OF BONDAGE - Chapter 6
By Wayne Hamburger
THE MARION YEARS AND CHURCH INVOLVEMENT
The move to Marion was fraught with problems from the outset. Wayne and Mandel wrongfully surmised that property in Marion would be less expensive than it was in Springfield. They found that property was even more expensive and the high interest rates for housing loans made the search for a home stressful. They subsequently found a home that fit their needs, even though it was not as nice as the one they had left behind. The seller agreed to finance the balance after a substantial down payment. Moving day turned into a disaster. An ice storm hit the Springfield area and prevented the movers from leaving after getting the furniture loaded. Wayne and Mandel sat in the empty house in Marion waiting for a moving van which was stalled in Springfield. Three days later, the move was completed.
Mandel had been strong during and after Wayne's surgery. She had provided the strength and support for him to recuperate in a timely fashion. With the move to Marion, she also began to show signs of cracking under the pressure. She had gone along with the decision to relocate, although it was not her choice to do so. She had to give up her job which she loved and her beautiful home. She was having to start all over again in a strange city. She constantly worried about Wayne's health. She began to feel as though she no longer had control of her life. She was not happy with her new home; family members, as well as church family members, were unsupportive. They all felt as though she should be happy to be where she was and the opposite was true. Within a few days she began to fall into a deep depression from which it would take months to recover.
Adding to her woes were the stringent rules the church imposed on the women. There was no rhyme or reason for the rules, yet the preacher purportedly got them from the Bible. They were required to drive 40 miles to the church in DuQuoin pastored by Beryl Clark. Mandel was not allowed to cut her hair. It had to be done up in a Pentecostal style. She was not allowed to wear any makeup and she had to wear long sleeves. She kept asking for some clarification from the Bible as to why such suffocating rules were imposed on the women of the church. The only response that Wayne could come up with was that she had to obey the minister. His reasoning was that if the minister was pleased, God would be also. This was no consolation to Mandel, who spent hours in front of the mirror trying to fix her hair so that it would please a preacher. The stress of the situation often left her in tears. Through the help of a local community health counselor, Mandel gradually overcame the depression. She was told that her depression was a result of suppressed anger. No one could quarrel with that diagnosis.
Wayne didn't fare much better health-wise. Within ten days after he started in his new position at work, he developed a severe infection in his prostate gland. He called the urologist in Springfield who had treated him a few months earlier. The doctor ordered Wayne to the Springfield Community Hospital for a week, trying to clear up the infection. Wayne's supervisor was not at all pleased with the fact that he had barely reported for work in the new assignment when illness forced him to be absent.
When he was able to return to the Marion office, he encountered some resentment from a secretary that had been held over in that position from the previous administrator. The former boss had given her a vast amount of authority beyond the specifications for the job. County administrators were reporting to the secretary rather than to Wayne, who was their immediate supervisor. When Wayne implemented some sweeping changes in the prior procedures, the secretary resented it. She became moody and "hard to work with." Wayne even discovered that she was calling his supervisor in Springfield to complain about the manner in which the region was being administered. Wayne was responsible for 27 counties in the southern portion of the state, and this certainly required more oversight than that which she had been providing. Wayne had to figure out how to ease the secretary out of the position she held and do it without destroying her as an employee. It was not easy. Although Wayne was able to convince her to seek a better-paying position elsewhere, her umbrage never lessened.
Attending church services in DuQuoin was a chore. As noted, the round trip from Marion to DuQuoin and back home was over 80 miles. This was tiring, but didn't come close to being as tiring as the church services. Beryl Clark, who had been the minister when Wayne and Mandel quit church in 1955, still filled the pulpit. He had become ill and senile over the years. He suffered with Parkinson's disease and was not capable of meeting his responsibilities as a pastor of a church with 300 members. He often entered the pulpit at the beginning of a church service and spoke for an hour or sometimes even 90 minutes. He would then take his seat and ask the church members to testify and comment on his sermon. After an hour or more of testimonies, Clark would enter the pulpit again and repeat everything he had said in the first 60 to 90 minutes.
Every church service was monotonous and repetitious, containing sermons with no variety or change. Clark once rose up after a three-hour service and everyone assumed he was going to dismiss. He fooled them. He said that he did not like to go home to an empty house because he was lonely there. He preferred to stay at church even though it was nearing 11:00 P.M. He stated that he planned to keep the service going until he was tired; but, if anyone else felt like leaving, they could rise and dismiss the crowd. Wayne was tempted to do just that because he had taken the offer seriously for a few seconds. When he realized that Clark wasn't making a serious offer to close, Wayne was very agitated. Wayne realized that he and his wife could not continue attending the church in DuQuoin regardless of the initial belief that they should go there. This marked the beginning of some doubt as to whether the move to Southern Illinois had been God's will or whether they were victims of circumstance.
