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This is an attempt to summarize some of the highlights of my life. 
Unfortunately, I never kept a daily diary because I never intended to review my 
years in this manner. However, three reasons have urged me on. First, my 
daughters would like me to do it. Second, my involvement in the college and its 
forerunners for approximately 49 years may add some items of interest to our 
history. Third, God's dealing with each of us is a lesson in His ways that 
influence others, especially the younger generation. 


My father, Lester Daniel Miles, was born June 27,1875, on a farm in West 
Olive, MI. His father Charles was one half Dutch. His mother Frances was 
English. Charles enlisted at age 18 to serve in the Union Army in the Civil War. 

It is known that on two occasions he nearly lost his life. The first occurred while 
he was serving in the artillery. He was a horseman whose responsibility it was 
to transport the guns from one position to another. At the Battle of Gettysburg, 
he left his horses in the charge of another for relief. Soon thereafter, the horses 
and his relief were destroyed by a shell. Another time, he was lying behind a 
huge boulder when a shell exploded in front of him. His hair was singed but he 

The family's 160 acre farm at West Olive was probably a homestead given 
to Civil War veterans. It was poor land but they made the best of it. There were 
no churches in the area and neither Charles nor Frances reflected any spiritual 
influence from a local source. In those days, there were evangelists across 
America who traveled from one school house to another holding evangelistic 
meetings. When my father was nine or ten, a meeting was being held in the local 
school by a man named Jake Mabrey. Charles and some other farmers decided 
to go and break up the meeting. God had other plans so Charles, being 
captivated by the Word, trusted Christ as his Savior at age 38. When this story 
was related to me, my father's younger brother Fred said that Charles was a 
completely changed man. He began daily Bible reading and prayer in the home 
which he continued until his death at age 75. The effect of this conversion on my 
father is unknown except that he seemed to have gained a respect for the Bible in 
his home. Frances never went along with her husband's faith and my father 
wouldn't have been aware of any changes as he ran away at 14 in order to live 
with his Uncle Ben in Rives Junction, MI. 

My mother, Susie Rosalin Truax, was born in Wayland, MI on April 30, 
1878. Her father, George Albert, was a descendant of Huguenots who had fled 
France to escape religious persecution. They came by way of Holland and along 
the way changed their name from Detuax to Truax. He found himself in New 
York there he met his wife Amelia. After the Civil War, they secured a 
homestead in Wisconsin. George moved first and Amelia followed for their 
marriage in Grand March, Wisconsin in 1868. (Legend has it, however, that 

Amelia met George in a small hotel dining room where he was staying overnight 
on his way to Wisconsin. She was his waitress and accepted his proposal of 
marriage, later joining him in WI for the marriage.) After a short stay in WI, they 
moved to Wayland, MI where they secured a farm. Later, he opened a furniture 
store in Wayland and they were known to be well off compared to the farmers in 

My father somehow wandered to Wayland and became acquainted with 
the Truaxes- and with his future wife Susie. There is some question as to what 
was the greatest spiritual influence in their lives. There were a few Methodist 
preachers in Wayland who influenced them but Susie's brother Bert seems to 
have been the key to her spiritual life as well as to the spiritual life of their sister 
Bessie. Bert was closely linked to the Mell Trotter mission in Grand Rapids and 
his testimony was strong enough to have affected my father as well. 

My grandfather George must have been an interesting challenge for the 
traveling evangelists of his day. While not a heavy drinker, he habitually came 
home tipsy whenever he would visit town. Nevertheless, all evangelists who 
visited the Methodist church in town would find George seated on the front pew. 
Everyone pleaded for him to go to the altar but always he refused. But every 
opportunity, there he was on the front row. I have often wondered why he 
seemed to love the preaching of the Word but would never respond to an 
invitation. Perhaps, somewhere he saw profession without possession and 
determined never to be a hypocrite. Bessie did ask him whether he believed 
when, at the age of 83, he was bed-ridden because of cancer of the hand and arm. 
He responded that he did and died two weeks later. Somehow, I think he did 
believe unto salvation. 

Bessie was the enthusiast and was quite persistent when she put her mind 
to it. Since they lived on a farm, new clothes were rare. She wanted a new dress 
and begged and begged without results. One day, her dad drove up to a closed 
gate and was on top of a load of hay. He called to Bessie to open the gate to 
which she replied, "I will when you promise to get me that dress." He became 
furious and commanded her to open the gate only to receive the same reply. He 
sputtered and finally said, "OK, open the gate." The next day when he drove to 
town, she was seated beside him and returned dressed in a new dress. 

Lester and Susie eventually made wedding plans. Before their marriage, 
however, Dad wanted to make his fortune so he secured a job in the construction 
of the continental railroad west of Laramie, Wyoming. Shortly before the 
wedding, a typhoid fever epidemic broke out in the construction camp and the 
camp was quarantined. Determined not to miss his wedding, Dad and another 
fellow decided to walk out at night and snuck back to Laramie carrying their 
small trunks on their backs. Lrom there, they caught a train back to Michigan 
and Dad and Mother were married on December 26,1900. They were married in 
the Methodist church in town and were strong Christians, involved in the 
ministry of the local assembly. Mother played the pump organ and sang alto in 
the choir. Dad led the singing and sang duets with mother. 


After marriage, our parents went to live on a farm near Dorr. Having 
been raised on farms, both were farmers at heart. It was at this time that the first 
of seven children, Nelson Appleton, was born on May 9,1902. Six inches of 
snow and Uncle Bert welcomed Nelson as Bert suggested the name after a 
general who directed the Spanish-American War. 

In 1903, the young family moved to Wayland. Dad was developing an 
urge for the business world and, when I was born on April 28,1904, Dad was 
buying and selling eggs. As a result, he was not at home when I put in my 
appearance and no doctor was readily available. Fortunately, Grandma Truax 
was there and dealt with the situation by running out of the house and up and 
down the street screaming. This must have drawn the attention of a doctor who 
come and brought peace out of the chaos. Anyhow, I survived the event. 

The business idea was in full force by this time for my father so we moved 
to Grand Rapids where he operated a meat market. Nelson had also caught the 
business bug and made his first significant deal of many in his long career as a 
lawyer. Apparently, he had been given a new sled for Christmas and was out 
playing when a Polish boy came along with a ball and offered a trade. Nelson 
considered this an even swap and the deal was made. Our parents, of course, 
did not agree but the other boy was nowhere to be found. To this day, Nelson is 
trying to bring legal action against every Pole in Grand Rapids. It was also 
during this time that Charles Frederick was born on January 29,1906. 

The meat business was not much more successful for Dad, so we moved 
back to Wayland in 1907 o Grandpa Truax's 160 acre farm, three miles west of 
town. We had over 20 cows to be milked by hand and all activity focused 
around those animals. Mother shared in the milking. She was up in the morning 
at 4:30 and the milking went until 8:00. The daily routine consisted of carrying 
the three boys to the barn and putting them in a big box so they wouldn't wander 
and then carrying us back to the house twice a day. Sometimes I wonder how 
she ever survived. 

Ruth Almira was born December 20,1907 and it was about this time that I 
begin to remember things that were happening on the farm. One of the most 
vivid memories was the butchering days and the squealing of the hogs. 
Butchering was a community event as a scalding kettle was readied with a fire 
under it. After slaughtering, the hogs would be put in the scalding water after 
which the hair would be scraped off and the hogs would be cut up. I also 
remember the threshing days. We would run down to the road and watch the 
threshing machine approach, then find a place where we could watch. The 
wheat bundles were pitched into the separator and the golden streams of wheat, 
to our amazement, came out the other end. 

One time I could not be found. My parents searched the pig pen, the barn 
yard where the bull was and even lifted the big stone from the cover of the water 
tank that fed the water to the cows and horses. No Georgie! Finally, Dad 
remembered the cat and her kittens and how much I loved to play with them. I 
had rolled under the door to the machine shed. The stored scalding kettle was 


propped up about 12 inches and under the kettle they found our cat, her kittens, 
and me curled up and asleep. 

I also enjoyed filling silos. Several neighbors would help as an engine was 
used to chop the corn and blow it up a pipe into the top. I have never figured 
out why cows like that vile smelling stuff. And I always pitied people who grew 
up in the city. Have you ever followed your father plowing and walk in that 
fresh furrow with bare feet? Or follow the dog when he went to get the cows? 
How about picking apples in your own orchard or hickory nuts and walnuts? 
They were saved for winter nights when we had popcorn. I also loved being in 
the hay mow and trampling down the hay or riding our old horse Jim to the 
barn. Some folks just don't know what fun is. 

Winters were harsh in Michigan. The snow banks were higher than our 
heads. That didn't change the fact that we had to go to school and Nelson and I 
used to walk the half mile to the schoolhouse. We went barefoot most of the time 
and one day we had to stop in a friend's house halfway home as our feet could 
no longer take the cold from the snow. Dad came and picked us up. The other 
big memory from our early school days was the outdoor toilets. The older boys 
had to scrub down the boys' toilet and I've always held a grudge against our 
woman teacher for that chore. I remember the big stone we used to pass, the 
knapsack song book, and our slates on which we would write. That old one 
room school has been gone for some time. 

Dad had finally given up on the business dream and instead wanted his 
own farm. So, he acquired the "farm on the hill" in 1910 about three miles south 
east of Wayland. Tressie Delphine was born there on June 21,1912. Nelson also 
experienced two severe threats to his life. He stepped on a plank with two spikes 
sticking up. It pierced his foot from the instep to the top. Pneumonia also 
overtook him and our parents were up all night with hot compresses until the 
fever broke about 4 in the morning. In case that weren't enough trauma for one 
childhood, Ruth tried to kill him by dropping a large rock on his head. 

The farm offered several opportunities for exposure to animals. Mother 
asked Nelson and me to kill our first chicken for dinner. I held the chicken's 
head on the block and Nelson swung the ax. He partly severed the head and I 
immediately dropped the squawking chicken. Death came slowly and the poor 
thing finally expired after covering the entire back yard with blood. Our dad 
then gave us a pet lamb. We tied it to a tree while we went to church, only to 
return to a strangled animal laying on the ground. The second pet lamb 
experienced the same fate. 

I had an early lesson in choosing good company. We had a neighbor aged 
11 with whom we used to spend time. Nelson was 9 at the time and Chuck and I 
were younger. One day, we were all down in the woods and the neighbor boy 
showed us how to smoke grapevine. We did not let Chuck try it but we 
promised him a wagon for Christmas if he would not tell. Anxiously, we started 
home when Chuck took off and arrived before us. When we pulled in, Dad 
knew all the details and we were met at the door with the razor strap, the chief 


punishing weapon. We bawled before and quite a while after the treatment. I 
admit that one experience cured me from smoking for life. 

Winter arrived and we had a Sunday School outing at our farm. Dad 
made a big sled and plowed a nice hill for sliding. After the guests had left, Dad 
took Mother to the hill to give her the fun of a nice sled ride. She got on. Dad 
shoved her down the hill where the sled hit a big rock and threw Mother 
through the air. he landed on her back and was badly hurt. It caused her to be 
in bed for a time and her back troubled her the rest of her life. 

We traveled to and from church in the sleigh in the winter. Dad would 
carry his shot gun on moon bright nights and shoot rabbits along the way. In the 
summer, the wildlife of choice was snakes and our dog loved to hunt rattlers. He 
killed quite a few and Dad had a can full of their tails. Nelson and I were 
responsible for moving the sheep to another pasture when we encountered a big 
blue racer. I am sure it went between our legs and into a brush pile. We were 
barefoot and had to be careful so we ran and told Dad. He came with the shot 
gun, jumped on top of the brush pile and startled the snake into giving up his 
hiding place. That huge snake had a short life from that point on as Dad was a 
good shot. Dad also fished on the lake behind the farm and we had fish on the 
table with regularity. 

Summers included playing in the hay mound, straw stack and climbing 
trees. We also used to play with a discarded buggy frame which had wheels 
with part of the rim broken on one wheel. Never mind the danger, we used to 
belly flop this on the hills. We also saw Haley's comet when it lit up the night 

Food was great on the farm. We loved coming home form school for cold, 
leftover pancakes. With a little butter and brown sugar, these were a great snack. 
Sunday nights always feature corn meal mush, coated with butter and sugar. 

Dad tapped maple trees for maple syrup and sugar and we learned early to hand 
churn cream for our butter supply. One year, Dad had a terrific crop of potatoes- 
only to be wasted on pigs because there was no ready market. 

Mother got her first man powered washing machine while we lived on the 
hill. We still took our Saturday night bath in the wash tub and mother would 
hang our long-john fleece-lined underclothes out to dry in freezing weather. 

They got stiff but they were dry. 

Dad was going through another transformation. He was becoming a 
Christian example in the church at Wayland and was also becoming a good Bible 
teacher. Our home was full of songs of Zion. We children loved to sing choruses 
and memorized the Golden text each week. Dad also began to do a little 
preaching. God used an incident on the farm to challenge Dad. Dad drove his 
prize horse to Wayland. On the way home the horse died of a heart attack. I can 
still see Dad, dejected, walking home with the bridle on his arm. I believe this 
was God's way of speaking to him about the ministry. 

In late 1911, we moved off the farm to Wayland again where Dad worked 
with Uncle Bert and Mr. Clark in building houses. Avis Frances was born here 


on December 5,1912. In 1912, Mr. Clark asked Dad to run his lumber and coal 
company for him. This business was Dad's vocation until he entered the 
ministry full-time in 1916. The move to Wayland also allowed for more 
involvement in the church. Dad was teaching more and also began to preach in 
churches to supply empty pulpits. The lumber company was prospering and 
Mother was able acquire some things she always wanted: a piano, some 
overstuffed furniture, and a beautiful new home. 

Dad was teaching us to work and to play. We helped around the lumber 
yard, had jobs weeding onions, picked cucumbers, worked in the garden -and 
then went fishing. Our favorite sport was baseball. I learned to make the balls 
out of string with a small rubber ball center. 

At the age of ten, two things happened to me physically. First, I got my 
first pair of glasses which I used mostly for reading. I also had my first attack of 
pleurisy. Both of these weaknesses were to follow me all my life. 

We had animals even though we lived in town. The day our dear dog 
Ringer died, we had an official burial with the girls shedding most of the tears. 
We also had a cow and chickens. It was Nelson's job to take the cow to pasture. 
One evening while bringing the cow home, another boy with his cow ahead 
started running to cross the Interurban tracks ahead of an approaching car. Or 
cow followed and started to run. While the other boy crossed safely, our cow 
dragged Nelson who let go just as the car hit and killed the cow. Uncle Fred 
sued but lost the case to the company. 

Chuck loved our delivery horse Frank, who had been trained as a fire 
station horse. Chuck loved to go to the barn and bring Frank our and hitch him 
to the wagon for Dad. One day, the horse had his head in the hay and when 
Chuck touched him he kicked. Dad found Chuck crying and laying under 
Frank's feet with the horse looking down as if to say, "It was an accident". Frank 
also had a run in with Mother. She had a little garden near the well where Frank 
got his water. One noon when he had his bridle off, the became foxy, began to 
prance and got in Mother's garden. He ripped it to pieces, just having fun. 

We went to church together and filled the pew. Whispering and touching 
each other was strictly forbidden. All it took was a look from Dad because his 
punishment was quick and severe. We also enjoyed Sunday school. There were 
two types of boys in town: those who went to Sunday school and those who did 
not. The record is that every one of those who did not attend Sunday school 
ended up in the penitentiary while none who attended found themselves in a 
similar state. A good lesson. 

Rabbit river, a little creek on the edge of town, was both our swimming 
hole and fishing pond. For Nelson, it was something else as he built a canoe 
from scratch, sent it on its maiden voyage and navigated that little river. His 
canoe also took its fatal plunge there. 

When we were each 11 and 12, Nelson, Chuck and I went to spend two 
summers at the farm with Grandpa and Grandma Miles. Grandpa died the last 
summer Chuck was there. We loved it because we learned how to drive the 


horses, churn the butter, pick blackberries and follow Grandpa everywhere. One 
summer, I committed a great sin. I loved to drive the team of horses. Grandpa 
had harvested a field of wheat but wanted to rake it and save the stray straw. He 
permitted me to do the job. A two wheel rake is a very unstable vehicle. I had 
finished the field except for one strip between two trees. I was sure the rake 
would go between them but when I attempted it a wheel caught a tree and the 
tongue broke. I stopped the horses and freed the wheel, then mounted the rake 
and attempted to drive it with a broken tongue. Since i was unstable on the seat, 

I slipped down off the seat to operate the trip. As soon as the horses started, the 
broken butt of the tongue attached to the rake went up in the air and came down 
on the back of one horse. Immediately the horses were scared and 
uncontrollable so they bolted. I was thrown forward and became entangled in 
the rake tines. Eventually, the tines bounded up and set me free. The horses 
ended up in a barbed wire fence and I went bawling toward the house. Grandpa 
came running and asked, "What happened?" My big lie was, "I don't know!" I 
escaped with cuts and torn clothes, but all that summer I continued that lie of 
feigned ignorance. Grandpa died never hearing the truth from me. That lie 
produced a whole family of lies and was a snare to me. The night I came to the 
Lord at age 26, the first thing I asked the Lord was for forgiveness for that lie and 
deliverance from a lying tongue. 

Across the road from us lived a man the boys did not like. Halloween was 
the time to get his wagon and make it hard for him to get. Sometimes it would 
take the boys all night but they always seemed to succeed. The other significance 
of that night was that everyone's outdoor toilets got turned over. 

Nelson and I joined the boy scouts and our first experience in camping 
was the Boy Scout Camp at Gun Lake. While there, John was born and Grandpa 
drove down to take us home. I guess we were supposed to celebrate John's 
arrival but it ruined our camping experience. John was born July 1,1916, the last 
of seven children. 

While preparing for a Lourth of July parade in town, Nelson and I went to 
the park to get some pretty leaves to decorate our little wagon. Nelson climbed a 
tree to reach the best but fell and landed on a small tub breaking both arms and 
nearly both legs. He was out of commission for several weeks. 

