According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Saturday, June 23, 2012

How Evangelicalism Changed in 1978-79 with a Call to Fundamentalism

I thought when reading through Roger Olson's observations of Evangelicalism in the late 1970's that it would be helpful to remember to those of us caught in similar changes "up north" in the Western Michigan area of Grand Rapids (which we famously nicknamed in good humor the "New Jerusalem" of Christianity) because of its many Christian publishing houses (Zondervan's, Kregals, Baker Book House, Eerdmans), Christian organizations like Mel Trotter, Uncle Charlie's Children's Bible Hour, and the plethora of churches (nearly "one on every block").

To this one may add the global synod headquarters of the Reformed Church of America with its corresponding college/seminary Hope College and Western Theological Seminary of Holland, Michigan, and Kuyper College of GR; the Christian Reformed Church of North America and its correspondent Calvin College and Seminary; several Regular Baptist and Dispensational schools (Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (both my college and seminary experience), Grace Bible College, and the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music, now past); and an excellent Catholic school Aquinas College now guided by a friend of mine, Juan Oliverez, whom I met while serving as a trustee for the Grandnet Community Project under the city's Delta Strategies initiatives of the 1990s to provide technology services for area non-profits and the Grand Rapids Public Schools through city and county help and coordination.

To this may be added our area preachers (of which I'm only familiar with a few not being raised in the area's Dutch population of Reformed and Christian Reformed churches) such as Dr. Richard DeHaan of Radio Bible Class fame ( and one-time pastor of my former church Calvary Undenominational (a Reformed church that would later become associated with the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA). Whose association bore within it connections to Dallas Theological Seminary of John Walvoord and Merrill Unger; J. Vernon McGee of Los Angeles; Charles Ryrie of the Ryrie Study Bible; Charles Feinberg of Talbot Theological Seminary, and John MacArthur; all well known to me, especially McGee's Texas drawl and beloved Thru the Bible Series that I grew up on). Before attending and ministering at Calvary Undenom (as a lay person only, I might add, in the college and single adult areas) I attended the very fundamental IFCA church of Grace Bible of Ann Arbor under the strong preaching of Raymond Saxe a converted Jew from South Africa who gave a steady modern day picture of what Billy Sunday of the early 1900s must've been like in his heyday as he preached Christ to the world around.

Then there was David Otis Fuller of Wealthy Street Baptist Church (my wife's aunt and uncle's church) that gave birth to a new church plant that would later become my long time childhood church of Calvary Baptist under Dr. Matthews and later, Dr. John White from Iowa (himself, trained at Dallas Theological Seminary), who was one of the best bible teachers and pastors I've ever met, and now has become largely forgotten. To Calvary Undenominational's rosters I might add my pastor Louis Paul Lehman (associated with Anthony Zeoli of Chicago who himself (Zeoli) had preached with Billy Sunday in a much earlier life. I later would meet A.Z. in his great age and have preached a 4-minute, late-night, mini-sermon to myself at my election using only the furniture of the Marriot Hotel room about us to tell of Jesus our Lord as I stowed away his luggage from check-in). Also George Gardiner, my wife's pastor of Calvary Undenom who, with my pastor John White, would together marry us in the unusual practice of a "double shotgun wedding" (my wife's and mine own humorous description of our wedding ceremony - not theirs!) but one they gladly cooperated in to our great delight.

Many years later, my wife and I left Calvary Undenom to begin ministry at Calvary's newest church plant under Ed Dobson, to be known as Mars Hill Church, pastored by Rob Bell of Love Wins fame and one of the reasons for the formation of this emergent blog. Our ministry didn't last more than several years before the many changes at Mars replaced us with specialized staff members (though by that time I needed a time of spiritual rest and more energy for my family and small consulting practice). Curiously, Anthony Zeoli's son Billy had begun Gospel Films (Muskegon, MI) that was supported by Radio Bible Class (DeHaan) and Amway Corporation's original founders Richard DeVos and Jay VanAndel, whose son Richard Jr. attended Mars Hill as one of its founding and current members. It is curious in that the plethora of Christian connections in our lives seem to ebb and flow through time as one would expect when God is stitching together a tapestry of support and nourishment around - and within - our lives, from cradle to grave, as He would eternity's net of recreation for this lost world He intends to redeem.

