What really happened in Greeley, CO?

What really happened in Greeley, CO?

Gentile
Gentile

August 5th, 2007, 6:31 am #1

Sophia wrote: "AMEN to reading the Word. That is where the Greeley congregation began finding that God was calling them, individually, to something 'other'. I have asked many where they felt that this first became clear - and the answer was in the Bible Studies that were being held in homes throughout the week in small groups. Reading and delving into the Word - and praying for understanding. No wonder Bible Studies were a 'no-no' at that time. I don't know if they still are or not. But I know it caused much consternation that Bible Studies were taking place without ministers being present- and outside of the church building.

Even as a child this struck me as truly ironic since it was Menno Simons belief that 'the people' should have access to the Word and not just hearing it through the mouths of the priests of the RC church that got him into so much hot water...er...fire. Any discouragement from reading the Word - in ANY setting - with ANY people - is - in my opinion - a sure sign that it is not of God."

What really happened in Greeley, Colorado? Just curious, as a preacher who had relatives there, recently said his congregation was going the route of Greeley, to be a Greeley #2.
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Joined: August 11th, 2006, 6:22 am

August 5th, 2007, 8:00 am #2

So - who ya askin'? I'm sure the story from the ministers of the CGCM (Hey! Fred! I did it! ) would be a bit different than the story of an ex-member from Greeley. I was 8 years old - so am not so comfortable answering this as a whole - but would be more than happy to get a 'I was there' from my dad for ya!

As for another congregation going the way of Greeley - to be a Greeley #2. Hmmm - gotta say - what I know is that an entire congregation except for 4 families were expelled - and later excommunicated - and resulted in some of the strongest - most beautiful Christians I know. If the results were to be the same - a congregation of people alive in the love of Jesus and ready to share that love - than I must say 'Praise the Lord'.

That said - I had a cousin's spouse (kind of distant family - rarely saw them growing up because of that little thing called avoidance) - do a GASP quite literally after we had met at a family reunion - and in the chitchat she asked where I was from. I said 'Greeley'. She looked TERRIFIED!! I asked her what she knew of Greeley as I was aware that Greeley had a reputation for smelling like feedlots from the many years of that (thank goodness now further out of town!!) - but that I had never had quite her reaction before. And she asked - I kid you not - whisper - "Is that the place where they were having orgies and had to excommunicate the entire congregation?"

Folks - I lost it. I'll admit it! I cracked up laughing - and my laugh is NOT a silent lady like tee-hee-hee. Nope - I bust a gut. Had LOTS of people looking our direction. And of course she looked even MORE aghast. I quickly reassured her that I was laughing only because I had NEVER heard such a thing - and that this had NEVER occurred - and that while yes - an entire congregation DID get excommunicated - that it was a congregation of God-fearing Christians who had continued to worship together for years after and that in fact the congregation still existed though it had merged with another Old Mennonite church in town. And I tried to ask more questions about what she had heard - and where she had heard it - but of course she was quite ready to move on to a less, uh, scary relative.

So...there really is a question of 'what really happened in Greeley'. What's agreed upon is that a congregation was Ex'd - and that 4 families almost immediately moved away from the area to other congregations. The charges - well that's documented. Pretty sure my father in law has his - he mentioned it not too long ago. But WHY the charges - and what was truly done to deserve them? Well - I'm sure that depends on whether you're asking one of the ministers who rolled up in the four-door and piled into each home one after another - or those who were subjected to the questioning. And yes - I remember them showing up.

I also know that Gerald Mininger quite literally STOPPED the revival minister from preaching one night because of the direction things were going. Gerald was our minister. He is a precious man to me. And yes - he stood - in the middle of sermon a, b, c or d - and stopped it and told the minister he would not be continuing to preach in that church. I'm sure that made him none-too-popular.

Hank - if he's around - can help with some details as well as he is good friends with many of the X's from here. And shortly after (this was 1976) - the purge began its sweep. 30 years. wow.

