calling Gainesville. ”Hey Charlene, is Bob in?…. yeah its Nick…okay I’ll hold.” He cupped the receiver with his hand “We are going to straighten this right now so that there is no question about who is in control here, do you understand?” He straightened up. “Hey Bob, it is Nick. Yeah the flight was fine. I am up here at XXXX University with Tik Tok. This place is a complete mess, just like I thought it would be. Greg did his usual schtick, got a bunch of people coming to the service but no real commitment, no passion, and Tik and Jim are not showing any courage or backbone. Their finances are a mess because they are not believing God to provide." He listened and nodded. In the meantime I was seeing red stars - no passion, no commitment - did this idiot think that all this “just happened,” and Greg and Helen had busted their rear-ends with never a complaint? Did he know that all of us had been working fifteen and twenty hours a day for the last three months? Where did he think the 120 kids came from??? When he got off the phone I was going to tear into him. He kept up the “uh huhs and the Hmm- hmms” for about a minute, then he looked up and winked at me and spoke into the phone and said “he’s right here.” “Its Bob Weiner, he wants to speak to you.” He handed me the receiver. “Hey Tik, what in the world is going on up there? We set you guys up there, give you $ 10,000 and now you are stumbling. You have to be strong brother, buck up. I don’t like what I am hearing.” “But Bob, things are going great, Greg did a great job, it just that we have a bunch of kids with no money, and Nick is making a wholesale judgment about this ministry and he has not even been here for 24 hours.” “Listen Tik, Nick is my man, and I sent him up there because I figured you were too new and inexperienced to handle this stage of the ministry. He has my blessing - you get out of his way and he will straighten the finances out, he is a man of real faith, so you had better support him…do you understand?” I did understand. I understood that no matter what the reality of the situation, no matter the fact that I had worked harder and smarter than I ever had in my life, that Bob was basically saying “I can take you out… and I will… unless you let Nick have his way.” So I caved in. What would you have done? I make no excuses but I will point out that I was only 21 years old - and I let these guys buffalo me - and I learned a lesson that I have kept with me and it is this: Anyone who mistreats someone with less power than themselves, whether they are talking to an employee or a waiter, is a bad person and should be avoided at all costs.

Well, it continued to go down hill at our ministry. At our Saturday night service we had about 130 people there, our 120 members plus 10 visitors. And Nick launched into a sermon about Esther, and God planting her among the enemies and God being faithful. There was A BIG problem that night. Nick was quoting and preaching, almost verbatim, one of Greg Ball’s standard stump speech sermons. I had heard Greg give this sermon three times, twice at outreaches that I had worked on and at our second Saturday service here. It was a magnificent sermon, really a huge story woven with the passion and word pictures that Greg was so good at painting. I had no problem with Greg re-preaching his sermons - to different crowds. He had perfected it- and it was every effective. But now Nick was preaching the EXACT same sermon, not nearly as effectively, and I caught the eye of my “star convert” “Tikietwo” who gave me a weird look and a shrug of his shoulders. The other thing that caught my ear was that in his sermon Nick again made reference to the fact that he had dropped out of medical school to pursue full time ministry. I knew for a fact that this was a bald faced lie and not true- and in the midst of this lie he was plagiarizing and reproducing a sermon that most of the people here had heard only two weeks before. At the end of the service Nick went “off story” and spent ten minutes talking about giving, and robbing God of his tithes, and how they were letting the ministry and God down, and how if giving did not increase that “Tik’s job was on the line”, or something to that affect. I was appalled and disgusted by the whole thing. Afterwards when the place was almost cleared out I asked Nick to come back to the office.

