In 1967 when I was married to my first wife, Marion, and living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, my brother Ron came for a visit while he was on spring break. A student at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, he introduced me to some of his beliefs and what he was learning at this college.
While he was staying with us, he decided to go to church on the Sabbath, as had become his custom. He got dressed in his suit and headed out the door with his Bible, walking toward his car which was parked up against the curb in front of our home. Suddenly, he made a ninety degree turn and headed down the sidewalk, walking away from his car. When I saw this sudden turn, I yelled out the door, “Ron, where are you going? Don’t you need the car?”
Ron replied, “No, the church is just around the corner in the Labor Temple Hall.”
He continued on his way and disappeared around the corner of our block. When he returned home after services, he told me about the sermon and what he had learned. I mentioned that each week when we sat on our back porch on Saturdays, we had been hearing music and singing and we always wondered about where it was coming from. The Labor Temple was only half a block from our rental home and it had huge windows. Apparently the windows were open during services and the music had drifted our way.
Before Ron left, he supplied us with contact information for the home office. Soon we contacted headquarters in Pasadena. A few weeks later, Sherwin McMichael and his assistant came to visit and invited us to church. The very next week we put on our Sabbath clothes and my family, which consisted of my wife and our two children, Christine and Jim, and I walked open in the Labor Temple just around the corner from our home. Church services were held in a large hall on the second floor. When we got there, I went over to the window—I could see our home and the back porch where we usually sat on Saturday mornings.
Before long we were celebrating Pentecost and then the fall Holy Days, which led up to the Feast of Tabernacles, which we didn’t quite understand yet. One Sabbath, one of the brethren asked me, “Where are you going to for the Feast?”
I asked, “Well, where is the Feast?”
“Squaw Valley, California!” He answered.
I said, “That’s a long way.”
He commented, “Yup, a little over 2,000 miles from Minneapolis.”
“Well, I just came into the Church around Pentecost and I don’t have enough Second Tithe money saved up to drive that far,” I said.
He offered to pay the expenses for our family and help us get there. In the end, two families pooled their resources to help us get there and back. We followed them to the Feast that year (1967) and they even paid for our car’s starter when it went out in Salt Lake City, Utah. They didn’t expect anything in return. They also rented a chalet for us and stocked our refrigerator.
Both my wife and I got baptized at the same time in the summer of 1968 in the basement of Elwood Olsen’s home where he had a baptismal tub.
I was a quality control manager for a small company in 1970 and that year, they refused to let me go to the Feast. I went anyway and when I came back my job had been terminated. Then, after three years of running my own home maintenance business, the economy in Minneapolis took a downturn and went into a recession. The work dried up. However, I secured a job in Mankato for a relay manufacturing company. So we moved to southern Minnesota in the winter of 1973. There was no congregation meeting in Mankato at that time and the 180-mile round trip to services was discouraging because our finances were very low. By that time, we had added two more children to the mix and Marion did not want to attend Church anymore, so I drifted away like a boat without an anchor and followed my family.
After eleven years of drifting aimlessly from one job to another; starting several companies which failed and attending the Methodist Church with my wife for the kids’ sake, the marriage ended in a divorce and I lost everything, including the kids. Eventually I moved back to Minneapolis because of a venture with my business partner. One day, after this business failed, I went into a store to buy a can of soup and noticed Plain Truth Magazine on a wire rack at the entrance of the store as I was leaving. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, but walked past it. Then it was as if an angel put his hand on my shoulder and pulled me back to take a second look at the publication. I walked forward again and felt that same hand on my shoulder pulling me back. I backed up, picked up the magazine and went outside to sit on a park bench to read it.
This was the turning point to bring me back to the Church. After contacting the home office and getting a letter from Mr. Kubik; I drove over to his house to talk to him. He put me on the spot and asked, “What do you want to do?”
I replied, “I want to come back to Church.”
So, in 1985 Mr. Kubik re-baptized me and soon thereafter I moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to live with my brother for a while because he wanted to help me get back on my feet. At the time he was the pastor of the St. Petersburg congregation.
In 1988, God blessed me with a new wife named Dagmar, who was born in Holland, and I have continued to stick with the truth.
As a new, regular feature in United News, we are including stories of how God has called various people into the His Church over the years. If you’d like to submit your story, please send it along with a photo to email@example.com. Stories may be edited for length and/or clarity and not all submissions may be published. We hope this section proves interesting and encouraging to readers.