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September 24, 2020, 01:13:32 am *
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Author Topic: New Developments???  (Read 10815 times)
MidnightRider
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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2019, 07:03:33 pm »

Hey?  Wasn't there a Blitz/GCI/GCC (ad infinitum) church in Houston Texas for at least 47 years?  It seems like it has vanished into thin air.  (I know it wasn't raptured).  When my wife and I were with the Blitz, starting in 1971-72,  Houston was looked at as the crown jewel of the southland.  Wasn't this Herschel's patch?  Herschel in the south, and McCotter in Ames, Iowa.  I know I've been out of touch for years, but this is a shocker to me.  There is now only one church in Texas, and that is in San Antonio? 

Some time in the mid-1970s, the Houston church was divided up to start churches at University of Texas in Austin, Texas A&M University in College Station, and Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Herschel went to the Austin church. As far as I know, the Houston church did not continue after that. Last I heard, all 3 of those churches still exist.

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Linda
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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2019, 08:27:48 am »

OldTimer,

Thanks for sharing your history and knowledge of the early years. It helps a lot. I am so sorry for the painful memories.

I’m especially interested in the 1985 excommunications  since Hopler dissed Bill Taylor with it in the (non)“reconciliation “ statement.

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OldTimer
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« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2019, 09:06:33 am »

No.  Houston existed in 1980-81 because my wife and I had problems with Jim M. and we drove down to Houston to see Herschel to talk about these issues.  Herschel was "in Siberia" and was being "watched" by Jim and other elders for signs of insubordination.  You could say he was under probation.  Anyway, he gave us advice as to how to deal with Jim and some other (as for now) unnamed elders.  Back home, I was immediately challenged over what was said between us in Houston.  I was in deep doo doo, and let slide a few comments where Herschel said that he shared my concerns.  The elders immediately (without my knowledge) called Herschel up to verify what was said.  Herschel (brave man that he is) denied everything.  He then called me up and told me about this turn of events and said (my wife is a witness) that he was being watched and he had to be very careful about what he says about Jim M. and the leadership.  Then he told us that he had to tell the elders that what had truly transpired between Herschel and me didn't happen.  I was subsequently called into a meeting where I was labeled a liar and that I was using Herschel's name to strengthen my case. 

I had faced moral dilemmas in the past in the church, but this matter with Herschel was devastating.  If Herschel could lie, and manipulate events like Jim and the other elders could, then the whole Godly foundation of the movement was suspect.  He fed my family to the wolves, and it started to unravel in my mind.  Herschel!?  How could HE do this to us?  What a shocker.  My wife and I wrote him a letter outlining what had happened and gave no doubt that this was not how a man of God should behave.  We then called him when we got no reply, and he simply said that he didn't read the letter and that he never would.  (I shared this with another ex-elder who said without a doubt -- "Oh, he read the letter.")  This was the beginning of the end for us.  Uggh.

Don't ask me why, but we left the church (escaped in the night) and ended up in San Clemente, California with Jim M.  The Jim/Henry Hintermeister explosion happened when we got there.  (out of the frying pan, into the fire).  We were like,"what the heck is going on in the church?"  Henry wouldn't even open the door to Jim.  I think Jim brought me to Henry's house to have me be a witness of how "factious Henry was."  It backfired big-time. 

My last memory of the final day (yes--DAY) in "God's Church" was of my wife and my children sitting on a bench in Downtown San Diego with nothing --- no home, no church, no friends, very little money, no education, and if I'm honest...no hope.  My wife got a job at McDonald's to try to support us and we found an apartment in "the projects" and we even had to go on welfare and food stamps.  What a horror and humiliation.  No friends....all gone.  All we had was God.  That turned out to be all we needed.  What a wonderful Lord and Saviour.  This was 1981.

A few years later we again found Bill Taylor.  He had led me to the Lord.  Jan Dirkson (sp) led my wife to the Lord in Spring 1970.  She turned out to be one of the founding members.  She fellowshipped with Jim, Dennis, Mike Keator, and others on a weekly basis.  I met her at a Blitz outreach and we married soon after Jim M. married.  Hardly anybody was even married while in the group back then.  How do you do it according to "Great Commission Theology?"  (I don't know, lets create theology as it starts happening).  But one thing was obvious -- you did not get married in the Blitz for love.  It was only to be more effective in reaching the world for Christ.  Now, three guys that advised us differently were already married before the Blitz happened.  Yes, you guessed it.  Herschel and Mardeen, Brian Catalano and his wife (her name escapes me), and Dave and Barb Gumlia.   They didn't share the same views as Jim M. and others.  Those three men basically said "You love each other in the Lord?  Marry."  Remember, there was no theology on marriage yet.  So Herschel, Brian, and Dave had no idea that they were going against the soon to be codified "Marriage doctrine".  We were one of the first marriages.  We were also one of the first to start a family.  Yes!!!  As a result, the soon to be unveiled -- "How to raise a family while reaching the world for Christ" theology.  Double Uggh!!!

