Thursday, July 28, 2011

William Ebel by Kurt Pudel

Some of my happiest times at Warner Camp have been learning more of the real history of the people and places in and around Grand Junction, MI., which I took for granted as a child. Joe Cirone, L. S. Shaw, and William Hartman were significant camp leaders in my early years. Names like E. E. Byrum and F. G. Smith were common to our language.

Smith’s sister, Lottie Storey, lived with her husband and family on the camp farm during those years and I went to school with their children, Merle, Bob, et al. There were area lay people who attended faithfully, whose children I later encountered in places like Anderson College: Hartman, Hoffman, Macholtz, Buller, Koroch et al.

Among my newer friends is Kurt Pudel, older brother of Sig Pudel, pastor of a church plant near Toronto. Kurt went the other way--west, toward Edmonton where he is in business. Kurt is also the author of When the German Trumpet Sounded and Lillian Meier - Missionary of the Church of God.

Kurt brought a new book to CM this year, 126 pages, chronicling the life and ministry of William Ebel. This year-by-year narrative explores the contributions of a missionary, evangelist, poet, editor, pastor, and prayer warrior. My reading suggested that Wilhelm Ebel capably filled each of the niche’s noted by the author. Altogether, they made him a significant Church of God presence in North America and Eastern Europe between 1905-1919.

Born in Germany in 1863, Wilhelm (William) Ebel converted to Christ in California, 1892 at the age of 29. He met D.S. Warner that same year and was baptized by Warner. That led to an invitation to Grand Junction to join the Trumpet Family to help launch a German publication, “Evangeliums Posaune.”

The Saints were not in Grand Junction long before expanding the “Gospel Trumpet” to the “Evangeliums Posaune” and several other ethnic publications. “EP” launched in 1895 with a printing of 8,000, edited by Fred Hahn. William Ebel assumed the editorship in 1899. The picture above shows the Trumpet Offices as he would have seen them at his arrival in Grand Junction.

In 1902 Ebel launched his own iterant preaching ministry, both German and English, throughout the U.S. and Canada. He married Anna Thiessen of Marion, SD in 1908; they announced their calling to Russia in December 1909, and arrived in Riga (now Latvia) that same year.

Together, they ministered throughout Eastern Europe, where William become a model mentor and missionary to many fellow believers. He was a man of strong faith, a man of practiced prayer, and a strong preacher in both English and German. They endured their share of suffering, losing one child, but always remaining positive and faithful. Keeping a forward look enabled William to help launch both a Latvian Basune and a Russian Truba (Trumpet).

The following quotation from 1914 (p. 79) spoke to me of their venturing spirit: “But despite the great poverty and hard times, they had been able to save almost all the money required for a new printing press, and were lacking only one dollar.”

Missionary work kept them mobile and required a certain flexibility and willingness to live with patience. WWI added suffering, poverty, and strain, and the author shares some of that with the reader. The war finally made it necessary to leave Riga. Caught in Bucharest, Romania, they had to stay throughout 1917-18 and necessity forced William to find secular employment.

They ultimately escaped in early 1919 and returned to Gospel Ministry. I was impressed that Brother Ebel informed the Missionary Board in Anderson to send them only those funds personally designated to them, and use Board support for other missionaries.

The Abel’s were en route to an eventual return to Anderson when they stopped in Basel Switzerland to minister for a time. It was there that William Ebel died on September 18, 1919. His epitaph in the Horburg Cemetery states, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Anna returned stateside and eventually retired to St. Joseph, MI with her sister. Her Memorial Marker records her as “A Missionary of the Church of God.” Her travel chest can be observed in the B. E. Warren Cabin in Anderson, IN on East 5th Street (Church of God Historical Society).

They were a model of devotion to each other for 11 years, 8 months, and 18 days, as Anna noted (p. 102). The years of hardship took their toll and neither lived to be quite 60 years old, but they “served significantly.” A verse from one of William’s poems catches their spirit:

Why shouldst thou so fearful be, at the tempters roaring?
Simply trust in God alone, Satan’s wrath ignoring.
See God’s tenderness and prove, with the sainted hosts above,
His unfailing, wondrous love, ever for thee caring.

For a brief, insightful, easy to read bit of inspiration and history, contact Kurt at, or write him at Kurt Pudel, 6319-35 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AF T6L 1G5, Canada. The book is William Ebel, ISBN 978-1-4507-8135-0, self-published 2011, $10 + shipping.