Thus, the saying goes in Grand Rapids that "everyone is related to everyone else in some way or in some fashion." This seems very true of my wife and mine own past histories of churches, Christian education and societal networks of associations, mission agencies, and friends. Consequently, when reading through Dr. Olson's review of Evangelicalism's change in the late 1970s it perked my interest to discover how my church's and college experience would later change because of those alarmist changes occurring in other parts of the country. And consequently, as one steeped in biblical fundamentalism, and later evangelicalism, I would have the new experience of being provided an incipient form (that is, a very early and immature form) of Emergent Christianity through Rob Bell who himself was home grown from my former church Calvary Undenom that I would later marry into from Calvary Baptist Church with my Regular Baptist roots and heritage (otherwise known as the GARB). Interestingly, the president of the General Association of Regular Baptist's (GARB) was Joel Stowell's father; Joel himself was the past president of Moody Bible of Chicago, and now current president of my former school and seminary (Cornerstone University & GRTS).

So then, forgive me for boring you with my personal background aside from the thought that it may be relative to the article posted below to help us understand how a religious group's ideas and changes can impact the lives of so many others in very unpredictable ways and fashions. What my southern brothers and sisters were going through were no less our experience in the northern churches with our austere and challenging church histories and denominational relationships. Relationships that stretch all the way back to England, the Netherlands, Scandinavia (the Swedish Lutheran Church of my mother's heritage), Germany and Poland for us here in West Michigan, Holland, and Grand Rapids. Which at one time or another God would use to call out a people for His name that Jesus might be preached to the four corners of the world through a variety of missional agencies and humanitarian missions such as International Aide of Spring Lake, MI (restored by the son of Robert VanKampen of the VanKampen/Merrit fund whom I met when building his palatial lakeside manse in the 1980s... sorry, I couldn't resist yet another connection!). Hence, to move forward it is important to remember our affective pasts and presents. Enjoy.

R.E. Slater
June 23, 2012

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Way We Were

by Roger Olson
June 18, 2012

I realize nostalgia is not for everyone; I’ve always been a nostalgic person. I’m one of those people who walks up to your front door and says “I grew up in this house. Would you mind if I came in and looked around? I want to refresh my memory because I think about it a lot and some of the rooms are getting quite fuzzy in my memory.” You feel like slamming the door in my face, right? So I don’t do that. But I am tempted to it when I’m in a town where we lived when I was a child or teenager.

I’ve explained here several times why I can’t give up calling myself an evangelical. I won’t go back over that again except to say it’s part of my identity.

One instrument of forming that identity was a magazine called Eternity. I’ve mentioned it here before, too. I don’t remember exactly when I first began reading it, but it was sometime around 1973. Then I read it religiously until it stopped publishing sometime, I think, in the 1980s.

Eternity played a huge role in my theological development out of extremely sectarian Pentecostalism and fundamentalism into the larger, broader evangelical world. It was articles and book reviews and even advertisements in Eternity that intrigued me and caused me to look beyond my limited horizons and even beyond “normal” evangelical horizons. Eternity published articles by non-evangelicals such as Helmut Thielicke and reviews of books by non-evangelicals such as Hans Kueng. (I picked those names just because I saw an article by the former and a review of a book by the latter in a bound volume of Eternity from 1973 that I own.)