Before we left Wayland, both Nelson and I had acquired musical 
instruments. Nelson had a cornet and I an alto horn. The objective of these two 
particular instruments was that we would play duets. I don't remember ever 
taking a lesson but somehow we learned to read music a little and develop some 
ability. I guess we thought we could play these horns without any instructor and 
eventually we did. However, when we arrived in Stevensville, there was a band 
of German immigrants who welcomed us into their band and taught us to do 
very well, the me practiced a while then smoked their pipes a while before 
resuming practice. The band gave concerts on the main street of town and we 
thought we were big stuff. 


One of our favorite Sunday school socials was the box social in which the 
girls prepared a box lunch for two and decorated it. These boxes were then sold 
to the highest bidder. Somehow, and somewhat too often, the girls let it be 
known to their boyfriends which was their box. So they would try to out bid 
everyone else on that box. The other fellows would continue to bid until he 
would go bankrupt. All proceeds went to the church. 

Uncle Ed, Bessie's husband, was the first to own an automobile, a 1912 
Buick Roadster. It was the talk of the town. Grandpa George was the second 
member of our family to own a car. He got a Model T Ford in 1916. With gravel 
roads, the top speed was 25 MPH and he hung on the steering wheel as if he was 
scared to death that it would get away from him. When he got it going, 
sometimes he would forget how to stop it and end up in a ditch. Moving at such 
speed was very exciting. 

In 1913,1 saw my first aeroplane. It landed in a cow pasture on the edge 
of town and had a terrible time getting back in the air. The runway had a few 
cow tracks and other cow stuff and they could not get up to flight speed. It was 
fun to watch nevertheless. 


Dad was talking and praying about the ministry with his pastor. Rev. 
Gray was encouraging, but Mother was resisting. One day about that time I 
entered the house and Pastor Gray was speaking with Mother. She was 
weeping. I heard him say, "Susie, if God should take one of your children, 
would you go?" She replied, "God does not need to take any of my children. I 
will go." Within four months, we were packed and we moved to Dad's first full¬ 
time ministry. The date was September 1916 when we moved to Stevensville. 

This was the turning point in our parents' lives. No man had a greater 
desire to preach and serve God than Dad and he gave himself without reserve. 
Mother's dedication equaled or surpassed even his. While both had very limited 
education and no formal training for the ministry, they were successful because 
of complete surrender of their bodies, unquestioned dedication to the Savior, 
faithfulness in prayer, happiness in spirit, love of people, belief in the Bible, 
separation from the world and holiness in life. They began evangelism by 
holding prayer meetings in the home of the unsaved. 

Dad's salary at Stevensville was $650 a year. He owned a Model T and 
raised a family of nine on that salary. The boys picked fruit and saved our 
money for clothes and college. Stevensville was in the heart of fruit country and 
we picked strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, peaches and apples. In 
the winter, we worked in a crate factory, making containers for the fruit. Mother 
canned fruit and vegetables and we had a garden. People were generous and 
showered us with all kinds of produce as God's provision. We were allowed to 
pick the berry patches after the profitable season was over. One of Dad's 
churches sent us a wagon load of meat and vegetables in the fall. Even our 


bicycles were made of discarded parts and we instituted anything that could be 
used to build a workable machine. 

At Stevensville, life took on a new dimension. I was 12 and we were now 
preacher's kids, learning that carried responsibility and occasional "persecution." 
Our public school was small. Survival of the fittest was the rule. Nelson made 
his mark in football. He was very daring and I always admired his courage, but 
this caused him to flirt with trouble. During our teen years, Nelson and Chuck 
formed a coalition against me. They slept together and made me fight for every 
inch of ground. 

It was perhaps the greatest privilege God granted to me and to my 
brothers and sisters to be born into a home where both father and mother were 
devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ and looked upon their children as gifts from 
God. They tenderly nurtured us in the fear of the Lord and sought to bring us to 
a saving faith as well as a yielded heart to the will of God. After I came to know 
the Lord in 1931, my mother became my spiritual companion and we had many 
occasions together sharing our relationships to Christ. On one occasion she said 
to me, "I gave you to the Lord before you were born." She indicated to me that 
she desired her children to serve the Lord and wanted her boys to be preachers. 

The discipline and teaching of our home built our character. Obedience 
was number one with punishment swift and corrective. Daily family altar left a 
lifetime pattern. Memorizing Scripture was a constant sanctifying power. With 
seven children, there was ample opportunity for us to interact, building 
responsibility to each other and the family unit. We had regular responsibilities 
and learned to save and use our money wisely. 

We never had a lot of money so by present standards, we were very poor. 
However, so were most of our relatives and friends so fortunately we were not 
all that aware of our poverty. We always had enough to eat and never took a 
meal without thanksgiving to God or the family altar, which left a permanent 
mark on our lives. 

Some of the characteristics of Mother and Dad make it easier to evaluate 
things that happened later in my own life. The older I become, the more I 
understand the saying, "Like father, like son." Dad was the oldest of five 
children. In those days, it was understood that the oldest child would be needed 
to support the younger children and he became the right arm of his father in 
executing the duties entailed on the farm. As a result, formal education was 
limited to those times when farm duties were not so heavy. The essentials, 
reading, writing and arithmetic, constituted education and the aptitude of the 
child determined the amount. The development of knowledge was limited to 
the few books available for borrowing for, apart from the Bible, few books were 
ever purchased. New was gathered by the weekly visit to town where gossip ran 
wild. Farmers talked over the fence while resting their horses and there were no 
telephones, radios and rarely a newspaper. 

For two people with a very elementary education, limited economic 
opportunity, originating in poor farmer families, I think our parents were the 


greatest parents anyone could ever have. They gave us a simple lifestyle, a 
spiritual heritage, and moral biblical values. They modeled before us their 
dedication to Christ. We have been blessed above measure and shall never cease 
to thank God for such a great heritage. Both Dad and Mother considered full 
time Christian service the greatest place to serve God. 

Dad was a man of action. Mother also was a terrific worker but she was a 
woman of prayer and the spiritual force. She was devout and dependent on the 
Lord, anxious for heaven, living for her children and concerned for the lost. As 
such, she was a great supporter of Dad. She spent much time reading her Bible. 

I have known some great givers, but none surpassed our mother. 

Our father was an open, friendly man, very industrious, aggressive, and a 
good worker with his hands. He was honest to the penny and he taught us to 
tithe. He would bring his pay home, spread it out on the table and then take ten 
percent for the Lord. He kept it in a baking powder can on the pantry shelf. 
When I earned a dime, I asked Mother for a baking powder can and put one 
penny in it. The can then went up on the pantry shelf by my father's. I 
maintained this practice until I went away to college. 

My father might have been a great preacher if he had pursued an 
education for he had an excellent mind. He was a true disciple willing to give all 
to the Lord. He was used early as a song leader and allowed the Lord to use his 
willingness to teach and preach. I see him as a good father. In reflection, it was 
Dad's discipline that fashioned our character. No excuses were accepted and 
Dad never asked his children to do anything twice. When Dad said, "Get up 
boys!", three pairs of feet hit the floor in unison. No whining was tolerated. But, 
our parents were fun and the house was always filled with laughter and singing. 

As I have already mentioned, one of the most vivid memories of my youth 
was the family altar. For eighteen years it emphasized to me the importance of 
daily Bible reading and prayer. Mother's praying was always accompanied by 
earnest pleading, emotional prayers from the heart. Dad often wept in prayer 
and while preaching, teaching us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with 
those who rejoice. My parents were friendly, loving and concerned about the 
needs of others. Limited in the knowledge of the Scriptures, they still knew the 
importance of godly living. 

As a leader, Dad drew upon his basic common sense. Since his 
congregations were farmers, his formal education was not considered highly 
important. He had scriptural goals and directed his churches in evangelism, 
sanctification and biblical principles of holy living. He believed the home to be 
God's place of instruction for children. The church provided a social life that 
encompassed the whole family. 

In the pulpit, Dad was a personality. He was not a student, though he 
could have been. His world was the outdoors. He loved fishing and hunting, 
was a talented carpenter and builder, and he was intelligent, witty and honest- 
but not a student. If it had not been for his set of Spurgeon's notes and sermons, 
he would have had little to say in the pulpit. However, deep convictions showed 


in every public utterance. He may have repeated much, but the truth from his 
lips stuck. He loved evangelism because all he needed was a text. It became a 
pretext for the same sermon with slightly adjusted Spurgeon outline. He did not 
seek to entertain but to convict people of sin. He knew that when truth became a 
reality, a person was prepared to listen to what Christ could do. The following 
two incidents testify to his tender conscience and character. 

When he moved to Delton, Dad took over three churches. He soon 
discovered that the business community did not have much respect for 
preachers. The former pastor left unpaid personal accounts at several places of 
business. He had claimed that the churches owed him money and was therefore 
responsible for these accounts. The businesses, however, simply viewed him as a 
cheat. As long as these debts remained unpaid, Dad felt he could not effectively 
preach in town. Money was scarce during the depression so Dad wrote me 
explaining the situation and asking me to loan him the money to pay off the 
debts. I was glad to comply and he wrote back that he could now preach 
unashamed. In time, he was able to repay the money. 

When living in Delton, he was fishing through the ice on January 5. The 
bass season ended December 31, but this day he caught a five pound bass. He 
put it in his pail and started across the ice for home. The further he progressed, 
the greater became the conviction in his heart for breaking the law. Finally, upon 
reaching the shore, he could stand it no longer. He quickly returned to the hole 
and, as he pushed the bass back in the lake, he breathed a sigh of relief and said, 
"Get back in there." On Sunday morning, the reminded the people that he could 
never have stood in the pulpit if he had kept that bass. He had to be right with 
God to be God's messenger. When he moved to Delton, Dad took over three 
churches. He soon discovered that the business community did not have much 
respect for preachers. The former pastor left unpaid personal accounts at several 
places of business. He had claimed that the churches owed him money and was 
therefore responsible for these accounts. The businesses, however, simply 
viewed him as a cheat. As long as these debts remained unpaid, Dad felt he 
could not effectively preach in town. Money was scarce during the depression so 
Dad wrote me explaining the situation and asking me to loan him the money to 
pay off the debts. I was glad to comply and he wrote back that he could now 
preach unashamed. In time, he was able to repay the money. 

Perhaps sharing his weaknesses is not fair. Yet every one of us is beset 
with areas of weakness. Dad's determination to obey God was great. His 
success was obvious when it is pointed out that he rebuilt and enlarged every 
church in which he preached. He turned woodsheds into vibrant Sunday 
schools, filled with people. His weakness, however, lay in this same success. He 
could have been a good Bible student, but he could not discipline himself to 
study. He would drive himself to preach, but not to prepare. He would rather 
have the art of oratory than the discipline of study. His other weakness was 
neglect of ministerial duties such as visitation and personal witness. His 
philosophy of the ministry was too much influenced by men he admired, men 


who were specialists in the pulpit. He would give every ounce of his strength to 
alter and build churches. On the whole, my dad achieved more with his assets 
than most of us and I am very thankful for my godly parents. 

Mother was praying that her boys would be preachers. However, 
materialism began to influence our lives. High school taught us that we were 
being prepared for one of the professions. The crisis in my life came when I was 
16 or 17, the spring before graduating from high school. The Methodist churches 
in SW Michigan planned a youth rally in a large church in Benton Harbor. We 
went along with the young people from church and sat on the main floor while 
our parents watched from the balcony. A bishop delivered a challenging address 
on giving our lives to Christ with the invitation, "Are you willing to go where 
God wants you to go, be what God wants you to be and say what God wants you 
today? If so, please come forward." 200 young people went forward and I joined 
them. My motivation was tarnished and I thought, "What will my folks think of 
me if I don't go?" I had been a good boy, baptized at age 7, obedient always and 
I loved them and never wanted to hurt them. As I went down the aisle, I was 
saying on the inside, "I will be what God wants me to be, go where He wants me 
to go and say what He wants me to say but I am going to be an engineer." There 
was no peace in my heart, but I was determined. I thought I was a Christian but 
I had no relationship with Christ. 

The ages of 16 to 18 are exciting to all young men because this is the 
period of physical development into manhood. We are all molded by 
competition and seeking ways to excel. Pride and self-ambition played a magical 
role as we daily developed our skills, moving up the ladder to excellence. This is 
also the critical age of mental development. Few of us realized that this period 
would determine our degree of success in the business arena more than any 
other. Academic discipline was equally important as that required for sports. 
Our instructors were fully aware of this and I am ever grateful to those who 
encouraged us to excel. They sought to employ every strategy to enable us to 
exercise our mental capacity. Some responded and gained the prize while the 
majority saw little value in the effort and joined the crowd that focused on the 
physical and despised the intellectual. They chose to live for the pleasure of the 
life not realizing their limitation would consign them to a slavery in which they 
would for life be entrapped. 

A more critical area of development, however, is the spiritual. There 
home and family leadership made the difference. As the decades of the 
twentieth century have slipped by, the spiritual influence of the family has 
gradually diminished and the moral values necessary for society to survive have 
bypassed an ever increasing percentage of the population. However, in our 
home of seven children, moral strength was maintained by strict discipline. 
Certain things were evil such as theater attendance, playing cards, dancing, 
gambling, smoking, drinking, and swearing or using indiscreet language. We 
were taught to be courteous, pleasant and thankful. 


The effect of Dad's ministry on our lives can never be fully realized. The 
church and what it stood for fashioned our lives both in activity and purpose. 
Everything else took a secondary place. I grew through my teen years with my 
father as my pastor and always saw him building. We learned to handle tools as 
mature men and helped Dad rebuild all three churches and build a few houses. 
Our family became a team, each shouldering their own responsibility. The older 
boys protected the girls and respected them, helping us develop into young men. 
But our family unit was spiritual which was necessary because of the importance 
of separation from the world in our teaching. The other church in town was 
German Lutheran and they could not understand our strict lifestyle, so we did 
not have much in common with them. 

Obviously, knowledge of and adherence to right and wrong made a 
distinct social barrier. On the Lord's day, we were not permitted to engage in 
sports. This reflected on the church and Dad's ministry, and it built a respect for 
the Lord's day. To this day, these standards have had a strong influence on my 
manner of life, especially since my conversion. As a youth, I was not strong on 
conviction but I was long on obedience. 

We lived within three miles of Lake Michigan and it made us enjoy 
swimming and fishing. Winters were also different. There was a large inlet lake 
between us and Lake Michigan which would freeze 10 to 16 inches thick every 
winter. We would fill up the ice storage from there by taking hand saws and cut 
the ice into three foot square sections. The horses then pulled the ice up a sluice 
into the storage place and the ice was covered with sawdust. Ice boxes in homes 
then had the ice delivered daily for cooling. 

Mother prepared for winter by canning all the fruit and vegetables in the 
area. Seldom did a meal go by without opening two or more cans of something 
to feed the nine hungry people. We had lots of fresh baked bread, potatoes and 
cabbage but very little meat because of the expense. The winter of 1917-18 was 
terribly cold and snowy. Asiatic flu was also epidemic so our doctor was 
exhausted and Dad volunteered to drive him around in our Model T. 

Amazingly, not one of our doctor's patients died that year. 

World War I brought lots of rallies and other patriotic activities to our 
town. I was the soloist on such famous songs as "Over There". We were all 
urged to knit mittens, sweaters and socks for our troops so that even I became a 
pretty good knitter. 

High school was drawing to a close and since my favorite subject was 
math, I looked forward to becoming a structural engineer. I played on the high 
school baseball and basketball teams and enjoyed playing ice hockey on a small 
stream in town that froze over in the winter. I wanted to graduate and attend 
college or university so I worked at every opportunity to save money with this in 
mind. My parents, who never had a chance for education, encouraged all of their 
children to pursue college. Since the high school in Stevensville was not 
accredited by the university, the five men on the basketball team went to St. Joe 
High our senior year in order to be qualified to enter college. 



I chose to go to Albion College, a Methodist school where my parents 
assumed that I would be fed with the Bible and pursue spiritual goals. They 
were sadly ignorant of the facts. Nelson went there for a year and then dropped 
out before I enrolled in 1922. I had very little money, but was determined to 
make it and soon discovered that most freshmen were as fearful of this new 
world as I was. The Zetelethian fraternity pledged me because Nelson had been 
a member. I had a small room in the frat house with a gas stove where I cooked 
my own meals. Before long, I smelled up the house and was put out of the 
cooking business so I had to mop floors at the college cafeteria for my meals. 

With a little help from Nelson and from Dad, in addition to working day 
and night, I finished Albion in four years. I worked hard to earn money to go to 
college and saved every penny possible, spending very little on myself. My 
biggest problem was clothes. I had clothed myself with my own earnings from 
the age of twelve. Except for the two years at the University of Michigan, I never 
borrowed money for education. Uncle Fred loaned me a thousand dollars which 
I paid back the first year out of college. My folks were very encouraging but had 
limited funds and were not able to help very much. I mailed my laundry home 
where Mother did it for me. Dad always had a building job for me during 
vacations. Chuck and I worked together nailing roofing boards and mixing 
concrete by hand. We also dug ditches and foundations, making our muscles 
and backs like steel. We were strong and hard like Dad but Nelson was more 
suited to the white collar world and worked in the local bank. Nelson was 
nevertheless very interested in my welfare and often shared with me, 
occasionally offering a short term loan. He also got me started on a life insurance 
policy which I still carry. 

For the first two years of college, I was an average student but my 
motivation changed and I joined the honor roll my final two. I also played 
basketball and baseball on the varsity teams. Fraternity pride was of some help. 
Unfortunately, at college I also learned to do things that our parents taught us 
were sin and displeasing to God. However, since the crowd was dancing, 
playing cards and going to the theater, I soon joined them- but always with a 
tinge of guilt. I never was involved with smoking or drinking, bad language or 
sex. My home training was so strong on these issues that I never swerved from 
the standards set by my parents. I saw these things as ungodly and destructive. 

