OUR HISTORY   (Main)
Some personal stories of why Jesus called us, where we came from and why most of us are still here.

LINDA LAWSON BOYLE
When I look over the members on this "Old" list, it makes me smile.


DENISE BAXTER
I was not there at the time you are referring to but came later when my friends Judy Laventure Debbie Zuccarini and Barb and Angie Gruss brought me to a meeting. My first impression was the friendliness and relationship of all these people. That is what brought me to Jesus. All these years later that is what I see in "old"


DAWN ULMER
How did I come to know Jesus and begin following Him? In Sept. 1967, as a senior nursing student in LA, my Lutheran church became involved in a community project. For two weeks, I went to live in a communal house run by the Brethren church in the neighborhood where we wanted to serve. While there, I met Ralph Morrison, who had come by to talk to the Director of the house about starting a Christian underground newspaper. That never happened but what did happen was that I became a follower of Jesus, not just believing about him but actually knowing Him, wanting to serve Him as He directed. No trumpets blared, just a quiet transaction between God and me in an upstairs bedroom where I gave my heart to Him. My life was forever changed for which I thank God! Two years later, after after being married to Ralph, we moved to Detroit, Bible studies at the park were held nightly and the Mark Twain house was opened. My next post will pick it up from there.
MARK TWAIN HOUSE BEGINNINGS - Last long post from me…. Just as it took the praying ladies of Pembroke Chapel with Mrs. Emily Moore and Diane Martin, it took all of us who ever entered the door at Mark Twain house to be part of what God was doing. Each person, it seems, experienced something different at Mark Twain house and yet, similar. We recognized that God was present. I will take a couple of steps backwards in time, before Ralph and I arrived in Detroit: We lived in a suburb of Los Angeles, CA where the Flower Children were alive and growing in number. at the love-ins in Griffith Park in LA. Having been married to R for only about a year, I didn’t know such things existed but off we went. We dressed to fit in. R in a monk’s robe. Me in a long dress. Along with us we took some literature which R had written, ‘Can You Dig It’. (Does anyone have a copy to post here?) During the summer of 1969, R told me that we should go back to Detroit to the NW side where he was born and begin working with the ‘hippies’ there. I quit my job at the local hospital and off we went in that famous blue Channel 7 van. All of our earthly possessions (so few) were loaded up. We landed at R’s parent’s home in Redford, staying in their small travel camper in their back yard. First we met Paula Bangos who directed us to Headquarters where we met Jim Smilin’ Dog Rehberg. Next you could find us in a small park talking to Jim and friends. There R was in his fatigues and there I was in my turquoise culottes and pretty little white sandals with a flower on them. I was NOT looking like I fit in at all. Eventually, we began Bible studies at Peterson Park, under the shelter with picnic tables. They came. YOU came! It began to become chilly as autumn approached and we knew that we would need to find a house to rent where we could live and continue having Bible studies. I remember sitting at a picnic table in R’s parent’s back yard, looking at the want ads in the newspaper. Yeah, right. Like we would find ANYTHING there. Sure enough, right before my eyes was a place to rent. Off we went, not qualified to rent a house at all. R had no job. We had no money even for a security deposit. Yet the landlord said, “YES!” That was the Lord’s doing totally!!! We moved in - with very few belongings. Smilin’ Dog, Paula Bangos and Margaret Kruger Carey moved in with us and it became home. Eventually Nikki Rehberg, Charlyn Davidson and Cindi Pearl joined us along with Indian John Arrowsmith and Goodtime Roger. Little did we know what GOD was about to do which would be even bigger than Peterson Park, bigger than we could ever imagine. There was nothing mysterious about what we did on a day to day basis - the brothers went out on the streets talking to people about Jesus, the sisters kept the home fires burning, praying for the nightly Bible studies. Sometimes I felt like I was living in a musical with much joy, singing and praising God, day and night. God’s Spirit was being poured out! If you were there, take it from there. What did YOU experience from GOD during those days? How and where did you come to know Jesus? Let’s fill OLD up with our testimonies to God’s goodness to us then and now!


