It was the late 70’s but it seems like yesterday. The double store front we had rented on the east end of
Sunset Boulevard was hardly in the better part of town, but that was the point. Metropolitan Community
Church downtown was now the third largest congregation in the city of Los Angeles, and it had been very
successful in it’s outreach so far, most particularly to the gay and lesbian community, but we all knew there
were more lonesome souls out there who were being missed. My good friend Don Pederson was to be our
pastor. His credentials were a mile long, including pastoring the MCC “mother church”, and the purpose was
to reach the unreachable, namely the gays and lesbians nobody else wanted. We knew enough about what
Scripture was really saying to know that they were exactly the ones Jesus wanted.
The project was our own, and it had plucked at the heart strings of not only some spiritually dedicated saints
like Vince, Paul, and Ruth & Paulette, but it also drew in a number of MCC clergy like Earl, Joan, and myself,
along with Brant Baker who had his own miracle ministry in Long Beach. As for Brant being there, the way it
went was that if his gay friends were enthusiastic about something, Brant would soon find a way to join us,
busy as he was. Sometimes he and I were like the Bobsy Twins, always winding up together again,
no matter what or where. He was one of the most fun friends I ever had, and that’s because it had
the added spiritual depth.
Physically putting the project together was not unlike the movie “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”, and I remember
our elation when the beautiful alter arrived. A carpenter friend had made it. The Church Of The Good
Shepherd - we built it and they came. On Sunday nights you’d find standing room only in the small store-
front sanctuary as dozens of newcomers came aboard and returned week after week. Our prayer circles, our
tearful and joyful experiences in body ministry in the Holy Spirit – the cherished memories have never left
me. I can still see first-timer tall Bruce in the back row, towering over everyone else, tears streaming down
his face as he encountered Jesus up close and in person among friends; among love. I see the
compassionate Joan embracing Jerry in her arms up front by the piano, and leading Jerry to Christ. Jerry
would one day become an organist in the Shekinah ministry. I see Vince and Brant sitting on the floor with
Danny between them as he was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues.
Body ministry at its best.
It didn’t last all that long, but this special ministry served God’s purpose. Many would find Christ in this small
church and many would experience the fire of the Holy Spirit. Some would become word of knowledge
workers in Shekinah Fellowship, and others would enter into full time anointed ministries of great variety.
This is what a fledgling gathering of God’s special children can produce. Do not think for a split second that
this was anything other than directed or anointed of God. The gifts of the Spirit were received quickly by
receptive and precious souls who God loved so dearly, and for whom He gave His only begotten Son.
God’s other children – the Jewels in His crown.
"They that feared the Lord often spoke with one another, and the Lord heard this,
and a book of remembrance was written of those that feared the Lord,
and loved to think about their God.
"And they shall be mine" says the Lord of Hosts, "in that day when I make up My jewels"