One day, mother reminded me again that she had dedicated me to the 
Lord before I was born. That fact always haunted me and often disturbed me 
when I thought about God. On another occasion, mother could see my worldly 
ways and she wanted to share with me. She captured me and sat me down at the 
dining room table for a talk. I don't really remember all she said to me at that 
time, but I discovered for the first time that because my parents were not highly 
educated that they were inferior to the university and college professors. All of 
the training restrained my living, but I cannot recall that either Father or Mother 


ever challenged me to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I could never 
say with assurance "I am saved", even though I always thought of myself as a 

I always honored the Bible, made brief prayers and read the Scriptures out 
of the habits formed the first eighteen years of my life. I attended church 
regularly, joined churches, and attended youth groups wherever I was but 
always within the Methodist church. I don't think that any church I have 
attended had a more friendly attitude towards Christians in other denominations 
and others were always welcome in our assemblies. 

My contact with the opposite sex was never very prominent while in 
school. My first date was forced on me by my fraternity as a freshman. I can 
remember the fear of that evening. I wondered what one did on a date, what 
they talked about, and how you were supposed to say good night. Every time I 
thought about it, I wanted to back out. I eventually invited the girl who sat next 
to me in English and soon discovered that she was greener than even I was. She 
shocked me when she consented to escort me. After that disaster, I dated only 
when the fraternity had parties. First of all, it was too expensive for my limited 
resources. Secondly, I had determined that nothing would stand in the way of 
my education. 

After a year, our fraternity joined the national fraternity, TKE. Although 
the fraternity caused me to take on some worldly practices, there were some men 
there with good moral and spiritual values. One of my roommates was Harold 
McCracken, a conservative man with deep convictions concerning a righteous 
life. I admired his convictions and he was a great stabilizing factor while I was at 
Albion. This was in contrast with my textbooks which taught the Bible was full 
of contradictions and undermined its authority. I maintained infrequent 
correspondence with him until his death in 1985. 

Another fraternity brother who brought stability to my college life was 
Harold Bowers. Harold was "quite vexed by the filthy conversation" of the 
brothers. We looked upon him as an ultra-conservative but his steadfast 
convictions did much to stabilize our lives and restrain us from foolishness. I 
was in the "middle-of-the-road clique" headed by Victor Boyer. Nothing was too 
bad if you didn't get too deeply involved. A person must have some fun in life. 
Nevertheless, I found myself taking a stand against some evil habits. My parents 
were greatly opposed to the dancing, cards and theater but I compromised 
because it was a way of life for college students. So, my peers dictated my way 
of life even thought there was continual guilt that I could not shake. 

The Lord never left me alone. I would awaken at night and repeat that 
experience at Peace Temple where my stubborn will refused to consider God's 
will. I would often be under great conviction and break our in perspiration and 
defiantly say, "I am not going to be a preacher or a missionary; I am going to be 
an engineer." My later conclusion was that I had never been saved for that 
assurance never came until January, 1931. I cannot recall anyone challenging me 


about personal salvation through my college and university days. However, the 
underlying influence of my home never left me during those years. 

Baseball was my love and I excelled in hitting and stealing bases. If I 
failed to score after reaching first base by a walk or hit, the coach would chide me 
that Ty Cobb was never left on base. At times he would have me steal three 
bases on consecutive pitches in order to score. 

I also had a love for music, something gained from my parents. At 
Albion, I decided to take voice lessons. The cost was above my means, but my 
teacher seemed to think I had some natural ability and therefore encouraged me. 
When I was financially able after college, I studied voice for five years. The Lord 
used this and my trombone greatly after I was saved. Because no one else was 
available, I played the bass horn in the college marching band for the home 
football games. This experience developed my ability to read music and kept me 
involved in music. Fraternity life contributed to my development in 
communication and desire to succeed and be my best academically. 

After graduation from Albion, I enrolled in the University of Michigan in 
order to complete my education towards a structural engineering degree. I 
completed the five year course for my BS in Civil Engineering in one and a half 
years then went to graduate school for one semester. In all, I completed two 
years at Michigan, graduating in June, 1928. 

While at Michigan, another influence in my life appeared. I attended the 
First M. E. Church in Ann Arbor. The preacher there left me with the impression 
that the Bible was just another human book. He must have been a modernist. 

His influence began the first doubts I had ever had about the Bible. At the 
University, I came face to face with evolution in the study of geology. Even in 
astronomy at Albion, we ignored creation and explored theories of how the 
heavens came into being without God. I started to think that my parents were 
just not too bright. 

I have little understanding of why unbelieving preachers find it necessary 
to destroy whatever confidence our young people have in the Word of God on 
college campuses. There seems to be little or no opposition to their effort to 
destroy faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As lacking as Albion was on the subject of 
personal salvation, I do not recall any attacks on the person of Christ. I took a 
Bible course under a Dr. Goodrich and I came to regard him highly as a scholar, 
but I have no lingering memory of him challenging his students to salvation and 
I was not brought under conviction of sin. 

Eventually, I began to be interested in girls, especially as I neared the end 
of school. When my parents moved to West Burton St. in Grand Rapids, I met 
Mildred Champion, the organist of Burton Heights M. E. Church. We dated and 
she attended my graduation from Michigan. 

Upon graduation, I accepted a position with the Wayne County Highway 
Commission in Detroit. I was a civil engineer and surveyor and remained with 
them for about a year. I enjoyed this and the year of experience developed my 
knowledge greatly. My single purpose for this first year on the job was to return 


to Uncle Fred the money he had lent me for school. I had lived in the Highland 
Park YMCA because I had worked as a materials inspector for the Michigan State 
Highway near Birmingham the summer before and loved to play on their 
baseball and basketball teams. I also attended a Methodist church nearby and 
had made friends with twin boys who seemed quite religious and had high 
standards of morality. 

At the end of a year, I was dissatisfied with my raise in salary and took a 
position with Detroit Edison in their steel department as a steel detailer. I 
wanted this experience to lead to a structural engineering position. Due to my 
mathematics training, I was given the most difficult jobs available. However, in 
five months my Aunt Bessie persuaded me to go to California with her and her 
cousin Rosamond. My movement was because of personal antipathy with not 
feeling I was doing anything worthwhile or of a permanent nature. On 
reflection, the reason was that I did not have the direction of God in my life and 
nothing satisfied me. 

I did not feel I should get married until I had a position that would give 
me a stable income. Mildred and I were quite serious by this time. In August, 
1929 I purchased a Model A Ford and drove Aunt Bessie an Rosamond to 
Southern California. Jobs were very difficult to find but I had located a position 
with the California State Highway Commission in San Bernardino within a few 
months. It was a good experience but, again I was very restless and took the 
Civil Service exam for engineers in the US Government. 

I lived in San Bernardino, fifty-five miles from Aunt Bessie in Pasadena. 
Every Thursday night i drove to Pasadena and took Aunt Bessie and Rosie to 
Angeles Temple in Los Angeles for the healing service conducted by Amy 
Sample McPherson. The place was always packed with over five thousand 
people. The music and singing were terrific and then Amy would appear, be 
given a bouquet of roses, come to the stage and preach. All of this led the 
healing service. This was a new world for me and it all seemed very real and 
truthful. All kinds of people were prayed for as Amy put her hands on their 
heads and declared them healed. Some walked off the stage, head high praising 
God, as the audience responded with applause. We would go home greatly 
marveling at the power of God. 

On Saturday, I would drive back to Pasadena, spend Sunday attending 
the Methodist church and then drive back to San Bernardino. I had a Sunday 
school teacher whom I am now convinced was a real believer. He had us 
memorizing scripture and I memorized Psalm 91. 

We went to Yosemite, saw the Rose parade and Rose Bowl game and I 
played sports at the San Bernardino YMCA. This time, in addition to baseball 
and basketball, I played fast pitch softball with Colton and we won 25 of 26 
games, winning the Southern California Championship. 



In April, 1930,1 received a government appointment for a position in 
Washington, DC. Aunt Bessie tried to discourage me but I had had enough of 
California. Spiritually, I was bankrupt and nothing satisfied me. So, I sold my 
car and headed east with a lady who had put an advertisement in the paper to 
have someone drive her and her Cadillac to Chicago. On the last day of June I 
arrived at my home in Grand Rapids. I spent as much time with Mildred as 
possible as we were making plans for marriage and I had to report to my new job 
by July 19. 

I had been assigned to a civil engineering position in the government but 
this was not exactly what I wanted. In less than six months, though, I was 
assigned to a structural engineering job in the Supervising Architects Office. I 
stayed here the rest of my government service. 

The first Sunday night I was in Washington, I attended Metropolitan 
Methodist Church. The chaplain of the House of Representatives, Dr. 
Montgomery, was the pastor. Immediately, I met a very pleasant young man 
named Eugene Scheele who asked me to assist in taking the offering. He also 
invited me to a youth meeting that met on Tuesday night on the ground level of 
the church. I told him I would come and on Monday night, I received a one cent 
post card at my room at the Y from Gene telling me that he would be expecting 
me Tuesday night. Any doubts I had about attending vanished. 

Often when I give my testimony, I refer to that post card from Gene. I 
believe that was the turning point in my life. It has been said that God has his 
man at the right place at the right time to reach some soul with the Gospel. He 
wants to use us all in his great plan to reach the lost. All He needs is a yielded 
vessel. On Tuesday night, I met about fifty young people singing hymns, 
choruses and giving vibrant personal testimonies. It had been quite some time 
since I had been in such a group but I knew I was in the right place and 
immediately felt welcome. I was drawn to Gene and others in whom I, for the 
first time, saw a reality which I longed for. 

In September, I registered for the Bible class taught by Ethel Vance in the 
Gospel of John. John 20:31 began to burn into my thinking. I soon found myself 
leading the singing at the meetings where there were testimonies from new and 
old converts- but not from me. I decided that I needed a testimony, so I 
memorized Romans 8:28 and rose and recited it at an opportune time. An 
elderly woman stood, looked at me and said, "Young man, you have no idea 
what that verse means." I felt adequately rebuked and that was my last attempt 
at a testimony. 

I was still very involved and soon was singing in a newly formed quartet. 
We began going to various churches on Sunday nights to sing with one of the 
members of the quartet bringing a gospel message. Glenn Wagner was in the 
quartet and he was the main speaker. 



One Sunday night in January, the quartet sang at a meeting in DC and 
Glenn spoke. After singing, Glenn asked me to stand and give a testimony. I 
stood up but do not remember a word I said. This was the first time I had been 
challenged and I sat down with one word ringing in my head: hypocrite. As I 
returned to my room at the Y that evening, every step seemed to echo 
"hypocrite". I opened the door to my room and without turning on the light, I 
knelt by the bed an acknowledged for the first time in my life that I was not only 
a hypocrite playing Christian, but a sinner needing a savior. At that moment, the 
joy of the Lord flooded my heart and the burden of guilt was lifted. 

I could hardly wait until Tuesday night to tell the others what had 
happened to me. Hanging on to the chair in front of me, I rose to my feet and 
confessed Jesus Christ as Savior. From that moment on, I was fully yielded to the 
Lord and began to spread abroad the good news of salvation. I wrote to my 
parents and told them what had happened and they were overjoyed for I was the 
first of their seven children to make an open profession of Christ. I also shared 
my experience with Mildred. She seemed glad but was not too enthusiastic 
about it. She may have thought that I had gone off my rocker. 

Like many new converts, I had my problem with the world. The first time 
I went home to Grand Rapids after my conversion, my fiancee said she wanted 
to go to the theater and see a certain picture. I tried to dissuade her but to no 
avail. The movie was quite funny but I soon realized that I was watching 
something not Christ like. I became very nervous and the thought taunted me: 
"Suppose the Lord should return tonight and find me here." I began to perspire 
and I could hardly breathe so I grabbed Mildred and said, "I must get out of 
here!" When we reached the door, I realized the Lord had not come and I told 
the Lord I would never again enter a theater. To this day, I have never desired to 
enter another such place. 

I had several old friends from the university who were in Washington and 
with whom I spent a considerable amount of time. One day, one fellow asked 
me to go to a bridge party with him. I needed to have a girl accompany me but, 
since I was new in DC, I didn't know anyone whom I could invite. He lined one 
up for me and we went in his car to pick my blind date up. As she got in, she 
offered me a cigarette and I knew I was in for a bad evening. 

About 100 people were in a lodge hall. I was probably the worse bridge 
player there but, as the Lord would have it, I could not lose that evening and 
won the first prize. When the prize was presented, it was a beautiful polished 
brass smoking stand. I obviously had no use for it, so I donated it to my date. I 
don't recall giving a Christian witness to anyone that evening. My misery was 
overwhelming and I confessed my sin to the Lord that evening and covenanted 
to never again touch a deck of cards. 

Not surprisingly, Mildred gradually became interested in a very fine man 
and gave my ring back. Strangely enough, I felt the greatest relief and I decided 
never to marry for a wife would limit my service to the Lord. 


My government job in DC allowed me to be a support to my family. The 
depression had begun in 1930, so I was about the only one with a fixed income 
during those years. In a small way, I was able to help the younger members of 
the family with their education and help my folks a little during some of the lean 
years. Nelson and Chuck were also very generous and assisted our family when 
the need arose. I saw the lives of our wonderful parents being relived in their 
children as all were hard workers. We all had initiative and knew the value of 
work and money. 

My job was giving me the structural engineering experience that I had 
always craved. It consisted of designing post offices and other government 
buildings. I developed a specialty in foundations. The Internal Revenue Service 
building on Pennsylvania Avenue was a particular challenge as it was built over 
an old canal that once ran along the street. 

I was one of the designers of the Washington National Airport. Two of 
my assignments were the entire structural design of the first floor and the 
windows facing the airfield where the propeller planes did their loading. I 
advanced to the place where I was chosen to be one of the eight design squad 
leaders. At one time, we had 200 structural engineers in our division. 

During the war, we were often loaned to other departments for special 
projects. I was assigned to the Coast Guard to design a 60 foot radio tower that 
could be landed and in operation within one hour and could be stored in a box 
less than twenty feet long. When I had completed the design, I went to a steel 
fabricating plant and supervised the fabrication of the first one. These were 
made by the hundreds and carried by landing vessels in the Pacific. 

Additional office building were needed during the war. I became 
involved in the design of two and three story wood structures that were erected 
along Independence Avenue between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington 
Monument. All of these have since been removed and some replaced with 
permanent buildings. 

During the 1930's, I was given the assignment of designing the gold vault 
located in one of the open spaces below the Treasury Building. It was a two 
story structure, obviously designed to be burglar proof. The door was designed 
by another company and was a fantastic design of several layers of special steel 
and other impervious materials. The walls and floors were 24 and 30 inch 
concrete filled with high carbon steel rods laid perpendicular to the wall surface. 
It was a fun and especially interesting project. I don't think it was ever used 
except while waiting for additional vaults to be built. 

There were several other projects which I had a part in. Many of the 
offices along Pennsylvania and Independence Avenues were designed in our 
office. I also worked on the Naval Annex to the Pentagon on Columbia Pike in 
Arlington. We also designed post offices around the country. A single design 
was used for many of these with adjustments made in the foundation depending 
on the lots. One of my last projects involved the East Wing of the White House. 

I think my name is on that wing. 


As soon as I came to know the Lord, I devoted myself to the study of the 
Bible and took every opportunity to hear the Word taught. A great blessing was 
the monthly prophetic conferences held in DC. I would take leave from work in 
order to go hear some of the world's great prophetic teachers. The crowds for 
these conferences were very large and my interest in prophecy began to grow. 

Dr. Miers of the 4th Presbyterian Church held a weekly Bible class in one 
of the downtown hotels and I attended regularly. Gene Scheele lived at 1729 Q 
St. NW in a rooming house for Christians and asked me to be his roommate. 

From then on, I was exposed to the tract ministry Gene was operating. Groups 
gathered to enclose tracts in cellophane of various colors looking like candy. We 
threw these tracts out the car windows in an attempt to saturate the area with 
tracts. Bill Bond, Glenn Wagner and Gene worked together conducting Sunday 
night meetings in Churches and youth meetings. They consisted of testimonies, 
singing, a short message and an invitation. 

The first message I ever preached was in a Presbyterian church on a 
Sunday night in NE DC. Bill, Clara and I were responsible for the meeting. I led 
the singing and the testimony meeting, which I usually did, but Bill came up 
with a sore throat and could not speak. All I could do was quote a few verses of 
Scripture and give my own testimony but I gave an invitation and two 
responded. Bill spoke with them afterwards to show them assurance from the 
Scriptures. I was amazed that anyone responded. I was slowly learning that the 
work is done by the Holy Spirit through God's Word and not through the 
speaker. After that, I became increasingly involved in meetings, both singing 
and speaking. 

I was determined to know the Bible. I took a few night courses at the 
American Home Bible Institute under Glenn, Rev. Oyer and others and 
memorized 120 verses in a personal evangelism class. Every day, I walked 25 
minutes to the office and I spent most of that time memorizing Scripture. After 
Bible survey, I moved on to Bible doctrine and individual book studies. After 
less than two years, I was teaching classes at the Bible Institute. I dedicated two 
hours a day to Bible study and I maintained this faithfully for many years. 

Ministry was consuming an ever greater proportion of my time. We 
traveled weekends from church to church giving testimonies to youth groups. 
Scores of young people accepted Christ. From one church, eleven went to Bible 
college and studied for full time Christian ministry. I resumed my voice lessons 
and practice my trombone in order to lead singing and play solos for people who 
didn't know the difference. It was a big asset for street meetings and evangelistic 

It was at this time that Glenn and Lucretia were married at Lucretia's old 
home in Thomas, WV. It was a formal affair and I can assure you that Thomas 
had never seen anything approaching it before. Glenn asked me to usher, but the 
guests didn't seem to know what an usher was so my talents may have been 
wasted. The crowd was so large that the overflow filled the open windows of 
the little Presbyterian church. 


I became greatly exercised about the will of God with a growing 
conviction that the Lord was leading me into full time Christian work. The more 
I prayed, however, the more confused I seemed to become. I shared this with 
Glenn and he suggested that we meet and spend an evening together in prayer 
and discussion. When we met, Glenn chose a verse of scripture around which to 
concentrate our thinking. We meditated on Psalm 37:5 and prayed late into the 
night. Eventually, it dawned on me that the will of God for me was God's 
business and all he wanted from me was a yielded heart and life. Then and there 
I said, "Lord, I now quit worrying about this matter and put it all in your hands. 