“Look Nick I have some real problems with what went on tonight.” “Like what?” he said. “Well first, your sermon. That was Greg’s sermon, I have heard him preach it three times- you stole it.” He was out of his chair and on top of me in a flash, he bared his teeth. “Don’t every accuse me of stealing, do you understand me? You are nothing here- I am in charge, didn’t you hear Bob this morning? I’ll have you sent packing in one minute. Secondly I did not steal the sermon, I actually wrote it and gave it to Greg and gave him permission to use it. He is a good preacher, but he has trouble coming up with material.” Nick towered over me. What could I say? I “knew” Greg wrote his own material. He spent a lot of time doing this and then over rehearsing. Nick was lying. “Well maybe so Nick, but I plan on asking Greg about it.” I continued “And not only that but you are telling my people that you went to medical school. This is not true and I will not have you telling lies!” He put his fist in my face. “Look my uncle was a doctor and I was in pre-med [Tik’s note: this was also not true]. I am doing what Paul did, being all things to all men. Brother, I would suggest that you worry about your own problems here, or life could get tough for you, understand?”

I could not believe it. Who did this guy think he was, Marlon Brando in the Godfather? He was threatening me, and unfortunately I was pretty sure that he was not bluffing…and his threat was real.So I wimped out and let Nick run roughshod over me and the ministry for the next three weeks. He insulted me in front of my congregation, he suggested that I should let my hair grow out [it was to short and I looked like a marine]. He suggested, and I am not kidding, that I needed to buy some expensive watches and jewelry so I could demonstrate my prosperity to the brothers. This in a ministry that was so cash negative that I could hear the sucking sound in the bank account. My co-pastor Jim was so intimidated by Nick that he actually got physically sick and was incapacitated for about half the time Nick was here with shingles.

Finally Nick was there when the next set of Forerunners were delivered. ”What is the plan with these Tik? We got to get these out to campus ASAP.” I explained what had happened and how I had narrowly avoided being taken to court and being fined. He snorted at me “What a wimp, no wonder this place is such a mess. You are afraid of a little persecution - do you think Peter and Paul would have worried about a fine? Get some back bone. I want the brothers here this afternoon and we are going to get these things all over campus - and I want you to personally deliver a stack to the student affairs building. And I mean it.” I gulped and we did it. Nick left three days later, and it was one of the highlights of my life to see him get on the airplane. And seventy two hours later I found myself answering a summons and standing in front of a judge and explaining why we did not have or need a permit and being fined $ 1,500 and being told I was lucky that I was not going in the slammer for a day or so.

Well, we took our 120 plus kids down to MLTS, my notes are sketchy, but I think it was Tulsa. Regardless, it was the same MLTS where on the second day Matt broke me up during the groaning and grunting revelation of Rose and Bob Weiner. As I said earlier it was the nuttiest and craziest act, as far as I was concerned, of their ministry. That afternoon I was heading to one of the workshops when I spied Nick Pappis, Lee Lawson, and Bob Weiner heading down the hall towards me. Bob looked up and said “Tik come with us” and he motioned with his arm. We sat down on some couches. Leo, by this time, was glued to Bob. It actually reminded me of some mob figure with a body guard. He glared at me through slitted eyes, while Nick leaned back with his arm draped behind Bob’s. Nick began “Tik, although your ministry has shown some great growth in numbers we are concerned about your ability to lead the ministry and to grow it financially. You have got to really develop your style and your leadership image.” Bob cut in “Tik, you got to set the pace, the brothers and sisters will only follow Jesus and the Word and Ministry to the degree that you do. Let me tell you when I look around MLTS I can spot the real leaders…do you know how?” “How”? I asked. “Well leaders and winners congregate together they hang together. I mean check out who Greg Ball is hanging around with, why with Rice [Broocks] and Dennis [Darville] that’s who… and Leo, here” he elbowed Leo, “Leo hangs out with Nick and with Joe [Smith] every chance he gets.” “Okay” I said. I was hoping against hope he was not going to suggest I start hanging out with Nick. Leo looked up “I noticed you hanging around some brothers that are struggling. That guy”, Leo looked over at Bob, “you know Bob the guy at Auburn, what’s his name?” “Max”, said Nick, “His name is Max Hatter.” “Matt” I corrected them. “Regardless” said Nick, “that ministry is on the skids, after being one of the strongest in the country. Even your ministry, Tik, is bringing at least 75 more people to MLTS than that one and it’s been around for six years.” “You want to be a winner, then hang around winners. The guys who are struggling will sow doubt in your mind, and will bring you down. You need to polish your image. Okay?”