I own three bound volumes of Eternity—1973, 1974 and 1975, volumes 24, 25 and 26. Which tells me it began publication in about 1949. It evolved out of an earlier magazine called Revelation which was founded by Donald Grey Barnhouse in 1931. Eternity was published by The Evangelical Foundation headquartered in Philadelphia and somehow affiliated with Tenth Presbyterian Church which Barnhouse pastored for many years. Barnhouse was a well-known and influential fundamentalist-turned-neo-evangelical Bible teacher who had a radio program and wrote numerous books and commentaries. (He was somewhat unusual in being both Reformed and dispensational.) His successor as pastor and Bible teacher (on the radio program) was James Montgomery Boice (1938-2000)a pastor and theologian who studied with Karl Barth in Basel. Boice was my homiletics professor in seminary; I still have three written sermons I wrote for him. He seemed to like them. (Boice took a sabbatical from his pulpit and the radio program in 1976 to teach a “January term” at North American Baptist Seminary. It was there that I studied under him.)

Boice eventually became publisher of Eternity and then suspended it. For me that was a black day (or month). I was sad to see it go as it had served as one of my main avenues of socialization into evangelicalism. I do not know this for sure, I am speculating, but I suspect the Evangelical Foundation somehow or other turned into the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and that, in some sense, Modern Reformation is Eternity’s successor publication. I know that Boice was an early leader in the Alliance and I’ve always wondered where the money for Modern Reformation came from. Perhaps from The Evangelical Foundation? I’d be glad to know. I can’t find anything about the latter on the internet.

So what do I mean by Eternity representing “the way we were?” Eternity was by all accounts a mainstream evangelical publication; it leaned neither to the “right” nor the “left” although it published articles by evangelicals who “leaned.” Most of its regular contributors and editors, however, were middle-of-the-road evangelicals. If it had any agenda or editorial mission it was to serve as an instrument for expression of mainstream evangelical views.

As I’ve said many times before here, something happened within American evangelicalism around 1978. That was the year I graduated from seminary. That was also the year Harold Lindsell’s truly awful book The Battle for the Bible, about inerrancy, was published. I saw its effects close up. Suddenly, my mainstream, middle-of-the-road evangelical seminary was forced to adopt an inerrancy statement and professors who had been hired without any such expectation were forced to sign it or leave. I witnessed professors who had taught against inerrancy in classes sign the statement to keep their jobs. One refused and left. This happened all over the country.

Within just a couple of years the whole atmosphere of evangelicalism changed. Suddenly fundamentalism was rearing its ugly head within the ranks of mainstream “neo-evangelicalism” and in the Southern Baptist Convention. I went directly from North American Baptist Seminary to Rice University to study with Southern Baptist theologian John Newport who had taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and then, after I arrived, left Rice to go back to SWBTS as its provost.

The year was 1979. I sat in seminars with Newport as he reported to us blow-by-blow the “fundamentalist take over” of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Convention’s annual convention was meeting in Houston just a couple miles from the room where we met with Newport for seminars. He was attending the convention and pastors conference. He was dismayed by what he was hearing—that allegedly there were “liberals” teaching in the SBC seminaries! He had been one of them (according to some of his critics) because he wrote a book (co-authored with William Cannon) entitled Why Christians Fight over the Bible in which he denied strict inerrancy. Anyone who knew John, however, knew he was anything but “liberal.” If there ever was a God-fearing, Jesus-loving, Bible-believing Christian scholar, philosopher and theologian, it was John Newport.

Back to Eternity.

When I look back at those three bound volumes of Eternity what strikes me is the irenic approach the editors and authors took to issues. And how progressive and courageous many of the articles were—in confronting fundamentalism. For example, the January 1973 issue contains and article by a professor at Calvin College and his wife entitled “Was Paul a Woman-Hater?” The carefully crafted and biblically defended answer is “no” and the authors go so far as to argue that Junia was a female apostle. The implications are clear: they (the authors) believed in equality of women with men in ministry. The article purported to be a critique of feminists’ dismissals of Paul as a woman-hater, but, in fact, it was also a critique of conservative evangelicals’ dismissal of women as unworthy to be ministers.