During the spring of 1982, Wayne mentioned at church that he was planning to plant some fruit trees at his home in Marion. Some members, including one of his cousins, scoffed at the idea of planting fruit trees. She told Wayne that he would never reap any fruit from the trees because Jesus was coming in 1992 and the trees would hardly be mature by that time. Wayne recalled the days of William Sowders' prophecy that Jesus would come in the early 1950's. Many church members at that time had refused to plant gardens or put any money in savings, thinking that they would not be around to enjoy the benefits. Much the same attitude was present in the Gospel Assembly church during the late 1970's and early 1980's. Intellectually, Wayne was hesitant about the message, but emotionally he was caught up in the same vortex of religious fervor as the rest of the members.
Surreptitiously, Wayne and Mandel were drawn into cult behavior, thinking they were following the will of God. The process is much like the innocent hiker who walks into a lovely meadow and finds himself trapped in a pool of quicksand from which he can't escape. Cult victims never recognize the overpowering force of the cult system as it gradually invades every phase of one's life. The planned activities of the church are so frequent and time-consuming that they dominate membersí lives. The normal thought processes are replaced with cult mentality. Trapped members are metaphorically compared to the helpless antelope in the plains of Africa who succumb to the ravaging predators of the wild.
After Wayne's spiritual experience in St. John's hospital, he felt clean and pure for months afterward. During his morning walks he praised and glorified God. He received many outpourings of God's spirit in his life. It was like being reborn in the Spirit. He sang songs and unashamedly talked to others about the Lord. Now in Marion, he was beginning to lose what he had. The cult was assuming the role of intercessor between him and God. It blocked the avenues of spiritual openness and short-circuited the personal relationship he had felt earlier. The process was gradual and not something of which Wayne was consciously aware.
Wayne and Mandel had explored the possibility of attending some other Gospel Assembly church instead of the one in DuQuoin pastored by Beryl Clark. Someone told them that there was a young, dynamic preacher in Eldorado, Illinois who would most certainly appeal to them. When attendance in DuQuoin became unbearable, they decided to visit the church in Eldorado. They were not impressed with the congregation, but they were impressed by the preaching of L. D. Jolly. T. M. Jolly had placed his nephew in Eldorado to serve as his assistant. The elder Jolly maintained his home in St. Louis, but came to Eldorado each Thursday to conduct a midweek service and to assure that the church he had founded would continue under his direction.
During the Hamburgers' first visit, they were disappointed by the coldness and unfriendly manner of the church members. Although there were several ushers standing around, none offered to escort Wayne and Mandel to a seat. The only individual who even greeted them sat directly in front of them. She, at least, turned around in her seat and inquired as to who they were. No one else seemed interested in knowing anything about the strangers in their midst. This seemed awfully odd to the Hamburgers because they had been told by the church members in DuQuoin that the Eldorado church was the model church for all of Jolly's other churches. Eldorado church members were supposed to be as near perfection as one could get, according to the stories in circulation. This turned out to be as inaccurate as everything else built up in the mystique of T. M. Jolly and his model church. The problem was that the church members in Eldorado had been told so often by Jolly that they were a model church, they actually began to believe it. Their aloofness was because they believed they were better than all others.
The cold reception during the first visit to the church, astonishingly, did not discourage the Hamburgers from returning for another service. Young Jolly was very energetic with a likable personality. In contrast to Clark in DuQuoin, young Jolly presented interesting sermons and dismissed church at a reasonable hour. The commute to Eldorado was only 31 miles compared to the 40 mile trip to DuQuoin, so it just made good sense to Mandel and Wayne to make their church home where they felt more comfortable. In time, the church members even became more sociable, easing the transition for a change of churches. Wayne and Mandel were convinced that the Eldorado church was a model church and they were honored to be a part of it. They became just as conceited as the rest of the crowd.
A few weeks after this transition was made, the Hamburgers endured another catastrophe similar to the one which they had lived through in Murphysboro 25 years earlier. On a warm Saturday afternoon, May 29, 1982, Mandel and Wayne were relaxing at home when they heard a frightening sound that was familiar to them. Mandel walked into the family room where Wayne was seated and asked him if he recognized the sound they were hearing. They both spoke the word, "tornado,í at the same time. The sound can best be described as multiple locomotives roaring down a railroad track. When they heard the roar of the storm, they walked outside to their driveway and were able to see the swirling black funnel cloud several blocks south of their home. They were able to detect that the funnel cloud was not headed in their direction, so they remained transfixed by the fury of the storm. Just as it had been in Murphysboro, the funnel cloud carried the swirling debris of destroyed homes, businesses, vegetation, automobiles and hundreds of other items in its grip. It was scary. They suddenly realized that some young church friends living approximately 12 miles away were in the path of the storm. They were called and warned of the impending danger.
When a policeman entered the neighborhood to advise that a large portion of the city of Marion had been destroyed, the reality of the situation sank in. Hundreds of homes and businesses had been destroyed, including the bank where the Hamburgers had their savings and checking accounts. Fortunately, the computer records of the accounts had been stored in a vault and were not blown away by the storm. The tornado claimed the lives of ten persons and millions of dollars in property damage. Once more, the Hamburgers were thankful that they had lived through a tornado by the grace and mercy of God. The sad reality was that Wayne and Mandel had attributed their protection to the fact that they were members of the Gospel Assembly church. The belief that the church consisted of God's chosen people was reaffirmed by the calamity. They were convinced that they were in the center of God's will by being members of the Eldorado Gospel Assembly church. They drove past the debris and destruction to get to the Saturday night service at Eldorado. The brainwashing had accomplished its purpose.