Kurt documented the life of William Ebel because he believes our spiritual heritage is important. From Warner’s World, I am

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Scammer At Work

Did you send this email?

From: "Loy Mauch"
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 2:29:50 PM
Subject: Re: home


These is true, my last email is true, i was robbed in a missionary trip to wales till now I'm yet to get any help that was why i mailed you, please i really understand that the devils is fighting a battle which he will definitely lose, please we need to see and talk in person but firstly before you prepare for your trip to Argentina, try to arrange some funds for me so that i can organize my return back home, please i want you to get back to me.

STUDY THE ABOVE EXAMPLE OF A SCAMMER AT WORK, as I have shared it with you in bold type.

Last week, I was hacked at Yahoo. Early Tuesday morning I had a call from Gary Ausbin, over in Michiana. Gary received an email that confused him. He knew he would see me later in the week at Warner Camp, but a messenger informed him that I was stranded in Wales, UK and needed $2350 to get home.

The informant said I was robbed while on a missionary trip with my family.
Gary's alert launched many more calls, from Canada to Texas, over the next four days. I soon learned I was locked out of my own account--one frustrated German. As a result, I lost more than 400 contacts, which I am now re-building. I was left with a host of confused friends.

I spent the rest of the week correcting my account, changing my password, and spending two different sessions with technical support. By last Friday I was off to Warner Camp with a sense of relative security and we spent a full week at Camp. I'll say more about that later.

We have never been campers, per se, but we love the fellowship of Camp Meeting. We are among those that perpetuate the CM tradition in the Church of God. Granted, times have changed. Methods change. Programming changes, BUT there are valid reasons for continuing our CM tradition, although I also support the changing face of Camp Meetings.

Be that as it may, I find that my hacker works as diligently as Satan himself. Just today--7-27--my friend Bill RECEIVED THE ABOVE MESSAGE from the Scammer, still trying to collect money from a letter that is obviously fraud from beginning to end.

Study the letter. It follows a familiar pattern. Recognize it for what it is. NEVER SEND MONEY IN RESPONSE WITHOUT FIRST CONFIRMING IT OFFLINE! The money you save, may well be your own, or it may be some of God's money.

Like Satan Himself, hackers are insidiously diabolical; they are interlopers - trespassers. They “trespass” on posted property in order to hack you and scam your friends, creating problems for you, as well as for themselves. They are like the man that received a cucumber in a bottle as a boyhood gift.

He wondered how a cucumber that large got into the neck of a bottle-neck that small, but time revealed the secret as he watched someone slip a bottle over a small cucumber. That gift became a living lesson when the man realized that the cucumber could never escape from the bottle.

It taught him to consider his choices, lest he find himself a cucumber captured in a bottle. One sin may seem a small cucumber. Confined to a bottle of circumstances, that one sin can only grow until escape is impossible. Another writer described the issue in another way: “The reason I am here today,” confessed the prisoner, “is because I stole an apple from a Fruit Market as a boy

From Warner’s World,
we do well to remember that although Peter called Satan a “roaring lion” Satan also goes about with “cleverly devised myths”. Thus Peter adds, for we do not “follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses to his majesty (2 Peter 1:16 RSV) …

Sunday, July 24, 2011

119th Warner Memorial Camp

Born in Hanan, Germany, William (Wilhelm) Ebel accepted the Lord Jesus as his Savior and Lord on March 20, 1892, at the age of 29. It was life changing for young Wilhelm. He met Elder D. S. Warner in Los Angeles and found a man of like spirit and was baptized shortly thereafter. In early February 1893, William accepted a call to Grand Junction, MI, where he became involved in the publishing work of the Gospel Trumpet Company. That placed William in Grand Junction at the time of the second annual Camp Meeting on Lester Lake, where Sebastian Michels and others labored.

More than a century later, the churches and pastors of SW MI gathered on July 15-22 for the 119th annual Warner Memorial Family Camp. Warner Camp has transitioned from the National Convention of the Church of God to the annual Family Camp conducted at the historic site of the former Children’s home and Camp Meeting Center. The original 60-acre farm has been transformed into a 192 acre Youth Camp and Great Lakes Retreat Center (cf.

Each year hundreds of conferees come through the Retreat Center, in groups large and small. Several hundred Michigan children and youth are hosted by Warner Camp, under the auspices of the Division of Christian Education of the Church of God of Michigan. Complementing the annual Family Camp are the hundreds of people who come for some kind of camping experience on a year-round basis, all of which is under the direction of Mr. Robert (Doc) Stevens and the camp Board of Directors.