So - who ya askin'? And who will be the first to ask...but...did it REALLY happen that way???
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Scott
Scott

August 5th, 2007, 1:05 pm #3

Sophia wrote: "AMEN to reading the Word. That is where the Greeley congregation began finding that God was calling them, individually, to something 'other'. I have asked many where they felt that this first became clear - and the answer was in the Bible Studies that were being held in homes throughout the week in small groups. Reading and delving into the Word - and praying for understanding. No wonder Bible Studies were a 'no-no' at that time. I don't know if they still are or not. But I know it caused much consternation that Bible Studies were taking place without ministers being present- and outside of the church building.

Even as a child this struck me as truly ironic since it was Menno Simons belief that 'the people' should have access to the Word and not just hearing it through the mouths of the priests of the RC church that got him into so much hot water...er...fire. Any discouragement from reading the Word - in ANY setting - with ANY people - is - in my opinion - a sure sign that it is not of God."

What really happened in Greeley, Colorado? Just curious, as a preacher who had relatives there, recently said his congregation was going the route of Greeley, to be a Greeley #2.
" Gerald Mininger quite literally STOPPED the revival minister from preaching one night because of the direction things were going."


Do they even give lip service anymore to the idea of a pastor protecting his own flock? Even if they do, please don't try it at home without CGCM supervision.

Perhaps Gerald's life would have been better served by helping the bailiff line all the sheep up in the chute so the cloak and dagger boys,i.e., the revival ministers also known as the Elite Guard, SS, Gestapo, etc. could impregnate the woolies with the semen of nicolatianism.

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Joined: November 23rd, 2005, 4:55 am

August 5th, 2007, 1:25 pm #4

Sophia wrote: "AMEN to reading the Word. That is where the Greeley congregation began finding that God was calling them, individually, to something 'other'. I have asked many where they felt that this first became clear - and the answer was in the Bible Studies that were being held in homes throughout the week in small groups. Reading and delving into the Word - and praying for understanding. No wonder Bible Studies were a 'no-no' at that time. I don't know if they still are or not. But I know it caused much consternation that Bible Studies were taking place without ministers being present- and outside of the church building.

Even as a child this struck me as truly ironic since it was Menno Simons belief that 'the people' should have access to the Word and not just hearing it through the mouths of the priests of the RC church that got him into so much hot water...er...fire. Any discouragement from reading the Word - in ANY setting - with ANY people - is - in my opinion - a sure sign that it is not of God."

What really happened in Greeley, Colorado? Just curious, as a preacher who had relatives there, recently said his congregation was going the route of Greeley, to be a Greeley #2.
Don Millsap must have been involved with that situation. He would speak on it as if it happened yesterday. Speaking to him, you could sense the turmoil he had to wrestle in his own heart to keep himself on track to justify what they did. It doesn't take much prodding to get him to become uneasy in discuss in this matter.

About 3 weeks after I joined the H, I spoke to man from Colorado, and became fast friends with him. He is the guy that taught me how to fix ammonia fridges, so I spent hours speaking to him.

Any how, he was raised a old Mennonite, but sort of went by the wayside, however his best friends were exed out of the "Greeley problem".

He spoke on the phone to me for 5 minutes and knew I was an H! And I thought woe! He described what the h ministers did to them, and I knew I made a wrong turn in the narrow way.

It took me 8 years to get off that little wayside retreat and may never get completely over it!

(Scarred for life)

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Joined: August 11th, 2006, 6:22 am

August 5th, 2007, 6:01 pm #5

Sophia wrote: "AMEN to reading the Word. That is where the Greeley congregation began finding that God was calling them, individually, to something 'other'. I have asked many where they felt that this first became clear - and the answer was in the Bible Studies that were being held in homes throughout the week in small groups. Reading and delving into the Word - and praying for understanding. No wonder Bible Studies were a 'no-no' at that time. I don't know if they still are or not. But I know it caused much consternation that Bible Studies were taking place without ministers being present- and outside of the church building.

