Aug '99
early '02
Disc. - Response
See Below

    When my family and I first came to Momence in late May '99, we and the Lahrs moved into 118 E. River St, Apt. 2W. The apartment was very large, in the old style of the 1800s. Within a week the Lord led both Casey and I separately to begin to attend the local Pentecostal Fellowship, dually pastored by Revs. Mr. and Mrs. Dan Taylor.
    Our attendance at this church lasted for a couple short weeks. The church was very small (about twenty to thirty in attendance), and quite honestly we weren't received very warmly. During our first visit, the Lord made it evident to us that Pastor Dan was anointed.
    The service we attended the second week was visited by three men from Africa (Nairobi?). After the opening worship songs, the Lord pointed out to me the gentleman in the center of the three Africans seated a few rows in front of me. The Lord said, "He's going to speak today... He's an overcomer."
    I could scarce believe what I had just heard, and quite truthfully, I didn't. When the man got up and began to speak, I was sure at first that he could not be an overcomer, as the Lord had stated. As he continued to speak, however, he told of the many trials he had experienced in his war-torn African country and how the Lord had kept him from death on more than one occasion. I remember that my unbelief began to diminish, and I began to receive of the Spirit as he continued to speak. By the end of his testimony, I no longer doubted that he was an overcomer.
    On Wednesday afternoon of that week, Casey felt led to help out at the church's food pantry. In the evening, I felt led to attend the church's mid-week prayer meeting.
    The prayer meeting was held at the pastors' house, where I, the two pastors, and one other church member were four in attendance. The one thing I really took away from this meeting was something that Rev. Mrs. Taylor mentioned. She said that during a prayer meeting they had held after the previous Sunday's service, the African gentleman who had given the message had shared with them some things GOD had made evident to him during his time in Momence. One of these things was that GOD was soon going to visit Momence with a mighty revival.
    Before the prayer meeting earlier that same Wednesday, when Casey had been at the food pantry in the afternoon, Pastor Dan caught wind of Casey's need for a job. Pastor Dan began to work diligently to make contacts with possible employers for Casey. Through a series of phone calls led by the Lord, Casey eventually felt impressed to apply at the local "Momence Packing" company, where he was hired.
    Casey quickly established an evident witness for the Lord at Momence Packing. He also came to the knowledge that the plant manager, Mr. Dan Sambrooks, had recently received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. One day, Dan called Casey into his office to talk about the Lord, and Casey was able to witness much truth to him very effectively. Dan and Casey began a strong relationship through the Lord.

    Casey introduced me to Dan one evening, and we all had a good time of sharing. We would spend numerous edifying times together in the upcoming two months.
    That week at work, Dan invited Casey to attend his church, Calvary Baptist, which was then being pastored by Rev. Ben Baker. Casey accepted the invitation, and invited my family and I to attend as well, which we did.
    Sunday came and we made our way to the church and found seats near the back. There were approximately fifty to eighty people in attendance. The sermon Pastor Ben gave was anointed by the Holy Spirit, though Casey and I were unable to discern it at the time. Our wives however, not being blinded by the same self-righteousness, were able to receive a lot from the message, and confirmed to us Pastor Ben's anointing.
    After service I knew the Lord was not going to let me leave without first speaking to Pastor Ben, who was already standing at the back of the building greeting the church's attendees before they could leave. I tried to somehow get around speaking with him, but it was apparent the Lord was intending to make a connection. When I walked by, Pastor Ben reached out his hand to introduce himself. He was a very pleasant man, and very sincere. The time of year was early August.
    Later that same month, we at 118 E. River St. received a visit from a close, mutual friend named Larry Florek (and also a CCCInc. participant at that time). Larry had a very close walk with the Lord, and we were tremendously edified by his visit.
    While sharing with Larry at our apartment one afternoon we heard a knock at the door. Opening the door, we were surprised to see Pastor Ben. We invited Ben inside, and after he introduced himself to us, one of the first things Larry said to him was that he had a very "bright" anointing.
    Pastor Ben told us he had come to invite us all to a Saturday dinner at his house, to get to know us a little better. Our two families agreed to come to his house the next day. Larry decided to remain at the apartment, being told by the Lord not to go.
    While at Pastor Ben's house we enjoyed a good time sharing the things the Lord was doing in our lives. And for once, Casey and I were relatively restrained in our sharing.
    Eventually, the Lord brought the conversation to the topic of revival, and we came to understand how He had burdened Pastor Ben for the previous seven years with a strong desire for revival, which he longed to see start in Momence. Pastor Ben began to share passionately about this burden with tears in his eyes. He asked Casey and I, "Were you at Olivet during the revival of 1996? I have studied revivals for quite a while, and have been especially interested in this particular one."
    Casey and I looked at each other, half stunned, and then shared our mutual knowledge somewhat awkwardly. Casey told Ben that I was the young man whom GOD had used to interrupt the service and speak to the body of students so that He could be more free to move. (See testimony). Casey and I began to see a portion of the picture for which the Lord had originally brought us to Momence.