When they were accepted into that fellowship, they lost individual identity because it was gobbled up by the cult experience. The personal relationship with God was lost in a swirl of activities designed to promote and expand the influence of the Gospel Assembly church. They began to put the leaders of the church before God. The leaders subtly convinced all the members that they were God's representatives and nothing could come from God unless it was through them. They used scriptures to convince the followers that they had supreme authority. They liked to quote the passages that directed the followers to obey those who had rule over them. The leaders were the rulers and the followers accepted it.
Wayne was perplexed by the fact that he was often not caught up in the frenzy of shouting and dancing. While others claimed to feel the Spirit of God in their midst, he could feel nothing. He even became angry with God because he couldn't participate with the others at the same level of excitement and joy. After several months, he was caught up in the fervor and he began to react in the same manner as the others. Wayne never did condemn the dancing and shouting because the Bible confirmed that King David did that very thing. Shouting is a legitimate expression of joy when one is touched by God's Spirit; however, there were many instances when the behavior was merely a display for self- gratification. The process of speaking in tongues or glossolalia is appropriate as described in the book of Acts from the Bible. Some worshipers defile the sacredness of it by asserting their own spirit into the worship. Many people get into the habit of uttering unintelligible sounds in every church service. The vocalisms are exactly the same each time and never vary. No language could be so finite that it would limit expression to so few syllables. Such people make a mockery of the tongues experience by acting in that manner.
Participation in the activities of the Gospel Assembly church required strict adherence to a long list of rules. Although it was impossible to follow every rule to the letter, T. M. Jolly expected that his followers obey the majority of them. He called them the canon rules of Gospel Assembly.
Jolly envisioned himself as the latter-day Moses chosen by God to lead Christians toward Canaan land. He thought it a duty to set up guidelines and rules for his followers, just as Moses did when he received the ten commandments from God. Jolly's rules attempted to repeat the points that Jesus made through the Sermon on the Mount in the fifth chapter of Matthew. They were without the compassion and love that Jesus expressed. Jolly centered the attention and adoration on himself, unlike Jesusí relationship with the Father.
Jolly liked to brag about his knowledge and wisdom, yet he ignored James 3:17, "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."
Most of the rules were geared to force compliance with Jolly's will. It is noted that they are repetitious and unsophisticated. He called his list of rules, "Guidelines for Laymen." The complete list is as follows:
1. Attend all church services.
2. Take part in all church activities because they provide experience and training for your future work.
3. Contribute to the financial burden of the church.
4. Bear your part of the spiritual burden in worship services, church activities such as choir, ushering, bible school, visitation, church maintenance, and etc.
5. Avail yourself of every opportunity to get experience in ushering, offerings, praying with people at the altar, conducting funerals, and visiting the sick and shut-ins.
6. Make yourself an example of humbleness and obedience.
7. Your life should be above reproach and your reputation should rate very high in the local church as well as "The Body".
8. If you are gifted with a talent, you should use it and never feel too important to fill any place you are called to fill.
9. Laymen should not promote new doctrines, methods, or systems of operating a church. The pastor will introduce new doctrines, methods and ideas.
10. A good layman does not have all the answers but depends upon the pastor to constantly give him direction.
11. A good layman is a keen observer and reporter. He keeps the pastor informed about any conversation or information that would be helpful to the pastor in diverting trouble in the church.
12. A keen observer is a profitable person, but this does not mean that he should be nosing in people's affairs.
13. The layman should not hold any type of fellowship gatherings, socials, or other activities such as dinners, outings, etc. This would tend to give laymen influence over one another outside the jurisdiction of the pastor.
14. The laymen should not hold bible discussions with groups of people in the church. It is never wise to fill the role of bible teacher unless the pastor has given you this authority. "You need that another teach you".
15. A good layman is a "lover of the saints." He must not cater to any age group or class group.
16. A layman cannot be independent of other workers in the church. Recognize all of the student ministers and workers in their place.
17. Don't think more highly of yourself than you should.
18. Love, honor, respect, recognize, support and cooperate with your pastor.
19. Start no projects.
20. Assign no responsibilities to others.
1 21. Do not look for improvements in the system, but be an admirer of the order in which the church was planted.
22. When you are in charge of a service, never try to contrast your meetings with the rigid teachings of the pastor when he is there. If the service is lively, you should always remind the people that the "rain follows the planting of the seed by the minister." Never take credit to yourself. Give God the glory and the pastor the honor due him.
23. When you are in charge of a service, never call for special services such as dedication services for families, children, groups, activities or bible school.
24. Give no advise. Counsel with no one. You are to handle the simplest of needs and this only in case of an emergency, and only if you have been authorized to do so. Always ask yourself, "Should I answer this question?" "Does this decision have to be made before the pastor returns?"
25. A doctor can prescribe medicine, but laymen can only offer a glass of water.
26. If you are qualified to handle serious problems you should apply for the place of a pastor.
27. Keep the words and messages of the pastor alive. Do not try to be original.
28. Never talk longer, louder, or more authoritatively than the pastor.
29. You should never have a different judgment on any issue than the pastor. You should know your pastor's attitudes and methods of working and then support them.