I will keep on working where I am until you clearly direct me otherwise." It was 
eleven years until the Lord gave me the freedom to leave the government and 
become president of the Washington Bible Institute. 

I became a member of Foundry Methodist Church. Dr. Frederick Brown 
Harris was pastor as well as chaplain of the Senate. He took a liking to me and 
asked me to give my testimony in a church service. I quickly became involved as 
our Tuesday fellowship moved to the church. I also taught a Sunday school class 
of twelve year old boys and sang in the choir. I did not neglect my music and 
continued voice lessons with Justin Laurie, the choir director and a well known 
vocalist in the DC area. I also began singing duets with Ed Stelling , an 
Episcopalian who had recently received Christ. We became good friends and 
Ed's wife Esther played the piano for us at youth meetings. 

Ed and Gene had the experience of tongues when they became 
prominent. I became very troubled about the issue and began to search the 
scriptures for an answer. I sided with Bill and Glenn who taught that the 
experience was unscriptural and it was apparent that Gene and Ed were 
influencing young Christians to seek the experience. The issue was becoming 
a divisive in the fellowship. Gene and Ed were pursuing their influence 
secretly, going to tongues meetings but not bringing it openly in the 
Fellowship meetings. They knew we were openly opposed to the movement 
and since the Youth Fellowship was made up of people from all 
denominations, tongues were not to be part of it. At a prayer meeting one 
Saturday night, I charged them with attempting to integrate tongues into the 
fellowship. They confessed and agreed to cease. Eventually, Ed was delivered 
out of the trap and published a booklet telling how he became trapped in it 
and how he was delivered. It took Gene longer to see the doctrinal error but 
eventually he renounced it. Glenn had been involved with tongues and 
delivered from it earlier in his Christian life; he took a strong biblical stand 
against it which was a great help to young Christians like me. 

Buchmanism, the practice of clearing one's mind of all thoughts in order 
to receive the Spirit's guidance, invaded Washington at this same time and some 
of us saw it as an opportunity to enhance our spiritual lives. Again, Bill and 
Glenn exposed the error and helped the rest of us see it as another unscriptural 
movement. Many Episcopalians were swept along by this movement whose 


greatest influence was on the biblically uneducated. Glenn's response to these 
challenges again showed me the value of a biblical education. 

Like most new believers, I soon became concerned about whether or not I 
was really saved. A group of young men decided to have a retreat for prayer 
and Bible study and they invited me. I shared with them my problems with 
assurance with tears and they began to bombard me with Scripture to no avail. 
Bill Bond decided to take me for a walk in the snow where he pulled out his 
testament and asked me to read John 5:24. He then asked me if Jesus Christ 
would lie to which I promptly responded, "Of course not!" 

Bill asked, "Do you believe that He is the Son of God and died for you sins 
on the cross?" 

"Yes, I do...", I replied through my tears. 

"Now put your name in the verse, 'Verily, verily I say unto you (George), 
he that heareth my Word and believeth on him that sent me (you do believe John 
3:16, don't you?) has everlasting life (that means you right now). Who said you 
have eternal life?" 

"Jesus Christ." 

"Would he lie?" 


"Do you have everlasting life?" 

"Yes, because He said so-" and for the first time I understood that I could 
know I have everlasting life because Jesus said so. That truth has remained with 
me through the years. 

It was great to visit home now. My parents and I would share together 
and they were thrilled that we could have spiritual fellowship together and pray 
for the salvation of the rest of the family. I think my zeal was too much for my 
brothers and sisters. They became very reserved towards me. It seems at every 
opportunity I was pinning them down regarding their personal relationship to 

On one occasion. Tret and Avis accompanied me to the Mel Trotter 
mission in Grand Rapids. We heard a great message on salvation and both my 
sisters went forward to accept Christ as Savior. When we came home both girls 
told our parents about their decisions and we had plenty of tears and a time of 
rejoicing together. 

In the fall of 1935, John decided to enroll in Taylor University. I carried on 
a brief correspondence with him sending him a little extra money. He seldom 
replied with anything spiritual, just gave me a thanks for the gift. Then, in 
September, he told me that he had gone forward in evangelistic meetings at 
Taylor and told me that he had believed in Christ. I was overjoyed at the news. I 
got in my car and drove to Michigan, then went directly to Taylor. When I met 
John, he began to weep and told me he didn't know if he was saved. I asked him 
if anyone had shown him the scripture and he said that no one had. So, I asked 
him to get his Bible and we turned to John 3:16 and John 5:24. I told him the 
same things I had been told when I lacked assurance and still we were convinced 


that Jesus Christ would not lie and that we could trust him. We could then 
rejoice together because he now knew that he had eternal life. 

Of course, life was not all work and fellowship and I was able to 
continually hone my athletic skills. I played basketball on the Y team until 1934. 
Our practice night was Wednesday and my conversion made me think that my 
place on Wednesday was prayer meeting. Therefore, I told the team that I could 
not practice on Wednesdays and they immediately changed the practice to 
Thursdays. I also played baseball with the Treasury team, a game I excelled in. 

In 1932,1 led all the government leagues with a .479 average. Our teams were 
made up of some of the finest players outside of organized baseball. I felt 
cheated because the heading on the sports page listed another player in first 
place and me second. They made an error computing the averages and I began 
to learn that there was something more important than baseball. 

The reason for my athletic careers finding such an early end was an attack 
of pleurisy in 1934. It was so severe that I was completely helpless and was 
placed in a nursing home so I could be watched around the clock. My pleural 
cavity filled with fluid and they could not stop the infection. Dr. Ryon, my 
doctor who later became a good friend, called my parents and told them I had 
only 48 hours to live. My parents drove to DC immediately and the youth 
fellowship held an all night prayer meeting for me. The next day, Dr. Ryon 
examined me and remarked that he thought the infection was stopped or was 
not spreading. My parents arrived to receive this news but Dr. Myers came to 
see me nevertheless and asked me about my salvation. After X-rays, drainage, 
and two months under nursing care, I was well enough to travel to Michigan. I 
took a train as far as Toledo where my father picked me up and drove me to 
Delton where I spent the next five months recovering. I returned to DC in 
March, 1935, but was warned that I would need to be very careful about my 
activity and get plenty of rest. They expected it to take five years for me to 
recover fully when actually, I was back to normal in two. However, the rest of 
my life I had to be very careful to avoid a reoccurrence. I learned to care for my 
body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. 

The idea of full-time Christian ministry occupied more and more of my 
thinking. I was quite busy with singing and leading singing with my trombone. 

I was determined to be faithful and to be doing what the Lord wanted me to do 
each day. My spiritual ties with my parents was ever growing and I watched my 
sister mature. Mother and I met in prayer and claimed salvation for the whole 

My search for ministry led me to the American Home Bible Institute, a 
school led by Bill Bond and Glenn Wagner which had been begun by Mr. 
Collamore. In 1936, Glenn went to Dallas Theological Seminary and left the 
position of president empty. I had been teaching Bible classes for the institute 
and had been serving as a member of the board. When Glenn left, I was asked to 
assume his duties as the school's president. The school was involved in 


correspondence and had a small evening program, all operated by volunteer 

Mary Hervey, a clerk in the government, was registrar of the Bible 
institute and we worked together in running the school. Through her I was 
asked to teach a young women's Sunday school class at Mt. Vernon Methodist 
Church. Mary was from Butler, PA and knew another young lady who had just 
moved from Butler to work in the government as a secretary. Her name was 
Ruth Crawford and Mary had rented her a room in her apartment. Ruth began 
to attend our Sunday school class and soon volunteered to help me at AHBI as I 
had need of some volunteer secretarial help. Gradually, we became acquainted 
and she not only became a part of the Institute, but also a member of our youth 
fellowship. In the spring of 1938, she accepted my proposal for marriage. All my 
friends had given me up as a confirmed bachelor, but our engagement created a 
great deal of excitement and much was made over our coming marriage. 


Our marriage took place in Butler, PA on October 22,1938. Gene was my 
best man and we were married at the Second UP Church. In the pastor's prayer, 
he asked the Lord to "send them just enough trouble to sweeten their lives." 

Since we were both 34 years old, Miss Lena Lebaugh asked, "What trouble could 
come to George and Ruth?" We took our honeymoon in West Virginia and 
Kentucky where we visited Ed and Esther Stelling. We had a great time together 
in the Lord. We visited the schools with them where they held Bible classes and 
carried on a scripture memory program for the children. It was cold then and I 
remember that many of the children were barefoot and poorly dressed despite 
the light snow on the ground. Amazingly, it did not seem to bother them at play 
because, in their poverty, they didn't know any other situation. 

The Stelling facilities were not adapted to a honeymoon, but we adjusted. 
Ed's greatest revelation of our visit was that he had found a dead rat in the water 
of their open well and that the water would taste better from that point on. The 
best beds they owned were two army cots which they graciously gave to us. The 
cracks between the floor boards took care of the dirt and we became accustomed 
to the boxes they used for kitchen furniture. Their oil stove was used for cooking 
and we were introduced to missionary work in rural America by the lack of 
inside facilities and the heat provided by a coal stove. I built a clothes closet and 
gave the women some money for groceries and other necessities. The Stellings 
had no money but were not complaining. What we learned those days would fill 
a book but would also redefine the word "missionary". 

The next few years were filled with a growing family and with other 
opportunities for ministry. When Gypsy Smith came to Washington to hold an 
evangelistic campaign under the auspices of the Laymen's Evangelistic 
Association, they asked me to take charge of the personal work. We recruited 
about fifty personal workers and supervised the interviewing of those who 


professed Christ. We arrived back from our honeymoon at the beginning of the 
meeting an Gypsy Smith presented us to the crowd of 2000 people. 

Life moved on and Ruth and I spend a few days where I had been 
rooming until our apartment on Independence Avenue was available. We also 
began plans for a family and our first child was born in August, 1939. We named 
him John Edward but he was a blue baby and lived only eighteen hours. Ruth 
never saw him. The doctor asked me if he should inform Ruth of the baby's 
passing but I wanted to remind her that we had given him to the Lord so I was 
the one to tell her. She cried, but replied, "I did so want him, but if the Lord 
wanted him then that is all right with me." Those are the only tears I recall her 
shedding for that baby but it was difficult to pack up all the things we had 
accumulated as we anticipated his arrival. 

When Ruth was again ready for the arrival of children, I took her to the 
hospital. As I put her on the elevator and kissed her, I said, "Nothing less than 
two girls." On May 21,1941 she gave birth to Grace and Esther, our perfect twin 
girls. My structural engineer friends in the office were as excited as I was. Once 
home, Ruth's mother took charge for she had the experience of raising twins. She 
stayed with us for several months and did it all. Linally, she went home 
exhausted and the twins were all ours. 

Our home with twins was exciting. One day when they were 16 months 
old, they were uncharacteristically silent. After Ruth investigated, she realized 
they had just completed emptying a box of Kleenex, located on the water tank of 
the toilet, sheet by sheet into the bowl. When I arrived home from the office, 

Ruth told me how naughty they had been. When I asked her what she did about 
it, she told me she spanked them real hard. However, when we put up a new 
box, they went right back in and did the same thing. I remarked that she must 
have made a real impression on them. 

A pastor friend in Alexandria had twin girls five years before us. They 
passed on to us all the clothes they had used and outgrown. Our girls never 
lacked the finest. 

Our one bedroom apartment was too small so we rented a house at 1508 S. 
Pollard St. in Arlington. We moved in October 1941, just a few months before 
Pearl Harbor. Our move seemed even wiser a year later when Martha arrived on 
October 2,1942, a new companion for the twins. She was a big one, a nice 
butterball type. The girls were all notably healthy and there were no 

When Ruth had carried Martha about five months, she stayed home on 
Sundays with the twins. One Sunday, she fell down the basement stairs with a 
pail of slop water, broke her arm and injured her head. When she came to, she 
was so dizzy that she had great difficulty getting up to the first floor. A nurse 
friend lived across the street and Ruth managed to get to the door and call. She 
then fainted and when the neighbor came over, she could not see her. When 
Ruth once again came to, she got out into the front yard and this time the 
neighbor saw her and came running. She managed to lift Ruth back into the 


house. I was preaching at a church in DC. Ruth had the neighbor call the 
telephone company who called a number near the church. The woman who 
answered the phone then went over to the church and the message was relayed 
to me. I closed the service as quickly as possible and rushed home to meet the 
doctor who had already arrived. He said there was no damage to the baby but 
confirmed the broken arm. Dede soon arrived to take over the household until 
Ruth was once again capable. 

In 1944 we lost another boy at birth with circumstances similar to the first 
one and in 1945, Ruth suffered a miscarriage again caused by the Rh factor. Ruth 
spent twenty-eight days in the hospital because of infection and incurred a bill 
totaling $608. We had just moved to WBI full-time, so we were low on funds. 

The Lord supplied our need with gifts from friends totaling $614. I used to say 
that the extra six dollars must have gone to aspirins which we had forgotten but 
it was a great lesson in the Lord supplying our needs, we were like little children 
learning to walk but we were learning to walk by faith. Later, we looked back on 
this incident as a great revelation that we were where the Lord wanted us. 

When our children were small our routine of going to bed included a visit 
to all the rooms in the house. Martha straddled my neck and hung onto my hair. 
Then I took a twin on each shoulder and away we would go, down to the 
basement, into the bathroom on the first floor and finally up the stairs to their 
beds. When the total load got to more than one hundred pounds, I had to give 
up. Then we had prayer, a hug and several kisses, and I tucked them in saying 
good night. After three minutes, they cried, "I want a drink." Their thirst 
quenched, we finally had silence. 

We made an attempt to visit both of our families once a year, usually in 
June or July. This was a highlight for Ruth's mother, "Dede", who loved the 
twins and Martha. During the war, gas was rationed and long trips limited so 
the year before Martha was born, Ruth and the twins went by train to Butler. I 
engaged a private room and the twins drove Ruth crazy. They wanted to sit on 
the potty the entire time. 

After Martha was born, we took the three to Michigan on the train. It was 
the summer of 1943. We took the car to Butler and the train from there. I picked 
huckleberries and, with Dad's help, we canned them in one quart glass jars and 
packed them in an old flat trunk. The train carried our trunk for free. When we 
got off at the station near Butler, the baggage man threw the trunk off. I thought 
every jar would be broken, but only one was. It was raining and our car was 
stored in a barn but I could not find the man with the key. I noticed a light at a 
nearby Catholic church and found our man there, playing bingo. Soaked to the 
skin, I returned to the barn, got the car, Ruth and the three girls and drove to 
Butler only to discover that Ruth had left her purse on the train. We stayed with 
Dede that night and went home the next day waiting for news on Ruth's purse. 
We recovered it a few days later as the conductor had held it for her. All of this 
was part of the fun of travel with babies. 


We started Bible memory verses with our children as soon as they were 
able to speak. All three could say the books of the Bible at lightning speed. 

When Martha was 2 \/2 years old, I took her to the Gospel Mission and stood her 

on the pulpit while she said the books of the Bible to the 200 men. They were 
uniformly impressed. These things, we believe, contributed significantly to our 
children's spiritual development. 

We always had our children accompany us to the Wednesday night 
prayer meeting. From about age three, this was our practice. We also kept them 
with us during regular church services. There were problems of keeping them 
quiet, but they learned quickly. We also cooperated with Child Evangelism in 
their Good News Clubs. I built 8" high benches and Ruth visited every home on 
our block and invited children aged three and over. All seventeen children on 
our block attended. LaDelle Dawson, whom I was later to marry, was involved 
in teaching these classes. She also babysat for us when Ruth and I were away. 

When it came time for school, our children were eager beavers. 
Fortunately, their first school was only two blocks away. But they were just as 
enthusiastic about learning the Bible. We had many Bible quiz books and they 
ate them up. Dale Crowley had a children's Bible quiz on the radio and many 
times our children were on the program. Then we began to take them to Youth 
For Christ where the Bible quiz was the main event. The Schuppe kids lived on 
the same block and our families were together in everything. Barcroft was also 
instrumental in instructing our children in the Word of God. 

When Grace was 7 or 8, she and others were at the curb where the city bus 
stopped at the corner. The bus driver motioned her to cross in front of his bus. 
An unseen auto was passing on the other side and Grace stepped into the path of 
the car. Fortunately, the car was moving slowly but it hit Grace and knocked her 
into the curb and stopped. Grace jumped up and ran screaming for home. The 
driver of the car was terribly frightened and followed Grace to our house. Her 
only injury was burned skin but it was a lesson in crossing the street she never 
forgot. She could easily have lost her life. 

The twins joined the Brownies at age 10. Of course, they came home with 
loads of Brownie cookies to be sold. So, one Saturday morning I took them out 
on their first sales trip. They opened the car door and literally ran to the houses. 
They sold out before I could blink and returned with dollar bills without having 
given anyone change for their purchases. To this day I have no idea why 
everyone overpaid them but I knew that they could certainly succeed in any 
business venture. 

For 19 months, I was interim pastor at Neelsville Presbyterian Church, 25 
miles north of DC, replacing a pastor who had become an army chaplain. At the 
time, I was also teaching a women's Sunday School class at Francis Asbury M.E. 
Church and the children were place in Sunday School there. Due to rationing, I 
did not have enough gasoline to make the trip so Jack Warfield would pick us up 
at 10:30, drive us to Neelsville where I would arrive about 11:15 and speak at 
11:30. In 1944, we placed our children in the Cherry dale Baptist Sunday School 


where Ruth rode with our neighbors Ruth and Tony Hill. I continued teaching at 
Francis Asbury and also transported students to Glendale Hospital to conduct 
classes in the children's wards. Around 1949, we began attending Barcroft Bible 
Church and I resigned as teacher of the women's class at Francis Asbury. The 
result of that teaching was the salvation of many of those women who had never 
heard biblical teaching. 