I got the message. And I turned my back on my best friends. I am ashamed to say that that evening when Matt and Allie asked if I wanted to join them for dinner I said I “had plans”. And I conveniently forgot about our usual breakfast at MLTS where we caught up and gossiped and laughed at Phil Bonasso’s latest antics to get “noticed.” And at the leadership conference in Dallas two months later I walked right by an open seat next to Matt and Allie, my “old” best friends, the couple who had been my refuge at Auburn and who had made my life livable, to take a seat next to Helen Ball while Greg opened up the session. It was as if they no longer existed for me. I knew, that Matt knew, by this time, that I was avoiding and ignoring him. I did it so I would not be “brought down” and would be seen as a “winner” by the MCM leadership. I closed my heart to them and set my face towards the leadership. It was a terrific betrayal of their friendship and I feel my face burning as I write this. As Matt later told me “Allie and I thought we had lost you forever Tikie.”

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 15, 2006 06:42PM



We also had church picnics and “love feasts” where testimonies and funny stories were told- where we would laugh and sing and have great fun. Occasionally we would poke fun at the upper leadership - but never in public. But we could and would occasionally take indirect or unplanned shots at them. One of these almost got Matt and I expelled from MLTS.

Rose Weiner (Bob’s wife) had a “revelation” about “groaning” when one morning at MLTS she read in Romans the following passage: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. " Now this was the sort of “quack pot” stuff Rose was famous for and she took this passage to mean that if we were really “in the spirit” that we would start “groaning" during our prayers. The fact that we were NOT groaning in our public prayers was proof that the ministry (and that meant the “Sheep”, us plebes) were NOT praying seriously enough nor hard enough which was why the ministry was not growing FAST enough (well - not fast enough to suit Bob and Rose). So at this MLTS Rose announces all this and tells us all that in the main tent session we are going to dedicate one solid hour to praying and that we will pray according to the Spirit. Out loud - the entire MLTS. The implication, of course, was that if your “out-loud” praying did not elicit the “groans” Paul referenced then you were one of the “problem children” who was not praying according to the spirit.

“We will intercede out loud together in a mighty way and the Spirit [the Holy Spirit] Himself will begin interceding with groans expressing things we do not and cannot understand” she shouted with her long blond hair swinging about her shoulders as she jumped up and down making her point. Someone should have shown Rose the scripture in Matthew which reads: “But you, when you pray,enter into your closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to you Father in secret.”

Matt, Allie and I are sitting apart from our flocks (we are all in full time ministry by this point). And like everyone else at this MLTS session we kneel in front of our seats on Rose’s orders. And the place begins buzzing like a giant beehive with people praying in their “shabalas or kolachackas or whatevers”. After about a minute Rose lets out one long grunting type groan and sure enough a chorus of unbelievably strange groans and grunts start being issued by about 4,500 participants all around us. No one at this MLTS session wanted to be a non-groaner, because being a non-groaner meant that you were a non-spirit led person. Being a non-spirit led person was a bad thing. Bad bad bad. Okay one more time: Groaning = “good.” Not groaning = ”bad.” Lets try it again: Being open to Rose’s revelation no matter how silly it was = “good.” Rejecting Rose’s revelation no matter how silly it was = “bad.” So 100% of the people around us there are groaning and grunting. Actually some people started “wailing”. I cannot describe how weird the whole thing was. Really weird. It was doubling unnerving with the chief groaners Bob and Rose on stage groaning and grunting into their microphones and the sound system amplifying this ten or twenty times. I occasionally have nightmares about it still.

Me, I’m still sitting in seats up with Matt and Allie, not with my sheep. I am trying to get into this “praying and groaning” revelation of Rose’s, but even in my anesthetized "Maranatha state" I am thinking "this is really bizarre." I am just holding my breath waiting on this “to pass” and for Rose to go on to the next bizarre and weird thing. I am just hoping that her next revelation does not involve Saran Wrap and cooking oil. Then I look over and catch Matt’s eye. He gets this grin on his face and leans over and whispers “Sounds like 4,500 constipated people sitting on the big white thrown, if you know what I mean, Tik.” And he winks. And the three of us, Matt, Allie and I, get the giggles right there, chortling and trying to hold back the laughter - I swear I thought I was going to have internal injuries I was laughing so hard. And all the while the whole place is groaning and grunting “in the spirit.” But all I could think of is “get these people some Ex Lax!”

