My Title of Liberty

     "In Memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." - Alma 46:12    

 

Judson Baptist College

The Chapel at Judson Baptist College

1966 - 1968
FRESHMAN
SOPHOMORE

I arrived early at Judson Baptist College in Portland, Oregon, to do custodial work. They put me temporarily in Sam Hall, a very small, usually exclusive, dormitory in the trees on the hillside looking down on most of the campus.

I was able to talk my instructors into allowing me to take New Testament Greek, normally only for sophomores, in my freshman year. I did very well with Greek, which was taught by Miss Muriel Hampton. She was also the Logic and Ethics teacher.

I got my first Strong's Concordance (without a cover), for which reason it was being discarded from the school Library. It showed the original Hebrew and Greek words for every passage in the Bible.

When school started, I move into Kevorkian Hall, the other dormitory for men. The house parents had their own apartment. By the time I left, they also had a baby.

I worked part time at Harold's Shopeteria just down the hill from the school as a box boy. I bagged groceries, carried the bags out to the vehicles, and took care of the shelves, bottles, and garbage.

My relationship with Bev continued, but she broke up with me twice, then relented and took me back. For a costume party, Valentines Day I think, I rented us a pair of Spanish costumes. Mine had a hat with little balls hanging like tassels from the broad brim. During one breakup, I was playing "Green Fields" on my guitar and singing it so sadly that Carol Berger, whom I knew from high school, came to me and asked me if I was that sad. Another time, I asked Georgia Kevorkian out and she walked with me about the campus.

While attending Lents Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon, they had a visiting speaker who was also a black-light chalk artist. One night his subject was "Faith." He challenged everyone to pray a "prayer of faith," that is, to pray and ask God to answer the prayer in order that our faith might be strengthened, by exercising the little faith which we already had.

I had been riding to the meetings with Jim Worthington, a custodian for Multnomah School of the Bible there in Portland, and I would walk the two miles from Judson Baptist College where I was going to school, to Multnomah to get a ride with him. But Jim had gone to California that weekend and I didn't know how soon to expect him back. So before the next meeting I made three prayers like the speaker suggested. The first was that I would have a ride to the church meetings. The second was that Jim would return the evening of the meeting. The third prayer had to do with the weather report: it was supposed to rain that evening. I prayed to the LORD that I should not get wet, as I had the two miles to walk at the very least.

When I was ready to go, I picked up an umbrella, and as I was walking out the door with it, I thought: If I am going to exercise what faith I do have, I will have to leave the umbrella behind. So I took it back to my room. Starting out again, and as I was walking down the hill away from the College, it began to rain, not a downpour, but enough to make a two mile walk a wet one. I began to say to the LORD: "LORD, I asked that I might not get wet this evening, and I have been trying to act in good faith ..." And as I was speaking it began to dawn on me that though I was feeling the rain strike my face and hands, it seemed to be evaporating as fast as it struck me. As I walked, it continued to amaze me that I was actually staying dry, even though the rain was coming down and forming puddles on the sidewalk and along the street. Truly, it reminded me of the fleece of wool which Gideon set before the LORD to see if He had truly spoken.

When I arrived at Multnomah, I went to Jim's house which was on the far side of the campus, and knocked on his door. There was no answer. This seemed like the prayer I had made had gone unfulfilled, but I was buoyed up somewhat by the previous answer which truly seemed miraculous, that I did not give in immediately to doubt.
     I went over to one of the school dormitories and found someone who was also going to the meetings (there were quite a number from both schools who were going because of the nature of the speaker's presentation), and so I got a ride.

I went back the next day to Jim's house. I was still puzzled about the apparent failure of God to answer the one prayer after he had answered the first in such a manner. His wife answered the door (She had not gone with him), and when I had questioned her, I learned that he had returned about 10 o'clock the night before - the night of the meeting.

Thus, each of the three "Fleece" prayers had been answered, and each in a way that surprised me and strengthened my faith, for I also learned that "My ways are not your ways, saith the LORD."

I knew that God answered prayer. But I began to wonder, could the Bible be trusted as the Word of God? What if I had been born in India or China? Would I have been a Hindu or Buddhist? I prayed about it. God gave me an answer, but not in an outward way. He spoke to my heart, but He wrote it indelibly there. The Bible is true. It is His word to men.

During the summer, I worked again at Willamette Cherry Growers and the Del Monte cannery in Salem.


Kevorkian Hall

Back in Portland for my Sophomore year, I found part time work at Teeny's Middle East Bakery making pocket bread. I learned to mix the dough and shape it. Sometimes, I got to take home bags of the finished product that had some defect in them. The bread was delicious, somewhat like sourdough. Sometimes, when I had nothing else to put in them, I would pour a little bit of soda pop in them.

I also earned a little money for McDonald's trips by drawing colored pencil sketches of the guys' girlfriends. I even put at least one on a T-shirt.

We had a recreational area underneath the gym called "The Hub". We gathered there at times to socialize and relax from our studies. Sometimes we even tried studying there.

I attended Lents Baptist Church while I was going to Judson. At one time the college students at the church planned a debate on the doctrine we called "Eternal Security." I was the only one to volunteer to take the opposing view. I threw myself into preparing for the debate. I researched all the arguments I could find for or against the doctrine. I had been taking New Testament Greek so I examined the scriptures from the point of view of the original language. I organized the arguments by their logical validity and discovered to my surprise that the soundest arguments indicated that the scriptures did not teach that doctrine, which was taught in the Conservative Baptist group. The debate never took place, probably due to lack of interest, but the important comparison had already been made in my mind. I could not conscientiously become a minister in a church which taught what I believed the Bible did not teach - I could not just avoid the doctrine. This cast a shadow on my chosen career. I could not teach things I didn't believe were supported by the Bible. This led me to seek out a Church whose teachings lined up with what I read in the Bible.

I graduated from Judson at the end of two years. The courses were unacredited, so I would have to have them acredited by another institution as I continued my education.