MY COUSIN NIKKI
The book would be written like the gospels with many writers and different perspectives depending on each writers personal experience and viewpoint . The good that came out of it is the lifelong bond we have with each other , and all of the souls that were saved , and # 1 , our Love for Jesus We were blessed to see the miraculous outpouring of Gods love . I mean Really ? The Mark Twain house used to be full to overflowing with young people giving their lives to Christ , and it rocked with praise songs . It was a revival As I think back I wonder what the neighbors must have thought ??? Hahaha. I have no idea who they were lol. But can you imagine if that happened next door to you ?

DAWN ULMER
Mycousin Nikki - my thoughts exactly about that BOOK with each of us writing the story as we knew it and know it. As I read each of our experiences, that would be some book! Maybe that is what will be in the Library of Heaven. I long to sit and read the stories of each of us! In fact, I felt so strongly about this that I began about a month ago. Recently almost having lost my life, I realized that one day my 'voice' would be silent and there is so much I want to share about what GOD has done throughout this journey. Anyone want to join me as we write our Book?


LINDA LAWSON BOYLE
Remember the "making of the robes"? So, I'm 16 years old, the "heavy" brothers decide they should wear robes....REALLY? It cracked me up because all I could think of was Jesus saying "Beware of men in long robes". Thankfully my dear brothers decided that it was not such a good idea. I'm guessing that maybe a dear Sister whispered this concern in someones ear. Dawn---was it you? Or maybe Haskell. The Lord is good.



DAWN ULMER
There were 21 of us living at Stansbury. More heavy brothers than sisters. That table was LONG. I always felt like I was living in a giant's house - everything was HUGE - stove, table, sink, My bedroom was a broom closet, really. Pat Labadie rigged up a parachute as an artificial ceiling. We only stayed 2 months before Char's Mom, thankfully, did a commando raid (I say that respectfully) and we scattered to downtown Detroit to a funeral home. In cleaning out my new bedroom, I found strange powder in the drawers. I'm sure it wasn't face powder. In the basement were wooden legs and stuff. Tough guys from the neighborhood began circling and again we ran. We didn't even stay a night. Thankfully, Dick Bieber offered the use of his church gym to 21 weirdos. Thank you, Dick!



JACK KECK
My favorite Milton Resh story: Milton is waiting for someone to finish getting a drink from a drinking fountain. He tells the person, "Have all ya want. I know the one who makes it."


ROGER HOYER
1972
Back in 1972 i had just escaped from a fanatical cult in Royal Oak. A friend of mine (it might have been JB) dropped in and told me about somebody called Haskell who was teaching at his house. i went over that night and everybody was just walking into the house. So i did too. i walked through the living room into the kitchen and got a cup of coffee. i was looking at the refrigerator and among the photos and kids drawings was a small piece of paper with the words, "...they are children of the morning they are leaning out for love and they'll lean that way forever." i went down to the basement to listen to Haskell and i never came back up. Thank You Roz. i will never forget you.

GRACE MARTIN STREET
I remember back in 1970 saying to my dad "Are these weirdo hippies ever going to leave? I just want to watch "Sonny and Cher" in the living room before Jesus comes back!" Lol!

ROGER HOYER
I feel for you Alan. I was at Northland with some of the big dogs with my requisite ammo bag. I was walking around asking people "do you want to read something about Jesus?" Some did some didn't. Then I stopped one guy, asked him, and he says, "Tell me about Jesus." I was like, "um…ah..um…" Turns out it was Dick Beiber. He didn't have anything to say either!

LARRY BOYLE
I remember years ago when Milton and I worked together at Quaker asking him if he had any ideas for what I could teach on for my next meeting. He answered, "famous sayings from the bible." I looked at him and replied, "famous sayings? Like what?" Milton said, "for Pete's sake, Holy Moses, Great Ceasars Ghost, Heaven help us, and finally, what Abraham said when his kin got the best land, 'Thanks Lot'." Yep, that's what my brother in the Lord advised me. I have to say, it wasn't one of my best teachings.

DAWN ULMER
I hesitated to mention where Toe Bob got his name. Every night when we had Bible study at the Mark Twain house, we were all jammed like sardines in the living room and dining room, sitting on the floor. It was hard to tell where one person ended and another began. Thus the playing with the toes. Even someone else's toes....


