Jim Faucett's Journey
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Part 1 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
My name is Jim Faucett. I became a Christian at age 20 in July, 1972, through the ministry of some ladies who were visiting my neighborhood in Bath, Maine looking for kids to go to vacation Bible school. They were from the Woolwich-Wiscasset Baptist Church in Woolwich. Although I am from Texas, I was living in Bath with some Navy friends because I had recently finished my enlistment at Brunswick Naval Air Station. The ladies shared the gospel with me and invited me to Church on Thursday night. A husband of one of the ladies picked me up and brought me to the service where the preacher happened to be a visiting speaker rather than the pastor. After church I started to argue with the speaker, Gloria Chute’s brother Max Day, about the war in Viet Nam, premarital sex, and a variety of other peripheral issues. The pastor overheard the argument, perceived that it was getting heated, and came over to us. He put his hand on my shoulder and invited the speaker to pray with him for me. Even though I was not a believer, I automatically bowed my head. Later that night, on my own, I asked Christ to forgive me of my sin and save me. I love and trust this same Savior today.
The next day, a Friday, I hitchhiked out to the Church and found it to be a hive of activity. There I ran into the lady’s husband who had driven me to church, we became lifelong friends. In the next few days, I had a new place to live with new room-mates and I found a job painting a medical office. In August, I was baptized with a long haired, quiet young man who had been living in Boothbay Harbor. In September I began Bible College with about 20 other young people. Two of the ladies who visited my home in Bath were Kathy Lewis, wife of Dan Lewis who was the Dean of the Bible College, and Patty Huff, wife of David Huff and sister-in-law to Barbara Stevens married to Paul Stevens. I was baptized with Tom Schaller, and roomed with David MacAdam, Bob Olivadoti, and Scott Robinson at 14 Perkins St. in Topsham, Maine.
Later, after Bible College classes began, I roomed with Stephen Quinlan in Bath, Maine. I also became fast friends with a couple who seemed to have a degree of spiritual growth and maturity, David and Sandy Bennett. We often met at their home to study the scriptures and sing. Our Perkins Street apartment also became a frequent location for gatherings. Pastor Carl Stevens met with us every morning at 5:30 for prayer. We prayed over each of the pews, and over the space in front of the pulpit, where many of us younger ones sat on the floor during the services. After prayer, we would meet at a doughnut shop in Brunswick for an early version of the rap sessions now so popular at Greater Grace. All of us believed then, and I still believe now that those were times of revival. The whole nation seemed to be caught up with the Jesus People phenomenon.
During the next few months, prophecies were given concerning cataclysmic events that were to occur both from within and without the church. There were reports of visions of angels, crosses in the sky, and there were tongues where a man from Turkey purportedly heard the gospel in his own tongue. Before Bible school classes got well underway, the angry husband of a woman who had been attending and who had received counsel from Pastor Stevens poured gasoline all over the pews and burned the church down. After this a number of us were enlisted to keep watch with loaded weapons at the parsonage in Woolwich, because Pastor Stevens had received death threats. Even though the Maine Times had printed an article critical of the church, a local Congregational Church offered us their older building to use for services. The Chute family opened a bakery where all the students ate their meals. Current South Berwick Pastor Bruce Brown was the baker; I was the cook for a while. They also bought the home of my old Navy commanding officer in Bath which became a dormitory for the female students. During these times we began to learn about Psychology and the Bible, The Eternal Is of Now, the difference between R.R. and Plus R. (Relevant Righteousness and Plus Righteousness) and Dispensational Truth. We learned about Right Wing Fundamentalism and its errors against and misunderstandings of the grace of God. We learned about team concept missions and having a balanced ministry. We were taught that we had a ministry with the best of fundamentalism, covenant theology and dispensationalism. We heard classic preaching of messages on the Great White Throne Judgment and Certain Certainties and we expected the Rapture to occur within just a very few years, possibly before we could even marry or have children. We hugged and wept together after services filled with the love of Christ for one another and for the lost. Pastor Stevens had studied the styles of Oliver B. Green and Jack Hyles in particular and he emulated them adding to their style his own peculiar understanding of the King James Version of the Bible. (More later.)
On Sunday evening, September 10th 1972, many of us believed that we had witnessed a miracle the likes of which had not been witnessed since New Testament times, the raising of the dead. It was the Tenth Day, and the Tenth anniversary of Pastor Stevens’s ministry at the church and it was near 10PM. Betty McIntire appeared to be dead in her pew. A doctor, Lee Hartman and a nurse, Judy Cavicchi appeared not to be able to render aid and shook their heads as if to say, Sorry, she is gone. No one called 911; no one attempted any sort of resuscitation. We held hands and sang. I stood next to Dan Lewis. Betty appeared to breathe. She stirred. We all praised God. She sat upright and looked around. We shouted more praises. She took to the stage and we cheered. She sang Because He Lives, and we broke out into rejoicing. In the midst of severe trials I describe later, we believed God had validated the ministry of Carl Stevens.
Part 2 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the fall of 1972, a crisis arose amongst leaders of the church concerning allegations made against Pastor Stevens concerning adultery with a church secretary, Linda Olsen. The deacons charged Pastor Stevens with this impropriety, apparently after interviewing the young lady. It appeared that Pastor Stevens would take a sabbatical of sorts or a leave of absence would be arranged and another leader would do the preaching. Secret meetings of those faithful to Pastor Stevens took place at our apartment in Phippsburg, at the home of Rob and Marion Howland, and in the Framingham and Chelmsford areas of Massachusetts. We signed documents and made tape recordings of our vows of loyalty to the corporate body and to Pastor Stevens. Apparently, Leo Campbell the music minister, Skip Hart and Edward Dunham associate pastors and the other leaders had all turned on Pastor Stevens had all been deceived by Satan and were propagating lies so vicious that even to listen to them ensured deception of the hearer. This was the seed for the later messages on the doctrine of conspiracy so often heard preached in the 1970s by Carl Stevens. We were warned that we should not even so much as listen to these people talk about anything. Later, as a TBS missionary in England, I visited the ministry location of A.B. Simpson, a pastor/ leader that Carl Stevens loved to quote. It was there that I encountered an Operation Mobilisation missionary who belonged to a church in Somerset, N.H. (next to South Berwick - we were bussing their Sunday School kids to S.B.) who had been present at an interview with Linda Olsen and she verified that the adultery had in fact taken place. I wrote this off as hearsay and lies.
The ministry of Carl Stevens then took on the name of his radio broadcast - The Bible Speaks. Rallies were still held all over Maine. The Church reformed and began to meet in Portland in a hotel ballroom and then later in an old church. This is where all the sermons concerning the new and coming corporate Pentecost were preached. Talented in artwork, David MacAdam designed the new logo for The Bible Speaks, three shafts of wheat, to symbolize the harvest to come. The Woolwich church, reduced to a handful, was to be pastored by Gerald Morrison, Pastor Stevens’s son in law. I spoke with Gerry last year and he as much as verified that the adultery story with Linda Olsen was true, describing the incident as one of Carl Stevens’s weaknesses. As a naïve young man, I once traveled from Bath to Portland with Carl Stevens to do his radio program live in studio. We left early and he made a stop to counsel a woman concerning her marriage. Her husband was not at home and I was instructed to wait outside while he went in to speak to her. He emerged about a half-hour later, saying goodbye to the woman at the door. She was Terry Zester, a woman who had seen the angels hovering over Carl Stevens giving him his anointing as he preached.
The Bible Speaks began to look for a home, which was found at a defunct Catholic School for girls in South Berwick, Maine. Imagine the impact of several hundred newcomers moving into town which even now still numbers less than 6700. At first the chapel was used for services and then the gymnasium. Bible College classes began in the spring of 1973 and by the time I graduated in 1975 the dorm I lived in had over 70 men living in it. (Another building was later purchased in Scarborough, Maine with an auditorium designed by Ed Canino. Sheetrock work was done by Lou Kahlenbeck, Sr., yours truly, Mark Bell, and Jim and Jerry Hennesey.)