30. Study your pastor. What are his methods of working in a service, with individuals, and different categories of people?
31. Never show any more mercy or tolerance to people than your pastor shows. If you do you will draw people to you and away from the pastor, and thereby work iniquity.
32. Never assign responsibilities, delegate authority, or change personnel in the church.
33. No one has the authority to make purchases for the church without authorization from the pastor.
34. If you have been given a responsibility by the pastor, fulfill it to the best of your ability in the manner he directs you.
35. If the pastor sees fit to make a change in personnel of the church, methods or systems, it is your responsibility to support him.
36. Never challenge the authority, knowledge, or experience of the pastor. The Lord will take care of any deficiency on the part of the minister.
37. "Touch not thine anointed" "Do my prophets no harm" These bible quotations are referring to ministers.
38. Your wife is your help meet and has no voice in the affairs of the church. The man is the head of the woman, and the woman "ain't the head of nothing".
39. You should never be a part of a dissension group within the church. You will render your life useless. Never be a party to gossip, discontent, or confusion in the church.
40. Do not loan money to other saints. Do not borrow money from the saints. (Please note that all church members are referred to as saints)
41. If you are a business man, do not feel the saints are obligated to patronize your business.
42. Do not make a merchandise mart out of the church. Never sell items on the church property.
43. Be open minded on the ministry. Permit them to help you.
44. Your attitude, words and actions reflect your heart.
45. When you counsel with the pastor, keep his words confidential. Do not use the pastor's name like a rubber stamp.
46. Protect your pastor. Don't use his title for job applications and references.
47. Respect your pastor. Be considerate of his time.
48. Help your pastor. Willingly perform all duties he assigns.
49. Make yourself available to the pastor. Don't wait for him to come to you and ask you for help, but go to him and offer your time and talents to him to direct.
50. What do you owe your pastor?
51. Keep your pastor informed about your contacts with saints. Good reports are welcomed and needed by the pastor. Evil reports are also needed. Never harbor, or be an accomplice in a crime. Don't assume the pastor knows. Tell him.
52. Respect the pastor's authority and responsibilities. Don't challenge his right to tell you what to do or to pass judgment on what you have done.
53. Express your ideas before a decision is reached, but not afterwards. When you interfere with the pastor's authority, even passively, you interfere with his ability to handle his responsibility. He is responsible, not you.
54. Don't go around your minister. Don't cover a mistake to keep him from finding out who should receive correction for a fault. If someone deserves credit the minister should be informed so he can give it. Do not try to claim success others have earned.
55. Watch the pastor's timing. Learn his schedule so that you don't interfere with the necessities of his schedule. Call before you come to talk to him. Let him set the appointment according to his schedule, not yours.
56. See the minister when he likes to be seen. Don't stay too long. Many others are waiting for the opportunity you have now.
57. Find out how your minister likes to be contacted. Some prefer that you call before you come. Some like for you to transact your business by phone. Some prefer to have a portion of your visit in writing --- dreams, etc.
58. Know what you want to talk about before you call or come to see your pastor. Make an outline or check list of things you need to discuss.
59. When you have stated your cause, do not repeat it a second and third time. He hears you the first time.
60. When you ask the pastor a question, allow him enough time to answer it. Don't keep talking until you have asked a dozen questions, and then expect him to remember them.
61. Don't try to second guess what the pastor means by what he says, an expression on his face, or an action because you could be wrong.
62. Keep the pastor informed. See to it that you give facts exactly as you know them. Be ready to use names when you submit a complaint about the saints.
63. Hide nothing from the pastor either good or bad.
64. Be a friend to all of God's people.
65. Be an example in thought, word, deed, dress, appearance, manners, and conduct.
66. If your pastor assigns you a responsibility, first find out exactly what he expects of you. Then proceed to fulfill this responsibility to the letter. Remember, you represent him and his vision.
67. Never act independently of the pastor. Respect his advice.
68. Never challenge your pastor either privately or publicly. If you disagree with him on an issue, you owe it to yourself and him to discuss it with an open mind. Give him a chance to help you.
69. A minister is God's representative, God's messenger, God's interpreter of the bible and a demonstrator of God's methods.
70. Deep spirituality should be evident on the minister's countenance. He won't have a high and haughty heart.
71. Speak with humility because a minister is God's mouthpiece.
72. Have a high regard for the position of a minister.
73. Do not demonstrate self, but stand as an humble servant of God.
74. An attitude of belligerence has no place in the heart of a man preparing for the ministry.
75. Be cautious about instructing the congregation in such requests as having them stand or say, "Amen".
76. Never call a dedication service or direct a service in a manner differently than your pastor would direct it.
77. Don't request people to fulfill positions your pastor does not such as testifying, singing specials, or sitting on the platform.
78. Order the service as nearly like your pastor does as possible.
79. Be faithful, consistent, and dependable in attending services.
80. When the pastor asks you to speak, pray or fulfill any function during a service be quick to respond. Do not make it necessary for him to call people by name to get them to speak.