By the way, my wife and I are celebrating our 45th anniversary this month.

Maybe more later.
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2019, 06:21:14 am »

OldTimer,

Wow.

I sent you a message.
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OldTimer
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« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2019, 08:21:32 am »

Herschel was in trouble.  We know it was for counsel that went against Jim M. and others that parroted Jim's views.  I am not privy as to exactly when all this happened, but he was spoken about in national elders meetings in the late 70's.  I don't think Jim ever trusted Herschel, and conversely was openly worried about the growing following and status that Herschel was garnering.  You see, Herschel was viewed as the"educated" one.  He was often used as an example of legitimacy by Jim and others if outsiders wondered about our experience and training.  This was a good tactic, but it held many risks, that were starting to emerge.  After all, it was said that Herschel was formerly well-known in I think the Brethren movement.  It was often touted that he was fluent in Greek, and perhaps Hebrew, and so he was able to give us early members the kind of assurance that most of us were still too young (and too dumb) to have gained ourselves.

My wife remembers our last visit to the Martindales when she was pregnant, which would have made the event in fall 1979.  But I think it was right after our third was born, in Spring of 1981, because Herschel's behavior made me realize that we had to get out, and fast.  We left very soon afterward.  She remembers being pregnant at the Martindales, and that one of our children "slept in the closet."  That would have been our second born son.

While there, Herschel had a church gathering in his home.  Apparently as normal.  We distinctly remember seeing a sister from Ames, Iowa, there.  I think Herschel's "demotion" as it were, was pretty well known, but perhaps it only came up if some poor saint unwittingly used his name.

But I am absolutely sure that Herschel was watched and marked.  HE even told us that.

I had dropped out of college when I joined the Blitz.  So did my wife.  We worked, (I was the only one who had a trade, so my wages were much higher than anyone elses).  We all just gave our pay over to the elders.  It was the elders that payed the rent, groceries, and other bills.  The brothers all lived in a big rental house, and the sisters also lived in a big rental.  Only two people owned a car, so everybody else walked to and from work, including me and my soon to be wife.  Sisters often worked as waitresses, and the brothers as janitors.  Sisters often walked the couple miles back to the house after the restaurant closed at 11:00 PM.  I would walk to the restaurant and follow my future wife home when she got off work at midnight to make sure she was safe.  (She didn't know I did that nightly until after we were married.  OOOOH, evil brother that I was.)  We (the church) often didn't have enough money for food.  We would dumpster-dive, and eat food discarded by restaurants and schools.  [I know....   It doesn't sound like GCI but like the Moonies]. 

I will share about marriage and children sometime.  Some teasers:  What about toys?  Baby furniture?  Spanking of infants a few months old?  Disneyland and amusement parks?   What do we do with kids during church-wide bible studies?  What about education?
Baby clothes?  Baby food and nursing?  Child care?   

What about views on dating and marriage?  Some stories i've read on this site remind me that for some, their experiences today mirror the early days. 

Finally, I want these posts to be meaningful.  I am not doing it to vent.  There is a point.  That point is knowing and loving our Savior Jesus Christ more and more.  HE is the head of the Church.  And all of us are still part of HIS CHURCH.   There IS a reason we all left.  And the Lord knows that.  And He still loves us.  He will never stop.

More later....
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GodisFaithful
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« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2019, 09:25:25 am »

Thank you, Old Timer, for sharing your experience and perspective, although it has been painful to re-live. In a way, it shows that Larry Pile's writings are just the tip of the ice-burg, just what one man saw, and there are so many others who were in the inner core with stories that now make our hair stand on end. And there are still so many dear people who are caught/trapped in the crazy GCI system and lies to the extent of not knowing where they would go if they left and hanging on, putting the best spin on everything.

It's just sad, the whole thing. I saw what you saw, how Herschel gave somewhat of a stamp of approval on the movement for many parents who were concerned about their college age kids. The whole weirdness of Jim M. leaving the movement, and the spin put on that, is another crazy thing. They never repudiated his bad theology.
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Linda
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« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2020, 07:55:28 pm »

Old Timer,

Your recent posts inspired me to read some of your older posts so I am opening up this thread again. Thank you for taking the time to fill us in on your experiences. There are so many stories told on the forum that it's easy to forget some details. You explained the Bill Taylor situation well. I knew there was something "fishy" when Hopler mentioned him being disciplined by another church.  Again, I am so sorry for the hurt and pain.

Would be interested in hearing more about marriage and children that you mentioned in your August 8th post.

Again, thanks.
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