It was during this time that Stan Ashby joined the faculty. Stan taught classes which included an interpretation of Song of Solomon 4:12-16 that went something like this: before the seven years of the Great Tribulation signified by the seven lean years in Joseph’s dream there would be seven fat years which meant that God would send seven years of revival around the world immediately preceding the Rapture of the Church. The Shulamite in the Song of Solomon according to an interpretation of Ephesians Five is the New Testament Church and the Beloved is Christ (many believer would have no problems thus far) but after the Shulamite is described as A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed Ashby interprets this as the unrevived pre-rapture church. In verse 16, the Shulamite invites the winds to blow upon her spices so that the beloved may come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. Verse 14 of the passage describes seven spices by name: Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes. These spices, according to Ashby, correspond to the various continents and the order of revival is revealed in the order of the spices. Hence, 1974 was the year of Spikenard, which Ashby saw as a predictor that revival through Carl Stevens ministry would begin in 1974. David Bennett, being a believer (as many of us were at the time) in Ashby’s understanding of prophecy began to organize what was called Operation Spikenard which began as Evangelistic outreaches primarily to New England cities. These events actually resulted in hundreds of evangelical young people from all over the Northeast finding their way to South Berwick to participate in these outreaches, the first of which took place in Boston. Thousands of professions for Christ were recorded over a week’s outreach culminating with a rally event with Carl Stevens as the featured speaker.
Further outreaches in Hartford, Portland, Providence and other New England towns followed. By May of 1975, the first full class of graduates was ready to be loosed on the world. This class included Lou Kahlenbeck Sr., Cathy Nihart, Kidd Lowell, Joel Freeman, myself, David MacAdam, David and Sandy Bennett, Steve Clement, Joy Oswell, Scott Robinson, Tom Schaller, Dennis Gough amongst others. Most of the men were immediately examined and ordained after their graduation. Of these, missionaries would be sent out over all the world, but David Bennett, David MacAdam and I and probably a few others saw themselves as the first arm of Operation Saffron to reach the European continent in the early days of its revival. Tom Schaller went to Finland, David Bennett and David MacAdam went to England, I was pastoring in Sanford, Maine and Worcester, Mass. simultaneously but wanted to go to Italy, where I had served in the Navy. Steve Clement, Joy Oswell, another graduate who was also a nurse, and Ron Dubay went to India to be ready for the revival there. Of course, we all understood that if these seven fat years immediately preceded the lean years of Jacob’s trouble, that we had until April of 1981 to complete the missions necessary for the gospel to be preached in all the earth. While Ashby claimed that the day and hour of the rapture could not be known precisely, he did say that you could very easily ascertain the date on which the Great Tribulation would begin, and that date was April 1, 1981 with the Millennium beginning seven years later in 1988. (So you see that Edgar Wisenhunt was not the first to choose 1988 as significant.)
Many of us still retain the meticulous charts that Ashby produced for us so that we could understand the convoluted reasoning behind his predictions. While Carl Stevens never criticized or corrected Stan Ashby for his teaching, he did allow Chet Farmer to do party imitations of him on talent nights and he did say from the pulpit at Scarborough, ME in 1975 that Jesus is coming back sooner than anyone has predicted so far. We were reeling. That meant that if Stan had predicted that Christ would return before April 1981 and that our Pastor who seemed to be a prophet, claimed that it would be sooner than that, then we had best get busy. By the way, in spite of claims otherwise, I have actually heard with my own ears Carl Stevens describe himself as the prophet, in his office at Schermerhorn in Lenox after a radio broadcast. It was quite common to consider him equal to the apostles, in that he described himself in Pauline terms as the wise master builder, earlier reports of him actually being the Good Shepherd being a bit too strong. Scott Robinson once told me, Just think Jim, you could be the Apostle to Toledo. Being an overly serious devotee at the time, the humor of this escaped me.
Part 3 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Doctrine, Doctrine, Doctrine (But I'll get back to history later)
This might be a good point to engage in a little doctrinal analysis. Between 1973 and 1975 Carl Stevens embarked on a teaching series centered on the rebellion of Absalom against David. He likened Absalom to young disciples who tend to rebel against their spiritual fathers. He mentioned nothing of Absalom’s rebellion being a result of David being a poor father, or the situation being a result of the fulfillment of prophecy given after David’s sin against Uriah the Hittite. The message was Do not be like Absalom, look how he wound up dangling by the hair between heaven and earth. We got the message - do not rebel against Carl Stevens or there will be consequences. I am sure there are readers who will find no problem with this use of scripture. I do, and for my reasons see Luke 24:44 where Christ explains our proper hermeneutical methodology. For whatever cause, Carl seemed to be obsessed with conspiracies against him and we found ourselves asking like the disciples at the last supper, Is it me, Lord? What a way to live.
Watchman Nee’s book Spiritual Authority was required reading each year for every Bible College student from 1972 to 1975. Nee explains that like Moses to Aaron, the local pastor is like God to us. He speaks with God face to face, we do not. The pastor speaks to you for God. Although scripture only appoints one man to mediate between God and Man, we apparently needed yet another, God’s man, Carl Stevens. Later jargon terms peculiar to The Bible Speaks began to develop, i.e. you could be off in your doctrine if you disagreed with Carl Stevens and if you were off with Carl you were off with God. If you did not want to live in the dorm or you wanted to live somewhere else you were leaving the body. During this period, Carl Stevens preached the message about Being Baptized Unto God’s Man. This teaching is clearly derived from Watchman Nee and his errors. Carl Stevens also relied heavily on Nee’s understanding of Soul Power, another book which became required reading. From this point, living in sentimentality became a popular phrase for adherents who began to care about the relationship they had with their parents, families, friends who were not in the Bible Speaks.
Other ministries have used similar tactics citing passages of scripture that deal with walking after the flesh or walking in the spirit. Watchman Nee in his book The Spiritual Man is also the propagator of the error of the human trichotomy. His claim is that as God is Trinity so man made in the image of God must also be a three part being. To substantiate this claim, he quotes Hebrews 4:12 where the word of God is seen as dividing asunder soul and spirit; as well as 1 Thess. 5:23 which appears to state a three part human nature. Nee’s take on the subject is that the sinless human spirit is in fact trapped by the sinful soul and body, quoting the SOUL that sinneth, it shall die. To Nee, this excluded the spirit from death. This is just a simple repetition of the Gnostic heresy.
Many times during my early days in The Bible Speaks we heard Carl Stevens talk of his experience in the woods, alone with God where God spoke to him and promised him a special anointing every time he spoke and then the Holy Spirit of God washed over him in liquid waves of love. Interestingly, Charles Grandison Finney uses this precise phrase in his testimony of a call to ministry where he too had been alone with God in the woods by a lake, amazingly. Saying, like Carl years later, he had to beg the Lord to stop. Now in my current view, Finney was a Pelagian heretic who preached another gospel and is no one to emulate, but I am sure that Carl was counting on our continued ignorance because of his disdain for the intellectual pursuits of education. In all the years I knew Carl Stevens, I never knew him to wander around in the woods, especially not alone.
Part 4 ------------------------------------------------------------
Bible College education according to Carl Stevens was the highest form of education because instead of learning how to make a living, students learned how to live. While I would certainly agree that there is no higher form of learning than that which proceeds from the Word of God, all truth is God’s truth, regardless of the category whether science, history, art or any other. Carl Stevens chided anyone who wanted to pursue a secular degree, yet he always found places for people with some sort of Doctorate or another. Wasn’t there once a dyslexic veterinarian elevated to some high staff position because he could actually be called Doctor. He also loved the military metaphors, giving us the image of himself as a five star general in God’s army. Yet he preferred to be described as humble.