To this day I am not sure how we did not get thrown out of the place by the Maranatha “Usher Gestapo” - probably because they were too busy with the grunting and groaning revelation.

[The consensus is unanimous: Maranatha was Rose Weiner's playground, Bob Weiner was her puppet.]


One might easily get the impression that the single sisters who were shepherds had no power within MCM. I would argue that this was not the case and that, in many ways, some of these sisters who were shepherds had as much or more power than the single or married brothers who were overseers and shepherds. Within the group of “sisters” who acted as shepherds there were those who were deemed “prophetesses” who were considered to have “special insight” or “intuition” from God.

This elevation of some of the sisters, who supposedly possessed a “special gift,” originated from the wackiness of Rose Weiner. Many of Bob’s goofball proclamations originated in the nonlinear, non-logical, and nonsensical mind of Rose Weiner. Anyone who got on Rose’s bad side was “dead on arrival” in the ministry. Most of the “full-timers” were scared stiff of her and for good reason. Those that crossed her might find themselves a deacon in Iowa City; or worse, thrown out of the ministry. And anyone that she deemed “of God” or “Chosen” was considered anointed and untouchable. There is no doubt in my mind that the power behind the throne of MCM and the elevation in power of certain full timers was Rose Weiner.

Now at the local level, at Auburn (and at sister sites like Mississippi State and Georgia) this small coterie of prophetic single sisters in the Rose Weiner mold also held sway. This mirrored what happened at MCM corporate with Rose and her “insights.” These prophetic single sisters influenced things behind the scenes and could either mark a brother or sister - meaning discern that they and their “problems” of whatever sort were of Satan - or they could receive a “word” from God which could alter a person’s life radically. Maybe for good, maybe for bad.

Mike Godwin, aside from Mike and Missy, was the other fulltime employee at Auburn and because of this he wielded great influence at Auburn. My portrait of him is accurate; he was a “true believer”, dry, dogmatic and fanatical. And as I mentioned there was only one other person, aside from Mike and Missy Caulk, who rivaled my shepherd, Mike Godwin ,in influence and power within MCM. I will discuss that person in a moment. [Patti Pappis] Now whatever the latest “word” or revelation was, Mike Godwin, my shepherd, would go at it implementing this “word” whole hog. For he was a “true believer” in every sense, he was Lenin’s Trotsky or Stalin’s Beria.

As an example of this one Saturday morning I was on my way out to my pizza job when Mike stopped me and asked me if I would give him a hand. I said “Sure.” He opened up his car’s trunk and there must have been 100 plastic gallon containers in his trunk and back seat, the kind that distilled water comes in. “Tik, can you help me load these out here in the parking lot please?” he asked. “Mike, what in the world are you doing with these things?” I asked holding up one of the empty gallon jugs. I noticed that he had rigged a garden hose up and that he had a bench with a bottle of bleach and an eye dropper next to it in the parking lot.

“At the ministry retreat last week (for full timers help in Gainesville) we heard a word from God that we must do practical things to get the church ready for the coming end times - just like Joseph did for Pharaoh. So we have been told to start storing food and water in preparation for these bad times.” “But why the water and bottles and bleach?” I asked. “Well” said Mike “the most vital element we need is water, and in the coming troubles if our water supply goes out we will need to store enough water to get the ministry through this time of trouble. I am going to fill each bottle with tap water from the hose and put a drop of bleach in it to keep it fresh.” Mike might just have said “Little Green Men have moved into my office” based on the look I gave him.

I had just completed a course on water management and hydrology. One of the modern miracles we take for granted is pure potable water. With the introduction of clean running water diseases like typhus, cholera, and diphtheria quit making routine appearances in the USA. And the death rate for infants and children plummeted by over 50%.