ROGER HOYER
Sometime back in the very early 70's I was wandering around 13 Mile and Greenfield. I was a weirded out 18 year old dreaming of castles in the air and well on the way to moving in. I happened onto a house where a lot of people were streaming inside so just to see what was going on I went in too. A bunch of people were standing around all over the house talking and laughing and I saw a coffee urn going in the kitchen. I walked over and picked up one of those wax coated paper cups and poured myself a cup. Wax melted, coffee burned my hand, I dropped the nasty thing in the sink and was running cold water over my wrist. Suddenly there was this wonderful, gregarious woman standing next to me saying, " the styrofoam cups are for coffee dear. Those are for juice." i looked at the lady and said, "well, you live and learn." "If you live right you do" she said and walked away. That was Rozzie Stone


DAWN ULMER
If we want to go back to the Original group, it would be Mrs. Moore and the ladies who prayed that God would work among the young people. THAT was the original group - ALL the rest of us were blessed to be plugged in by God somewhere along the way. And it is still going on....




STEVE AKINS
Okay, just moved in to Gladstone off of second around the yr 2012 with Bob( ToeBob.) Were in the ghetto, nice big houses, i like it. Out of the blue i get the urge to start sharing the gospel in the neighborhood. So off I go door to door to welcome them to our fellowship meetings. Went to a couple of houses and here comes Bob, no shoes and says Steve time for dinner and your friends are welcome. I knew I was home...


LAWRENCE BOYLE
Who remembers Bee Keeper John?


JOHN KEMP
Remember him? He was a mentor to me in my understanding of the character of Abba Father as made manifest in the life & words & prayers of our Lord Jesus.


DAWN ULMER
John the Beekeeper Riely showed up on my doorstep throughout the years from late 1960s until after 2003. He went home to be with the Lord just a couple of years ago. Yes, he always brought gifts of honey, apples and... I was privileged that he asked me to type his papers through the years so got to read his teachings before anyone else saw them. He worked so hard, keeping bees, picking apples, growing his garden - in Beaverton, MI. A unique individual who traveled, encouraging all of us along the way. Reminded me what the apostle Paul would have been like in present day, proclaiming Jesus wherever he went.


ROGER HOYER
He came by the little house on Lahser for dinner when Sue and I lived there. He brought us a honey comb.


MILTON RESH
He showed up at Bible study I was teaching at Jerry Jolly's house in Melvindale in 2002.


DAWN ULMER
Herb (Munce) was an elementary school teacher if I remember correctly. In all of the 20 or more years of knowing Herb, I never met his wife. She was a mystery. I wonder what she thought about us and Herb's journey with us. I remember Herb's Passover teaching one night at Mark Twain House. I guess we were being noisy and disrespectful during his presentation and R made everyone leave and apologized to Herb. Herb was such a dear man that he probably never noticed and befriended many of us for years. Yes, he has gone Home to be with the Lord sometime after 1987.


ROZ STONE. October 25, 2009
Both my father and Haskell were people of great integrity, both honest to a fault. Once when Haskell was working for the City by day and teaching the Bible at night, I asked him to please bring home two paper clips from work...I wanted to keep some kind of papers or bills together. He said "No." I didn't understand at first, so I said, "Okay, just bring me one." He said "No" again. I asked him why he wouldn't do this simple thing, and he said he would never take anything from the office and bring it home. Not even a paper clip! What a guy.




ROGER HOYER
Fall semester 1970, Orchard Ridge Campus. I was taking music classes with Steve and failing pretty good. I was wearing my dad's Army fatigue jacket with a white button that had the word PEACE written on it. I was making my way to the tunnels and Louis Seta was standing in front of the big oak doors. He walked up to me and said, "Do you believe in that button?" I cracked wise and said, "well I believe it exists…" Louis says, "Yeah? Well you may believe God exists too, but you'll never know peace with God until you let Jesus into your life." That was the beginning of many conversations with Louis. I can't get too heavy with things that happened at the moment, but I can honestly say Louis is the reason I'm alive and in my right mind.


SCOTT KLOIAN
All I remember is the biker who kept hitting Jim in the face and Jim kept responding with "Jesus loves you." Amazing. That could have been February 15, 1970. That night, at 10:30 pm in the basement, I gave my heart to Jesus. A night I can never forget. In a microsecond, being transported from a world of darkness to a world of Light. A week later, I shipped out to Nam. I don't think the guys in my outfit, the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the officers were quite ready for my evangelizing. Must have thought I was an alien from another world. I can't say I blame them.