During the seventies, Dr. Albert Libby assisted Carl Stevens in the procurement of two honorary doctorates - a D.D. and an L.L.D. Dan Lewis followed suit, not content with the title of Dean or Field Secretary (was it OVER 62 pastors?) had to have a doctorate as well and like Esau got the lesser blessing - a D.Hum. How do you pronounce that anyway? I imagine they had to become something other than just pastor in that we seemed to be ordaining so many of them. All of this titular excitement was substantiated by an interesting interpretation of 1 Tim. 5: 17 that requires double honor be given to elders who rule well, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. It never dawned on me to attempt to interpret the next verse in light of this view. What indeed did overly respectful titles (although Carl always shunned the title Reverend) have to do with muzzling an ox? I imagine he could have been paid better if we had a better and more biblical understanding of double honor.
This brings me to the subject of King Jamesisms, still prevalent in GGWO literature. For example, in one pamphlet describing how one ought to choose a local assembly the reader is encouraged to find a balanced ministry. The church needs to have a balance between dispensationalism and covenant theology (the two are actually diametrically opposed); there needs to be a balanced view of the gifts and of preaching and evangelism and of church government, etc. To which of the scriptures should we appeal here? Proverbs 11: 1 of course gives us a concise and pithy solution, to wit: a false balance is an abomination to the Lord. Many readers may, I am sure, wonder why I nitpick here. The answer is plain, the text deals with theft. While I am sure I could pound this round scripture into this square application it is a stretch to make this verse about church balance. A balance (noun) is a scale upon which goods for sale are measured. This verse warns the butcher to keep his thumb off the scale.
Another good one is Psalm 138: 2 upon which Carl Stevens spent an hour explaining the revelation that God actually values his Word (which is preached) even above his Name. In the King James the verse reads in part for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. We were all exhaling wows and amazings at that one, believe me. Of course the import here was never to miss an opportunity to hear Carl preach because God valued that even more than His own name! The Revised version gives a closer rendering of the intended meaning: for thou hast exalted above everything thy name and thy word. On another occasion, Carl had discovered a very special double promise for those who trusted in God and fasted His way. The verse? Isaiah 58: 8 God would doubly bless us if we fasted in God’s chosen way. How did we know this? Because the latter part of verse 8 in the KJV promises us that God will be our rereward. See, double blessing! Rewarded twice for the Lord’s fast.
This King Jamesism understanding has spilled over into the preaching and writing of some of the other pastors at GGWO. Pastor Bill Reed actually believes there are or were two valid gospels in force in the early days of the New Testament. I am not sure whether he actually believes these two gospels are in force now. Every time I have heard Bill Reed on the radio he is touted as a scholar and learned person, so he and his theology must indeed be endorsed by the minitry’s leadership. Where does he get this idea of two gospels? No less than Galatians 2: 7, 8 immediately after Paul has made a very strong case against the Judaizers in the first chapter saying that if anyone else preaches a gospel other than his they are to be accursed. Verses seven and eight read: 7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles) Reed argues that the gospels here mentioned actually have different content. The gospel of the uncircumcision is the gospel of grace. This gospel does not require the response of repentance. The gospel of the circumcision is the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus preached and that will be preached again after the rapture. It does require repentance. You don’t need to believe me on this one, you can search the GGWOLV website for a full complement of Bill’s ramblings. Where does this stuff come from? The roots are deep in the teachings of L.S. Chafer and the early dispensationalists. Almost all the Dallas and Moody theologians have distanced themselves from this stuff now. Why? Because it tampers with the GOSPEL!!!
Part 5 ---------------------------------------------------------------
Carl Stevens, in a book about letting God just love you says that you should have absolutely nothing to do with the old law. So according to Carl Stevens the old law, by which I know he means the Decalogue, has no bind on the Christian. Now we all know that no one is justified by the works of the law and that the doing of the works of the law will not make us righteous, but what are those works spoken of in Eph. 2:10? Are we not now still commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind? Are we not commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves? How exactly, without the content of the Decalogue, do you do that? It is impossible. We find this command to love God with heart, mind and soul in Deuteronomy 6, it is a single sentence summary of the first table of the Law or the first four commandments. We love God by worshipping him according to scripture, by avoiding idolatry, by taking his name upon us without vanity and by observing the Sabbath rest of God. The law in our hearts leads us this way. It is not there to condemn but to lead us to be Christlike.
Christ summarizes the final six commandments by quoting Lev. 19:18 but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. And we were never taught this at TBS/GGWO. We were not taught that regeneration changes our relationship to the Law of God, we were taught that we have absolutely nothing to do with it. What happens at regeneration? Scripture says we are given a new heart. What is written on this new heart? God’s law. So instead of being condemned as sinners by the law any further, we are now encouraged by the Law to know the true nature of love. That is what is meant by the royal law of love in James 2:8, concerning the second table of the law. This begins with the fifth commandment which includes a prescription and a proscription. Honor your father and mother…that your days may be long… Paul calls this the first commandment with promise. We are to love our parents (and all in authority by extension, in loco parentis) by respecting them and by not allowing them to fall into neglect when they are elderly. (See Matt. 15:1-5) We are not to curse our parents, disobey them or allow them to go without help in their time of need. We are to shun murder and murderous thoughts, and we are to protect life as much as is in us. We are to flee from sexual sin, cling to the wife of our youth and to assist our neighbor in his efforts likewise. We are to value what God has given us in the material realm being content with God’s provision, to work with our hands to produce enough to give to others. Private property is established in the eighth commandment, in that it would be impossible to steal if this were not so. We are to speak the truth in love and to proclaim the gospel, the ultimate truth. We are to avoid false testimony, and correct lies and sins of the tongue. We are to be content with whatever state we are in and to avoid envy of others or lust after what is not our own.
No one I can think of would ever ask if there was a connection between Jacobus Hermanzoon and the theology of TBS/GGWO. Jacobus was a Dutch student of Theodore Beza who was mentored by Jean Calvin. As he studied theology, he became unhappy with many of the tenets of the Reformation and drew up some of his own which later resulted in an event called the Remonstrance in Holland. Get out your church history texts for details. The Remonstrant theologians came up with five points of theology which varied from Reformed theology and they were (in paraphrase):
1. Man, though a sinner, is not so depraved as He cannot prepare himself for repentance.
2. God’s election is based on his foreknowing the actions of our will rather than being unconditional.
3. The atonement made for sin is universal and possible rather than specific and certain.
4. God’s grace for salvation impressed on us by the Holy Spirit can be ultimately resisted.
5. The final perseverance of Christians is not certain.
Now my bet is that most TBS/GGWO readers would agree with the first four of these. Illogically, they would disagree with the final premise, which is where most modern day folks identify his theology. All of the first four are popular in America today and are quite foreign to the doctrines which emerged from the Protestant Reformation. Hermanzoon is known to us today as James Arminius and his theology is Arminianism. I have never yet met anyone in TBS/GGWO admit that they were mostly Arminian. On the other hand, I remember Carl Stevens, on the subject of predestination often say that Calvin was misquoted and never held to the doctrinal system attached to his name. Anyone can bother if they wish to read Calvin’s exposition of the doctrine of election to know that he most certainly was never misquoted as holding to the view attributed to him.
The reason I bring this up is that once upon a time a certain educator at the Bible College used a text by Cornelius Van Til, I think in the subject of apologetics. Van Til was a prominent Calvinist Presbyterian who adhered to the opposite of all the five premises of Arminianism as outlined above. Ed Mosher came out of the class one day with the revelation of God’s sovereignty that included all things that come to pass. Even when I dance around like this and say boogledebobbidyboo is forordained by God, he proclaimed. This was of course very foreign to a ministry which placed such great importance on the human will. Ed was promptly re-educated.