Also in the January, 1973, issue of Eternity was a very well-written and insightful review of several movies (e.g., Straw Dogs starring Dustin Hoffman) entitled “Does Violence Have a Place?” by Karen R. DeVos. Her answer is yes—but not in the way Hollywood presents it. She complains that too many movies glorify violence as an initiation into true manhood.

The February, 1973 issue contains an article by Lewis K. Glanville entitled “How to Succeed as a Middle-Class Christian.” The title, like many Eternity article titles, is ironic. The thrust of the article is anti-middle class values and pro-social justice.

The same issue contains a book review of two books by Rudolf Bultmann by Nancy B. Barcus. While she is mainly negative toward Bultmann’s demythologizing hermeneutic, she points out positive contributions as well. Like most Eternity book reviews, it looks for the light even in unexpected places and advocates that evangelicals read scholars like Bultmann discerningly. (In contrast to fundamentalism that would usually forbid reading the likes of Bultmann!)

The March, 1973 issue contains a review of David Moberg’s The Great Reversal by Ronald Enroth. Enroth strongly commends the book for telling the story of evangelicalism’s abdication of social responsibility between the early 19th and early 20th centuries.

Many articles in Eternity during the 1970s promoted evangelical social action that today would be labeled “liberal.”

The April issue contains a ringing call for irenic evangelical relationships in spite of serious disagreements over secondary doctrinal matters by Vernon Grounds, president of Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary (now Denver Seminary). The article’s title is “How to Keep the Peace.” Grounds concluded “As Christians concerned about keeping a genuine and permanent peace among ourselves, we must labor together according to these principles. There is no reason in the world why our charity, harmony and unity should not compel the reluctant tribute even of unbelievers , ‘Behold, how these evangelicals love one another’.” (p. 38)

How terribly that advice was ignored in the coming decades as evangelicals began to devour each other over different views about the Bible, politics, women, predestination, God’s foreknowledge, the salvation of the unevangelized, postmodernity, and creationism.

The May, 1973 issue contains an article on prayer by Helmut Thielicke—a leading neo-orthodox pastor and theologian of Germany. Chances are he wouldn’t get published by any mainstream evangelical publication two decades later because of his view of Scripture.

The same issue contains an article by David Hubbard, president of Fuller Seminary, entitled “Should Evolution Be Taught as Fact or Theory.” Hubbard served on the California Board of Education’s committee responsible for textbook selection for public schools in that state. His treatment of this thorny issue is a model of common sense balancing with a cautious "yes" to evolution and resounding no to "[scientific] naturalism".

The issue also contains an article by Lewis Penhall Bird entitled “Can a Christian Ever Consider Abortion?” This and other articles on abortion in Eternity routinely referred to fetuses as “potential human life” (as opposed to full human persons). The article is definitely anti-abortion on demand but recommends compassion toward women who feel they have no other option.

Also in that issue was an article by D. Garth Jones entitled “Does ‘The Genesis Flood’ Solve All Our Problems?” Like many Eternity articles it is anti-young earth creationism.

That’s enough to illustrate “the way we were.” Mainstream, middle-of-the-road evangelicalism was, in the 1970s, irenic, open-minded, culturally-sensitive and inclusive. At least compared to today’s evangelicalism.

Eternity was a popular, not scholarly, magazine, but most of the articles were by scholars. Many of them were by Donald Bloesch, Bernard Ramm, Vernon Grounds and others who later came to be considered dangerously liberal by neo-fundamentalists who somehow managed to manipulate evangelical (and Southern Baptist) opinion to become paranoid about alleged creeping neo-orthodoxy and liberalism among the ranks of the biblical scholars and theologians.

What’s the evidence of that change? Well, of course, it will be called “anecdotal” and “impressionistic” by my critics, but I will simply claim insider experience and knowledge and let you, my readers, decide whom to believe.