Located four miles from the childhood home of Dr. F. G. Smith and eleven miles from the home of Sebastian Michels, the camp provided the final home of D.S. Warner (shown above)and became the place of his burial. It retains an historic, international,and multi-ethnic flavor, although the general agencies of the church later found a more permanent home in Anderson, IN in 1906.

It is not unusual for an individual or group from somewhere around the globe to visit Grand Junction as they check out our early church history. Only recently, a group of Ontario youth from a Canadian Christian school visited us on their senior trip; they were from the Restoration Church of God that publishes the Gospel Trumpet and holds their camp meeting at West Milton, near Dayton, Ohio. Danny Layne and the Gospel Trumpet Singers are a familiar sight in their old-order Amish dress. They serve God as a more theologically and culturally conservative people that loves God and the "earliest message" of the Reformation Movement.

Camp Evangelist for the 119th encampment was Gary Ausbin. A Kansan by birth, Gary went to AC where he became an outstanding basketball player, once holding the record for the most number of points scored in one game (54). Gary came to MI as pastor of the historic Kalamazoo Westwood church, once led by William (Dad) Hartman, the “unofficial bishop” of SW MI (54 years).

Gary became a Church of God leader in his own right, serving noteworthy pastorates at Westwood, Ashland, KY., and Norfolk, VA. After more than 50 years in ministry Gary (and wife Frankie) came with a loving passion; I doubt ever a man preached with more “ humane compassion” than did Gary Ausbin this past week at Warner Camp and we all sensed the presence of God.

I don’t know whether my first Warner Camp Meeting was 1927 or 1928, but I was a babe in arms. When I returned to MI in 1973 as a married minister, we became active on an adult leadership level. It has been my privilege to serve in about every elected position available, except the treasurer’s job. In our last pastorate, we finally ended up directing the Dining Room and leading a corp. of youth workers, that includes many noteworthy leaders today.

It began when we saw the value of the new camping represented by first Resident Director, Rev. Raymond Selent and wife Grace (Amazing Grace). Grace and Tommie (my wife) were a perfect fit and we have worked as couples beyond Ray’s death a few years back. Grace survived Ray Selent and Dr. Les Ratzlaff and this year this vivacious widow worked through her grieving process working with Tommie in the Dining Hall (no longer Camp Food Service Mgr). Interestingly enough, the two ladies promised each other to help each other one more year--the 120th camp.

I hope I can share a few of the beautiful things that happened at Warner Camp this week. As one who has known the camp for more than 80 years, I see how far it falls short of missing the mark, yet I find it hard to believe how far it has come. I remember our Friday the 15th arrival, only to learn of the death of Mrs. Robert Malzon of St Joseph (Washington Avenue Chog).

I felt an immediate sense of grief, a personal loss. When I had occasion to speak with Robert later in the week, when he came on the church bus, he told me of standing at the coffin and examining her hands and thinking of all that her gifted hands had done. He mentioned the 7 years she cooked at the Fritzlar Bible School before they came to America. During the week, I heard several ladies describe various creations of her gifted hands.

My wife and I served 9 pastorates in 7 states, if I remember accurately. I know of few places with a richer, more interdependent fellowship than you will find at Warner Memorial Camp, a place that has been training Church of God leaders for well over 100 years. How the Malzons found their way to America was as amazing and as beautiful as was the arrival of the William Ebel’s, who became early German-American leaders, especially when William edited the Evangeliums Posaune during the 1890s.

The village of Grand Junction now has running water, a Post Office, and I don’t know about a bank. It has electricity and numerous services not yet available when the Gospel Trumpet Company arrived in 1886. In fact, GT Co. had the first live telephone, from the publishing house in the village, out to the camp ground. What Grand Junction now has that it did not have in the late 1800s; it is the current Blueberry Capital of the World.

From Warner’s World,
If the church did as well at sharing Jesus, as the village of GJ has done with sharing Blueberries with the world, we would be well on our way to winning the world for Jesus. :-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't Eat Lake Trout

I see all kinds of preachments about BIG government, eliminating the EPA, getting rid of government controls, et al. I took the following clipping from the "Muskegon Chronicle" a west Michigan newspaper.As you read the clipping, remember that Big government performs many, many helpful functions as related to our infrastructure. Remember that without governmental protection, industry and others pollute our water resources.

To eliminate all government except for essential security services etc, as some conservatives would suggest,would be to eliminate protection of many popular industries as the West Michigan sports fishing industry, and to privatise much of life as we know it today.