“Mike,” I continued, “Where are you going to store this water for these “times of trouble?” He pointed to the back house, a two story structure that had yet to be renovated. “In there, I figure I can stack these bottles four or five deep on the second and third floors.” I shook my head, should I let him continue this insanity or bring him a dose of reality? This was not just a rhetorical question for me. For if I did not stop this nonsense I would be filling and toting water bottles for eternity. Or until some other quack pot scheme from MCM came along. But if I challenged him then I could be seen as being in rebellion and questioning a “word” from the Lord. The risk of rebellion seemed to outweigh the work of toting water bottles for eternity into the back house. I could already feel my arms aching. “Mike, I just completed a course on water and hydrology and I would like to point out a few things.”

He sat down. “First, the average human needs, at a very minimum, 4 gallons of water a day. I can get out the text book that shows this for you if you would like.” He kept looking at me - I could not tell if I was going to get whacked or thanked at this point. “So if we take 180 people [the number in our ministry at this point] times 4 gallons of water per person per day we will need to store up 720 gallons or 720 of your jugs of water per day for each day in this upcoming time of trouble. That equals about 5000 gallons per week for the people here currently. Or 20,000 gallons per month.” “And there is one other problem. My guess is that the back house has about 12,000 cubic feet of storage space and that would only hold about 6,000 gallons of water. So you only have space for one week’s worth of water or so for everyone here. But even if we decided to store 6,000 gallons in the back house we would still have a serious problem.” Mike cocked his head “What problem would that be?” “Well, it is a wood frame structure, and I am fairly sure that if you stored, or tried to store, 6,000 gallons of water the building would collapse like a house of cards. Water is VERY Heavy. Maybe God will just make a miracle happen like the manna from heaven that fell on Moses when these troubles come.” What I said was true - a quick look in around your town would reveal standpipes or water tanks made of steel or concrete. They have to be very strong, for water is HEAVY. And these standpipes usually hold about 500,000 gallons of water or about one week’s worth of water for the area they serve. Electric pumps bring the water up and gravity brings it down. Kind of scary thinking about it - that we are exactly one week away from dying of thirst or dying of cholera.

At this point I shut up and waited to see what would happen. Thank goodness, he actually looked relieved. “Thank you Brother for a sharing, let me pray about this.” And that was the end of our “preparation” for the “times of trouble” and my toting 14,000 gallons of water up three flights of stairs and having the back house collapse on me and kill me. But the whacky revelations continued unabated and Mike latched onto them as if they were actually written in the Bible and thus created more work for the plantation “slaves.”

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 26, 2006 08:06PM

My advice to Rice Broocks:

Step out of ministry completely. Take a sabattical. Go visit some other churches that are not run like authoritarian personality cults. See how they run things. Don't go as a special guest. Just go incognito. You have been in Maranatha / Every Nation too long to know what is normal. Find a normal job where people don't hero worship you. Until you do this, you won't understand how cultish your authoritarian leadership behaviour in EveryNation has been.

Philip Rosenthal

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 26, 2006 08:17PM

Edson & Eneida Porto: Update on Harvard


Cambridge MA (Aug. 10, 2006) During the 24 Hour Prayer at Harvard on July 3rd 2006, Rose Weiner felt God's call to minister a new kind of worship. During the prayer meeting Cindi Hinson and Rose Weiner came from Florida to lead the worship. Amazing things happened on both days at Harvard.

Edson & Eneida Porto
Joshua Project - Reclaiming Colleges for God

[Sound familiar?]