The last very odd doctrine that I can remember was still prevalent up to just a few years ago, because I heard it mentioned on the radio program. This was the doctrine of infiltration. This doctrine says that the nephilim geborim, the offspring mentioned in Genesis 6 between the unions of the sons of God and the daughters of men resulted in these hybrid, half human creatures. The sons of God here being interpreted as angels, rather than men from the line of Seth. The context concerns the lines of Seth and Cain, and the cause of the flood is attributed to the wickedness of men not angels. And it was the earth that was flooded and not heaven. Interestingly, some proponents of Larkin hold that in spite of the flood, angels are still falling and infiltration is still possible, even though it was concocted by Satan as an attempt to thwart the coming Saviour who was the promised Seed of the woman, who had to be both God and Man. He was not to be part man, part angel and part God. This doctrine is propagated by Clarence Larkin, an architect or engineer who became a dispensationalist Christian and invented all those charts found in the book we used for hermeneutics - Dispensational Truth. Larkin believed that the Bible could not be properly and clearly understood without charts. To see an example of his charts go here to view a chart explaining the seven thousand years of human history. http://members.citynet.net/morton/images/history.gif
** An apology is due to Gerry Morrison who feels that I have misquoted him referencing a conversation which took place in early 2002. If I misheard or misrepresented Gerry’s statements in anyway, I apologize and will not repeat the content again. In no way did Gerry ever comment in an unloving way about any member of his family. Gerry was left in a very challenging situation and has for years served God faithfully. I remember him as an individual with character and who was very gracious. He was also a great teacher at the Bible College, and every student I remember holds him in the highest regard.
Part 6 --------------------------------------------------------------------
In early 1975, one of the prominent young men whose marriage had been touted and praised by Carl Stevens in 1972 began to feel that he had missed out on his divine design. This young man had moved to New York City to work in the restaurant of a relative and had separated from his wife. He felt that his real divine design was Carl Stevens’ secretary at the time. Divine design was Carl’s complement to no-touch love. If you found your divine design, you would have perfect harmony and could literally have great sex for hours, all night long. Naturally, if folks who had been married for a few years began to experience problems, they thought that the reason was that they hadn’t really found their “divine design.” Carl appealed to the Creation narrative to substantiate his doctrine saying that if Eve was literally taken from Adam, then it is reasonable to expect that there is a woman out there taken from every man. Never mind the mathematical problems with this theory or the Beach Boys (two girls for every boy.)
Eventually, Carl went down to New York to convince his young protégé to return to his wife and that she actually was his divine design and that he was deceived. Another young lady perceived that God had revealed to her, with the help of comments from others as to their similarities, that Tom Schaller was her divine design. Schaller was in Finland at the time, and the young lady asked me to help her shop for gifts for him as he would be returning to South Berwick for a time. Upon his return, Schaller was bewildered by the woman’s affections and she got the message that he did not share her view. Eventually, Schaller and the aforementioned secretary married and are to this day as far as I know. The young protégé sadly no longer professes Christianity, lives in Maine and has been married to the same woman for nearly 32 years.
At the time, I also got engaged. Carl Stevens announced the engagement from the pulpit. My reasoning was that because I was not physically tempted by my fiancée that this must be a good prospect for no-touch love and that divine design would kick in sooner or later. We had some talks about the hours of sex, both of us considering it not without a great degree of trepidation. I later broke off the engagement and escaped to England. My ex-fiancée married another pastor and had twins. Whew!
One of the TBS staff members had once described his Bible College - Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music - as the Grand Rapids School of the Basketball and Marriage. The Northeast School of the Bible was fast becoming the Northeast School of the Bridegroom. From what I can remember, there seemed to be a wedding every Saturday in 1974 and 1975. I remember riding to Brunswick, Maine in the famous Lincoln with Carl Stevens and a roommate pastor of mine. My roommate was seeking divine guidance for his choice in a marriage partner and brought up the name of a new student from Maine. They had not even started seeing one another seriously and from what I understand were not even close to bringing up marriage. Carl told the young man after screwing up his face as if to check in with the divine hotline - Yes, she is the one. That marriage later ended in divorce.
Before revealing the doctrine of divine design, many of us trusted that Carl Stevens had some prophetic power of wisdom or discernment that could reveal to us whether the relationship we were in was of God or not. In 1973, shortly after the Bible speaks moved to South Berwick a dayschool opened and I was swept off my feet by the Kindergarten teacher. She was thirteen years older than me and had stunning red hair. We’d gotten to know each other on blitzes and at the home of a mutual friend who lived across the street from the property on Main Street. I thought, Surely this is the real thing; my thoughts were so consumed by the relationship that I could not keep my mind on anything else.
One evening I found myself walking back to Carl Stevens’ home alone with him. He lived in the house at the top of the hill at the back of the school property. When we arrived at his house, I invited myself in and sought guidance in the relationship. The only thing I could do was to profess undying love for this woman, who had been in the church for many years and had served in Germany as a missionary. Carl paced back and forth across the kitchen floor, as I rattled on about the relationship. Barbara Stevens, who passed away in the late 70s, was also present watching the proceedings. The more I talked, the more Carl paced. Finally, Barbara said, Why don’t you stand still? You can be the most aggravating man to try to talk to! Despite her presence in the background, Barbara Stevens was a wonderful person. Her trials during those years defy description, and someone who knows her better than I would have to bring them to light. Thanks be to God that the woman I was involved with had the good sense to end the relationship and avoid disaster. She later married David MacAdam. They are still married and have a great ministry and family. We served together planting what later came to be Colchester Christian Fellowship. They stayed in England for ten years.
During the first years in South Berwick, a receptionists office was located on the side street in a sort of porch area. During breaks taken by the receptionist, some of us covered the phone for her. One day David MacAdam’s father called the school looking for him and Scott Robinson answered the phone to an apparently crackly connection. Hello, the Bible Speaks, he said repeatedly, Hello, the Bible Speaks giving little time for a response. Finally, Mr.MacAdam shouted down the phone, YES, BUT DOES IT LISTEN? Some of us have wondered this concerning The Bible Speaks for years.
Part 7 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
When the Bible Speaks first moved into the building at 224 Main Street in South Berwick, there were no rules. There was not a time to go to bed, or to be back in the building. There were no separated restrooms or showers. This made for some great encounters. When the administration began to realize this, they attempted to put things right. One of these attempts was to make times for males and females to use the shower room in the basement of the dorm building. This did not always work out well. And there were people living in the basement - the Kenneys had their apartment down there and the shower noise sometimes disturbed them. Many of us worked at tanneries and nursing homes and arrived back to campus late and needed to be clean and ready for classes by eight the next morning - often after a dorm meeting where we were required to sing.
One evening I came home from one of a multitude of Joe jobs I had at Bible College and headed for the shower. I was wet and happy and using up what I imagined was the entire South Berwick hot water supply when I heard the water in the shower stall next to me turn on. I had put my soap at the top of the separating wall and was just rinsing off when I saw a hand take the bar of Dial - the hand had long red nails. I laughed what I thought was quietly and then I heard Margaret Redden’s voice shout out, Faucett, is that you? We argued about whose turn it was to use the shower and I hurried out as quickly as I could, without my soap.
A family quartet consisting of a mother and her three daughters used to be visiting singers at the early services we had at South Berwick. These women were one of many traveling groups and quartets that made the rounds of mainly Baptist churches around the country. These ladies were called the Alcorns, and it was Mama Alcorn who sang the bass part. These ladies all sported the same very odd hairstyle that was reminiscent of a porcelain doll, all having their bangs cut straight across the front. They sang rousing songs, like Lengthen the Cords and Strengthen the Stays, as I remember. They always got great applause and Carl Stevens seemed to appreciate having them around and took great pleasure in saying, and now, the Alcorns! After a service one Sunday, Mama Alcorn ventured into what she though was the ladies room off the lounge below the library. As she was just getting seated she noticed under the wall in the stall next to her another set of legs. Male legs. Out she went screaming. We never saw the Alcorns again.