Even as a child this struck me as truly ironic since it was Menno Simons belief that 'the people' should have access to the Word and not just hearing it through the mouths of the priests of the RC church that got him into so much hot water...er...fire. Any discouragement from reading the Word - in ANY setting - with ANY people - is - in my opinion - a sure sign that it is not of God."

What really happened in Greeley, Colorado? Just curious, as a preacher who had relatives there, recently said his congregation was going the route of Greeley, to be a Greeley #2.
By the way, Gentile - in case you're new to the forum - I'm Sophia Koehn. Daughter of Ken and Margaret Wiggers. My grandfathers were Min. Arnold Wiggers - Halstead KS and Min. Jake H. Loewen - Glenn, CA and then Phoenix, AZ. I married Glenn Koehn - son of Billy and Viola Koehn. His Grandfathers were John B. Koehn - uh - I think Atwater (Livingston???), CA - and Henry Giesbrecht - Glenn, CA.

My parents and Glenn's parents were among the first couples to settle in Greeley to start the Majestic View Mennonite Church here (yes - we all still live here). I was the first baby born in that congregation (collective...awwwwwww). My parents moved here in 1966. Gerald Mininger was the only Minister of the church during the entire time the congregation was part of the CGCM. (Fred's going to be so proud of me!! lol)

Here's a cut and paste from Hank regarding the charges, etc. I'll bump my 'Who was that masked woman' thread up to the top - it was my intro of myself to the forum - and there is some discussion on there about Greeley.

"Thank-you Sophia. for sharing. It is interesting to hear the story from a second generation Greeley person. Yes my friends, gsk got it right about the happenings and I know what specifically happened that lead to revivals being shut down after 4 days.

I should add that the congregation ( at least 90 + % of them) were offically expelled enmass for "an incorrect view of justification by faith". However, several yeras later CGCM issued a letter apoligizing for that, saying that G. Mininger in fact was preaching the truth on this subject; and they (cgcm hiearchy) were wrong. But of course, the congregation refused to "blend spirits" with cgcm (some of you would specifically call it the holdegod issue) in the struggle that was going on during the purge."
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Joined: August 11th, 2006, 6:22 am

August 5th, 2007, 6:04 pm #6

Sophia wrote: "AMEN to reading the Word. That is where the Greeley congregation began finding that God was calling them, individually, to something 'other'. I have asked many where they felt that this first became clear - and the answer was in the Bible Studies that were being held in homes throughout the week in small groups. Reading and delving into the Word - and praying for understanding. No wonder Bible Studies were a 'no-no' at that time. I don't know if they still are or not. But I know it caused much consternation that Bible Studies were taking place without ministers being present- and outside of the church building.

Even as a child this struck me as truly ironic since it was Menno Simons belief that 'the people' should have access to the Word and not just hearing it through the mouths of the priests of the RC church that got him into so much hot water...er...fire. Any discouragement from reading the Word - in ANY setting - with ANY people - is - in my opinion - a sure sign that it is not of God."

What really happened in Greeley, Colorado? Just curious, as a preacher who had relatives there, recently said his congregation was going the route of Greeley, to be a Greeley #2.
Gentile, any chance we could know who this minister is that said his congregation is going the way of Greeley? Since they 'reversed' their decision on whether it was a rightful decision or not (by that time, the congregation had moved on - bluff called) - I would be surprised if the charges were the same. Thus I have to assume that this person is either speaking in generalities as in 'an entire congregation like in Greeley' - or possibly has bought into some sort of rumor as to what occurred. I can't quite imagine the CGCM expelling an entire congregation on the same grounds of the 'heresy' of justification by faith.