In the fall of 1948, my brother John asked me to come to teach a course in 
personal evangelism for a week at his school in Grand Rapids. I finished the 
teaching but had another attack of pleurisy. To ward off pneumonia, I spent a 
week in the hospital and the next six weeks recovering with John and Evelyn. 
Ruth came up by train and helped me by train back to Washington. 

At the same time. Mother came down with a very serious illness. They 
were living in Wayland and I went to see her nearly every day. I spent the time 
with her praying and reading the Bible. One day, she was lying very quietly, 
looking up at the ceiling and whispered, "I see Him." 

I leaned over and asked her what He looked like. She answered, "He is 
beautiful." That was all she spoke. 

A few days later, John and I decided that it would be a good idea to have 
the elders of the church pray for her that the Lord would raise her up. So, after 
church on Sunday, we went to the house and stood around her. After telling her 
our intention, she responded, "George, if you want to pray for me, pray that God 
would take me home. I have lived for this." She passed away January 17,1950. 
Ruth and I drove from Washington for the memorial and I had the privilege of 
speaking. It was a great blessing to know that Mother was in the presence of the 
Lord and that her testimony would live on as one who was faithful to Him. 

In the fall of 1951, Dad went to Llorida to stay with Chuck and Helen. 
While there, he became ill and Ruth went down to nurse him and take care of his 
needs. He went to be with the Lord Lebruary 11,1952 at the age of 77. Ruth 
accompanied his body by train back to Wayland and I again had the opportunity 
of ministering the Word of God at the funeral. Uncle Fred was there and was 
greatly moved by the testimony considering his brother. Whether he every came 
to faith in Christ is uncertain. 

When my father died, each of the children took something: Chuck took 
the guns, Nelson the miterbox and I took some hand tools and half a bushel of 
every kind of screw under the sun. When I got home, I secured several glass 
containers and paid the girls 10 cents an hour to separate the screws into 
categories and put them in these containers. They responded negatively, but it 
was one way of earning a dime. 

Our family owes a great deal to our sisters. Ruth lived in Wayland and 
was close to Mother and Father and Tret was in Wayland and was always 
available. When our Mother became ill, the girls cared for them and sacrificed a 
great deal for their sake. I have already mentioned how Ruth took the 
responsibility of going to Florida when Dad was sick. The members of the family 


never will know how much they sacrificed or how much they did for our 
parents. But we thank them greatly for their service to the family. 

During all of these events, our daughters continued to grow and soon 
entered high school. Their lives were being touched by the world. We tied them 
very close to the college and the college life. Their church friends were also very 
strong in the Lord. We took them to every Christian event that we thought 
would influence them toward Christ. 

Martha found that the Physical Education program at Wakefield High 
School included social dancing. She came home and asked me to write a note to 
the teacher excusing her from this activity. She had to face the scorn of the 
teacher and others but we rejoiced that she demonstrated a conviction that 
showed her moral strength. 

The girls received five dollars a month for their school lunches and 
Sunday School offering. Martha went to church and was challenged by a 
missionary offering. She had not spent any of her allowance but put all five 
dollars in the offering and sacrificed lunches for a month. 

In August 1957, our daughter Esther died. It was completely unexpected. 
Esther was aggressive, enthusiastic and talkative. She loved her daddy and 
loved to be with him. She was also my personal fashion critic. I recall being 
ready to go out and she insisted I change my socks because the color did not 
match. I did as she instructed. 

She had been having low temperatures for some time but the doctors 
were unable to pinpoint the problem. In July, she became jaundiced indicating 
gall bladder trouble. She was also tiring easily and needed a lot of rest. On 
occasion, she had sever internal pains. In July, the family accompanied me to a 
Bible conference in PA. The three girls sang for the first time as a trio on the 
radio. While at the conference, Esther did some swimming but was very weak 
and her skin was quite noticeably yellow. When we came home, she spent most 
of her time in bed. She was an avid reader of Christian novels and displayed a 
high degree of interest in spiritual things. 

Finally, the pains became too severe to tolerate and an operation was 
performed. The doctors discovered that she was full of cancer and the bile duct 
was closed. For the first time, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, cancer 
of the lymph glands. Four days later she was with the Lord, August 25,1957, at 
the age of 16. 

I bought four cemetery plots in National Memorial Park from Eunice 
Shriver. Esther's body lay in the funeral home on Columbia Pike for two days 
and hundreds of high school friends passed by. I stood at the casket and talked 
to them about the Lord. Most of them had never seen a dead body before and 
knew nothing about death, heaven or hell. I believe it was the greatest pulpit I 
ever had. 

The funeral was held at Barcroft Bible Church. The people expressed their 
love in many different ways. Helen Millson and Arlene Mundy sang, "The 


Pearly Gates Will Open". Archie McGilvary had just come as the pastor and Bob 
Boyd returned to minister the Word. Fifty-one cars drove to the cemetery. 

It was difficult to adjust to her empty chair at our table. Both Martha and 
Grace passed through a difficult time because they were all so close together in 
age and activities. Grace seemed to withdraw and preferred to be alone. 
However, we had the blessing of Esther's joy now that she was home with the 

Shortly before Esther's homegoing we were sitting at the dining room 
table when suddenly Esther said, "Daddy, do we have to attend WBC?" It was 
evident our 16 year old twins had been discussing their future with their friends. 
I answered, "No. Our only desire for you is the will of God. But we would be 
pleased if you attended WBC." She gave a big sigh of relief. Both Esther and 
Grace had scored in the top ten percent nationally on scholarship tests. Esther 
was strong in math and Grace was strong in English. Eventually, both Grace and 
Martha chose to attend WBC. 

In the summer of 1958, Ruth and I decided that it was time I took a little 
time for the family. Nearly every summer, I had traveled with a ladies' trio or a 
men's quartet or was involved in preaching and conferences and had little time 
for the family. We decided on a camping trip to the West Coast. We wanted our 
daughters to see our country and we wanted to cement us together as a family 
before the time passed when we would have the opportunity. Grace was 
beginning her last year in high school, and Martha was in her second year. 

We took the southern route to California. We then proceeded up the coast 
to Seattle, moved east to Yellowstone then south to Denver. From there we went 
on to Michigan to visit the family and back to Arlington, the whole trip taking 
forty-two days. We pulled a camper and used it twenty-two nights and spent 
the other nights with friends who were kind enough to give us good beds and 
allow us to do laundry. Ruth and Grace preferred the comforts of home while 
Martha and I enjoyed the camping. I had seen much of the west when I lived 
there in 1929 and 30 but it was great to see it again with my family. We stopped 
at most of the national parks on the way and saw Los Angeles with Aunt Bessie 
and Rosamond. San Francisco, Portland, Salt Lake City, Hoover Dam, the Grand 
Canyon, Yosemite, Crater Lake, Coolie Dam, Redwoods, and Sequoias were all 
part of our trip. 

This trip was not the only time we ever left home. We had a rather well 
traveled family. We continued to make yearly journeys to relatives in 
Pennsylvania and Michigan and made several trips to Florida during Christmas 
to visit my brother Chuck. I also spoke at many Bible conferences and took my 
family with me as often as possible. We saw Niagara Falls, Word of Life, Camp 
of the Woods, Pinebrook, Keswick and even a few Miracle Camps. Our favorite 
camp was Living Waters in North Carolina, run by Herbert Brown. 

Who can fully describe the joys of raising children? They are an amazing 
gift from God. I discovered the powerful sanctifying factor children are for 
parents. We carried them through their childhood filling their fertile minds with 


the Word of God. Then we watched them enter their teens with convictions that 
kept them from destruction and guided them into making decisions according to 
the Word of God. Finally, we were able to join in their joy when they yielded to 
Christ and chose the will of God for their lives. I am thankful that this included 
Bible college and ministry of the gospel in whatever location the Lord has led. 
Parents who raise children according to God's instructions reap eternal joy. 



Over the years, four small evening Bible institutes came into being in DC. 
The question was soon raised if it would be better to have one strong institute to 
serve the community rather than four smaller ones. Three of the schools came 
together for discussion of the matter in September 1938 and they decided on a 

American Home Bible Institute, of which I was president, and the 
Washington School of the Bible joined immediately at that meeting and the Bible 
Institute of Washington joined in 1940. I was appointed president of the new 
institution which was named Washington Bible Institute. We first met in the 
building owned by the Bible Institute of Washington but that was soon found to 
be too small. So, the classes were held at the Open Door Church on D St. NW 
which was pastored by Rev. Oyer. He was selected as chairman of the Board of 
Trustees and remained chairman until his death in 1951. 

The institute was growing quickly and needed full-time leadership. When 
Glenn Wagner completed his studies at Dallas in 1940, he accepted the call to 
return to Washington and take over leadership of the institute. He continued 
there until 1944 when he joined the work of Pocket Testament League. At that 
time, the trustees asked me to resume the presidency of the institute, this time in 
a full-time role. 

When the trustees asked me to take the school full-time, I hesitated for the 
following reasons: 

1. I felt that I was not academically qualified as I did not have the benefit 
of a seminary education. I felt this might reflect upon the institution an 
its future growth. 

2. God had blessed me as a structural engineer and I had just reached the 
pinnacle of my profession with a promising career. I was not sure that 
God wanted me to leave this lifetime advantage. 

3. I felt totally inadequate for the job and inferior as a leader in the 
theological field. Too much would be expected of me. I wondered if 
the Christian public and church leadership would accept me. 

4. We had three children with the responsibility that entails and I always 
thought that I could serve the Lord as a layman. 

However, the following events urged me to accept the position: 


1. Before salvation, I had determined that I would not be a preacher or a 
missionary. After salvation, I was completely open to whatever the 
Lord might want me to do, even if it included full-time service. 

2. For the first three years of my Christian life as I grew in the Lord, I 
became deeply concerned about missing God's will for my life. 

3. God opened the door to full time ministry at the age of forty. My father 
had entered the ministry at age 41. The Lord kept this before me as an 

4. About 1941, Ed Stelling came to our home believing God wanted me to 
join him in the evangelistic ministry. We would take turns leading the 
singing and preaching. Our ministry together had been blessed by the 
Lord but after protracted prayer, I had no peace about making this step 
although I became much exercised over the matter. 

5. The institute was growing and the youth rallies along with other 
meetings made that load on Glenn very heavy. He asked me if I would 
consider joining him and taking charge of the academic program as 
dean. Again, I prayed but had not freedom to make such a move. 

6. Although I never received a formal call to pastor a church, I was 
continually supplying pulpits and holding evangelistic meetings as 
time would allow and received sever unofficial invitations to pastor 
churches and there were numerous opportunities in the field. Each 
time I would pray, but felt no peace about pursuing the pastorate. 

7. My association with the Laymen's Evangelistic Association, as a 
founding member of the group, also gave me opportunity for ministry. 
The group later joined CBMC International and conducted summer tent 
meetings for seven years. I was involved in the administration, getting 
speakers, leading singing, and preaching. I also dealt with the city and 
all of this gave me plenty of organizational, administrative and 
leadership experience. 

All of these opportunities brought me face to face with the will of God and 
a decision had to be made. I searched my heart to make sure that I was willing to 
do whatever God wanted me to do. Teaching seemed to be what I liked to do 
more than anything else and I was working both in Sunday school and at the 

I decided I would let the Trustees and others decide this for me. I 
presented these problems to them and said if the vote was unanimous, I would 
accept. They reported to me that it was their unanimous desire that I become 
their president and I immediately asked Ruth, "What do you think?" She said, 
"Wherever the Lord calls you, I am with you 100%!" This was the unity we both 

At once, I put in my resignation with the government, March 15,1945, and 
began at WBI the next day. The really was not much change because Glenn had 
already become so involved with Pocket Testament League that the 
responsibility of the school had fallen on my shoulders for several months. 


The response at the government was predictable. My co-worker at the 
office was a Jew and I was there when I announced my resignation. He asked 
me what I was going to do and, upon hearing my plans, asked the question, 
"What are they going to pay you?" 

I responded, "I don't know. I never asked them!" 

"You'll starve to death," was his reply. 

At the end of forty years, I do not remember missing a single meal for lack 
of supply. We were resting on God's promise, "My God shall supply all you 
needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." We were seeking first 
God's kingdom and all those things were added to us. 

When I took over as president of the college, my income was considerably 
reduced. I was determined to give myself to the task one hundred percent. 
Howard Zimmerman had entered private engineering practice and needed help. 
He called me and offered me almost as much as the college was paying me if I 
would just give him one day a week. It was a tempting offer but I realized that 
one day would soon become two or more days so I refused to get involved. 

At my formal installation, I used Joshua 1:1-9 as my text for my message. 
When God called Joshua to succeed Moses, He assured him of His presence. His 
power and His provision. I claimed the same for myself knowing my inability 
but having faith and confidence that God would do the same for me. I praise His 
name for He has fully kept his promises. My life has been run by three 
principles. My only interest is the will of God. In the will of God, I cannot fail. 

In the will of God, I will have no eternal regrets. 

Glenn was still active in DC and his interest in evangelism led him to start 
a Saturday night youth rally at Almas Temple, K St. Homer and Blanche Philips 
worked with him in charge of the music. As a result of the rallies, hundreds of 
young people came to Christ and many of these enrolled in the Bible institute to 
study the Word. Glenn also sponsored Potomac boat cruises with an 
evangelistic thrust. We continued these boat cruises for several years and had 
Percy Crawford and Jack Wrytzen as speakers. 

Our students received much of their training in open air meetings in parks 
and streets. Under the leadership of Bob Woodburn, CBMC opened the 
Servicemen's Center to minister to the many wartime soldiers crowding DC. 
Harvey Prentice of the Gospel Mission also offered the students opportunities for 
ministry in the city and opened my eyes to jail ministry and mission meetings. I 
have continued my interest in preaching in gospel missions and in jails all my life 
and encouraged students to remember unique areas for sharing the gospel. 

The school continued to grow and soon outgrew the available facilities. 

At the same time, we were considering expanding the curriculum to a three year 
program, resembling Moody Bible Institute. However, we were constantly 
aware of our need for a new location. In May of 1946, the Lord led us to a 
preparatory school for men entering the service academies located on Rhode 
Island Ave. The property was large enough to accommodate our current 
activities and allow for significant growth. The selling price was $80,000, 


$30,000 of which had to be raised in sixty days. Within the allotted time, the 
Lord's people had donated the necessary money and the property belonged to 

The buildings had to be ready for classes in September. We had very little 
money so I was given to knocking out walls and other construction. Dad and 
Mother had come for five months while Dad worked on the building. He was a 
great help. About the middle of June, a young man appeared and asked if he 
could be of some help. I told him we could always use help but he wouldn't get 
much money from it. He told us he didn't need money and then told us that he 
had just gotten saved, and was a son of an Army colonel and a junior at 
Princeton. For two months, we labored together with some others. His name 
was John Whitcomb and would later go on to be a great scholar, writer, professor 
at Grace Theological Seminary and a life-long friend. 

The college took up a great deal of my time. With teaching day and night, 
starting extension classes, and traveling with student groups on the weekends, 
adjustments were called for at home. I always tried to be home for dinner 
because it was the only way I could spend any time with the children. 

We wanted to minister to our supporters and keep them informed. So, 
with the help of my secretary Dorothy Swilling and part-time helper Margaret 
Norton, we established our publication TIDINGS. It required long hours of work 
but the 2,000 people on the mailing list seemed to appreciate it. I had also 
enlisted the help of Ed Stelling to write our monthly prayer letter. The Lord had 
led him into a life of prayer unequaled by any other man that I knew and he had 
close contact with the school. He continued in that ministry for forty years and 
challenged thousands of Christians to a more blessed prayer life through 
personal contact and letters published in booklets. 

We were making changes rapidly as we prepared for our first semester in 
the new facilities. We had dorms and a dining room in full operation and the 
first of a three year full time course was taught at night along with the regular 
adult education program. In the fall of 1947, two full years of courses were 
conducted during the day and the third year was added the following fall. 

Our first graduation for the three year program took place in the spring of 
1949 when twelve students received their diplomas. The first graduating class 
was significant to me as a triumph. We were a small and happy group, a family. 
The faculty shared the struggles and trials of every student. I remember Herman 
Dowdy and always wondered how he survived to graduate. He quit more times 
than I can recall. During his freshman year, we had a day of prayer and he 
prayed, with tears, that he did not know the will of God. For the next hour, we 
had a time of personal prayer and he returned filled with joy. I asked him what 
had happened and he replied that God had shown him that he was in His will. 
Herman had been concerned with what would happen thirty years in the future 
and that was why he felt he didn't know God's will. 

Jack Mitchel of Multnoma School of the Bible once told me, "If you want to 
get involved in problems, start a day college." I soon learned the validity of this 


statement. During the fifties, our growth was slow and at times we wondered 
whether or not the college would survive. I once shared this with my brother 
John. By this time, he was president of Grand Rapids School of the Bible and 
Music and he responded like this: "God raised up GRSBM and if He sees fit to 
close it, that is His responsibility." That taught me a great deal about having the 
right perspective. Paul states in Philippians, "I have learned that in whatsoever 
state I am, therein to be content. I know both how to be abased and I know how 
to abound; everywhere in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be 
hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ 
who strengtheneth me." This has been one of my most challenging lessons to 
learn. We no sooner pass through a trial triumphantly than we are confronted 
with a more difficult one. 

With the establishment of the day school in 1946, the operation of the 
school became significantly more complex. Dining rooms, dormitories, a library 
and other essentials required more personnel, facilities and finances. At the 
same time, we were acquiring more property in order to satisfy our needs. The 
initial purchase had involved 1443-45 Rhode Island Avenue and in 1953 we 
procured 1441. A three story horse barn in the rear became room for the library, 
recreation area and classrooms in 1958. We became creative in space 
management because the growth of the student body required new adjustments 
every year. For example, a garage at 1441 quickly became the print shop. We 
were able to purchase the properties at 1449-51 and then 1447 giving us an 
expansive unit along Rhode Island Ave. But even this was not enough as we 
were renting twenty apartments in the Rhode Islander by the end of the sixties. 

