Larry Ellison Senior's Statement
Hello to All of You -
Many of you I have known for years.
First, a brief history of myself so you will know where I am coming from. My Mother & Father were a part of William Sowders' ministry while he was pastor in Evansville, Indiana before I was born. They were closely associated with him even after he moved to Louisville, Kentucky. I still have a large box of his teaching papers they received dating back to 1934. There also was a close relationship between Tom Jolly, my parents and myself. He and some of his close ministers would stay in our home when I was a young boy. We knew most of the ministers in those days, went to the camp meetings and fellowship meetings, etc., so I was born and raised in the "Body"-that was all I knew to believe. My wife and her Mother and Father became a part of the "Body" while she was a very young girl. [Webmaster's note: for more on the Tom Jolly organization, read Yoke of Bondage, by Wayne Hamburger.]
After all of the sex mess came out about Tom Jolly in 1965, we left that part of the fellowship but stayed with James Sowders, Clyde Patton and that group. In March 1970, my wife and I and our children Kim and Larry, Jr. moved to Des Moines. Lloyd Goodwin (LLG) had told us there would never be a church in Evansville, we believed him, thinking he was God's man.
After moving to D.M. our family brought the membership to about 70 people. We became actively involved in many functions of the church. At this time the church was located at 800 Des Moines Street-then to 6th & Clinton a few months later. Then in the fall of 1980 the church moved to the present location at 72nd and Meredith. During the construction at 72nd and Meredith, we sold our house and put the equity in the building fund---later while building the apartment complex, we sold the house we bought in Urbandale, IA, after the other sale, and put the equity from the second home in the apartment building fund. We then moved into one of the apartments.
During the 26 years we were a part of this church we became very much aware of much of the sin and corruption that went on in the D.M. church. Some of it was told to us from the leadership and their wives. Even LLG would tell my wife and I that he and the young girl were going to get married as soon as Sister June died, and instructed us what we were to do before, and after it happened. He even had me to prepare a master tape of Sister June's best talks. He would come into the tape room from time to time and admonish me to hurry and get it ready because Sister June was going to die soon. As soon as she died, we in the Audio Department were to produce 1000 copies to give out at her funeral. I had 1000 blank tapes set aside for this, along with the prepared labels. LLG and the young lady were dating and he was buying her jewelry, clothing, etc. The young lady would show many of these things to my wife.
For several years we were praying for God to make a way for us to get out, this was after we realized God was not going to change these men and the direction the church was going. Like others, fear of man and judgment of God had its effect on us also. Gradually we began to understand that God is a good God and His grace is sufficient. Also, I was working full-time for the church--we had no home-- but lived in one of the apartments, as I previously stated, and had very little money. I was 60 years old and did not think I could get a job, but the Lord was working--LLG got wind that I no longer believed he and his ministers were all that God was using. He began to preach hard and consistently on us. During the 1996 meeting in Toronto, Canada, he and other ministers preached hard on us. When we returned to D.M., Vernon Goodwin gave us the word that LLG wanted to see us in his office. We spent 4 1/2 hours in the meeting with LLG and Vernon. There were some very hot exchanges of words between us. He told my wife and I that we had one week to move off the church property. A little while later he changed his tactics and said we should take a two month paid vacation and come back and consider remaining with him. . All I needed to do was swear that he and his work was all God was using, then everything would be alright. I was also told by LLG that I could not listen to tapes or watch videotapes of another pentecostal preacher that I saw on TV. I said NO, my conscience will not allow me to do this. All the corruption here, that had gone on for years was wrong and I could no longer tolerate it. Then he again told us we had one week to leave. After the meeting, LLG came over to my wife and asked her how much would it take (money) to get us to stay. She told him no way, that will not work. We began and completed packing before Lloyd Goodwin died.
During the last few days LLG kept trying to entice us to stay, if only I would agree to his terms, (covering up his sins and swearing that this was the only work of God and not to watch videotapes of other preachers). I told him NO. At this point, I want to say, this church was and is a cult. People are controlled by fear, manipulation, etc. Tuition was charged even though it was not listed as such, even when the change was made to pledges, each parent was told their amount to pay. A record was kept and checked to make sure they were giving their part. During LLG's messages, if he said the word "Tuition", I was to edit it from the tapes, the same when he talked in a derogatory manner and called a person's name or about the government, etc. We were taught that it was alright with God and we should lie, even under oath in a court room, to cover for him or others in the leadership and the church.
Just before the start of the next Wednesday night service, Vernon handed me a resignation paper, and told me to sign it. I was a Trustee. The Trustees were picked by Lloyd Goodwin and were only a rubber stamp to approve whatever he wanted. The church congregation never had any say or vote in these matters--Bad Business! On Saturday night LLG preached a very hard message, made hard statements, some directed to my wife, son, his wife, and myself. A little later, after he finished the message, he died (in the same service). During this last week some of the people would not speak to us, some of whom we had befriended often. After LLG's death we were accused by many as to be the cause of him dying. How ridiculous!
The Lord made a way for us to move-- My wife's sister and her husband sent us $5,000.00 to help us with the move to Evansville. They let us live with them until we could find a job and get an apartment. We learned how to pray for our needs, before we did not need to pray--just ask LLG and he would tell us what to do.
As we were ready to drive out, truck loaded, Vernon came out and asked me not to write any letters back to D.M. exposing all of the sin and corruption which we were aware of.
I do understand many of your hurts, etc., but God is faithful, He will give us Joy for sorrow and wipe the tears from our eyes. I have enjoyed reading many of your posts.
May God Bless and Keep You is my prayer.
Your friend in Christ,
Larry D. Ellison, Sr.