We were encouraged in our early days in South Berwick to put our old clothes into a pile in the basement to be given away to the needy - or if you were the needy, you could find clothes there. Rob Howland had been appointed as the house Dad in the early weeks and was making his rounds one evening to find me, John Gardner and the two Cooley sisters laughing and playing dress up in the piles of clothes which were nearly two feet deep. We were laughing loudly until we saw Rob standing in the doorway, flashlight in hand. He did not say anything at first and he did not break a smile. He just looked at us and then looked at the pile of clothes. Our laughter died away and we just looked back, standing there looking stupid wearing oddly fitting suits, dresses, hats and ties. Finally, he just said, Go to bed, and walked off. We could hardly stifle our cackling.
Some of the students sought out their own special places in the buildings which were full of holes, indentions, hidden rooms, cellars and nooks. David MacAdam found a small space for an art studio for screen printing. Others found a place to read or practice music. Dave Norwood, who was nicknamed Strange Dave, found in the basement what appeared to be a wine, vegetable or root cellar with very short ceilings. He turned this into his own special grotto. Dave seemed to emerge from the depths of the earth each morning for class with permanent bed head in his disheveled red hair. Dave was a collector and an animal lover. Many of us had great times visiting Dave in the cellar, even during the time when it was thought that there were demons down there.
Stan Ashby’s classes were often in the early afternoon or late morning. This was just about the time when many of us were getting drowsy from working late or from having a filling lunch. He seemed to be able to expound without drawing a long breath for hours. On and on he went about Richard Rollo and Madame Guyon and other mystics who were spiritual giants. He was in the midst of one of these stirring monologues one very rainy day when most of us who were half asleep were jolted upright by Joel Kinney, aged 5 bursting into the classroom and shouting, The dog is having puppies under the trailer! Out we went, all twenty-five or so of us, to see the puppies under the trailer. Stan protested in vain. David Bennett got down on hands and knees in the mud to assist with the births. There were, as I remember, about five puppies. Now this dog was not just any dog, it was the Stevens’s family dog who’d come from Wiscasset with them. A number of students and family’s had brought their pets with them and often the early evenings produced a cacophony of chatter and howls.
Someone soon informed Carl Stevens that he was now the proud owner of all these new animals and was asked what he wanted done with the pups. While I did not personally hear the answer, David Bennett who owned a beautiful golden retriever named Sasha, was told bag ‘em and drown ‘em. It may have been a joke, but at least that was the report. Well, Strange Dave was having none of that. Down into the basement he went with the five muddy pups. And there in the basement he lived with those puppies until they were weaned. Our visits down to Dave’s lair became less frequent and shorter after this. And now not only could you see Dave coming up from the depths in the morning, you could smell him, too. Eventually, the pups grew large enough for Dave to find them new homes.
Now the South Berwick property was blessed to have a gazebo. This was a great place to hang out with friends in the early evenings to talk and just be together. It was also the only designated smoking area. So it provided plenty of sermon fodder for Carl Stevens who often peppered his sermons with references to the gazebo crowd. During the day, it was here you could see little Joel Kinney playing at the end of a long tether that his Mom had arranged for him. You had to have guts to hang out at the gazebo. You would soon get a name if you did.
Watching movies and listening to music was not encouraged at The Bible Speaks. Our lives were so full of classes and work that most of us found little time for it anyway. One evening a group of us decided to go to Dover, New Hampshire to the movies. There were at least four girls and five guys as I remember, and we went to see American Grafitti. This was Harrison Ford's big break by the way. The four girls sat in one row and the five of us guys sat behind them. Nobody touched. This was the first movie I had seen in over two years. Before I left for England, we all celebrated and went to see another movie - The Man Who Would Be King, with Michael Caine and Sean Connery, which was based on a story by Rudyard Kipling. Two movies in three years. I don’t know what the concensus is now, but then there was no interaction with the culture only disdain for it. In London, years later I was showing some new TBS missionaries the sights one day and was commenting on the architecture and history of the place when one of the women piped up to say, you know, since I became a Christian, none of this interests me anymore. I was dumbstruck. This attitude later seemed to be prevalent in TBS.
After the heartbreak of the relationship I mentioned earlier, I escaped to Scarborough to be a part of the work crew on the new building there. I was in a deep depression over the loss and didn’t know how to handle it. In an old bookstore I found a book called, Now We Are Six, by A.A. Milne along with another by the same author, The House at Pooh Corner. I had heard the song by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band by the same name and decided to buy both books. Before I knew it, I was hooked, and became a Winnie the Pooh freak at age 22. I also discovered classical music at this time, having been given a radio as a birthday present. The only station that would really come in clearly was the one with Start Your Day With Robert J. (Robert J. Lertsema) He played loads of Dvorak and Beethoven and Bach. I learned to love it. Now I wish I’d gotten one of those mugs or T-Shirts they hawked during pledge drives. During this time I also discovered C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R. Tolkein’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy. During every break I stuck my nose in one of these great books. Because of the work at Scarborough, I had to take an entire semester off from Bible College - but it was one of the best semesters I ever had.
Part 8 -----------------------------------------------------------
With the purchase of Telephone Time from a New Hampshire preacher, the popularity of Operation Spikenard, and the coffeehouse ministry expanding all over New England and the Sunday school bus ministry an empire was beginning. On radio, Carl Stevens claimed that God had given him specific knowledge of listeners’ ailments and times that God was going to heal them. One Springfield man disposed of his wheelchair as a testimony to Carl’s gifts. Rallies were held in the Boston and Portland areas to advance the healing ministry of Carl Stevens who like Kathryn Kuhlman before him claimed to know almost psychically who was going to be healed. People came forward in masses to have prayer offered for them. Others sought more long term help at the campus of TBS in South Berwick.
The Stevens family had long cared for an elderly gentleman who made wooden crosses out of matches whose name was Llewellyn. He lived in the basement of the parsonage in Wisscasset and then moved to South Berwick in early 1973. I was amongst those responsible for loading up the family’s belongings into a truck. We were not able to move Llewellyn smoothly. The truck was so packed tight that his beloved chair, though apparently tattered, worn and broken had to be left behind. Llewellyn always reminded me that it was me who discarded that chair, That was a good chair, he would say, and you threw it away. He was angry, but not too angry. Llewellyn is one of the bright memories of those times.
Another is Don Robson, who had a very large tumor on his back for years. You could tell how much Don loved God whenever you talked to him, if you made the time. Finally, Dr. Lee Hartmann removed the tumor and Don was free of his hunchback look. Don was responsible for cleaning the building and always did his job cheerfully and well. He was easy to overlook. He was a treasure to know if you did not overlook him. In time, others who were more troubled found their way to the South Berwick campus. I don’t know if it was because of the reputation that had been gained during those healing services or because people did not know where else to turn, but I am sure that we were ill equipped to handle the challenges some of these cases brought our way.
Eileen seemed to come out of nowhere, and she cried a lot. We came to know her as the girl with the demons. During her stay, she had been caught in a compromising situation with one of the male students on a hill behind the college. She had a volatile temper and was very unstable, changing from sweet to vicious in milliseconds. I had injured my knee horsing around in the hallways with some of the teenagers and had to be on crutches during the height of Eileen’s troubles. The front building in South Berwick not only contained the famous “Lafayette Bedroom,” it also contained a room with soda and snack machines called the Blue Room.
One afternoon, several of us were relaxing and talking in this room when Eileen arrived. She looked as sweet as any girl I’d ever seen, almost angelic. She sat down near us apparently listening to our conversation. I had my crutches resting on one leg with the other propped up on a chair to give a little relief to my injury and was busily making some point when I noticed in my peripheral vision Eileen rising from her chair and drawing closer to us. For some reason I got hold of my crutches, I guess to guard against her falling over them. I was carrying on the conversation when I noticed the expressions on the faces of my companions change with apparent horror. I turned to see Eileen sporting two gleaming barbecue forks she’d hidden up her sleeves, and she had them aimed at me. As I scrambled like a wounded duck for the door, flailing crutches and all, someone else subdued her.