During the 1990s I served as editor of a leading evangelical journal called Christian Scholar’s Review. For five years I listened to complaints by our editorial board (representatives of fifty mostly evangelical colleges and universities) about attempts to get colleagues to submit manuscripts for our consideration for publication. Very common was the answer “I’m afraid to” even among very evangelical scholars at conservative evangelical institutions. The opinions and results of research they wanted to write about were not radical or extreme; they were very much like those reported in more popular form in Eternity earlier. Suddenly they were grounds for investigation and possible firing.

A professor of theology at a leading evangelical institution was fired because his wife wrote a book promoting egalitarianism. (In response Eternity published an excellent article entitled “Why Do the Absolute Absolutists Always Win?”)

A leading evangelical professional society moved toward expelling a well-known and highly regarded evangelical scholar over his opinion about the infancy narratives in Matthew’s gospel. (The scholar resigned from the society before his expulsion came to a vote.)

Suddenly, increasingly throughout the 1980s and 1990s, evangelical voices were raised in anger and hostility against fellow evangelicals. A spate of publications decried the alleged defection of evangelical scholars from the faith “once for all delivered”—by Charles Hodge. Of course, that wasn’t what was said, but it was the subtext of many of those books. “The Stout and Persistent Theology of Charles Hodge” (article title by David Wells) was being turned into the norm for all evangelicals—something unheard of in the 1950s through the 1970s.

I taught in two evangelical institutions of higher education from 1982 to 1999. At the first one, in 1983, under pressure from conservative constituents, the entire theology faculty was asked to fill out a doctrinal questionnaire that contained questions such as “Do you agree with B. B. Warfield’s doctrine of the inspiration of scripture?” We took them uncompleted to the administration—all together—and laid them on the provost’s desk in protest. Fortunately, we never heard about it (at least while I was there). Suddenly, the president began talking about “inerrancy” from the chapel pulpit whereas he had never mentioned it before and no faculty member had ever been queried about it before.

Gradually, throughout the later 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the mainstream, middle-of-the-road evangelical college where I taught for 15 years came under tremendous pressure from angry, inquisitorial pastors and lay people. One Bible professor who suffered much was a conservative Old Testament teacher who dared to teach amillennialism (!). Dispensational premillennialists in the denomination wanted him fired even though the denomination had never had a doctrinal position on millennial views. Increasingly throughout the 1990s the college’s and denomination’s irenic evangelicalism was tested again and again and began to melt away as neo-fundamentalist pastors, inspired by leading neo-fundamentalist biblical scholars and theologians, began to bombard the college’s administration with complaints about alleged faculty defections from “the received evangelical tradition.”

Eternity is the way we were. It’s not the way we are. But what I want to do with this blog, at least occasionally, is point back to the way we were and urge contemporary evangelicals to return to that irenic spirit and broad-mindedness about secondary matters. My hope, faint as it is, is to convince evangelicals to turn a deaf ear to the loud, angry voices of the neo-fundamentalists who have crept in and stirred up completely unjustified fears of heresy among the laity and pastors.

Let me close with just one example of the kind of thing I think we need to ignore or perhaps call out as unjustified. A leading conservative evangelical scholar and professor wrote “I cannot escape the dreadful feeling that modern evangelicalism in the West more successfully effects the gagging of God…than all the postmodernists together.” Really. This is just one example of what I regard as the over-the-top, breast-beating, “sky-is-falling” evangelical warning that wouldn’t have been given a hearing in Eternity in the 1970s. And yet it is all too common today.

- Roger Olson

Postscript by RE Slater:

And lest their is any doubt, postmodernism is where it is at today for those of us choosing to upgrade our fundamental/evangelical heritage towards an Emergent Christian perspective. Which, of course, is the stated purpose of this webblog. One which is in large agreement with Dr. Olson's post-conservative Evangelicalism but which finds the identity of Emergent Christianity a more open and welcoming form of Jesus expression to the non-Christians to whom we wish to minister.