The school was always being evaluated according to its size and growth in 
numbers. Larger schools set the standard and there was always pressure to 
measure up. If the enrollment increased one year, God was blessing but a 
decrease indicated that someone was failing and God had removed His blessing. 
This is sort of like a football team at a state university. If the administration 
doesn't produce, you can always hire a new one. 

In the fall of 1953, an entire graduating class requested a fourth year. The 
trustees agreed and the fourth year was added. We then received permission 
from the Board of Education of the District of Columbia to grant a bachelor of 
arts degree. The name of the school was then changed to Washington Bible 
College in 1956 to reflect the change. In 1958, the graduating class requested 
graduate level training and Capital Bible Seminary was born. 

We were blessed with wonderful staff. LaDelle Dawson was our first 
dean of women and instructor in Christian Education. After two years, we lost 
her by marriage to one of the students and, in so doing, established a pattern. It 
seemed that as soon as we had an able person who had become efficient in his 
position, the Lord would remove him and we would start over. We soon 
learned, however, that when the Lord removed one, he always raised up 
another. Our next dean of women, Hannah Campagna, we lost to the foreign 
mission field. While that expanded our missionary interest, it was a sore loss. 


She had the odd idea that blackstrap molasses was the key to healthy living. 
Mother Phillips followed and was well loved. She came to the evening school 
and fell in love with the study of the Word. She even convinced her pastor to 
visit classes with her. Later, she told him that she was leaving his church 
because she wanted to go where the Word of God was preached. He, 
unsurprised, said he had predicted it from the moment she began attending the 
Bible institute. 

Mary Ortendall followed and was with us for twenty years, first as 
women's dean then dorm supervisor, dietitian, house mother, prayer warrior, 
counselor and loyal friend of the schools. She was a great servant and she, along 
with Ruth, began the Women's Auxiliary, greatly used in prayer and giving to 
uphold the college. She even had her Sunday School class at Cherrydale Baptist 
supplying the college with linens. 

The Lord sent Willis Bishop as our first full time professor in 1947. He 
was to remain with us for 35 years before his retirement. C. W. Oyer was a great 
source of encouragement to me until his homegoing in 1951. Vernon Hill 
followed him as chairman of the trustees and was a great leader and faithful 

With the coming of Carl Keefer as our first full-time dean in 1953,1 had 
some relief from administration. He and his wife Sue became a real part of the 
family and life of WBC. Without him we could not have inaugurated the four 
year college program. Carl had just resigned as academic dean at Bob Jones and 
came to our little struggling Bible institute with loads of experience and tons of 
talent. His musical ability and excellent work in the classroom made him the key 
our school needed. He did much to strengthen the curriculum and teaching and 
he and Willis Bishop worked well as a team. Losing him four years later was a 
great toll. While the number of students had grown only slightly during his 
tenure, the entire school had been strengthened. He later confided in me that our 
years together had been the happiest days of his life. 

In the spring of 1953,1 was presented with the opportunity to go to the 
Orient with Pocket Testament League. It was not an easy decision to go because 
I was filling the pulpit at Barcroft and had so many responsibilities with the 
college. The trip was also supposed to be for three months in the middle of the 
school year. Besides, I had never been away from Ruth and the girls for any 
extended period of time and I realized what a load it would place on my wife. 

She didn't even have a driver's license at the time and had to get one in 
preparation for my trip. However, the Lord sent along Marshall Southard who 
took over the pastorate at Barcroft and many of my classes to prepare for the 
mission field. The trustees also encouraged me to go. 

The trip was one of the turning points in my life. Glenn Wagner wanted 
me to go to the foreign field and work in the distribution of the gospel of John. 
This trip included Japan, Korea and Formosa. I had to raise my own support and 
cover the cost of transportation. In May of 1953, Glenn put $1 in a fund for the 
trip. Then in September, Bob Woodburn told people on a CBMC Cruise about 


my trip and received $161 in an offering that evening. By November, I was 
prepared to take my shots but had received no more money. I decided to go 
ahead with the shots and after that the gifts began to come. To satisfy my total 
need of $3,000, Ruth and I decided that I should withdraw my government 
retirement funds and by February, I had all the required money in hand. 

The ministry to follow was something I had never dreamed possible. I 
stopped in Hawaii for a week with Elsie Yoshimura who arranged entertainment 
for me and showed me the work Child Evangelism Fellowship was doing there. 

I also met Eleanor Bergsten who later served as my secretary for eighteen years. 
While in Hawaii, I was also able to visit Jamie and Nellie Barton who were there 
with the Navy. From Honolulu, I flew to Tokyo. 

Glen met me there and took me to Formosa for the next two weeks. The 
flight was on a converted four motor World War II bomber through a terrible 
thunderstorm. Upon arrival, I was introduced to Andrew Lou who became my 
working companion. We held meetings in the markets and for the first time I 
spoke from the top of a PTL truck. We also distributed gospels of John in schools 
and gave a short message. Glenn and I took pedicabs in the rain to see Dick 
Hillis who was also working in the high schools. Glenn gave him 10,000 gospels 
of John to distribute to the kids. Finally, I spoke to about forty missionaries on 
the south of the island. 

We then returned to Japan for three weeks of distribution to schools in the 
daytime and rallies in larger buildings at night. John Fakuda and Comiji Sata 
were our companions and interpreters. I learned quite a bit about Japanese life 
spending nearly two weeks alone with these two men. They were great men of 
God. In a small town, I was introduced to the traditional Japanese bath in the 
hotel in which we were staying. John took it for granted that I knew all about it. 
A servant girl appeared at my room and motioned me to follow as she led me to 
the bath. I entered a small room where I disrobed and the girl held a small 
basket for my clothes. Then I saw the bath for the first time. It was a four foot 
square hole in the floor with steam rising from the water. The girl attempted to 
follow me in but I waved her back. I guess I was too sensitive for Japanese 
culture. Then I wondered how I was supposed to take a bath, especially when 
my toes practically burned off on their first contact with the water. After 
spotting a tin dish and a bar of soap, I dipped the dish in the water and poured it 
over my body. After soaping up, I rinsed off in the same way, never getting in 
the water. I left the tank perfectly clean for the next guest and I am sure the girl 
thought I was crazy for not taking a normal bath. She gave me back my robe and 
I vanished into my room, grateful to have escaped. When I recounted the story, 
Glenn and the rest laughed to the point of tears. I made it a point not to get 
caught by that situation again. 

I spoke in David Stada's church and spoke to the students at his Bible 
institute. The Wagners had their home in Tokyo and it was like heaven to get 
back there after being out with Japanese fellows. One night, we had a meeting in 
a hall that would seat about 300 on the floor. We planned to show a movie and 


the place was jammed. There was no aisle left and even the windows were full. 
Something had to be done so Glenn literally ran people out the entrance until he 
could shut the door. Then we were able to start the meeting. We were glad to 
get home with our shirts. 

A few days later, Lucretia and I decided to pass out tracts to about 5,000 
school kids who were being dismissed. We set the truck in the middle of the 
street with just enough room on either side for a person to squeeze by. We 
thought we had a good set up as the first wave of kids passed but we had not 
counted on a side street a few feet in front of the truck. We stood next to the 
truck waiting for the rest of the kids to pass. 

Things were going smoothly until a flood of kids emerged from the side 
street. The neat lines disappeared and we were faced with a howling mob with 
hands raised grabbing for tracts. We literally thought we would lose our shirts 
and even be trampled to death. I got up on the hood and Lucretia stood on the 
bumper until the majority had passed. We didn't run out of tracts for we had 
brought plenty of those. But a bunch of kids in that situation lose all concept of 
organization and order. The rule of the jungle prevails. 

I was beginning to learn the lessons of Japan in the fifties. First, there 
were crowds everywhere. Second, there was a great vacuum for knowledge. 
Third, the doors were wide open. Finally, the laborers were few and continue to 
be scarce. At the end of each day, I was left with the feeling that the situation 
was hopeless, there were too many people and the job was too big. Millions 
upon millions are dying without hope and no one seems to care. 

I contrasted the affluence of America with the poverty I saw there. I saw 
the endless line of churches in America in every city and hamlet while there were 
no churches, no witnesses, no Bibles there. I wanted to know what was wrong 
with the American Christian that would allow such a situation to exist. Then it 
occurred to me that I was part of the problem; I was one of those indifferent 
American Christians. I determined that upon return, I would be a different Bible 
College President. 

From Japan, we went to Korea for three weeks. We landed in Pusan, a 
city normally of half a million but swollen to over two million with refugees 
from the war. They were jammed along the streets in cardboard shacks. The 
streets were polluted with human refuse and thousands were living out of the 
American troops' garbage cans. 

The first meeting we held was to speak to a thousand troops in Pusan. It 
was such a privilege to share with them the gospel of John and the message of 
life it contains. Later, I spoke to 250 students at the Pusan Bible Institute. Dr. On 
was the president and the school was housed in American Army Quonsets. I 
soon learned that the Korean Christians had a great hunger for the Word of God 
and thousands of young people were training to carry the gospel to their people 
and other countries. 

A short distance from Pusan was a training base for army engineers. I 
was taken there and spoke to 5000 men, presenting each with a copy of the 


gospel of John. My message from the gospel was simple, the person and work of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. We always gave an invitation and the response was too 
great to believe. Each day we spoke to grade school and high school students 
and continued to distribute gospels. 

We moved north from there to Nonson army training center where there 
were 51,000 troops. In two and a half days we spoke to over 40,000 and 
distributed gospels. There were 1,700 in the hospital and we were accompanied 
there by the commanding general and other leading officers. At one time, we 
spoke to 10,000 who were at ease on the parade grounds. After the message, we 
gave an invitation to those who would receive Christ as Savior and asked them 
to respond to Christ with a loud "Yes". It seemed that all 10,000 voices 
responded at once. We could hear their voices echo from the hills and I will 
never forget that moment. I asked one of the Korean chaplains how many of the 
men were hearing the gospel for the first time and he said that 85% had never 
heard the gospel before. 

We had difficulty getting the gospels to the Nonson center. The train had 
taken them well to the north and Joe Copeland had to go and bring them back by 
truck in time for the campaign. I was also working with Don Robertson, he 
knew his way around Korea and we were together at Nonson as well as in Seoul. 
The Salvation Army provided our rooms and a kerosene stove which was less 
than adequate for keeping us warm. 

As we traveled across Korea I was privileged to speak in churches. It was 
a special privilege to speak at the Yong Knock New Life Church, a very large 
church built by refugees from North Korea. Dr. Hon was the pastor. 

PTL personnel traveled on the trains which were run by the US Army. 

We ate free at the army canteens and officers clubs. We went to Pon Mon Jon 
where General Harrison gained an armistice and ate at the officer's mess there. 
Don drove the PTL truck through the lines, over the controlled bridges and 
down to the dividing fence without being stopped to the dismay of the troops in 
charge. We got out and took pictures and could have been blown up by mines 
but the Lord protected us. We got back safely but were between friend and foe. 
Maybe the North Koreans thought we were there to raise the white flag. 

The poverty of the refugees in South Korea was pitiful. I was saddened at 
the low moral standard of both troops and officers. I spoke at the chapel at 
Inchon Harbor and preached openly about sin and what was happening to their 
lives. Nearly a third of the congregation responded to the gospel message 
including many officers. 

Korea left a strong impression on me. At Pusan, I stayed with Dr. 
Chisholm, a faithful veteran Presbyterian missionary. Much of Korea had been 
evangelized by Presbyterian missionaries and a strong church was in existence. 
Many had gone through great persecution. As a result, Korea was developing 
the potential to be the missionary to all of SE Asia. 

Glenn and I left Seoul for Japan. It was great to find a good bed and a 
bowl of oatmeal at the Wagner's. I never tasted anything so good. The food in 


Korea had not agreed with me and I lost a few excess pounds. While back in 
Japan, I went to an Air Force base north of Tokyo with Pat Befus and spoke to a 
small group of ladies there. I also met Captain Fuchida, who led the attack on 
Pearl Harbor, who was working with PTL in Tokyo. Another Japanese Christian 
had a printing business and printed gospels for PTL. He helped me find good 
prices for items in Tokyo. 

Glenn arranged for me to address the Missionary Fellowship of Tokyo. 
There were nearly a thousand missionaries in Tokyo and they met once a month 
for fellowship. About 160 attended the meeting where I spoke on what 
impressions I had gathered while visiting Asia. I think some left greatly 
disturbed at my remarks. Some missionaries had been there for years learning 
the language and had done nothing else. Many did not think speaking through 
an interpreter was effective and had no respect for PTL. I told them what God 
had done through our interpreters and made the point that it may not be the best 
approach, but it is better than doing nothing. Missionaries can become lazy and 
continue to do nothing while losing their zeal for reaching the lost. I said that the 
cause of Christ would not suffer if half the missionaries were sent home. 

I said good-bye to the team in Tokyo and flew to Hong Kong. There I met 
another missionary friend and went shopping, shipping some to the friends in 
Tokyo and the rest to the States. Hong Kong has long been legendary as a free 
port and the prices were as little as a third of what I would have paid in the 

I flew to Manila from Hong Kong and stayed with Hannah Compagna, 
former dean of women at WBI, for four days. I spoke to students over the radio 
and saw some of the work being done for the Lord in the area of Manila. I was 
quite impressed with the zeal of some of the missionaries there. The Navigators 
had a very good ministry. 

I then flew to Hong Kong and then on to Bangkok. There I stayed at the 
Alliance guest house and had fellowship with the English missionaries. I visited 
the Buddhist temple and found the idolatry unbelievable. I also saw the floating 
city and picked up a few silver items. The airport, an American funded 
enterprise, had the most interesting lawn mower I've ever seen- fifteen Thai girls 
sitting on the lawn trimming it with ordinary scissors. 

My next stop was Calcutta. I met and American friend there and we 
visited the Coligot temple where they offered blood sacrifices. The beggars were 
everywhere and in the temple we saw all kinds of gods. I was impressed with 
the fertility god, a cactus tree where women sat and prayed for a child then tied 
their prayers to the limbs of the tree. I stayed with a British couple that worked 
with a printing and literature distribution ministry. The wife was Indian and 
taught a Bible class in a poor section of the city and took me there to teach her 
class of women. 

I saw Hinduism with all its filth and multiplied gods and the animals 
eating up the livelihood of the nation. In New Delhi, there were both Buddhist 
and Hindu temples with their idols everywhere. There is a golden covered 


sleeping Buddha, one hundred feet long with its feet covered in pearls. I also 
took a trip to Aggara to see the Taj Mahal. I also went through the Red Fort. It 
was well worth seeing but I paid the price in my health by drinking a glass of 
soda water from a proffered glass. I was sick for most of my remaining trip. 

I took the night train back to New Delhi and flew through Karachi to 
Beirut where I spent the night waiting for a flight to Jerusalem. I was met there 
by Mrs. Lambie who drove us to her home in Baracha. I stayed with her for two 
weeks while I visited Jerusalem and the Holy Land for the first time. Two other 
missionaries lived with her and we traveled together by taxi. Otherwise, I took 
the bus and was able to see some things that are not available to tour groups. 

Dr. Lambie, who had been at the Institute several times, died two days 
before my arrival and was buried in Bethlehem. It was the Friday before Easter 
Sunday. On Easter Sunday we all went to the Garden Tomb for the early sunrise 
service. The thrill of looking into the empty tomb cannot be described. 
Subsequent trips to the Holy Land have enhanced my knowledge and given me a 
greater appreciation for the Bible. I have visited the land seven times since this 
first trip. Ruth accompanied me in 1975 and LaDelle and I went together in 1985. 

I left Jerusalem for Cairo where I was met by the city brass, arranged for 
my by my friend Arian Boutros. I was provided with a private guide through 
the Cairo museums. I then took a night train to Carnack where I saw the tombs 
of kings and visited the Presbyterian mission station where Carl Keefer's brother 
was stationed. 

That night I returned to Cairo and flew the next day to Athens, then on to 
Rome. This was my first view of Europe. From Rome, I took a train to Naples 
where I stayed with Dak Patrick and had a view of restored Pompeii. Then I 
went to Paris where I was met by Harry and Sadie Kay Besanscon. In Paris I 
visited the European Bible Institute and spoke in the chapel service. From Paris, 

I flew to London where Billy Graham was holding his campaign. 

From London it was home to a reunion with my family after an absence of 
99 days. When I arrived in Baltimore, I could see Ruth and the three girls 
waiting. Martha dashed by the guards crying, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" until her 
arms were wrapped around my neck. We were both in tears. It was a wonderful 
reunion and I never wanted to leave home again. 

This new dimension in seeing the world mission fields transformed my 
thinking and had its impact on the college student body for the rest of my 
presidency. The following is a brief list of my enduring impressions: 

1. The task of reaching this world is immense and few are committed 
to this task. 

2. Mass evangelism, in conjunction with other methods, is extremely 

3. Open air evangelism holds great potential. 

4. The world is socially and morally degenerate. 

5. The world is full of open doors. 

6. Satan holds power over the minds of men. 


7. The gospel wields tremendous power. 

8. Each Christian is accountable for a world witness. 

9. The cultured, affluent American is apparently indifferent to the 
plight of the world. 

10. To become involved in missions is to be committed to missions. 

11. Humanity is hopeless and helpless without the saving gospel of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

12. The poverty, filth and degradation of most of the world's 
population is a result of the indifference of the rich in these same lands. The 
apparent reason is their false religions which cause them to live in a bondage of 
fear, with no motivation to care for others. 

13. "No man careth for my soul" seems to be the cry of the world. 

There is so much more to the story. There were scores of people I met 

along the way I shall never forget, people on airplanes with whom I tried to 
share the gospel and missionaries who shared with me their victories and trials. 

During the 1960's, the Lord opened up some ministry opportunities 
outside of the United States. In 1964,1 was invited to go to Jamaica and conduct 
a prophetic conference for local pastors. There were 30 who attended for the 
week. They were mostly from Plymouth Brethren churches and well versed in 
the Scriptures. I also spoke at Jamaica Bible Institute. This gave me a good view 
of the church in the West Indies. 

