The name of the ministry (the Jesus Freaks) was “Christ is the Answer Ministries." The leader
was Bill Lowery. I was offered a chance to travel with them, and rejoiced in the opportunity!
We traveled all over the country preaching, witnessing, and singing to reach people on the streets, the beaches, and anywhere there were people that didn't know the Lord. My first day was an awesome experience that I never could have expected and didn't know how to explain.
I was given a Bible by one of the brothers, and the next morning we went down to the beach in Ft. Lauderdale. We went two by two, and the guy I was with told me to stand on a corner and witness. I had no idea what he meant or what I was supposed to do so I prayed, “God, if you want me to do this you are going to have to help me because I never did this before.” I found out that the Lord just needed an empty vessel to work a miracle through, and that morning I was his vessel.
For some reason, 15 years earlier I wanted to give my mom a Bible with her name on it. The problem was that I didn't have any money to buy it. I went to the Bible Depot which was a store
on front street in Sunbury, and talked with Pastor Jim Nye about it, and he told me that if I would read the whole New Testament through he would give me that Bible I wanted. So I faithfully read through it, and he gave me the Bible I wanted for my mom. So I am saying to people going by, “Jesus Loves You,” and having no idea what I could say to them if they came back to talk with me. Well, that's exactly what happened. A young couple started toward me, and I thought to myself, “What am I going to say now?” They began to ask questions, and the Holy Spirit reached back
into my memory cells and pulled out answers and I found myself speaking scriptures to them that answered all their questions. After they left, I thought to myself, “Did I say that?” Later back at camp the leaders explained to me that the Bible says the Holy Spirit will give you what to say when you need it. That was so encouraging that I went out every day expecting God to use me, and he did. I was elated! Witnessing was fun! Witnessing was a joy and God kept giving me
words to say while I was studying and learning from others who were far more knowledgeable in the word. I also found out about the power of God to deliver me from zeal without knowledge
early in my Christian life.
I was on the beach again, and I saw a girl talking with a guy who was bald and obviously of some religion. He had a large book in his hand and she was getting out money to buy it. I was thinking that she was making a big mistake and that I needed to warn her, so I walked to where they were standing and said to her, “If you give your heart to Jesus Christ you won't need that junk!” Like I said; zeal without knowledge – or wisdom either. In spite of my wise counsel, the girl purchased the book (The Baghavad Gita) anyway. What happened next is wonderful!
After selling the book to the girl the Hare Krishna devotee came over to me in a fit of rage and yelled at me, "I ought to kill you!" he then raised his hand in a fist to strike me, and as he was bringing his fist through the air, I dropped mine to my side ready to come from the ground up and flatten him. The Holy Spirit spoke to me to open my hand and offer no resistance, and I did. Suddenly the man's face became contorted with fear, his hand stopped in mid air, and he turned and ran down the street loudly screaming. I didn't know what to make of that, but I have to believe that my guardian angel must have shown himself to the man and the sight must have been too much to deal with. Perhaps even Jesus himself might have shown up looking like he did when he appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos. Whatever he saw caused him to scream and run down the street, and God protected me even in my foolishness. Praise his name!
Traveling with Christ is the answer was amazing. There were about 250 people who gave up everything to follow the Lord, and they lived by faith. Praying in food was a daily occurrence. Miracles were something we lived with. God did amazing things in my own life during these days,and I would be wrong to withhold them from those who will read this autobiography.
There are so many that I don't know where to start, and they happened in so many places that I don't know what order to put them in. I will have to tell them as I remember them, and I tell them because I know that you will be encouraged to believe God for things you might not have trusted him for prior to reading this testimony.
When I met the team they were in Ft. Lauderdale for an 8 week stay. The city wasn't fond of us for some reason, so they shut off out water supply at the camp. The elders of the ministry decided to dig a well, and so it was dug and we drank from it. The city found out that we did that and sent out people to test the water. They could not believe we weren't sick , dead or at least in the hospital. They told us there were enough pollutants in the water to do that. 250 people, including little children through adults drank that water and nobody was sick from it. That was one miracle.
There were two beautiful events that happened that are strong in my memory as well. One of the sisters called Misty was sitting in a tent on the camp grounds one night and I walked by. She said, “Aren't they beautiful?” I asked her what she was talking about, and she said there were angels all around the camp where we had marched earlier in the day to claim the ground for the Lord. Everywhere we walked there were angels. I couldn't see them but she could.
Another precious incident came when we let the children go out into the field next to thecamp to play. They were gone most of the afternoon, and seemed to be having a great deal of fun, and then we called them in to eat. They came in from the field grinning and so happy that it was written all over them, and they told us that God had sent angels to play ball with them. These children were in the age range of about 4 to 10 or 12 and free of guile and deceit.