81. When a prayer service begins, just as soon as the minister moves toward the front, you should move to the front with him. Donít wait for him to ask you to move.
82. Ask yourself if you share the work load of keeping the property well maintained and clean; if you come on a regular basis and help or do you leave it up to others to take care of the work. Have you ever cleaned or painted the church? Have you ever mowed the lawn or taught a class?
Non-church members can't even conceive the idea of setting all these rules, much less obeying them. The rules are designed to give the preacher at each church absolute authority with autocratic dictatorship. Military discipline pales beside the discipline in the Gospel Assembly church. Those who do not choose to abide by them are publicly castigated and brought into line or forced to leave the assembly. T. M. Jolly often named rule offenders from the pulpit during church services. He belittled the rule breakers before their peers so that others would see the seriousness of breaking one of his rules. Sometimes, he played a cat and mouse game by describing the individual without naming him or her. Regular church goers had no doubt as to whom he was directing his barbs.
Wayne was a recipient of such disciplinary action on more than one occasion. Discipline was not always meted out uniformly to all rule breakers. Jolly had certain members who ignored the rules and yet remain ed in his good graces. Other members were lambasted for the most minor infractions. In time, Wayne believed he understood the reason for this, but early on it was very frustrating. Jolly may have been manipulated by certain ones who knew of his indiscretions. They were not answerable to fellow church members, but all will have to face judgment at some time.
Wayne and Mandel were in awe of T. M. Jolly when they first started attending his church in Eldorado. This was due to the things they had been told about his authority from God. As they began to observe him and get better acquainted with the man and not the myth, they learned that he was nothing like the charismatic, fatherly person described to them. In spite of their misgivings about Jolly, they still became ever more entrenched in the doctrine and precepts of the cult. Even when the young minister, L. D. Jolly, was abruptly removed from the pulpit by the elder Jolly, it was accepted as the will of God. L. D. Jolly had served the church well for nine years, overseeing a tremendous growth in the congregation. He was active in the Eldorado ministerial alliance and other community activities. He appealed to the young members and was instrumental in getting non-church members to attend services. Sunday night service was especially well attended, attracting as many as 300 to 400 worshipers. T. M. Jolly gradually recognized that his nephew was more popular with the congregation than he was.
Jolly was afraid that he was losing control to the younger man. When T. M. Jolly chastised the members on Thursday night and then returned to St. Louis for the weekend, the younger Jolly would soothe the hurt feelings in weekend services at Eldorado. The older Jolly decided that the only way that he could deal with the situation was to remove the younger man. He moved him to Indianapolis, Indiana and warned the followers in Eldorado that under no circumstance would they be allowed to follow the young minister to the larger city. T. M. Jolly explained to his followers in Eldorado that he had been jealous of his younger nephew in the same manner that the apostle Paul was jealous. He quoted from the Bible, II Corinthians 11:2, "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as chaste virgin to Christ." When L. D. Jolly left, many members lost interest and stopped coming to church. The church in Eldorado began to decline and has not recovered to this day. The elder Jolly refused to assign a full-time minister for several months. He chose instead to have ministers from his other churches fill in temporarily.
T. M. Jolly preferred the city over the small town of Eldorado, so he made his home in St. Louis, Missouri and only came to Eldorado for Thursday night services. He made his permanent home in the church complex in St. Louis, but he maintained an apartment at the Eldorado church to accomodate his visits. Jolly was handed the church in St. Louis after the former pastor was killed in an automobile wreck. William Sowders paved the way for that move. Jolly continued for many years to oversee both churches, with an assistant in Eldorado to see about the daily needs of the congregation. Jolly told his followers that God had shown him to establish church centers whereby many churches could congregate for special services. Eldorado was specified as a center and all the Gospel Assembly members from other Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Southern Indiana churches gathered to hear Jolly on Thursday night. St. Louis was designated as a center by Jolly for that metropolitan area.
Jolly encouraged rivalry between his two churches. He told the members in St. Louis that Eldorado was a model church and he told the members in Eldorado that St. Louis was his best church. As one can imagine, there arose a great rivalry between these churches. Jolly loved it. He took great pleasure in pitting one congregation against the other. When he was in Eldorado, he would make fun of the small town atmosphere. He called the daily newspaper a handbill compared to the St. Louis dailies. He repeated dozens of times that it was not possible for him to buy his favorite car, a Rolls-Royce, in Eldorado. He mocked the efforts of the Eldorado Chamber of Commerce to improve the status of the community.
The town of Eldorado holds an annual celebration called "Town and Country Days " which includes a carnival. and other types of entertainment. During the celebration, Jolly would order his followers to shop in the adjoining town of Harrisburg because he didn't like the idea of the carnival luring some of the church members away during church services. Jolly held enormous power over the people and he thought he was defying the city fathers by ordering his congregation to take their business away from the community in which they lived. He also held the balance of power in many local elections. He was able to help keep the city dry for many years, by simply telling his followers to vote against the sale of alcohol in the town. Politicians wooed his support and when they got it, they usually won the election.
Jolly wanted time to size people up before he would allow them to hold any job in the church. After a few months of observing Wayne, Jolly decided that he was a safe risk to serve as an usher. Everyone considered it a great honor to be asked by Jolly to serve in any capacity in the church. Wayne did not particularly want to usher, but was afraid to refuse. As in every church assignment, there was a long list of requirements.