On a night after a service, Carl Stevens summoned every one present in the building at South Berwick into the cafeteria. Eileen was there, her compromising situation was made known and she was surrounded by a variety of big men and spiritual people. Carl gave a short speech about demon possession and began to address the demons resident in Eileen. There was coughing and crying and all sorts of spewing. She shouted and cursed. Carl began to ask the demons their names. He began to discern them. He and others of us were caught up in the moment commanding the demons to leave in the name of Jesus. The demons resident in her were challenged with their plans for some of us - there was lust and lying and a party spirit - they were all commanded to depart. This calling out of demons was tiring and lasted until the early hours. A place was later found for Eileen, who after her ordeal appeared to be angelic yet again, at the Teen Challenge farm in Pennsylvania.
Other families sent their sick and troubled relatives to South Berwick for help in later months. One family sent their anorexic daughter who while in her twenties weighed less than seventy pounds. From time to time I sat with her, reading to her in the nurse’s room (I was working as an orderly at a nursing home at the time.) She told me over and over, I’m a pig, I’m such a pig! I am sure most of us felt helpless as to what we could offer her. She would eat very little, and it was difficult to get her to eat anything. She just said, “I can’t eat, I’m so fat.” When she left she had gained five pounds. I do not know if she got medical help or if she survived her illness.
One evening, the boys in the dorm returned home to find we had a new resident. It was one of the prominent older members of the Portland ministry and he’d taken one of the empty beds. And he was absolutely out of his mind. Someone had bothered to address him, Hi, Mr. A, how is it going. The fellow nearly exploded, shouting, Can’t you see? Don’t you understand? It is I, Jesus the Alpha and the Ofega, The beginning and the end! There was no correcting him, I am the Alpha and the Ofega, Jesus, the King of Kings, he ranted. Finally a nurse arrived with some sedative. You could learn a lot living in the boys’ dorm in those days.
Dennis was rumored to be a Viet Nam war veteran who’d suffered from shell shock. He rarely ever spoke to anyone but walked around behaving as if he were in an asylum. In fact, I think he’d come from the psychiatric ward of a nearby Vet’s hospital. It was thought that the ministry could help him. Dennis loved to watch out for guys in the dorm who might be attempting to walk through the small openings in the wall of lockers that separated the two sides of the large room. He would then quickly step into the space and bump into the unwary person exclaiming, uh ohhhh. He would emerge from the line in the cafeteria with a full tray of food and unnoticed, walk to the center of the room while the place was a flurry of activity and conversation. He would look around with eyes big and round - hold his tray at eye level and drop it. Uh oohhhh. It got to the point where Dennis had to be escorted to the table to eat. This was not a pretty sight either.
Not all the troubled folks lived in the dorms, others only showed up where I happened to be sitting on any given service night. The services began with rousing choruses, worship in harmony and praises, and ended with shouts and proclamations of awesome and amazing. They also ended with one particular lady being slain in the Spirit directly in my path every Thursday and Sunday night. This was not a small person. It got to the point where I became agile - injured knee and all - in bounding over her prostrate form. She never managed to hit her head on a single metal chair on her way down. Never once did she injure herself on the hard floor. I began to wonder if she practiced this stunt at home
Part 9 --------------------------------------------------
Oley arrived at the Northeast School of the Bible about the same time as Stan Ashby was revealing the identity of the Antichrist to us. And Oley the student probably took better notes in all the classes than any of the rest of us. While Oley could display some violent temper tantrums biting and scratching others and he was mentally handicapped to the point where he could not live alone in society, no one could deny that Oley was a savant who loved God. Oley could listen to a tape or a message, read a book, watch TV, take notes and talk all at the same time. A quick review of his notes revealed that he had captured Carl Stevens in full throttle verbatim, down to the pause and every last interjection. It was amazing. Oley talked very slowly, often interjecting at the most inopportune of times an odd question, or a HAAAALLLLEEELUUUUUJAAAAAAHHH TOOO JJJJEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSUUSSSS When I injured my knee in the hallway horsing around with Peter McDonough, it was Oley who kneeled over me to pray for me, DEEAARR LOOOOORRRRRDDD JEEEEESSSSUUSSSS, PPLLEEEEAAASSSE HEEEEALLL MY BROOOTTTTHHHHEEERRR, JIMMMMM, he said, laying on hands to assure me as well. Oley's father was a hospital administrator who thought his son would thrive in a new environment, and I'm sure he paid well for the privilege. One day Oley missed his ride to one of the services and was left behind in South Berwick on his own. The police returned him later finding him nearly 40 miles away near Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
In the summer of 1975, many of us had been recruited by someone to go down to Boston to set up some bleachers for one of the events preparing for the inauguration of the celebrations for the nations bicentennial. It was hard manual labor. After we finished work, some of us made our way into Boston's Italian neighborhood near the Old North Church made famous by Paul Revere's ride. Being a lover of cannolis after having spent six months in Sicily in the Navy, I set out to find a bakery with a reputation for having the best. Imagine our shock to find the bakery was owned and run by a Sicilian named Victor Draco, cannoli baker extraordinaire, who sported the exact name Stan Ashby had assigned to the coming Antichrist.
While we were in Boston, we witnessed to a young man who had been working at a circus named Bill. We brought him home to live with us in South Berwick. He seemed to have made a decision for Christ, but after several days, Circus Bill disappeared and so did David MacAdam's checkbook along with his remaining balance. Bill was never heard from again. There were others who came for a few days and left, like the mysterious people dressed all in white. They claimed to know the Lord, ate our food and then left. There was Guy who always wore a wool cap. There was Peter who was sad and disturbed and Billy Perry a talented musician recruited by David Bennett who never seemed to recover from his addictions. There was Peter with the Greek name who took the scripture literally that commanded the plucking out of the offensive eye.
There was a girl named Rita who was found living in a Boston area graveyard who came and stayed for a long time. There was a woman named Chris who left the dormitory to live off campus. She was accused of witchcraft and of leaving the body. Sunshine and Bubba were two street hooligans from Portland who came to stay for awhile, but were eventually unable to get the street life out of themselves, even after they'd been given new names, Matthew and Mark. Then there was the guy who looked like the classic Jesus picture common in children's bedrooms who sat up late with us in the cafeteria trying to prove to us that he could not become a Christian because he could not stop sinning. He kept his Bible in a beautiful velvet bag and even though he'd owned it for a long time, it looked brand new.
Some of the ones we invited in came and were really converted to Christ. Mark Bell was won in an outreach in one of the Maine towns. He was, like me, a long-haired wild eyed Southern boy. We used to greet one another, even after not seeing one another for many months with a Man you are so ugly joke. He would say, You are still ugly, you know they spanked your Momma when you were born, to which I would respond, Man, you are so ugly I heard your Momma had to pay the other kids to play with you.? It went on in the corniest manner, You are so ugly they had to tie a pork chop around your neck to get the dog to play with you, and "I heard they got a new spelling of the word uggly? Just in your honor you are so uggly they had to add an extra 'g'. We were probably the only two guys in all the Bible College who knew there were more than four ways to eat grits. Those jokes were old and corny then, too, but we had fun trying to best one another, just saying,Man you are so ugly...caused us to fall apart laughing.
Mark Bell left The Bible Speaks in the early 80's after the Walter Martin report. He wrote to me explaining why he'd left outlining the harm done to people in the Brockton ministry after Carl Stevens had authorized the taking of money from the sale of a woman's house into the Lenox coffers. It was originally intended to help purchase a church in Brockton. Mark went to California with the Huffs to work with Richard Wurmbrand's ministry - Voice of the Martyrs. I responded hotly to his letter asking how he could leave a ministry that was so obviously anointed by God, validated by the gifts of the Spirit and the constant winning of thousands of souls around the world." This letter destroyed our friendship. I regret that letter to this day. Mark had started studying Martin Luther's classic, Bondage of the Will in the late seventies. He later indicated that he wanted to be a Lutheran pastor. I read a few pages of his copy at the time, ignorantly and anachronistically passing Luther off as a hypercalvinist. Later the book changed my life. Mark Bell, if you are out there, brother, I love you. But you are so ugly.