In 1968, the Unevangelized Lields Mission invited me to go to Ghana to be 
the Bible teacher at their annual field conference. There were 22 missionaries and 
I stayed with Russ and Patsy Sasscer in Georgetown where the conference was 
held. Then I flew to the mission station in the center of the country for a couple 
of days. There was a dentist there from Boston giving three weeks to work on 
the missionaries' teeth and work in a clinic to treat members of the Matsha tribe. 
Prom there I flew into the jungle to visit the Wiwi tribe. In seventeen years of 
ministry, missionaries had developed a written language, established a school 
and translated the Scriptures. Half the tribe of 700 had received Christ. 

While visiting that tribe, I listened as one of the elders, dressed in only a 
pair of trunks, expounded the Scriptures on the Christmas story. I was amazed 
to see how much could be learned in such a short time and how many changes 
could be made by the impact of the gospel. When this tribe was first contacted, 
they were completely naked. They had learned to hunt with shotguns but were 
still experts with the bow. The government was beginning to limit the work of 
the missionaries because they wanted to keep the primitive condition of the 
tribes intact. The missionaries were valuable, however, because they were the 
only ones who were willing to offer permanent health care to the tribes. 

In early May, 1957,1 went to Dallas to interview Doug MacCorkle for the 
position of dean. Since I missed my plane, I met with them in their home early in 
the evening. Doug told me that he was looking for a ministry where he could 
invest his life in young people. Having decided that WBC was the ideal place for 


this, he and his wife Jeanette, and their two children, came to Washington in 
August 1957. 

Instantly, the MacCorkles became the center of WBC. The students 
responded to Doug's enthusiasm and excellent exposition of scripture. He even 
made Greek a desirable subject. Jeanette took over the piano instruction and our 
daughter Grace benefited greatly from her. The enthusiasm poured over into 
increased numbers and it was during Doug's tenure that the registration passed 
one hundred. We needed to expand and purchased the old horse barn behind 
the buildings for a library and student center. 

The seminary was founded in 1958. Doug was the mind behind it and the 
accreditation of the college by AABC in 1962. His consistent drive kept us from 
being defeated by obstacles. Dr. Raymond Sax came as dean of the seminary in 
1962 and added academic stature to the school of fifteen students during his 
short stay. 

Our girls had finally matured to the point of beginning college. Grace 
chose to attend WBC and began in the fall of 1959 and graduated in 1963. She 
had become quite a musician and accompanied the girl's trio all four years as 
well as the college choir. She also found her husband, Charlie Hanshew, while in 
school. Charlie wanted to finish seminary before marriage so Grace taught piano 
at the college for three years before they were married in 1966. 

Martha began college a year after Grace. She had also displayed some 
musical talent and played both the piano and violin. In addition, she had a 
strong alto voice and sang in the girl's trio and choir. As lucky in love as her 
elder sister, Martha met Bob Evans at school and they were married in 1965. 

Since Martha was a year ahead of Bob in school, she taught at Cherry dale 
Christian School for the year between graduation and marriage. 

Both girls were very friendly and our homes were a bee-hive of activity 
while they were in college. They made life-long friends in school and became an 
example and encouragement to others as they entered Christian service. 

It was a shock to everyone when Dr. MacCorkle resigned in July 1963 to 
become President of Philadelphia College of the Bible. We were unable to find a 
replacement on such short notice, so I took over the deans duties for the 
following year. Immediately following, Dr. Sax left the seminary for a pastorate 
in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Mulholland, whom I had recruited on the same trip 
to Dallas that brought Dr. MacCorkle, took over as dean of the seminary. We 
leaned heavily on part-time faculty and Homer Heater became more and more of 
an asset during this period. The college numbered around 125 and the seminary 
around 20 by this time. Doug had left his mark on the alumni and the Christian 
community. We were glad that his abilities could be used in even a greater way 
at PCB and were pleased to see him develop into a fine leader in the Bible college 

The lack of help made 1963-64 a very difficult year but this caused us to 
lean upon the Lord in an even greater way. The testing was good for the school 


and the remaining personnel and Professor Bishop remarked that it was one of 
the most spiritual years in the school's history. 

Our search for a dean continued but we were looking for one with 
pastoral experience. Wendell and Martha Johnston filled the role perfectly and 
excited everyone with their leadership and hard work. The college continued to 
grow and the search for more facilities continued. We made every effort to keep 
the school downtown. Jobs for the students were plentiful but parking was not 
and facilities were so difficult to come by that a 40x60 gym at the Jewish 
Community Center was a real blessing. 

At the same time, however, the streets were becoming more dangerous for 
the students and evening school attendees were finding it difficult to attend 
classes. Student movement had to be greatly restricted. Even the smallest 
incidents had potential for disaster and caused us to have second thoughts about 
remaining in a downtown location. 

In 1968, Wendell Johnston left to become president of Detroit Bible 
College. It was difficult to let him go as he had become such a vital part of the 
college and instrumental in its growth. His close relationship with the students 
encouraged an excellent school spirit. 

Our daughters and their husbands were beginning their ministry by this 
time and we were pleased with the direction they were taking. Charlie had been 
doing some part-time teaching at the college and was enjoyed by his students. 
However, he had always felt called to the pastorate. His home church in 
Martinsburg, WV, called him and they began their ministry there in 1966. Bob 
and Martha had become interested in the work of Pocket Testament League and 
in 1967, they went to Brazil to engage in the distribution of the gospel. 
Accompanying them was their first child, Charles Tedford, who had been born 
earlier that year. He was born during an evangelistic rally downtown where Jack 
Wrytzen was speaking. His birth became public when it was announced during 
the rally thereby granting him instant celebrity status. 

In June 1969, Ruth and I flew to Sao Paulo to visit Bob and Martha and 
greet the arrival of our second grandson, Jonathan Miles, born June 27 which was 
his great-grandfather's birthday. We were able to stop in Equador to visit John 
and Joanne Malone and went through Peru to see the Trouts. Doris Jackling took 
me to see the Indians in Tonai, Monta Grasso, with whom she had spent so much 
of her life as a missionary. We took a plane and could not get off where we 
wanted and had to reach our destination by train. It was exciting for me to see 
how the Lord had used a WBI graduate. The school she started was now taught 
by Indians which she had educated. 

The return trip from the jungle, on the caboose of a freight train, was the 
roughest ride I had ever experienced. The only way to keep from being shaken 
to pieces was to stand on tiptoe. Since we thought the train was going to leave 
without us we had crawled into an empty freight car and made our way back to 
the caboose at the next stop. It was worth the time and trials to be able to see 
how the Lord had used Doris. 


While in Brazil, I also had the opportunity to teach the gospel of John at 
the Word of Life camp. Harold Reimer was my interpreter and also my guide at 
the Word of Life Bible Institute in Recife. I also visited Evelyn Sakata there doing 
work among Japanese with UFM. I always enjoyed seeing the way the Lord was 
using graduates. 

I had to limit my visit because we were in the process of moving into the 
new campus and I was needed at home. However, I left Ruth in Brazil for 
another month to help Martha. When her time to leave arrived, they discovered 
at the airport that her visa had expired and it took all of Bob's resourcefulness 
and energy to get her out of the country. 

Martha and the two boys came home a year later to give birth to James 
Crawford. One birth in Brazil was enough for her. Bob followed and arrived in 
time for the birth and they moved into our home in Arlington. Ruth and I had 
decided that we wanted to live closer to the new campus so we moved to 
apartments near the school. Bob did not mind the commute and became the 
Director of Public Affairs at the college. They were also able to become involved 
in Barcroft and Ruth was more involved at the college, taking charge of 
managing the mailing list and mailing room. 

Dede had been living for us for five years but in May, 1970, it became 
apparent that she needed to be place in a nursing home. Ruth never missed a 
day visiting her until she passed away a week before Jim's birth in September. 
Her absence made it possible for us to house the Evans' until we moved to 

In 1975, the Collamore residence was completed on the new campus and 
we occupied one of the new two bedroom apartments there. We could walk on 
the campus and we had our own laundry facilities. Ruth also became more 
involved with the Women's Auxiliary but our attendance at Barcroft became less 
and less frequent, mainly because of my speaking engagements. 

By 1977, the commute had become too much and Bob and Martha decided 
to purchase a home near the school. Ruth and I then sold our house in Arlington 
and divided the assets between Grace and Martha in order to make it possible for 
them to finance their own homes. 

At some point in this life, I got older without realizing it. I think my first 
hint came in 1967 when it was discovered that I had a detached retina in my left 
eye. I had an operation and the result was that I lost central vision in that eye. 
Eventually, cataracts formed on both eyes. In 1980,1 had cataract surgery on my 
right eye and had a lens implant to restore vision in that eye. When I had 
cataract surgery for my left eye in 1985, the surgery uncovered that the retina 
was once again detached. The doctor chose to repair it but was unable to replace 
the lens and I have been blind in that eye ever since. So, I have had to adjust to 
depending completely on only one eye. 

In 1969, Ruth went on Social Security at age 65 and I followed at age 68. 
We were then able to greatly reduce our salary from the college. However, the 
trustees decided to pay some of the excess into a retirement fund because they 


wanted to be able to pay a new person in my position when I retired without 
having to devote money from another area. So, my salary remained on the 
payroll but it is all in a reserve fund that is available if I ever need it. 

My carelessness caused Ruth much pain in 1978. The college had picked 
up a three-wheel, battery operated warehouse vehicle at surplus and I wanted 
Ruth to be able to use it to get around the campus. On her first trip down over 
the lawn, it went out of control. I was walking along side to help familiarize her 
with the controls but it fell sideways and trapped one leg cutting and ugly gash 
in the lower calf. It bled severely and I called Lena Blevins to help me get her 
into the car and over the hospital. She was there for two weeks and it took a few 
more for it to heal. Dorcas, a nurse from South Africa, lived in Collamore and 
was a great help in dressing the wound every day. That was my last effort at 
providing any alternative transportation on campus. 

Our fortieth wedding anniversary in 1978 was accompanied by a large 
celebration arranged by our daughters. It was a lovely affair at the college with 
the usual stories and laughter. We were overwhelmed by the lovely cards, gifts 
and good wishes from so many friends. 

Ruth's strength seemed to diminish during the 1979-80 period. She began 
to bleed severely through the bowels on September 7,1980, and became 
progressively weaker. Up to this point, she had been working daily in the mail 
room and had made no complaint about pain or discomfort but had required a 
great deal of rest. The doctor immediately placed her in the hospital and it took 
them a week to locate the bleeding in the upper bowel. They then operated and 
removed a section of her colon. It was also discovered that her gall bladder was 
infected and that was removed. Cirrhosis of the liver had destroyed most of her 
liver and all of these things had contributed to her weakened condition. 
However, the two weeks after her operation she seemed to progress normally. 
Then she got a staph infection and the antibiotic they gave her reacted against 
her kidneys and they stopped functioning. They tried the kidney machine but 
she was too weak and went to be with the Lord October 7,1980. 

Her brother Walter came two days before she died and that was the last 
time she recognized anyone. She was greatly loved by all who knew her. She 
had given herself to the work of the Lord day and night. It was not possible for 
me to reply to all the telephone calls and cards. Each day I read her mail and 
there were hundreds of letters and cards during the month she was in the 
hospital. Martha lived close by and spent much time at the hospital and Grace 
was down quite often. I was in and out of the hospital three or four times a day 
and we had some good times of prayer together. She never complained but her 
stay in the hospital was not a pleasant experience. There were many hundreds 
of friends praying for her including faculty and students. 

We decided to bury the body at once and have the memorial service on 
Friday. The funeral director insisted on giving me a casket and told me to pick 
out any casket they had. Since the casket would only be used at the burial (there 


was no viewing), I chose the most reasonable one believing that she would recoil 
at being extravagant with something that would only contain her body. 

Her earthly tabernacle was placed beside our daughter Esther. Our family 
and a few close friends were at the burial and Pastor Larry Katz of Barcroft 
officiated. The memorial service was held at Riverdale Baptist Church on Friday 
at noon with fifteen hundred people in attendance. Homer Heater brought the 
message and our grandson. Chuck, sang a solo. There were also testimonies 
from representatives of the college. 

I had a new appreciation for our friends. There were hundreds of 
expressions of love and assurance of prayers. The WBC family, faculty, staff, 
students, and trustees all shared our trial. I have been grateful to the Lord for 
each one. My brother, John, flew down to be with me. It was a blessing to share 
with the students thoughts on death and eternity. I faced a new life and 
remembered the warning of Paul about looking back. The will of God is still 
ahead and we have a great responsibility to Him. 

My routine of life changed. I prepared my own breakfast, ate lunch at the 
college and cooked my own dinner occasionally. Martha insisted that I eat with 
them and the Blevins took me under their wing. Lena refused to let me do my 
own laundry. One of the students cleaned the apartment once a week and I 
spent a considerable time in my garden for my physical welfare and to occupy 
my time. 

Our family was shocked and saddened when Charlie was killed in a car 
accident on Labor Day 1982. Bob gave me the news while I was picking beans in 
the garden in the middle of the afternoon. Immediately Bob, Martha and I drove 
to be with Grace and her two sons, Dan and Tim. On Wednesday we had a 
private burial and a memorial service on Friday at Shenandoah Baptist Church. 
John Fletcher, one of Charlie's best friends, brought the message. I stayed with 
Grace through the next week helping her resolve some of the items that 
accompany such an event. Grace stood strong in the grace of God throughout 
this event. The boys also did well considering their ages. The trustees had been 
considering Charlie as my successor and that process had to begin all over as 

That Christmas, the Evans, Hanshews and I went to Florida in the Evans' 
van. We stayed at Maranatha with Ann and Pat Patterson. They had a great 
time going to Disney World while I stayed with 18 month old Ruthie. I even 
kept her overnight. This was quite an accomplishment for Grandpa. 

During my many years of ministry at WBC, I had never considered 
ordination a necessity. Basically, I preferred to be considered a layman. I felt 
there was a pride with ordination placing a person above the ordinary Christian, 
a super spirituality. I refused to perform marriages, not wanting to face the issue 
of divorce. However, as the request to perform marriages increased, I began to 
think that I was missing an opportunity to serve young people. 

Bob Evans had never been ordained, either, but felt that due to his travels 
and contacts, many of his responsibilties required ordination. So somehow I 


decided to "coat-tail" on his ordination at Barcroft Bible Church. I sneaked by 
without an examination pleading if they did not accept my qualifications as 
President of WBC, I would forego the ordination. Besides, I had been a member 
of most of their ordination councils. The ordination, which took place February 
5,1984, did remove some obstacles and qualify me for additional service but it 
did not make me more holy. I counted it a special privilege to receive ordination 
along with my son-in-law and I was able to perform the wedding ceremony of 
our oldest grandson, Chuck, in 1988. 


Again, we were without a dean and I took over for the 1968-69 school 
year. This was the year of the riots that occurred on 14th street and many 
buildings in the area were burned. Our entire staff and student body stood 
guard on our buildings. The national publicity concerning the riots brought 
concern from parents about the safety of the students. However, we all came 
through this crisis safely and the Lord protected our buildings. We all began to 
realize that safety of our students and property was of utmost importance and 
the only solution seemed to be relocating to a site where to college could expand 
and safety would be easier to ensure. 

In December, 1968,1 saw the story about the financial problems of the 
Society of the Divine Savior in Lanham, MD. They had been fleeced out of $1.5 
million by a lawyer and with only twenty-two students were unable to continue. 
I visited them and discovered that they were selling their property. It didn't take 
me long after touring the property to decide that this was exactly what we 
needed for our future. The Trustees then went and looked at the property. All 
were impressed with the possibilities. By late January, the Trustees were in full 
agreement that we should make an offer and an offer of $1.2 million was placed. 
It was immediately rejected because they had already received an offer of $1.4 
million. When the other party was unable to get the required zoning, however, 
the seminary called us back and asked if we would stand by our offer. We said 
we would and arrangements were made to finance and take over the property. 
Closure was made on June 29,1969. 

We quickly discovered that the previous owners had never had an 
occupancy permit. We had to find a friend in the county government who 
would assist us in getting occupancy in a hurry. The Lord led us to the right 
people and we opened school on the new campus in the fall of 1969. Glenn 
Wagner was the speaker at the dedication. Mrs. Ortendahl was in heaven in her 
new kitchen and the faculty offices were the best we had ever had. 

We were running 250 in the college and 25 in the seminary by this time. 
CBS remained in the downtown property along with some of the male dorm 
students. We arranged bus transportation to the new campus, an arrangement 
which was temporary, inconvenient, but necessary. We also immediately began 
facility changes and plans for new construction. In the next ten years, the 


student body doubled and the pressure to supply additional facilities increased 

My engineering and architectural training and experience came into 
prominence when we moved to the Maryland campus. I designed and made all 
the preliminary drawings for all nine of the building projects and completed the 
working drawings for five of those. I did the campus master plan including all 
topography and site plan surveying for the buildings and roads. All of this 
turned into long hours at night on the drafting board. I once jokingly told the 
trustees that they owed me $125,000 for my technical services besides 
supervision of construction. We were able to build for about half of contractor 
estimates by doing our own work. The only major incident was the collapse of 
the roof trusses during construction of the seminary building due to a sudden 
wind. The cost was covered by insurance but several men were seriously 

Much of the credit for construction must be given to the gifted Leroy 
Blevins. We were able to put our experience and abilities together to develop the 
campus. All of this was accomplished without adding to the college debt due to 
the prayers and gifts of God's people. The total cost for all the projects was well 
over $3 million. 

This is a list of new structures which were erected: 

1. The 30' x 80' two story Linton building attached to a 30'x60' shop which 
was revamped (1970). 

2. A 34'x60' extension to the Linton building for class rooms (1974). 

3. Steiner dorm (1973). 

4. 30'xl00' two story maintenance building (1975). 

5. Revamping the ground floor under the lounge for a book store and the 
three guest rooms under the dining room including the apartment under 
the kitchen (1975). 