The first rule for ushers was that they had to wear dark suits colored either black or blue. Their shoes had to be black and freshly shined. The tie and socks also had to be navy or black. Each usher was supposed to carry two white handkerchiefs. One was for his own use and the other was for emergencies. Under no circumstance was a handkerchief to be displayed in the lapel pocket. Each usher must have well trimmed hair with none sticking over the collar or ears. Fingernails were to be properly cleaned and the breath and body free from odor. Each usher was to carry breath mints to cover his bad breath.
Each usher was quizzed to make sure he claimed the gift of the Holy Ghost. They were to exhibit an aura of spirituality and prayerfulness as well as being a keen student of the Bible. Ushers could never chew gum or eat candy while on duty. Breath mints were not considered candy. Ushers were encouraged to smile at all times and show their teeth.
Ushers were directed to keep their eyes on Jolly during the church service so they would know when he wanted them to perform a task for him. Worshipers were always sending notes to Jolly to request prayer or to inform him about something. He encouraged notes by telling the followers that they should keep him informed about every activity, regardless of its significance. In contrast to this directive, the ushers were told not to convey notes with trivia and gossip. Ushers were hard pressed to determine what Jolly considered necessary information and what was unnecessary. Ushers were informed that they should not hold long conversations among themselves, or to walk back and forth without purpose or to appear conspicuous or to leave a church service before it was over. Receiving the offering was much like a military drill. Jolly wanted them to march down the aisle in step and to always lead off with the left foot. He hated to see the men out of line or out of step. He would not tolerate ushers who had trouble marching or turning gracefully.
The one thing that concerned Wayne most when he was ushering was the possibility of fire. No one was safety conscious, least of all T. M. Jolly. He ordered the ushers to lock all the outside doors to the building as soon as church service commenced. Anyone arriving late had to be escorted into the church building by an usher who unlocked the door. If late arrivals failed to draw the attention of an usher by knocking on the door, they were forced to leave. Jolly had the idea that the church service afforded a good opportunity for thieves to enter the building and rob the worshipers. He believed that locking the doors during church services would discourage holdups. Ushers made regular rounds through the parking lot to check for vandals and others suspected of mischief.
Ushers spent most of their time in the foyer, which was a long way from several of the locked doors. In an emergency, such as a fire, there was no way the doors could be unlocked quickly or unlocked at all if there was crowd panic. Wayne was tempted to call the state fire marshall to inspect the place. If he had done that, he would have been excommunicated. Gospel Assembly worshipers were extremely fortunate that there was never a fire in the building. A fire would have meant several dozens or perhaps a hundred or more perishing at a locked door. Jolly insisted that no one leave services early and perhaps the locked doors also discouraged people from doing that. In order to leave early, an usher had to unlock a door.
Mandel was invited to join the corps of usherettes at the same time Wayne joined the ushering staff. She declined. The usherettes were to handle problems peculiar to the females in the congregation. They were also required to dress uniformly but were allowed to dress in colors other than black. Dresses, suits, skirts and blouses with matching jackets could be worn, but women were never allowed to wear slacks. If female visitors did not appear to be dressed in accordance with church rules, it was the responsibility of the usherettes to find some appropriate attire for them. No woman would ever have been allowed in the church in shorts or mini skirt and the usherettes enforced that rule. When women went to the altar to pray, they were watched closely by the usherettes to make sure they did not expose themselves. Scarves and sweaters were kept close by to cover up anything the usherettes perceived as nakedness. The women were required to meet more rigid rules than the male ushers, thus making their job much more difficult.
Wayne had served as an usher for about six months when the choir director, with Jolly's approval, asked him and Mandel to sing in the choir. Singing was more appealing than ushering, so Wayne jumped at the chance. To be a member of the choir was considered an extra special privilege. Jolly was very choosy about choir members because he liked to put them on display to the public. Besides that, they sat directly back of him and he couldn't always keep his eye on them. He felt he must choose members that could be trusted. Rigid requirements were established for appearance, attendance and musical ability.
Each new member had to attend six choir practices before he or she was allowed to sing before the congregation. If any member missed three choir practices, he or she was automatically dismissed. The only way one could be re-instated was to go to Jolly and apologize. Members were expected to be able to read music, possess a good sense of rhythm and be able to clap oneís hands in time with the band music. The church band played something foreign to Wayne and Mandel called Pentecostal rhythm. Worshipers clapped their hands in between the regular beat of the music. Jolly coined this Pentecostal rhythm. Persons who were used to clapping in unison with the music found this method of clapping to be quite difficult. Wayne had a formidable time adjusting to it. The only way he could master it was to pat his foot with the regular beat and clap his hands in between. Choir members were directed to read at least six song books through to assess the meanings of the words without the music. Songs used frequently in church services had to be memorized.
