Re: The Living Word Fellowship, The Walk, John Robert Stevens
Date: August 06, 2018 02:00PM
My 2 cents worth. I kept on reading this fascinating info. I wanted to jump in with the name "Mickelson"
How many know who Mary and Martha's brother was? it was Paul, but not in Peter, Paul and Mary.
The family sang and or Paul played the organ.Tthe whole sword logo was not original but why would most folks know that? We did not have the internet. What access we had was the new paper, the radio, the public library.'
The Mikelson family were performers marketing their craft under the name of Jesus.
I'm not trying to imply that they were or were not Christians spreading the gospel. Back when a wanna-be preacher needed a wife and a family that could "entertain" the congregation. The fact that JRS married a Mikelson a well know Christian family increased his "credibility as a man of god."
It was all "marketing".
Still today, I am sorry to say, the main stream church program that draws in the crowd to fill the offering plate is the entertainment in disguise a worship I am sorry to say.( After the walk I joined whatever neighborhood church that accepted a divorced mother for the support in a strange city. I am kind of sort of ashamed to say the truth. My eyes were opened when I attended church business meetings with all the knock down drag out fights over old gospel music or the rock band style for "worship".
I don't know if Paul M was ever in Grace chapel or not. I had listened to his records at home. I was aware of the sword thing. Being a weird observant child, I wondered about it. tho' I had not had reason to think about it.
You all know the connection to Brazil and the Mikelson family?
Martha's and Paul's sister Mary married __ Williams- missionary family to Brazil.
Jrs sister, Mary ( a different Mary) married missionary to Hawaii, B Arnold. that was before it was state.
JRS sister Eva and her hubby Fred were missionaries to Africa. Being a missionary gave a lot of credibility to home folks. (I feel crass saying this.)
As a teen when the these families came home as guests to preach and entertain the congregation, I was in awe. So was my father, so he was inspired to make sure his girls sang and played our instruments. of course I was devoted as an aspiring preachers wife to do so.
What I found "odd" as a tween trying to a big girl blending with the teen group was the missionary kids talk. The local churches supported the missionaries. Please forgive me if I sound critical, but as a tween, I did not understand why the talk about "specially made clothes were sewn with gold thread" or the housekeepers. Apparently money sent form home offerings from what ever sister church went much father in a foreign country than it did at home. What I heard the missionary teens say was that they were privileged. My understanding of their words did not fit with my 111, 12 or 13 year idea of sacrificial ministry...
I know I was naive and and down right still dumb back then. I feel like should ask for forgiveness for my "critical spirit." But, I will just blurt it out- I think that this family got used to luxury in the name of Jesus. I do know that the stevens as children did sacrifice as PK's. but it was the depression and almost everyone was poor.
EB Johns sis often made statements that she deserved to have lots of nice things for her sacrifice for the congregation. I was child and I questioned the words of a missionary. I knew better than to voice what I said back then. there seems to be a long standing disturbing pattern of behavior that is showmanship perhaps over sincere convictions to serve god and help the congregation learn about the love of god.e
I believe Grandpa S was a loving man of god who card for the original local flock of loving people. But some how at least 2 of his off spring resented the sacrifice of being a PK and got greedy. Teaming up with a showman Mikelson family opened the doors for them all to be act to be something they weren't in the eyes of the people who filled the offering plates.
I hope this helps pull a few more things together for everyone who did not know the connections.
Keep in mind that CA was not yet that populated in the early '50's. aimee simple macPhearson influenced so many con artist cults of the future. tlw , Scientology, billy Sunday, Grahm all of them learned from the mother of all religious showmen/ actresses who played the part as an angel of light on asuza street.
(I am a lousy typest, but if I leave typos it is harder for spies to google any names.)