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 26, 2006 09:10PM

And at the very essence of our calling as a people is to raise up a generation of men and women from every sector of society from the medical field [builds with growing cheers], to the judicial field, to the political field, to the entertainment world, to the real estate world, to the finance world, to the corporate world, who have been SO well trained, SO well discipled, SO filled with the vision of God that they can go into the bloodstream of that area into the sewer of that area that has defiled so many and they can swim up as a disciple, into the heart of it and open the gates for the rest of us. [Cheers and applause] And I’m here to tell you, by the spirit of God tonight, there is a mandate on this family, to raise up a generation of men and women as we go into every nation in the earth, and plant a church, at the very essence of that church is a heart to make disciples and train leaders. We’re not here just to train preachers. We are not here just to raise up teachers, no, we are here to disciple every area of life. And there is a passion, there is a fire in our heart! ... I’m here to tell you by the spirit of God tonight that when you are discipled, when you are trained, that when you begin to understand that we are called to take these strategic power structures around the world, that we are called to take them, that we are called… and I appreciate George Bush, but I’m not interested in meeting the President, I want to disciple the next one. I am utterly, absolutely convinced that we will disciple the future leaders of every nation in the world. [cheers and applause] It is our mandate ... And there is a generation of men and women coming out of this family [cheers] DISCIPLED, ACCOUNTABLE, TRAINED, FILLED WITH EXCELLENCE, ENTERING EVERY AREA OF LIFE ... to open up the gates to the rest of us ... As I look at this nation, as I look at the nations of the world, I’m here to tell you, that before we’re done, we’ll not merely plant a church in every one of the world’s nations, we will study, analyze, and penetrate the cultures that control them. Have you ever wondered why God has given us the youth of the world? Have you ever wondered why we’re on hundreds of universities? Have you ever asked the question why? ... When I was at Innsbruck, one night in the middle of the night the Lord began to speak to me and I saw the globe. Explosions of fire, all over it. Wherever there was an explosion, there was a stadium with thousands of young people, but different than I’d ever seen. They weren’t being entertained. They were being equipped. The hotel room was just filled with the sound of a marching army. God said, “Because you’ve asked for the youth of the world I’ve given them to you. And I’m going to give you an army of young people like the world has never seen. And if you preach destiny to them and disciple them, you’ll make history.” God has given us the hearts of the world’s youth. We might shape them and mold them to go beyond reaching to ruling. I look for the day when God helps us train them and equip them how to think, how to affect their region, how to affect their nation ... filled with righteousness [builds] yet realizing their great destiny on the earth is not just to shine and not just to look good, that they are there to somehow birth a generation that once they’ve paid the cost to reach every nation they could hand those nations to their children and their grandchildren and say, “NOW RULE THEM!” [applause and cheers] Before I die, I expect to see an incredible apostolic center in every nation in the earth. Before my children die, I expect they’ll begin to see every culture in those nations begin to change. The enemy hates us. Not because we’re the greatest, most wonderful thing on the earth. He hates us because we are capable of birthing that which will rule. He’s given us the greatest universities in the world. No one’s really asking for them. We’re raising up a generation of children who I believe if my generation is faithful to reach nations, the next generation can begin to rule nations. It is my passion ... Yes, before it’s done, God will give us hundreds of apostles and prophets, evangelists, teachers, pastors, thousands of campus workers, but it’s only the beginning, for they are going to equip the greatest army of professionals, and lawyers, and doctors, and entertainers, and fashion designers, and politicians, [cheers] and mayors, [building cheers and applause] and congressmen, and congresswomen, and athletes, and entertainers that the world has ever seen. And that’s why I say tonight, movie moguls beware, ungodly dictators be afraid, anti-Christ political systems be worried, [cheers] ungodly educators your day is coming. [Building cheers and applause] For we believe that the kingdom of God can come to the earth as it is in heaven. We believe that we are called to not only reach but to rule. We believe that we are called to change history. [full cheers and applause] We believe that we are called to produce a generation that will rule. I believe that one day we will leave to our children NATIONS and REGIONS and CONTINENTS! [continuing cheers and applause for 30 seconds]

Jim Lafoon
“To Reach and To Rule”
Morning Star International / Every Nation Churches and Ministries
2004 World Conference:
Every Leader – Every Church – Every Nation
July 15, 2004

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Former Champion for Christ , MorningStar, Victory Campus Min
Posted by: ExCult ()
Date: August 28, 2006 09:37PM


[These people were betrayed by Maranatha leaders during their most vulnerable hour.]