Choir attendance was mandatory for all practices and church services. Each member had an assigned seat. Attendance records were kept for both rehearsals and for church services. Excused absences were rare and were usually a result of sickness or some emergency. Choir members were not allowed to leave during the church service and even leaving temporarily to go to the bathroom was frowned upon. Choir members were told that they were on display and were to serve as good examples .for the rest of the congregation. Members were encouraged to give testimonies, give in the offerings, and, above all, fully support the pastor in every phase of the service. Chewing gum, writing personal notes, whispering or talking to one another, or exhibiting some odd mannerism were all taboo.
Choir members were forbidden to attend other churches unless they were affiliated with Gospel Assembly. They were directed to avoid singing conventions, music concerts, and sporting events. Members were not allowed to sing popular music such as jazz, country, rock, ballads, etc. Ball parks, stadiums, carnivals, amusement parks, and gambling establishments were all off limits. Members were not supposed to own televisions, computer games, playing cards, dice, dominoes, gambling devices, Ouija boards, horoscopes, charms, pornography, love stories, murder mysteries and all items pertaining to witchcraft. Choir members could not smoke, drink alcohol, ride a motorcycle, own a sports car or a boat. They were not allowed to participate in leisure time activities such as hunting, fishing, swimming, boating or anything considered recreational. Other activities that were considered unacceptable were attendance at other church groups, political and government meetings, lodges, clubs, societies, civic organizations, labor unions, colleges and wearing fashionable clothing.
Dress requirements for the choir were similar to those of the ushering staff. Women choir members were held to a more stringent code than the one for men. For instance, they were directed to dress as becometh Godliness and Jolly defined that term. Dresses and skirts could not be shorter nor longer than what Jolly considered reasonable. This meant that their knees could never show either while standing or sitting. Every blouse or dress must have long sleeves and the neckline must hug the neck. Tight, form fitting blouses, skirts or dresses were outlawed. A skirt could not have a slit at the hemline. Every new skirt that had a slit in it would have to be sewn up before it could be worn to church. Dress fabrics could not be thin or reveal a woman's figure.
Jolly preached that women should dress in a temperate style. This meant that no bright or illuminating colors could be worn. Jolly particularly preached that the color "red" was of the devil and women were not to wear it. He said that women should dress to camouflage the figure and not to reveal it. Women's shoes had to be enclosed with no open-toed footwear. They could not have excessive high heels or ankle straps. Their hair had to be done up at all times and short hair disqualified a woman from singing in the choir. They could not wear eye make-up, rouge, lipstick or nail polish. Necklaces, bracelets, hair ornaments, and earrings were prohibited. Women who had their ears pierced could no longer participate in the choir. They also could not be in the choir with a suntan. They were enjoined from wearing accessories, such as flowers, except for special occasions such as Mother's Day and large dress pins were banned.
Wayne began to question the meaning of all of this. As he began to gather more and more insight into the activities of the Gospel Assembly church and its leader, certain doubts arose. In the spring of 1985, he started having sharp angina pains in his chest, which restricted his physical activities. He deteriorated to the point that he could not complete his daily walks without suffering great pain and laboring for breath. Jolly had been preaching that when bad things happen to people, they should examine themselves to determine whether or not God is punishing them for something. He emphasized that when Christians disobey God, they get punished. He explained that God lets bad things happen to His children to chastise them. He also said that it was better to be scared of God than to be ignorant of His discipline and end up in hell. He said that it was every Christian's duty to find out what makes God happy and what makes Him mad. Jolly hammered home the point that the wrath and vengeance of God is something everyone needs to fear. Wayne began to believe his troubles were due to God's wrath, but he couldn't figure out what he had done to deserve it. No answer ever came, so Wayne hallucinated reasons.
Wayne's attending physician was not able to treat the worsening condition. He referred Wayne back to Springfield, Illinois where he had been treated earlier. The cardiologist once again began a series of tests and came up with the same diagnosis as he had before the first heart surgery. Other arteries had become blocked and immediate heart surgery was necessary. The doctors would not release him from the hospital without surgery, so he had no choice except to undergo bypass surgery a second time. This surgery was performed by the same heart surgeon. The second surgery proved to be more difficult because of the location of the blockage. The surgery went well and the physical recovery was complete. His psychological and emotional state did not fare so well.
The same Lutheran minister who had counseled with him five years earlier visited him regularly in the hospital. He tried to give Wayne assurance that his physical problems were not God's judgment. Wayne wasn't convinced because his confidence had been badly shaken. Although two couples from the Gospel Assembly church came to the hospital to be with Mandel during the surgery, the minister was out of state and unable to come. Other Gospel Assembly ministers in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana were within a two- hour drive but none considered it necessary to visit Wayne at the hospital. T. M. Jolly seldom visited anyone in the hospital or nursing home, so Wayne did not hear from him, either.
Prior to the second heart surgery, Wayne was convinced that he knew what God's will was for his life. Now he was unsure and confused. Even though he had some nagging doubts about the truthfulness of Jolly's words, he still was haunted by the suggestion that his problems were a part of God's punishment. Jolly implanted the idea that there was a three-fold process in man's relationship to God. This was chastisement, blessing and then blistering punishment. He used scriptures such as Proverbs 3:11, "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction;" Deuteronomy 8:5, "So you should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you;" Hebrews 12:7-8, "If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons;" Romans 1:18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men;" Romans 2:5, "But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God."