One special incident that I will always remember was about a man who called himself Hondo. He would walk the beach every day and he would say, "Nobody messes with Hondo." I prayed and asked the Lord to give me something to say to him that would humble him. The Lord led me to a story of Samson in the scriptures, and so the next day I went looking for Hondo. I told him that there was a guy in the Bible that was so strong that he'd make Hondo look like a sissy. Hondo quickly replied, "Show me." I read him the story of how Samson carried off the city gates, ripped a lions mouth with his bare hands and beat an army of 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Hondo was so impressed that he agreed to come to a meeting that night. As he was getting on the ministry bus, he yelled out the window, "Old Hondo isn't afraid of these Jesus Freaks!" That night he went to the altar and gave his heart to Jesus. What a wonderful God we serve!
Another time I was on the street witnessing and was hungry and had no money to buy food. I prayed and asked the Lord for food, and he sent me two cold turkey sandwiches with mustard. I said, "Lord, you know I don't like mustard! Why did you give me the wrong sandwiches?" In a
few minutes two young men came by and I wanted to witness to them but they wanted to go get something to eat. The light came on for me, and I said, “Do you like turkey sandwiches with mustard?” They said they did, so I told them how the Lord gave me the sandwiches, and got to witness to them while they were eating. One other time I was praying for food and I was standing on an traffic island passing out the New Manna (a paper we created, printed and used for witnessing). I had prayed earlier that the Lord would provide a hamburger for me. Shortly after that prayer, someone pulled up to me in a car and gave me a bunch of money and told me that I was supposed to go and get a hamburger. I told my Christian brother that was witnessing with me about it and we went to a nearby place and got a hamburger for him and me and a few extras besides.
I also remember a six year old girl who traveled with the ministry and she had to go to the hospital for some reason, and while she was there one of the nurses treated her bad. Her dad told her to rebuke Satan so the nurse would stop treating her that way. The next time her dad came to visit she said, “You know dad, I had to rebuke Satan three times before she treated me nice." After we left Lauderdale we went to Jacksonville, Florida for three weeks. The town of Jacksonville had a park in the middle of town, and we would go there to witness. God moved through me there in ways that I never could have expected as a young disciple. One involved a group of Hare Krishna disciples.
I was standing on a corner talking to someone about Jesus, and some Hare Krishna disciples showed up and without hesitation began to play drums and tambourines and chant Hari, Hari, Krishna, Krishna. I immediately, and without hesitation, turned to them and rebuked them in the name of Jesus Christ and commanded them to leave. It took two commands before they left, and then I got back to witnessing for the Lord.
On one day I was in the park and met a black man whose name was Omar. I was witnessing to him and we had a good conversation that was friendly,and I wrote a note in my Bible to him and was going to give him my Bible, but we went to a little restaurant and sat down to have a soda
and he began to curse in the name of Jesus. I began to rebuke the spirit and he cursed again in Christ's name. I rebuked him twice again, and then protoplasm began to run down his cheek, and
I knew he was demon possessed. The protoplasm was a light green color, and I remember it clearly when I think or speak of it. Needless to say I did not give him my Bible. My oldest son now has that Bible. He told me when I was done with it and got another Bible that he would like to have it for the notes that were in it so I gave it to him.
Another experience I had in Jacksonville involved a pimp. I met him on aside street where he
was doing his trade, and began to minister the gospel to him. He was cleaning his nails with a stiletto and listened while I gave him a strong presentation that could easily have made him
angry enough to use that knife on me. I spoke to him like I was his father rebuking him, and he never did anything but listen. After I left I realized that he could have cut me if he wanted to but the more impressive thing to me was the Lord gave me such a burden for his soul and a love for him that comes only from God and there was no fear involved at all.
The bigger incident in Jacksonville involved a shopping center. We were in the habit of going to shopping centers to witness when we entered a town. On March 28, 1974 we were telling people about Jesus outside a shopping mall. We stood out of the way and passed out papers to people
as they passed by on their way to the mall, and we did not do anything out of order. The man in charge of the mall called the police and lied to them saying we were loitering and grabbing people and forcing them to listen to us. The police believed the man and took 137 of us to jail where we stayed until our release on April 27,1974 – 30 days for a lie. The devil was chuckling in his sleeve thinking he had us off the streets, but God gave him the beating he so richly deserved.
See the bottom of the "Sharing the Gospel" page to read about our arrest.
We entered the prison and they put us in cells. The girls were taken to another prison where they were put in cells. In both groups we just did Bible studies and sang and worshiped the Lord. The people in charge got angry with us and put us in the catwalk. The catwalk is a one lane cell which is very narrow and didn't have enough room to sit down. We were forced to sleep with our knees up leaning on one another, but we kept on singing and praising God and holding Bible studies. People working in the prison as well as other prisoners were touched by the Lord during that time, and the devil must have gotten real angry because his servant who was in charge of the prison
put us in with the felons (Murderers, etc.) God graciously used us to lead two men up for murder to Christ and minister to every person in that area of the prison. In addition, we made sure to clean up everything we could and left the prison in better shape than it was when we went in. We went out singing and praising God for his wonderful power and love and for using us to serve his purposes. The devil suffered a sound defeat! While I was in prison I wrote a poem about our experience and it can be found and read here.