If you can share more - I'm of course curious.
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Kevin
Kevin

August 6th, 2007, 1:01 am #7

Sophia wrote: "AMEN to reading the Word. That is where the Greeley congregation began finding that God was calling them, individually, to something 'other'. I have asked many where they felt that this first became clear - and the answer was in the Bible Studies that were being held in homes throughout the week in small groups. Reading and delving into the Word - and praying for understanding. No wonder Bible Studies were a 'no-no' at that time. I don't know if they still are or not. But I know it caused much consternation that Bible Studies were taking place without ministers being present- and outside of the church building.

Even as a child this struck me as truly ironic since it was Menno Simons belief that 'the people' should have access to the Word and not just hearing it through the mouths of the priests of the RC church that got him into so much hot water...er...fire. Any discouragement from reading the Word - in ANY setting - with ANY people - is - in my opinion - a sure sign that it is not of God."

What really happened in Greeley, Colorado? Just curious, as a preacher who had relatives there, recently said his congregation was going the route of Greeley, to be a Greeley #2.
Gentile, I'm curious as well.
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Gentile
Gentile

August 6th, 2007, 4:23 am #8

Sophia wrote: "AMEN to reading the Word. That is where the Greeley congregation began finding that God was calling them, individually, to something 'other'. I have asked many where they felt that this first became clear - and the answer was in the Bible Studies that were being held in homes throughout the week in small groups. Reading and delving into the Word - and praying for understanding. No wonder Bible Studies were a 'no-no' at that time. I don't know if they still are or not. But I know it caused much consternation that Bible Studies were taking place without ministers being present- and outside of the church building.

Even as a child this struck me as truly ironic since it was Menno Simons belief that 'the people' should have access to the Word and not just hearing it through the mouths of the priests of the RC church that got him into so much hot water...er...fire. Any discouragement from reading the Word - in ANY setting - with ANY people - is - in my opinion - a sure sign that it is not of God."

What really happened in Greeley, Colorado? Just curious, as a preacher who had relatives there, recently said his congregation was going the route of Greeley, to be a Greeley #2.
Thank you for sharing your memories Sophia! Some of the predictions from this preacher may have come about when families or the youth in his congregation would have evening devotions in their homes (without a staff member) which included singing, a Bible quiz, sharing of new birth experiences, and prayer. From what you wrote, this makes sense that these would be classified as 'Home Bible Studies' and therefore promoting a "Greeley Spirit"...

I'm amazed about the apology too. A good sign. Did they apply Jesus teaching on the bruised reed and smoking flax (Matthew 12:20) before "casting out" so many?

What did these home Bible studies consist of if I may ask?
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Joined: August 11th, 2006, 6:22 am

August 6th, 2007, 6:08 am #9

Sophia wrote: "AMEN to reading the Word. That is where the Greeley congregation began finding that God was calling them, individually, to something 'other'. I have asked many where they felt that this first became clear - and the answer was in the Bible Studies that were being held in homes throughout the week in small groups. Reading and delving into the Word - and praying for understanding. No wonder Bible Studies were a 'no-no' at that time. I don't know if they still are or not. But I know it caused much consternation that Bible Studies were taking place without ministers being present- and outside of the church building.

Even as a child this struck me as truly ironic since it was Menno Simons belief that 'the people' should have access to the Word and not just hearing it through the mouths of the priests of the RC church that got him into so much hot water...er...fire. Any discouragement from reading the Word - in ANY setting - with ANY people - is - in my opinion - a sure sign that it is not of God."

What really happened in Greeley, Colorado? Just curious, as a preacher who had relatives there, recently said his congregation was going the route of Greeley, to be a Greeley #2.
Now that's funny!! I didn't know there was a 'Greeley spirit'. Sure am glad I only have to worry about one Spirit in my life - the Holy one!

As for the bible studies content - I do not know. I would have to ask those who were, ahem, a bit older than I was! I just emailed dad to ask.

I also sent him your question about the broken reed scriptural reference.