I didn't leave EN, but our family did leave Maranatha in 1982. I have mixed feelings about posting what happened, but I think it speaks to the level of blindness at the top of the chain of what now seems to have become Every Nation. My memories are hazy due to the passage of time, but I think the central facts are pretty much dead on. As I recall, there was some big hoohaa meeting of the leadership (wasn't there always), resulting in the closing of the Paducah fellowship and the big send out to the campuses. My then-husband had a very good job with insurance benefits. We had two girls and I was 5 months pregnant. As I recall, a list of campus ministries was on a chalkboard and we were to pray about which one to go to. We had 5 days and we weren't supposed to consult anyone about our decision other than to submit it to our shepherd. Long story made somewhat shorter, we submitted Boulder, Colorado and we were there in a few weeks. No job, no money, no insurance benefits. My husband finally found work that paid half of what he made in KY while the cost of living in CO was about 4 times higher. A couple of OBGYNs refused me due to lack of insurance and because I was so far along. I got some free prenatal care at a hippie type clinic. In may, 6 weeks before my due date, I gave birth to a very sick son. He aspirated amniotic fluid and his lungs collapsed. He spent almost a month in Children's Hospital in Denver, and I have a letter from his neonatologist stating that he was expected to die. My response from Maranatha? Bob Weiner called me on the phone. I started weeping. I will paraphrase his words because I can't remember them exactly, but I will never forget their effect. Bob: "You want to kill your baby? Just keep crying. You need a positive confession." I stopped crying. I shut down. UNTIL the day my son's lung recollapsed, collapsing the membrane around his heart, preventing it from beating. His little chest was slit open in the unit (no time for an OR) and seven doctors worked on him in the unit, drawing air off his heart with syringes. I lost it. I looked at the doctor and said, "Is he going to die?" With the kindest look, that doctor said to me, "Ma'am, why haven't you asked that before now?" I felt like a bolt of lightning pentrated my brain, I heard something that sounded like velcro ripping in my head, and I knew Maranatha was now a part of my past. A few months later, when we were out of MCM, I heard a rumor that Bob W and his cronies were saying that we should be thankful to MCM because our son lived due to their prayers. I called a friend in Gainesville and told them to tell someone that I never wanted to hear that anyone from MCM spoke our names out of their mouths again. And, I told her that if they did, I was calling the Phil Donahue show (the Oprah show of its day) to ask to be a guest. We spent the next 5 years trying to recover. I cried on my son's birthday every year for five years. Some things were fixable, some weren't. Today, I hold no one in leadership responsible aside from Bob and Rose and all those who were old enough to know better. Most of us were kids; they were not. Even then, I don't hold any hate in my heart. God has restored to me 10 fold what I lost. However, I do feel that the Weiners one day need to make a very public and (here's the tricky part) SINCERE apology for the great harm they have done to so many.


lablady2, Your story is similar to mine. I had been in MCM for 15+ years...when our third daughter was born. She was born with problems that eventually led her to go to Duke Medical Center. While at Duke, Ronnie's church was supposed to be supporting me through prayer and helping with any needs I might have as I was living at the hospital away from my home church, my husband and two younger daughters. At first, there were a few visits and prayers. I knew some of the members there at Triangle (now King's Park), so I had some contact. But when my baby started going further down hill, I got a call from Ronnie telling me that they would not be coming back to pray any more. I just did not have faith - if I did my baby would not have been born with problems. He further stated that his church was a young healthy church and they just were not used to ministering to the sick. End of conversation.
Death nail to MCM in my heart. Let me also take you back to the birth of my baby - the Pastors of the Columbia, SC church were leaving the next day after she was born to start the Boston church. They neither called nor visited us at the hospital. These people are now Associate Pastors in Kings Park. When my baby died at 1 year and 11 days, my husband was in DC running the sound for a regional MLTS. I finally located my husband, and they sent this same pastor back with him to assist, comfort, whatever. I wanted Mark Caulk to come back. We had alway had a good relationship with Mark and Debbie. Another thing, when I did get back home after nearly a year at Duke with my daughter, our MCM church was closed. People were scattering to the four points of the compass. We were just left. I felt abandoned. At any rate, I admit to some bitterness towards the leadership of my old church as well as to Ronnie Lewis. I never ever want to see these people again and to hear their voice would just set me on edge. A formal written apology for leaving us would be a start. Also, Bob and Joe were at that MLTS. I never heard a word from them. I think about this everyday in some way shape or form. Thanks to my brothers and sisters on FactNet, I am slowly getting my life back. I want to get to know Jesus...the real Jesus. Not the one Maranatha cooked up.



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