6. 52'xl06' two story Collamore residence (1975) 

7. Walk-in freezer and kitchen storage 16'xl6' (1976) 

8. 50'xl00' Two story Seminary building (1978) 

9. 30'x50' two story extension to library (1980) dedicated to John and Ruth 

10.140'x202' Wagner Center (1980) 

11. Soccer field reclaimed from filling dump site (1970) 

12. Baseball field made by filling swamp (1976) 

We still were without a dean. Bob Woodburn had been on the faculty for 
a number of years and seemed the logical choice. When approached in the fall of 
1970, he accepted the position. He held this position until 1978 when he became 
Vice President at Detroit Bible College. He was one of the best teachers the 
college ever had, always thoroughly prepared and well liked by his students. He 
later went on to be Academic Dean at Moody Bible Institute. 

Once again, we were faced with the problem of selecting a dean. By this 
time Jim Schuppe had become a fixture as an excellent teacher. He was well 


liked by the students and very capable in a variety of areas. He accepted the 
position of dean and remained there until 1989. 

The Christian Education department always seemed to create problems. 
We engaged some very capable men but, on occasion, their philosophy did not 
fit too well with Bible College purposes and goals. As a result, we faced a 
number of resignations and personnel changes in the seventies and eighties. In 
1983-84 we lost about 50 students as a result of one of these conflicts. 

The coming of Carlton Long in 1975 to head the extension ministry was a 
much needed addition. Now the evening school would receive needed attention 
along with the radio, correspondence department and extension classes. In 1975, 
Dr. Sang-Bok David Kim came to our faculty and brought Korean students to the 
college. We also experienced an increase in black students as more area schools 
were preparing students to handle college level work. 

Through the years, my interest in training foreign students increased. In 
the summer of 1959, the Pocket Testament League asked me to go to Nigeria for 
six weeks for their campaign to reach into schools. My ministry was chiefly in 
Lagos and it was an intense day by day program of visiting schools. I visited 
Rudy and Grace Piepgrass in Kaduna and saw what the Lord was doing through 
the printed page. Through Rudy, Kaduna Press came into being and his vision 
was to supply Nigeria with Christian literature and Christian book shops. I met 
a young Nigerian named Joshua Ekpikhe, a man greatly influenced for the Lord 
by Rudy. My return trip took me through South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Israel and 

In the summer of 1961, PTL again asked me to go to Nigeria and assist in 
conducting the All-Nigerian Pastor's Conferences. There would be four week 
long conferences in four different location. During those four weeks we 
ministered to about eighteen hundred pastors. Among them was Joshua 
Ekpikhe who was still working at Kaduna Press. He and I became close friends. 

In December, 1972, Joshua came to see me at the college. He told me he 
had started a Bible Institute at Ikwa Village, SE. State. He asked me to help him 
and I agreed to assist him in setting up the curriculum and send some qualified 
teachers. His desire was to reproduce WBC in Nigeria. As a result, I have made 
four trips to Nigeria to visit Joshua and the college. Graduates from CBS have 
been the back bone of the faculty. Now graduates of the three year diploma in 
Nigeria have attended WBC and are returning to teach there. In 1990, one 
student graduated from CBS and another in 1991. 

Among the foreign students we graduated were two girls from the 
Bahamas who lived on Long Island. We visited them New Years, 1972. We 
actually arrived at Nassau on New Years Eve and stayed in a hotel along the 
main street. We awakened at 11:30 to thousands of people marching up and 
down the street dressed in fantastic clothes and singing. We stayed up until 4 
AM and regretted it the next day when we had to get up and fly to Long Island, a 
beautiful island of sunshine and crystal clear water. It was relaxing and great to 
see old friends who were now teaching in the public school on the island. 


In 1981, Dr. Pindell approached me about retirement. He said the trustees 
wanted me to stay on as long as my health permitted. However, in 1982, he said, 
"Why don't you set a time when you think it would be God's time for you to step 
down?" This set me to praying and I told them that I would retire at age 80. So, 
the trustees appointed a search committee to find my replacement. Out of 64 
names, Harry Fletcher was chosen in September, 1983, to take office in May, 

1984. He was pastoring York Gospel Center, York, PA, and came down one day 
a week to get acquainted with the school. So he was installed May 22,1984. I 
gave the commencement address on that occasion. 

The week of graduation in 1984 marked my retirement and a special 
recognition of this was held the Friday evening before commencement. The 
college staged an banquet in my honor with 1000 people present. Many friends 
and alumni came from great distances. My past was reviewed and the college 
surprised me with a new automobile. For the past 16 years I had been driving 
cars that people had given to the college, most of them in very good condition. 
My brother Nelson, Ruth and Carl, and Avis with her daughter Nancy were in 
attendance. They played a tape by my brother John and read greetings from 
many. Nelson declared that the four days he spent here were the greatest 
spiritual experience of his life. I was presented with a letter from President 
Reagan, the Governor of Maryland and two large folders of letters from scores of 

Thus ended a period from 1936 to 1984 when I was involved in Bible 
Institute, Bible College and Bible Seminary schools with the last forty years spent 
as president. 

After Ruth's death, I had begun to withdraw from people. I spent more 
time in my office and was occupied by private matters. After several months, I 
began to think that the Lord might want me to marry. Any I thought might have 
interest did not encourage me but in the spring of 1984 the Lord seemed to give 
me the assurance that He would soon provide. 

Martha was very fond of LaDelle Milo and invited her from Texas to 
spend the weekend with them and attend the festivities surrounding my 
retirement. I was quite glad to see her but was surprised when Martha said to 
me, "Daddy, how about LaDelle for a wife?" The statement held some irony 
because I had given LaDelle away to Angelo at their wedding in 1948. He had 
died ten years earlier and LaDelle was ten years younger than I was. I admired 
her but did not think she would be interested in me. We talked casually while 
she was here but she began to occupy a portion of my mind. 

On Monday after graduation, LaDelle returned to Texas and I left for a 
month of prophetic conferences in Nigeria. While in Nigeria, she was on my 
mind and so upon return, I called her and made arrangement to visit her. By the 
time I arrived in Texas, we had had several telephone conversations and I had 
come to believe that she was the person God had prepared for me. The first 
evening there, I expressed my interest in and desire for marriage. She accepted 
and we were married three weeks later on August 16,1984, our granddaughter 


Ruthie's third birthday. We then took up residence in my apartment on the 

We made a habit of spending three months in the winter in Florida. We 
spent the first winter in Stewart and the last six in Lake Placid at Maranatha. The 
Lord has opened many doors of ministry there and I have continued to teach and 
minister as the Lord has opened doors since my retirement. 

In 1985, LaDelle and I went on a WBC sponsored trip to Israel with a 
prophecy theme. Bob asked me to be one of the four speakers on the trip and I 
was pleased to be able to bring LaDelle for she had never been to Israel. We 
were also able to visit Greece and travel through the Grecian islands as well as 
visit Athens and Corinth. 

Since then, we have had our share of trials and difficulties. In the fall of 
1985,1 had a kidney stone attack. LaDelle and I have both suffered from arthritis 
and she has had to spend her time caring for me in my different infirmities. In 
September, 1989,1 was stung by bees in the garden and had to be hospitalized. 
Then, while in Florida in 1990, it was discovered that I had prostate cancer and 
radiation treatments ensued. Since then, I have had problems with a bleeding 
bowel and have been in and out of the hospital with varying ailments. We are 
also adjusting to the trials of the college in the aftermath of President Fletcher's 
resignation and we are witnessing anew the faithfulness of God in sustaining the 
college through a crisis. We are as little children having our faith strengthened, 
expecting great things from God. 




As the United Nations was considering the future of Palestine, President 
Harry Truman formed a Palestinian commission to make recommendations on 
the position our nation should take regarding the issue. At that time, George 
Miles, former president of Washington Bible College, was conduction a Bible 
study in the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. 

Following a study on the Abrahamic Covenant and the land god promised 
to Israel, a visitor came up to Mr. Miles and introduced herself as the wife of one 
of the men on the Palestinian Commission. She told Mr. Miles that the 
information he shared that evening would be of great interest to her husband. 

A few days later, Mr. Miles met with her husband and shred what the 
Scriptures had to say about the land promised to the descendants of Abraham. 
Impressed by what the Bible had to say and stating that this was information the 
Commission needed to hear, he asked Mr. Miles to outline on a map the land 
promised to Abraham. Gladly, Mr. Miles obtained a map and outlined the 
territory God promised to his people. (The markings along with Scripture 
references were placed on a large wall map which was taken by the gentleman to 
the committee.) 

We will never know the influence this brief encounter had on the United 
States' decision to vote for Israel. What we can see, though, is how God placed 
Christians in special positions at this important time in history. 



first published in WBC Tidings 

How does one evaluate the effectiveness of a home? The product is not 
always a faithful barometer, for children rarely do as well as they have been 
taught. There appear to be failures in the best of homes. We believe one accurate 
measure of the home lies in the Christian character and consistency of the 
parents in that home. 

We have known our parents for most of the 40 years they have been 
married, and therefore, we feel qualified to comment on their home. We want to 
share what we believe has made their home truly Christian. 

We were the fourth and fifth of six children born to parents who were 
married at the age of 34. We appreciate now the physical and emotional strain 
that they went through to welcome and rear a family at that point in their lives. 

Probably the thing we treasure most highly from our perspective now is 
the faithfulness in spiritual training in our home. From our youngest moments 
we were taught the Bible and exposed to spiritual truth. This brought a deep 
conviction of sin into our lives and prepared us to trust Jesus Christ as Savior at 
an early age. The consistency with which our training was done is now 
impressive to us. We believe our parents obeyed the admonition of 
Deuteronomy 6:6,7 as closely as any home we have observed. 

Spiritual themes were the center of much of our conversation whether at 
the dinner table, riding in the car, or working in the garden. We especially 
appreciated the emphasis on Scripture memorization. There was an excellent 
system of memory and review so that the verses learned in the early years were 
retained almost 100%. Family devotions were impressive, perhaps more for their 
consistency than anything else. As we grew, we were encouraged to form the 
habit of personal devotions. 

These factors, along with consistent church attendance on Sundays and 
Wednesdays, invested wonderful things in our lives. We appreciated parents 
who were patient with us spiritually. Even though they must have been 
discouraged many times in our growth and experience, they patiently waited 
until God did his work in our lives. 

Many are the happy moments of our childhood as our father played with 
us. One of our favorite games was "Big Bear". Our father was the big bear who 
scared us and sent us shrieking through the house. A nightly ritual was all three 
of us (two on the shoulders-one on the back) riding piggyback to bed. Even 
though these were busy days of ministry for our father, one strong impression is 
of him reading to us at night before we went to sleep. 

We enjoyed strong family ties with our father's large family in Michigan 
and our mother's family in Pennsylvania. We always looked forward to summer 


vacations when we would visit the relatives. This sense of family and belonging 
added to the stability and security of our home. 

No one could be in our home long before they would be impressed with 
the generosity of our parents. Our home was open to all. Although always on a 
limited income, our parents willingly shared with those who had a need. 

We were taught many lessons of faith during our childhood. These were 
illustrated in daily life experience. When an appliance broke, the first impulse 
was not to go our and buy another one, or call a repairman. We always prayed 
for the Lord to supply and tried to make the old one do whenever possible. 

Our father's generosity has always been demonstrated to us in his garden. 
For years, he would try to get us to help him in the garden. We constantly 
murmured and complained about the hard work of pulling a week or two or 
picking a row of beans. Yet he has always been generous with the produce of 
that garden. Even now, he often brings it to our door because we have been "too 
busy" to pick it up. 

Our parents have never worried about treasure on earth or financial 
security for their old age. The eternal treasure has always been more important 
to them. Consequently, they have poured all they have had into the lives of 
others. They have personally helped many students through college, and 
supported their local church and other ministries of interest to them. Just last 
year, they sold their home, the only substantial investment of their lives, and 
gave the money to their children which enabled us to have our own homes. 

How thankful we are for them every day of our lives. 

It is interesting to note what motivates different people to Christian 
service. We believe our parents' positive attitude toward serving the Lord was a 
major factor in our desire to follow their footsteps. They always communicated 
to us the joy and privilege of serving Christ, and their prayers for us influenced 
us greatly. Having missionaries and Christian workers in our home was a factor 
in our vocational choice as well. Our parents encouraged us in a Bible education 
which has blessed our lives beyond measure and given us a foundation for a life 
of service. 

Perhaps the most significant factor which stands out regarding our 
parents' lives is their faithfulness and steadfastness in the work of the Lord. 

They have never been dependent on external results or human encouragement in 
continuing in the work to which God has called them. 

Above and beyond the right things done in our home has been the 
demonstration of consistent Christian character which has been used to convince 
us of the validity of the Word of God, the blessing of a yielded life and the joy of 
Christian service. 

To our parents we say thank you for our heritage which we treasure 
above life itself. We honor, highly esteem and appreciate you. 


by George A. Miles 

Ruth Esther Miles was born in Kaylor, Pennsylvania. At the age of 
thirteen, she trusted Christ as her personal savior. After graduating from Butler 
Business College, she taught there until the age of thirty-two. In 1936, she came 
to Washington, DC, to work as a secretary in the Department of Agriculture. At 
this time, she became interested in Bible study, which led her to assurance of 
salvation. She resided with Mary Hervey, who was very active in the American 
Home Bible Institute. While I was president of this school, Ruth responded to 
my need for secretarial help. This association led to our marriage on October 22, 
1938. From that time until the present, she made herself available to do whatever 
was needed to advance the work of the Bible college and the spread of the gospel 
around the world. She worked at the college until the day before she entered the 
hospital, September 10,1980. 

Our lives have been enriched by the blessing of two daughters, Grace and 
Martha; sons-in-law, Charlie and Bob; and six grandsons. We have been 
surrounded by hundreds of dear friends who have encouraged us in the 
Christian life. 

A more devoted grandmother would have been hard to find. Her deep 
interest in her grandchildren, and especially in their spiritual welfare, was 
evidenced by her consistent prayer for them. 

Her early family ties were very dear to her. She often expressed her love 
and prayers for her only brother, Walter, her sister-in-law, Margaret, and their 
son Dan, and other members of the Crawford family as well. 

Ruth's dedication was three-fold. The first was to our Lord Jesus Christ. 
She was a yielded vessel to her Savior. The second was her dedication to her 
husband and his ministry for our Lord Jesus Christ. She was a vital part of every 
activity for the Lord. We did it together. The third was her dedication to her 
family. Her children were a gift and trust from the Lord, and no sacrifice was too 
great to assure their spiritual and physical well-being. 

In 1945, when I was asked to assume the presidency of Washington Bible 
Institute, I asked her what she thought of it. She said, "Whatever the Lord leads 
you to do, I am with you one hundred percent." 

She loved children and believed that the two to four year olds were 
neglected and needed special training in the Word of God. She loved to serve 
with this age group at Barcroft Bible Church. She filled our home with the 
neighbors' children, when our children were young, as she sponsored Child 
Evangelism Fellowship Good News Clubs. 

Ruth was instrumental in starting the Women's Auxiliary of the college 
twenty-five years ago. She was the potential of their united prayer and united 
support of college needs. These women were especially dear to her. She 
delighted in their fellowship and service. 


When Ruth undertook a task, she never quit. She never complained when 
our family was on short rations or times were difficult at the school. She had 
unwavering faith that God was at work and all would contribute to His glory. 
She only worked the more and prayed more diligently. She shunned any public 
appearances and deferred all requests to speak in public. 

No husband could have had greater love and devotion from his wife or 
greater support in his life's work. Her encouragement was always there. "She 
has done him good and not evil all the days of her life" (Proverbs 31:12). "Her 
children rise up and call her blessed, her husband also and praiseth her" 
(Proverbs 31:28). I thank God for her godly influence on a multitude of people 
and the example she has been to all of us in our home, (above excerpt from the 
program of Ruth E. Miles' Memorial Service) 

She never forgot the fact that her mother was separated from, and for 
most of her life was without the support of her husband. She raised Ruth and 
Walter by hard labor. In the heart of both children was a deep love for their 
mother and they never neglected her needs when they became old enough to 
work. Ruth's example of concern for Dede until she died was a biblical lesson in 
caring for our parents. 

Another lasting memory was her love for and concern for our neighbors. 
They knew she cared for them. 

Ruth had a brilliant mind. Her memory surpassed that of any person I 
have ever known. She graduated from high school at age 16 and was also 
teaching in the Butler Business College at 16. I depended on hr memory for 
telephone numbers and addresses and to recall all those people to whom we 
were introduced. 

If we have any children or grandchildren who rise above the average 
intellectually, they should thank God for their grandmother. Like Ruth the 
Moabitess, she loved God supremely, was anxious to serve, and God's hand of 
blessing was upon her. 

She had very little opportunity to grow spiritually until she came to 
Washington and attended the American Home Bible Institute. She went through 
the entire BMA memory program and took our children through the program. I 
never knew her to have an enemy. 

We often discussed our impending separation by death and advised each 
other what to do in this eventuality. However, the experience is quite another 
matter. The utter dependence upon each other for forty-two wonderful years has 
suddenly been broken. It is not possible to contemplate in advance the 
emotional reaction or the sense of being adrift with no shore in sight. The reality 
is gone but difficult to realize. The simple solution is to first acknowledge the 
fact and begin to thank God for His faithfulness. The scriptural truth about 
death is now a reality. She is at home where our Lord has prepared a place for 
her. It is far better there than here. Our love for her becomes satisfied in her 
endless joy at His right hand. 


The human mind is an amazing creation. By the truth of the Word it can 
recollect that which is eternal and refuse to indulge in that which is temporal. 
There is a blessed side to this inevitable separation. It is only temporary. 
Through the years we have been permitted to experience short periods of 
separation. These are a foretaste to the longer caused by physical death. Yet the 
anticipated reunion is one of joy and not sorrow. 

Now we are to continue life and its fulfillment in the will of God. What 
does it hold? The satisfaction of turning it over to Him to whom it belongs. The 
Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Self- 
pity is poor business and I must not permit myself this costly entertainment. 
How foolish to seek to undo what God has done. Our breath is in His hand and 
the redeemed soul can only anticipate the greater things daily prepared for the 
delight of God's children. 

I cannot fully express my appreciation for the love of Grace and Martha 
and their families through this trial. They too must face the same separation and 
adjust to the reality of an earthly separation from one they loved so dearly.