Unlike the recovery period following the first surgery, Wayne did not feel spiritually refreshed. In fact, just the opposite was true. He had developed post-surgery depression that enveloped him entirely. Mandel detected the problem, but no one else seemed to see the problm. He was so obsessed with the idea that he had displeased God that he tried to find ways to correct it. He apologized to everyone he saw. He told his visitors that if he had ever done anything to offend them, he wished to be forgiven for it. He told his sister that he was sorry that he had teased her as a child. Then he gave his mother a lecture about leaving her children alone to attend church when they were small. Wayne had been their babysitter, and now he recognized the danger and responsibility he held as their babysitter. He reminded his mother that, under the current laws, she could have been charged with child neglect for leaving them as she did. He even reprimanded his mother for allowing him and his sister to sleep in the same bed when they were small children.
This confrontation with his mother and sister while he was in the hospital was destined to have some long range effects that no one could predict the outcome. Wayne's depression eventually subsided, but the fallout from this time period would grow to exaggerated proportions and forever change his relationship with his sister. Later conversations with her revealed that she had interpreted the conversation in a far different manner than he had. As a result of some untimely comments and the untrustworthiness of a Gospel Assembly preacher, brother and sister would become estranged until the present time.
When Wayne left the hospital and returned to Marion to recover, he was referred back to the internist that had sent him to Springfield for tests. When Wayne and his wife entered the doctor's office, they could tell that he was highly agitated. He began to rant and rave about the fact that surgery had been performed without his approval. In fact, he said that he didn't think the surgery had been necessary because he believed he could have treated Wayne's heart problems with medication. Wayne was still in a state of shock from the surgery and he didn't know how to respond to such unprofessional behavior. He went home and prepared correspondence to the heart surgeon, asking for assistance in dealing with the local doctor. It was evident that a change in physicians was necessary and Wayne never went back to that doctor again.
After a few weeks, the family practice physician was consulted about the possibility of returning to employment. It was recommended that Wayne not return to work because of the stress associated with the job. He retired from his position with the Illinois Department of Public Aid after 30 years with that state agency. Retirement parties were held in Marion and Springfield in recognition of Wayne's service. He is most proud of the presentation made by the state director of the Public Aid Department. He received many gifts and a wall plaque that extols his service record. The speech given by Director Coler contained these comments: "Beyond Wayne Hamburger's resume lies the story of a bold trailblazer, a no-nonsense truth speaker, and most of all a concerned, caring human being. Wayne has always been known as a man who was very straight forward and willing to take the risk of saying what he felt needed to be said. This directness sometimes got him into trouble, but it certainly didn't stop him. The statement most frequently heard about Wayne was his outstanding concern for people. He cared about their problems; he cared about how the rules affected them and he cared about how they grew and developed as skilled career professionals. Wayne was highly valued for his loyalty, for his fairness, and for his compassion. Those who have worked with him, join me in saying that Wayne is a fine gentleman, and I value having him as a friend, and I value having worked with him."
Wayne had not planned to retire prior to his 60th birthday and this posed a new set of problems for him. He enjoyed his work and liked the association with the fine group of professionals with which he came into contact on a daily basis. Now he would have to find other activities for his life in order to fill the void left by the loss of those things that were work-related. The only other major interest he had left was his church. He did not have the lung capacity or strength to continue as a member of the choir, so he resigned from that position. He plunged into reading and Bible study, trying to sort out the questions he had about his church doctrine.
Traveling to Eldorado from Marion three times a week was taxing because the highway was dangerous. The road was bumpy and full of sharp curves, which lengthened the driving time and frayed one's nerves. Wayne soon concluded that the best solution to this problem was to move to Eldorado. He and Mandel had made few social contacts in Marion and most of their friends were members of the church at Eldorado. He decided that moving to Eldorado would make it easier for them to go to church and they would be near close friends when they had a need for help. The decision to move was not made without prayer, but was made hastily without waiting for an answer to prayer. They did feel as though it would be God's will for them to move to be near their church and their church friends.
Once it was settled that moving was the best thing, it was necessary to list their home for sale and locate suitable living quarters in Eldorado. Finding a home in Eldorado proved to be thoroughly disheartening. There were very few homes listed for sale, and those were very much over priced. The gloomiest aspect of the search was the lack of building codes in that community. It was not uncommon to find a well-kept, beautiful piece of property surrounded by neighbors with piles of junk. These types of situations were not limited to specific areas of town, but were prevalent throughout the city. Community pride was practically nonexistent. Citizens burn trash and garbage in metal barrels without concern about the environment. Others just let the garbage and trash pile up. These heaps of debris are subject to being carried off by the wind or foraged by rodents and other animals.
Wayne and Mandel decided to build a home outside the city limits, after much searching and disappointment at the prospects of finding suitable property. They were able to locate an appropriate building site in a rural area about one mile from the town of Eldorado. As soon as the home in Marion was sold, they signed a contract to have a home constructed. Unfortunately, the timing was not perfect and they ended up making two moves. They had to rent a temporary home in Eldorado while they were waiting for their new home to be finished. Eventually, the house was completed and they moved into their new home on August 1, 1986.