I was curious enough on that one to go digging. Found an excellent write-up (agreed to or not agreed to - it's well done) - on the topic of the parable teaching of the bruised reed to not be broken nor the smoking flax quenched. I'll paste it in its entirety - with source reference - on a separate post here so as not to confuse what is my writing vs. that documentation. (though probably obvious! That one isn't filled with cute yellow smilies!! ).

But it brings to me a question. The document I found interpreting and illustrating this scripture - in full context not just the one verse but within Jesus' addressing issues with the Pharisees and the key timeframe for fulfilling the law that this scripture comes from - refers to this being in reference to the state of Israel. Makes sense to me. And I'm not making the jump from how that refers to Greeley - or any congregation of any Christian denomination???

Is the reference you are making that Greeley is similar to Israel in the parable and was found broken and 'smoking' and then cast aside and quenched without....well that's where I get lost on that theory of my trying to figure out what your question meant.

Or were you perhaps referring to God's actions towards Israel and how the CGCM should have handled things with a congregation?

I'm quite puzzled as to how a scripture referencing specific events and words spoken by Jesus as fulfillment of prophecy - and part of fulfilling Moses' law - ties in to CGCM's actions towards the congregation in Greeley. Can you shed some light on what you are asking there? I guess I wouldn't expect the CGCM to be attempting to put themselves into the spot of either God (allowing Israel to become broken in order to have prophecy fulfilled), Israel (since we certainly were all Gentiles!!), or Jesus (speaking and doing the specific acts to fulfill prophecy). So I'm not sure which 'part' CGCM plays in this parable - and which part the Greeley Cong. played. Englighten me please!!

Gentile...your pseudonym gives me no idea whether you're tied in with the CGCM now or in the past - or whether you have just found us through curiosity - all I know is you're not a Jew! lol So I'm assuming I'm not speaking to a staff member of the CGCM who would have access to some of my questions here - if that is not the case and you can indeed answer these questions for the CGCM - by all means - please jump in!! But I don't wish to put you in a spot to say 'who' you are either. I respect the anonymity that this forum provides. So I'll address some of my other thoughts/questions to the forum at large - hoping that perhaps some CGCM members can elaborate...

To the forum:
In order for there to be 'rightful cause' under CGCM's guidelines to expel or excommunicate - obviously charges had to be set against the people being expelled. What's greatly puzzling to me (and Hank??? perhaps you can shed some light here??) - is if there was an apology - and an attempt to draw the congregation back 'into the fold' later - and the congregation - or - I'm guessing - each individual expellee - turned down this offer for reinstatement of membership - since the CGCM basically admitted to an invalid expelling/excommunication in this case - how then does the CGCM stand behind avoidance/shunning of those wrongfully expelled? I'm sitting here a bit stunned tonight for this is the first time that this thought has come to me...that if the CGCM indeed admitted to wrongful expelling - and would have reinstated - then how does the church support avoidance in this particular case?

Hmmm - thinking this through further - I'm guessing that the answer is 'Well - if they had come BACK to the fold - forgiving us as we apologized - then of course there wouldn't be shunning/avoidance'. Yes - I'm not likely to win a debate on the idea of members willfully expelling THEMSELVES - and no longer wishing readmittance under any circumstances still being held to membership 'rules' which include agreement to be shunned or avoided if you are under repentance. Once under repentance - ALWAYS under repentance...until reinstatement? Am I wording that correct?? I think it's a load of manure headed for the fields to be spread on thick - but hey - I don't get to write the CGCM doctrine - only question it.
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Joined: August 11th, 2006, 6:22 am

August 6th, 2007, 6:14 am #10

Sophia wrote: "AMEN to reading the Word. That is where the Greeley congregation began finding that God was calling them, individually, to something 'other'. I have asked many where they felt that this first became clear - and the answer was in the Bible Studies that were being held in homes throughout the week in small groups. Reading and delving into the Word - and praying for understanding. No wonder Bible Studies were a 'no-no' at that time. I don't know if they still are or not. But I know it caused much consternation that Bible Studies were taking place without ministers being present- and outside of the church building.