I mention these few, just to illustrate. Now, read the following and learn from it, and know that government is not our enemy, nor is the EPA (federal regulations), or even President Obama. The real enemy is misuse of government (and I'll not muddy the water here with explaining that).

Michigan DNRLake trout
Don't eat the lake trout.
The Michigan Department of Community Health has expanded its Michigan Fish Advisory for Lake Michigan to include all legal-sized catch of lake trout — 20 inches or larger.

The previous “don't eat” advisory for lake trout caught in Lake Michigan south of Frankfort, including the entire Muskegon area, covered only those 22 inches or larger.

The updated advisory was one of nine changes statewide in the 2011-12 Michigan Fish Advisory. None of the others affected waters in the Muskegon area.
In the case of Lake Michigan lake trout, testing showed hazardous levels of PCBs, chlordane and dioxins in all harvestable sizes of the fish, not just those 22 inches or larger.

The Michigan Fish Advisory at is intended to help people who eat fish to choose those that are lower in chemicals and safer to eat.
The advisory provides recommendations specific to bodies of water and types of fish for two groups of people: the general population, meaning women over the age of 45 and males 15 and older; and children younger than 15 as well as females ages 15 to 45.

Young children and fetuses are at greatest risk of the health effects of mercury, dioxin and PCBs found in some types of fish. Those chemicals have been connected to liver damage, cancer and birth defects, and could harm brain development if eaten in large quantities or over a long period.

Related topics: Lake Michigan, Muskegon environment, West Michigan. It would not hurt to read Alex Prud'home's recent publication on THE RIPPLE EFFECT, an up-to-date review of our water crisis and/or investigate the polluting of your water wherever you live.

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof ...
From Warner's World,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Lesson From the Reagan Administration

Chris Daemmrich, a 16-year-old junior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin, TX wrote the following piece about Ronald Reagan’s administration, which ended January 20, 1989:

“Rarely in American political history has there appeared a man of such contradictions as Ronald Reagan. If I have learned anything from his legacy, it is this: It matters what people think you are, not what you are. If people perceive you as one thing, like an evangelical, God-fearing Christian, it doesn’t matter that you yourself rarely attend church. As long as you seem like someone who would, you can be assured that the Christian right will be on your side.

“Reagan’s mastery of popular perception shows me that to succeed in American, you must be likeable and relatable to the masses. You can achieve this through dress, humor, or actions, and the great part is that in the end, it doesn’t matter what you think, as long as the people who will be voting for you think they know what you think, and they like.”

Chris started out to enter Texas governor Perry’s contest for Texas high school applicants writing a 99-word essay on the merits of Mr. Reagan’s presidential administration. Unfortunately, Chris could not get down to the 99 word maximum. He also had a problem with “liking” Governor Perry on Facebook to offer his entry.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram (Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11A) picked up the story of how this young essayist went in a different direction than most of his peers, as reported by editorial writer Ken Herman, of the Austin, TX American-Statesman. One thing for sure: I couldn’t argue the point when Reporter Herman noted, “I don’t know. I’m not sure this is Chris’ crowd.”

Urging Chris to “write on, kid,” Herman also raised this question after reading Chris’ essay: “Who says the kids aren’t learning critical thinking skills?” Seems to me the young man from Texas hit the nail dead center--middle of the head--and as well-said as any Academic I’ve read in recent years.

From Warner’s World,

Monday, July 4, 2011

A July 4 Meditation

July 4, 2011:
One of the most valuable things we can do for our nation today is to turn our indifference into restoration.

This is true in many areas of our lives. For example, I see real applications of this for Christians and for the church, in terms of our mission as People of God on mission, to permeate our world-culture with the faith, love and hope of Jesus Christ and the reconciliation of humanity he promises.

On a different note, however, and not least in importance, is our participation in helping improve the culture in which we live our lives and are part of. Perhaps our most common global need today, outside the realm of personal faith, is the area of water. Water is a commodity common to all of us. It is absolutely essential to our physical survival as individuals, and it is equally essential to our survival as a global society.

Alex Prud’home describes a scientific article he read in 1968 “titled “The Tragedy of the Commons” in which Garrett Hardin, a leading American ecologist, wrote of “the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment.” Hardin described the pattern by which people acting in their own self-interest destroy shared resources.