Those Evangelical, progressive Evangelicals, and Fundamentalist Christians who wish to join us are welcomed by Emergents, but no longer at the expense of the ministry and witness of the Word of God's revelation of God's love and salvation come to man because of religious barriers and dogmatic concerns. As has been shown time and again herein, those barriers and dogmas can come down, and nicely, without losing God or His Word. It is more ourselves that need the changing.... Our posturings and biblical perspectives. Our culture and attitudes. Our fears and disappointments. This calling to Grace that we have must not be impeded by ourselves, our churches, our associations, schools or denominations.

And it is to this gracious background that I recall in mine own earlier days of involvement in Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism that I elect now to return to under a larger umbrella of thought and practice, academia and worship. One that I now chose to define and understand as Emergent Christianity. Though it practices vary widely, and its adherents are scattered and diverse, I believe there is a time and place that we may begin joining in to this newer definition of a Christianity that is expansive, permitting, gracious, and inviting to all men and women everywhere. And that Jesus' message may be seen, heard, felt and experienced through His people, the Church, by the rightful power of the Holy Spirit of God. I invite all readers to join in and rebuild the Church of God to the glory and honor of God's holy name magnified above all heaven and earth. Whether emergent or not, we are all of one brotherhood and sisterhood of Christ.


R.E. Slater
June 23, 2012

Come [then], ye who are weary, and take my yoke. Learn of me.
For I am gentle and lowly in heart. And you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Mt 11.29-30)

Be now my faithful laborers...


  1. Brother,

    You mentioned Dr. John White. I love that man.
    Help me understand. Is the church he pastored the same one that Ed Dobson pastor's presently?

    I enjoyed your article.

  2. Your close. Dr. John White pastored Calvary Baptist Church. Edward Dobson pastored Calvary Undenominational Church. Both are located in Grand Rapids. And both were GRR's first mega-churches. Curiously, Calvary Baptist was first to surpass 1500 in attendance. Later, Undenom (now Calvary Church) caught up when they moved to their present address.

    Some personal facts. Both Dr. White and Pastor Gardiner married my wife and I in a "double shot gun" wedding as we use to call it. White did the pre-marital counseling (six weeks; all wonderful!), and Gardiner the ceremonial review. But both stood with us at our wedding and both spoke at it. This was unusual but both were friends to our families.

    Secondly, when Calvary Baptist thought to expand and move, Pastor White looked at our 200 year-old farm homestead on 28th street between East Paris and Patterson Avenue. We had a 100 acres to sell but it then lay in developer's hands to which the church might not have been able to afford. What I understood though is that they wanted to stay near the Burton Heights neighborhood and not go so far away from its roots. In any case they did and it seems that either location would (and did) reduce its neighborhood ministries. Which is unfortunate. But churches, like ministries, have a life-and-death cycle to them. It is a fact of life.

    Anyways, Calvary Baptist Church was originally located on the SW corner of Burton and Eastern; then spread out between the Ottawa Hills Public School address before moving to its "south campus" at Seymour Christian School near Alger and Eastern. Throughout the 12 year? process the Burton Church was in continued use both as a worship facility and as offices. Afterwards all properties were sold and moved to their present 28th Street location near Kalamazoo Avenue. Here is their link (which is very slow) -

    Calvary Undenominational Church (my wife's church) was originally located at the Michigan Avenue location (now replaced by a large Medical Facility owned by Spectrum Hospital). It started under M.R. DeHaan (Radio Bible Class) as a split from 3rd? Reformed Church. My wife is from there and our pastor was George Gardiner, then Louis Paul Lehman (who died on stage at my college groups first Christmas Eve concert we advertised as "Festival of Lights"), then Edward Dobson, and now Jim Samra (one of my College & Career Sunday School class kids). Under Lehman the church moved to its present E.Beltline & I-96 address. Somewhere along the way Undenom shortened its name to simply "Calvary Church" and is no longer "Calvary Undenominational Church". Here is their link (which is little faster) -

    I can never say enough about Dr. John White. He was wonderful in every way. From the pulpit, to pastoring, to ministry, vision, and administrative ability. He was the complete package and we were privileged to have had God's "Man from Iowa!" Thank you brother for the memories.