Even as a child this struck me as truly ironic since it was Menno Simons belief that 'the people' should have access to the Word and not just hearing it through the mouths of the priests of the RC church that got him into so much hot water...er...fire. Any discouragement from reading the Word - in ANY setting - with ANY people - is - in my opinion - a sure sign that it is not of God."

What really happened in Greeley, Colorado? Just curious, as a preacher who had relatives there, recently said his congregation was going the route of Greeley, to be a Greeley #2.
Here is the material I referenced above:

St. Matthew having given an account of some precautions which Christ made use of in order that the people at large might not know him; quotes the above passage from Isaiah, as being fulfilled by Christ….

The house of Israel is here represented by the similitude of a bruised reed, by which is meant the low condition in which Christ found it when he came. The prophet looked forward from his day, and beholding the house of Israel in a low state of servitude, represented it by a bruised reed, and then prophesied of the Messiah and his coming, and said he would not break what little strength it retained, (which was then only in the scepter of Judah, or ‘staff’, or reed of his tribeship,) until he had fulfilled the law and made it honorable which I understand by his sending forth judgment unto victory. The continuance of Judah’s scepter until the coming of Shiloh, was spoken of by Jacob, See Gen. 10. It was to continue until Shiloh should come, after which it was broken: Observe, the bruised reed was not to be broken, nor the smoking flax quenched, until judgment was sent forth unto victory; which intimates that the reed would then be broken and the flax quenched. Flax is extremely combustible, and quickly consumed by fire, and as it smokes a little after the fire has passed it, before it is entirely gone; so the house of Israel is represented as almost wholly exhausted of its strength, and dying like the wick of a candle after the blaze is extinguished; but it should not be entirely quenched until righteousness should gain the victory over sin. Then was Judah’s scepter broken, and the light, strength and glory of the legal dispensation vanished forever.

ILLUSTRATION.
It is remarkable that notwithstanding the low condition of the Jews, and their servitude under the Roman yoke, yet they were preserved, and retained their ecclesiastical order until they had an opportunity to exercise that power in fulfilling the scripture prophecies concerning the Messiah. Had the scepter departed from Judah, or a lawgiver from between his feet, before Shiloh came, and that people had been broken up and dispersed as they were immediately afterwards, they would not have been in a situation to fulfill all that the prophets had written concerning Christ; they could not have said “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.”

If we duly consider that all the other tribes of the children of Israel had become extinct before the coming of Shiloh, and even that of Judah was reduced to contemptible weakness, yet preserved for the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophecy, and the many other prophecies concerning the Messiah, it must operate as a very forcible argument in favor of the divinity of those scriptures which were so remarkably fulfilled. What power of human wisdom, can we reasonably suppose, could discover to the dying patriarch that Judan would be the only surviving tribe, and that he would survive until the coming of Shiloh? If we attribute this to the sagacity of human wisdom, with a design to avoid the idea of divine inspiration, we only defeat our object, by giving to human wisdom that prescience which amounts to as much as divine inspiration.

Source for this material is:
"Notes on the Parables of the New Testament"
Scripturally Illustrated and Argumentatively Defended
by HOSEA BALLOU
Author of "Treatise on Atonement", "Candid Review"
re-published 1860 (hmmm! Wonder if J.H. ever read this?? ) by author revision. First published 1831
Book was in the Harvard Theological Library (digitized now)

And <a href="
http://books.google.com/books?id=ypkJW9 ... 5,M1">here </A> is the Internet link if you're interested in the full book! I typed the text I referenced above - so please excuse any typos I might have made. I did work to copy it word for word and it does NOT include any comments by me within it.

Last edited by coGforum on August 11th, 2007, 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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