“The hypothetical example he used focused on medieval farmers who shared a field, “the commons,” and allowed their cattle to graze indiscriminately. As each farmer added more and more cows to the field, he reaped benefits, but with each cow added, the field became more degraded; eventually all of the grass on the common was eaten, at which point all of the farmers and their cows suffered. Their shared resource was destroyed by individuals concerned only with their own well-being” (Prud’home/The Ripple Effect/ 2010/357-58).

Prud’home has documented our dependence on water, our flagrant and often careless use of water, and our diverse approaches to conserving, protecting, and managing our water resources. He concludes that “By the second decade of the twenty-first century, most people have not run out of potable H20 yet, but they [we] continue to take it for granted, waste it, contaminate it, and mismanage it. These practices are unsustainable” (emphasis added).

With growing numbers of hydrologists, economists, and diplomats warning us that localized water problems could coalesce and tip the earth into a full-blown “water crisis”, can we be patriotic enough, Christian enough, or sufficiently civic-minded enough, to
1) Educate ourselves to the possibilities,
2) Put partisan politics aside and cooperate together to forestall any emergency, and
3) Unite our heads and hearts in redefining how we think of water, and
4) Re-think how we will manage our most precious global resource.

One could begin with the 24th Psalm … “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof …. That reminds me we have a resource we did not create but are responsible to “use responsibly.” One could turn to other resources for learning better how to protect and manage this common gift (cf sources such as WaterSMART, which stands for Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow).

I personally affirm this gift as a gift of God, a free gift I am free to use and enjoy, along with every other global citizen. However, I also acknowledge the truth that what I do with this gift is “my gift” to God. The way I use or misuse it is only my way of saying “thank you” to God, or it becomes my way of saying “too hell with you” this is nobody else’s business. I look at the following picture of Katrina approaching Magee, MS and I have to wonder if our indifference of attitude about issues such as global warming is just another way of thumbing our nose at whoever put this great globe together in the first place ...

From Warner’s World, what do you say? walking

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lit Candles in a Dark World

The Church of God, (Anderson, IN. Convention) concluded its 2011 North American Convention June 29 with much to be encouraged about. Yet, we also need be aware that there are those who believe “the American evangelical Church, in spite of all the good it still accomplishes, has lost its way” (Tim Dalrymple, at Patheos).

In the vision of Christian life that has been passed down the stream of generations, Tim wonders if “something essential seems to have been lost in the exchange.” Call it a hunch, buried deep in the inner folds of the spirit within: a nagging concern that Christ calls us to something more than this.

I concur when he writes “God did not become incarnate, endure the indignities and humiliations of the human condition, suffer rejection and persecution, torture and death, so that we might live comfortable lives of suburban complacency, lives more characterized by rampant consumerism than radical obedience, by cultural accommodation than counter-cultural witness, by potlucks and stewardship seminars than the persecutions and sufferings of the saints.”

As we “Church of Godders” return to home front congregations this week, let us listen to Christ’s call more sensitively. As Dalyrmple wrote earlier “The way of Christ is the way of the cross, and the way of the cross is diametrically opposed to the way of the world.”

He believes Evangelical Christians “do not bear crosses anymore; we bear the sweet burdens of worldly idols and ambitions. The Church fell in love with the extravagant comfort and consumerism of American society, its sumptuous materialism and endless distraction -- and became unwilling to follow Christ into sacrifice and suffering, into the life of the disciple that is fiercely focused on walking in the Savior's footsteps. If the Church today lives at peace with the world, it is because it has become so like the world, so harmless to it, that it no longer presents a substantial threat to the ways of worldly sin.”

May that never be true of us and may Dr. Jeff Frymire’s closing message from Matthew 22 and John 8 goad us into action. Jeff reminded us some in today’s culture have no idea who Jesus is … because we have not taught this generation who he is. We are not called to make the culture around us happy, or feel good, but to bring the message of Jesus Christ to a world that is unfamiliar with him.

He challenged us by reminding us that we are the light of the world when we don’t look like the world, don’t act like the world, and don’t believe what the culture is trying to teach us. “You cannot transform the culture by being the culture.”

We transform the culture by being the body of Christ, as Jeff insists, “When we teach the basics of who Jesus is and who we are supposed to be, this is when we are truly the light of the world.”

Following this year’s theme, “Love for Church.” may we be convicted, committed, and determined to do what that God has laid upon our hearts … let us be the lit candles, like those held by conventioneers’ in the concluding candle lighting.

And, may this long-standing convention tradition celebrate and accurately represent our unity as a part of God’s people on mission in the Name of Christ.

From Warner’s World, walking with