Bill Starr came and stayed. We all thought he was really old. He was around thirty-five at the time and ran his own business across the street from the school in South Berwick. He and David Huff became fast and lasting friends, constantly joking with one another. David had a way with terms that caught on and caused no small amount of hilarity. He dubbed Bill, Little Billy, very affectionately. Upon observing Mike Graves's cohorts and followers at his Rhode Island church David dubbed some of Mike's handlers Mikie's Monkeys.
Jim Faucett Part 10 ------------------------------------------------------------
There were no fewer than thirty-six things which happened to every believer at the moment of salvation according to Carl Stevens, who also claimed there were twenty-nine different types of anointing and six types of music acceptable to God. In one class, no doubt Psychology and the Bible or something like it Carl demonstrated how the Spirit could lead him from the teaching anointing to the preaching anointing to the broken anointing-he went from a slow elocution of points to ranting to dripping real tears. We were all in awe. God was good and spoke to us through Carl. And Carl was so sensitive to God. In homiletics class we got to practice this for ourselves. I preached on Hosea's first chapter while Carl monitored from his office - I was called on to preach with him the next Sunday morning. It was a disaster. Of all of us, Joel Freeman was probably the most animated of all. He wore bib overalls and had hair to rival Bozo the clown that bounced as he loved to pace. He preached for well over an hour at Chapel one day-walking up and down the center aisle-kneeling, crying, shouting. I cannot remember a thing he said, but I will never forget that delivery.
Carl liked numbers of things. Thirty six and twenty-nine and six types of music. We all knew that at least one of the types of music was country and western, never mind the- who-did-what-wrong-to-whom-behind the barn nature of the beast. All the quartets would eventually have their great competition in the heavenlies. We also knew that none of the music God approved of was in the minor keys, never mind the groaning of all creation and traditional Jewish music. What were the other four or five types of music of which God approved? It could not possibly have been classical because some of the major composers were queer like Tchaikovsky, and others were mad like Beethoven. Never mind that Bach signed off each composition with Soli Deo Gloria, to God Alone be the Glory. And of course, God did not like rock and roll. I guess we'll never know about the other four.
Larry Norman once wrote a song called Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music. A line in it spoke of hair styles, I grew it long to make room for my brain! I had the long hair but Dick Andrews, pilot to Carl Stevens knew all the lyrics to the good music. Dick had a stutter that was painful to listen to-it even distorted his face when he spoke. But Dick never stuttered when he was quipping lyrics of old rock and roll songs to nearly everything that came up in conversation.
You could say, I feel sick to my stomach, and Dick would come out flawlessly Yummy, yummy, yummy I've got love in my tummy. Someone brought up some news and Dick would sing I Heard it Through the Grapevine. You could be the driver of the day in Carl Stevens' car with him going a little over the speed limit and off he'd go Son, you're gonna' drive me to drinkin' If you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln. I am sure that if he ever got a good solid bump to the cranium he'd start wailing, Yes I think I'm going out of my head over you, over you. And he wouldn't even trip over a single word.
Rock being of the devil was bad news for me. I had seen Jimi Hendrix live, playing Wild Thing with his teeth the summer before I joined the Navy, and had stood less than ten feet away as Alvin Lee and Ten Years After did "Going Home." I had even played blues harmonica with a local band in Shreveport before traveling back up to Maine. It was only rock and roll but I liked it, yes I did. On one occasion at John's Pizza in Dover a group of us were sitting with Carl Stevens at a table-the juke box was just behind Carl. While we were digging in to the pepperoni and sausage, another customer came up while Carl was in full flow and put his dime in-the song was unmistakable-Sympathy for the Devil. Bobby O demanded that the owner turn it off. Sure enough he did.
On New Year's Eve in 1975, five of us broke the rules. We went on a road trip. From Maine to Florida. Robin Robinson, Laurel Elderkin, Bob Anderson, Mark Bell and I left South Berwick at nearly one in the morning and headed south on I-95. I had just recently received a car from the church in Worcester that I'd been pasturing-a year old Mercury Montego-yes, and it was that 70s lime green. We made it to the South Bronx in the early hours-I bet the other guys I could make it through the Lincoln Tunnel in less than half an hour. I think I made it because the city was absolutely empty. We stopped along the way and stayed with various friends and relatives of each of us. We slept on floors and in the car. At one point Laurel and Bob got into an argument and Bob shoved a grapefruit (from Florida) in her face ala Cagney. I have never seen a redhead so livid. Bob is fortunate to be alive and to have all his parts.
Our stop in Boone, North Carolina was probably the most interesting. I had an eccentric uncle who had agreed to put us up for a couple of days. We knew it was going to be strange right from the time he gave us directions to his house, Ya can't miss it, it's the only one with a full size steam engine in the front yard. Uncle Lawrence loved to stoke up the engine and blow a variety of whistles much to the annoyance of the local citizenry. The engine was also hooked up to a full size log saw. His garage door was covered with the hides of every living mammal in the southeast, and he had a special surprise in the freezer he kept in the garage. He took us all in together, swearing us to secrecy. We stood in awe as he pulled out two frozen snakes, done in with a single bullet fired by Uncle Lawrence during the snakes' mating dance, still stiff in exactly the position of their demise. They were a movin' just like this, he exclaimed, as he waved the frozen serpents over his head in the air. Mark and I knew we were in the South when a full breakfast was served-eggs, bacon, ham, sausage (home made), hash browns, biscuits and yes, grits.
We made it to Florida where Mark finally connected with his Dad that he had not spoken to for some time. He explained his conversion and his decision to pursue a Bible college education. He witnessed Christ to his family. We learned that Mark Bell was actually from a Greek family, and that Bell was short for a name that ended in opodopoulous or something like it. His Dad's nickname was Spider, and they lived in Venice. We ate a lot of citrus and took a lot back with us. We stopped at every weird truck stop we could find including that one called South of the Border, that has signs warning you that you're arriving - Just 217 Miles to South of the Border, Amigo! Well, the anticipation was just too much for us. This is the kind of place where you can buy those stuffed Mexican frogs dressed up like Mariachis or little outhouses with the door that opens to reveal the little angry man sitting there. I can't remember if we were scolded when we returned. The five of us never traveled anywhere together again.
South Berwick was a small town of just over 2500, I think, back in 1973. We called the locals Townies and they all seemed to have the last name Boston or were related to them. There was Rhonda Boston who was in a car accident and got a big settlement. There were the redheaded twins whose names escape me. There were others like the heavy duty Corvette Guy who hung around the store across the street and just stared at us. There was the lovely Gretchen Benoit who joined the church and provided her cool old classic Ford as transportation for our coffeehouse and Bible study ministry. There were the shoe factory workers and the Kaplans who owned the tannery.
And there was Donnie Boston. It was Donnie's panel van that David Huff bought and used to go to Mexico with the first team concept mission. Donnie had parked the thing on TBS property and put several noses out of joint in doing so. He was a pretty angry guy and didn't like us religious folks much. One bright fall day as I was coming out the front door onto Main St. Donnie just happened to be turning onto the street alongside. We made eye contact and it was not pleasant. He slammed on the brakes and jumped out of the van and walked menacingly towards me. Thinking quickly, I stuck out my hand, Hey, I'm Jim, how's it going? He was for some reason totally taken aback. He got back in the van and drove off. Later that week in the evening he was in his new Jeep CJ5 driving past the school. Again we had eye contact. Again he slammed on the brakes. He motioned toward the Jeep. How's it going? Want to go break it in with me? I got in happily.