    After more discussion, Casey began to exhort pastor Ben for a length of time about many CCCInc.-specific truths. We both believed he was really receiving everything Casey was sharing. The next day at church, pastor Ben gave a very moving exhortation. It wasn't until after a series of personal meetings over the course of the next week or two however that Ben clearly expressed his disbelief in the doctrines Casey had shared with him.
    By early September, the Lahrs left Momence for Fort Wayne, IN, and by mid-October, Casey had officially left CCCInc. A few weeks later I had a final, parting conversation--mostly about CCCInc.--with Dan Sambrooks.
    In the months that followed, the Lord had me write a letter to Pastor Ben stating that revival would tarry because of his rejection of CCCInc. It took some time before I came to realize that the spirit of my letter to Pastor Ben had not been written in love--albeit in truth--and so had not fulfilled GOD's mandate in Eph4:15. I penned a letter of apology to Ben, and saw him only once in the following year.
part b: Keith
    The following September, 2000, the Lord led Keith to attend the annual "See You at the Pole" gathering, sponsored by the organization Youth For Christ. After actively participating in the SYATP function, Keith left. Later that day, while conversing with me in our apartment, we received a knock at the door. A young man accompanied by two young ladies introduced themselves to us. Keith recognized them from the SYATP gathering that morning. The young man's name was Trevor, and he and the young ladies were Momence high school students. The YFC leader, Holly Middleton, had asked them to find out who Keith was.
    Trevor shared with us briefly the story of the Lord's work in his life. He had been anointed about a year earlier, but apparently did not understand the full significance of what had taken place. The two girls who had come with him were professing Christians.
    In the weeks to come, the Lord led Keith to attend seven weekly YFC meetings at Trevor's invitation. These meetings were co-ordinated and directed by Holly, were attended by Christians as well as non-Christians from the Momence High School, and were largely lacking any Christian activity at all.
    It was not long before Holly learned of Keith's belief in the full gospel and became hostile against him. She quickly forbid his attendance at future meetings, then later poisoned the minds of Trevor, Trevor's parents and others against GOD's work in and through Keith and CCCInc.
    After Holly formally asked Keith to leave, the Lord had him write a letter reiterating GOD's witness of love through him to the students, and exposing Holly's unfounded reasons for dismissing him from their weekly meetings. He copied the letter to others with whom Holly had spoken as well, such as Pastor Dan. We continued to pray.
    Not many days later, Keith found a piece of mail addressed to Pastor Dan alongside the edge of the road while on a prayer walk. Upon inspection, he saw that it was an insurance check made out to Pastor Dan. We came to understand that the Lord was providing Keith an opportunity to meet with Pastor Dan, and Keith took the initiative to attend the next Sunday service at Pastor Dan's church.

    As Keith described afterwards, he sought out Pastor Dan after the service, and was not received warmly. He explained to Pastor Dan how he had found his mail, and was pleased to be able to return it to him, though he felt burdened by the lack of reciprocation on Pastor Dan's part. Keith later shared these things with me, and we were reminded to pray over the situation often.
    Some weeks after these things took place, Keith was convicted of the same thing I had been convicted of after writing the "revival will tarry" letter to Pastor Ben. To correct the unloving, previous communications on his part, Keith spent numerous hours composing letters of apology to each individual person whom he had wronged by speaking the truth in self-righteousness, including Holly, Trevor's family, Pastor Dan, (and possibly others?).
    In Nov. '01 I myself was convicted by the Holy Spirit to take these apologies even further after passing Pastor Dan on a morning walk. After passing Pastor Dan and greeting him, I turned around, caught up to him, and made my confession. Pastor Dan stated that he accepted my apologies, but also that he could have no part in our "cultish beliefs." I pointed out that GOD alone could give any of us the individual assurance and clarification of His truth through our obedience, and that we would always appreciate his prayers. He concurred. We parted on good terms, though with the understanding that, doctrinally speaking, we are both in entirely separate camps.
2002 UPDATE:
    In the past few months, the Lord has strengthened a new relationship between the Sellers and the Baker families. I personally got to know the Bakers' sixteen-year-old son Adam while working together with him at the pizza place below our apartment. Recently, the Lord even had Pastor Ben come to our apartment to insist upon our presence at their home for an Easter dinner. At first I had declined their phone invitation, but because of Ben's persistence and love in showing up to restate the invitation in person--as well as the obvious prompting of the Holy Spirit--I accepted their offer.
    While at their home for lunch, I learned that Ben and his family have lived in Momence for the past ten years, since Ben originally accepted the call from Calvary Baptist to fill the pastorship there. While there, I was also introduced to a young anointed couple who have attended Calvary Baptist for some years now, Ron and Cindy, as well as an older gentleman by name of Albert Harris.
Aug 24, '02 update:
    I recently learned that pastor Ben and his family will be moving to Montana within about a week's time, where he has accepted a job as pastor at a Montana church. It seems that GOD, in His mercy and wisdom, is purposefully removing pastor Ben from Momence, after ten years, possibly to prevent him from hindering the upcoming revival in any way. In any case, it is unmistakably GOD's timing and hand at work here, whatever His wise reasons.

Type: sub, corp, cell gr, stu gr, pastor; Level: confess, Jn14 Disc: Brief details of meeting; scriptures, if believed, Spirit cfm, proof of growth, recent victories, proof of Rom6.