While I was in prison, the leader of a band that traveled with us took another one of my poems
and turned it into a song that they would use in ministering to others. The band was called Hogan Visan, and the name of the group meant Song of Solomon, and they were from Sweden. They came to join us with their wives and children and stayed with us for a while. Christ is the Answer also had their own band called the Joyful Noise. The band would book bars, and then go in and play Christian music which would shock the people drinking. The other brothers and sisters would go from table to table ministering the gospel to those who came there to drink. Once they had signed a contract the bar owners could not break it. It was an awesome ministry!
From Jacksonville we moved on to Norfolk, Virginia. I don't remember anything involving me personally there, so I can only say we continued to minister as the Lord gave us opportunity.
We were in Norfolk for five weeks.
Next was Washington, DC. Washington was a very cold town. The people walking the streets looked like zombies. We could talk with them and they walked by us as though we didn't exist.
I will never forget the coldness and deadness of that town at that time.
In spite of the cold reception from the citizens on the streets, we were given special privilege while we were there. We set up our tent under the Washington Monument, and we were also given special permission to set up our tent on the Washington mall grounds.
During our stay there we had two significant events that I can remember. An amazing one was the appearance of Sun Yung Moon one night with a large following of his disciples. He came into the tent and interrupted the service and for some reason Bill even gave him the microphone so he could speak to everyone under the tent. He then left as quickly as he came. That was quite a spectacle and one that I will never forget. The other event was a powerful wind that was so strong that it ripped the tent and bent the poles. The sisters sewed the tent back together while the men fixed the poles and got everything back together. The first day after that happened we had a service outside the tent. We were never willing to admit defeat the whole time I traveled with the ministry.
The next move was to Decatur, Illinois. Our base was in a small town called Weldon outside of Decatur, so we were in Decatur ministering for six weeks and then Weldon for repairs and rest for another two weeks. Once again we got arrested in Decatur on false charges. I don't remember anything about the time period, whether I was in prison or not, or what reason was given for our arrest, but I know it was false because I knew the group and its objectives.
The next move was a long one. We moved from Weldon, Illinois to Phoenix,Arizona. Along the way to Phoenix we passed through Tulsa, Oklahoma and met the elders of the Jesus Inn at 518 South Xanthus street and visited with them. After that we moved on to Phoenix where I was getting a voice telling me to go back to the Jesus Inn. I kept rebuking that voice thinking it was the devil trying to pull me from the ministry, but the voice still persisted. This went on for a longtime, but in the meantime we were in Phoenix. The two things that stood out to me about Phoenix were how the police acted when we tried to get help for a drunk lying on the street there. They told me that it was their policy to just let them alone and not help them. I had some problem with that but could do nothing about it. Another incident came when a big doberman pincer was coming at me. He lowered his head and began to snarl and wrinkle up his nose, and I had nowhere to run to get away. I rebuked the dog in the name of Jesus, and he turned tail and went yelping down the street. Once again God intervened on my behalf. We were also in Tuscon and Miracle Valley, Arizona, but I have no memory of either of those places. Time seemed to pass so swiftly there in Phoenix where the days are hot and the nights are chilly, and so it
passed quickly in the other two places as well.
From there we went on to Escondido, California. I have no memory of what happened there either, however I do have some very good memories of our move to Riverside, California. In Riverside we set up camp and then we went and ministered on the beaches.
Huntington and Newport Beaches were close to where we were so we went there. God blessed me to be used to lead two young ladies to him on the beach. It was also in Riverside that we ministered on the beaches during the holidays and I remember people throwing cherry bombs at each other in drunken foolishness not realizing they could be seriously injured or killed. California was a crazy place during the time we were there.
I remember our band had a band truck and they would drive it down to the beach and open up the side of the tractor-trailer with the legs extended down and play music. The truck had the generator that kept the electrical instruments working and people would gather around while the band played and the band gave them music and the gospel. It was such a wonderful idea, and it worked so well.
We also did a crucifixion skit that looked real with one of our brothers playing the part of Jesus, some dressed up as Roman soldiers beating Jesus and others being disciples and the women disciples following Christ to the cross. We made it look like Christ was bleeding from the mouth, and while this was going on Bill would walk the beach with a megaphone and preach the gospel
to those on the beach. The shock on the faces of those drinking booze and doing drugs was something to behold. I was told that one time people actually attacked the skit for some reason, but I never saw it when I was with the skit.
There were so many other things that this ministry did that were proof of devotion to Jesus. We would picket porn shops, witness in front of topless bars, go into bars and sit down with a Bible and order a soda while reading our Bible. People would see the Bible and start asking questions which gave us a chance to minister to them. There was not anywhere we were not willing to go
to spread the gospel and we were not afraid of being jailed or beaten if it came.
The voice was still speaking to me to go back to the Jesus Inn in Tulsa, however I continued to rebuke Satan until finally I asked the elders about it and they prayed with me. Even after that the voice would not go away so the elders agreed that I was supposed to go back to Tulsa, and they just happened to have a truck going in that direction and the driver was instructed to take me
there and drop me off at the Jesus Inn.
CITA Ministry pictures with brief descriptions