We drove all over South Berwick's streets and through Somerset and Dover. We were gone for hours and had a blast. Coming back to the school, Donnie attracted the attention of one of South Berwick's finest and before too long the lights were flashing in the mirror. We started to slow down and the cop car started to pull over. At the last second, as the door of the cop car opened, Donnie changed his mind and sped off. He headed up alongside the TBS property and turned right past Carl Stevens's house. I ducked. The cop car was just feet behind us. There was a rocky footpath going further up the hill behind Carl's house. It led to an underground water tank or something, and open woods. As the cop closed in, Donnie made a left onto the footpath and effortlessly headed up the hill in the Jeep. The cop attempted to follow but became hopelessly hung up on the rocks. We drove over fields, downed a fence or two, over logs and branches in four wheel drive until something put a hole in the radiator. We limped back into town past the Civil War monument and parked behind the row of buildings across from TBS, where I thanked Donnie for the entertainment and got out. Lois Douglas was the police dispatcher at the time, and the police station was in an old school building down the street from the property. She told everyone how a Jeep had got away from one of the cops, and how the police car got stuck on the hill. They were pretty sure it was Donnie Boston's new Jeep but they could not see who was in it with him.
Jim Faucett, Part 11 --------------------------------------
In light of the progress, or lack of it, made on this board, I have decided to discontinue this story for now - other than to provide a summary of the events that followed my departure from South Berwick in March of 1976 that eventually led to my leaving the Bible Speaks for good.
David MacAdam and David Bennett had been sent to England in 1975 immediately following graduation and ordination. I was ordained as well, was serving as pastor in Worcester and Sanford, Maine and had planned to go to Sicily. I joined the MacAdams in March of 1976. We were attacked in the national press due to the distress we had caused parents of some of our members. We were labeled as a cult, and the headlines of the News of the World (owned by Rupert Murdoch) read End of the World Cult Turns Girls Into Zombies. Our local Brentwood, Essex paper read BRAINWASHED? and featured pictures of myself and David MacAdam on the front page. This ministry grew into a church of 200 by the late 70s. We were joined by John Gardner and others. Many pastors, including the current national pastors were raised up as a result.
I do not revel in this time in my life as it revealed stunning personal and spiritual weaknesses as a pastor, husband, and father. These weaknesses devolved into sinfulness on all fronts, for which I am truly sorry. I removed myself from ministry more than once because I did not meet the requirements in 1 Timothy 3. I brought myself into a relationship of accountability with godly men, in which relationship I continue. If you are reading this, and I have sinned against you, please give me the opportunity to ask your forgiveness. We were novices who were ordained too quickly. We were not grounded in the scriptures. We should have known better. Yet I believe God did great things in spite of us. That church is still there in some form I believe, complete with national leaders.
I left England for a period of nearly seven years, served in Massachusetts and Ohio as a pastor and then went to university in Texas beginning in August, 1981. While in Texas our family attended Miles McKee’s church in San Marcos. I graduated in 1982 and was admitted to law school at Texas Tech in Lubbock in 1983 - where I also taught at a Bible school attached to a charismatic church we attended. With a troubled marriage and a child on the way, I left law school and departed for England a second time.
This was partly at the suggestion of Carl Stevens. He had indicated to me by phone that someone was needed to go the UK to begin a ministry because David MacAdam had departed from the fold, having the audacity to change the name of his church. Upon attending the convention at Lenox in 1984, I was told by Carl Stevens that David had always hated me, spoke against me cruelly behind my back, and had worked to undermine me while I was in the UK the first time. He also said that David had committed the sin unto physical death for departing from his spiritual father. Carl was my pastor, why shouldn’t I believe him. Later, I proved all those things that Carl had said to be untrue. And David MacAdam is still very much alive to my knowledge. I went to the UK, and began to work on planting a church in North Wales and in Ellesmere Port.
The church in North Wales was just beginning to get off the ground when our US support dropped dramatically because of the Dovydenas case. I started a business trading on the US bases and later moved to London to take a job as a corporate trainer. I began attending a local Anglican church, and in 1988 was confirmed as an Anglican. I began to really study expository preaching and teaching listening to Dick Lucas, then rector at St.Helen’s Church Bishopsgate. It was like being born again, again. I had never heard anything like it. I was hearing EXPOSITION not weird, unique contrived doctrines as I was taught by Carl Stevens. I began to read the Reformers - Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, Knox and others such as Bunyan and Owen and Jonathan Edwards. I couldn’t get enough. I compared the Reformed Confessions with what I had been taught and could not imagine how out of sync with historical Christianity I really was. I was also amazed at how very few dispensationalists there are outside the US!
For sake of brevity - this was the defining moment for me - a sequence of events that took place in Holland in either 1986 or 1987. I had driven to Harwich and taken the ferry to the Hague and then on to the conference site. All the favorites were there and Carl too. And Terry Zester. At one point, I saw him enter one of the residence rooms alone with her and close the door behind him and it brought back that memory of when I had waited some fifteen years earlier for him outside her house in Maine. Another Pastor friend told of how he had been recruited by Carl to guard the door for Carl and Terry in a room alone at the conference in London in 1977. Still another tells of leaving the ministry after he and his wife saw Carl emerging from the room where Terry was staying at Schermerhorn in Lenox. This was not in itself enough for me. I couldn’t see through the doors. All I knew was appearance. This was the same pastor who’d always taught us to leave the door open while you’re in a room alone with a woman.
That evening at the service, Carl Stevens preached one of those Guard Your Heart messages that we’d heard frequently in years past. Only this time he had a word of knowledge that exactly seven people had specifically been spoken to by the Holy Spirit and he wanted those seven and only those to raise their hands. He asked for every head to be bowed. At that one instant I began to gain my freedom. I did not bow my head. He locked eyes with me, And now with every head bowed… Still not bowing, And if you are not bowing your head you will be sinning the sin of pride. Oh well, pride is forgivable, I guess. Still not bowing. All right, you seven raise your hands… Hands began to go up - eyes still locked. Six, seven - eyes still locked, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, and on and on. Okay, Pastor_____, how many hands do you see? Carl then whispered something quickly to the Finn, Seven! he said. Finnish math, I thought, must be a wonderful thing. But I could not say anything. What was I supposed to do? I was the only one, so I believed who’d just seen this! The only one with head unbowed. I walked out. Even now it would be my word against theirs - but I saw what I saw. And it was over for me. After that, I began to question everything I had ever been taught.
Fast forward to 2002. I have been through a divorce (one) and am remarried (once), very happily. I am on the Internet and run across the Alan Lang story. I make some calls. I find out about the situation of a certain pastor who has just been ousted from the ministry and attempt to find out from him if he knows anything about Alan Lang. He calls Dan Lewis, who after more than ten years of silence calls me, once again as the heavy-handed enforcer for Carl Stevens. He tells me that it is all a lie. He says that Alan Lang is mentally unstable, a liar and a criminal who was soon to be prosecuted for mail fraud. They had fingerprint evidence that was being presented as we were speaking. We discussed 1 Timothy 5:19-20. Dan said the witnesses were the ones who were to be rebuked publicly before all for bringing anything against the elder, who was only to be corrected by God himself. So Paul Stevens absolutely did not have an affair with a married woman and this guy Lang is a basket case? I asked. That’s absolutely right, said Dan. You should seek a legal remedy then. We are looking in to it, replied Dan. The message was clear from Dan Lewis - back off.
Finally, in January or February of 2002, I made contact with the Langs. We spoke by phone for several weeks and then I called Dan Lewis. I told him that I had spoken to BOTH husband and wife and that they BOTH confirmed the affair. Dan had nothing more of substance to say. Then there were those emails. I told the Langs that they needed legal representation, which they found in the Baltimore area. Their lawyer presented the case under seal to Michael Marr while Carl and Paul were in Eastern Europe. I have never seen a case settled out of court so quickly. I have maintained contact with the Langs ever since.
Obviously to all by now, I have been posting on other threads as Cordell Walker. I have done so only to be able to finish this. I will now post only as myself. I plan to deal with the question of the Word and Spirit, the Conspiracy Issue, and how I believe GGWO differs from evangelical Christianity. I will also continue to add to the suggested reading site. Again, if I have wronged you in anyway over the years please contact me.
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