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I Will Build My Church

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The Blade, The Ear, The Full Corn

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Joy Bringer Ministries, Inc.


Our History

"...a shelter in the time of storm..."




 I Will Build My Church

How the Lord built the
Emmanuel Pentecostal Church
Elizabeth, New Jersey

by Anna Kalis
for the Thirtieth Anniversary of the church.

After having labored for the Lord in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for seven years, the Lord brought about a change in our ministry. So it was that in the early months of 1936, He impressed us with the great need of a Pentecostal work in the downtown section of Elizabeth, known as Elizabethport, an area composed of a great mass of common people. Then, as we waited upon the Lord about this leading, in one of our morning worship periods He gave us the verse: ""The hand of the Lord was with them: and a great umber believed, and turned unto the Lord" (Acts 11:21). Repeatedly the Spirit of the Lord brought this scripture to our hearts and we claimed it for this needy field.

Here indeed was a great, neglected area with many souls - fine, common people! And as we thought of them, we remembered Mark 12:37 where it says that "the common people heard Jesus gladly!" Wouldn't they hear His voice again if we went out in His name? This section had plenty of religion, but so little true Christianity! Our desire was to set up a little lighthouse that would guide wayfaring soul - not to a new religion, but to a Divine Person, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who desires to show them the wonderful path of life which "shineth more and more unto the perfect day!"

After considerable prayer over this important move, the Lord made us know that He was sending us forth. He was sending us into this place because sin and the devil were there and because there were needy souls whom He loved greatly. This was the call over our lives! And with this call, He commissioned us with this specific word: "I want you to do things; I want you to do things for Me."

So we launched forth on His command and promise to seek a place of worship. My husband looked at several buildings but nothing seemed suitable. He realized we needed Divine guidance for the right place and claimed the promise that God would direct His paths. Then one day while peering into the window of a dingy store building that he thought might do as a beginning, someone tapped him on the shoulder. Turning around, he saw it was one of the brethren of our congregation. "Come, Brother Kalis, I'll show you a real place! So it was he took him to a beautiful, empty, brick, bank building, located in the best part of Elizabethport, at the corner of East Jersey and Third Streets. Upon enquiry we found the terms of the sales were most satisfactory. Instinctively we knew this was the Lord's place.

This bank building had been empty for four years. Many had laid up their treasures in this earthly bank, but early in the Depression it had failed and now their money was gone! Some of our own group had lost their earthly possessions in it and felt they had a little "claim" on the place. Our little group was thrilled over this miracle. Every one was of one heart and mind, eager to put his one talent to use for the Kingdom. Needless to say, everything had to be scrubbed for "there was much rubbish," but we had an enthusiastic little group of young folk that donned their work clothes, brought their scrub pails, and sang lustily - "To the Work"! The windows were replaced with stained glass; a platform was built; a stairway was cut.

Every day brought a new manifestation of God's working with us! He was interested in the "little things" and helped us so often! The Lord sent us a painter who did a real professional job on the place. He was so impressed by the joy of all the workers and confessed he had never seen anything to equal it. And he asked us to pray for him.

Our floor was part marble and part wood, and the brethren wondered what to do. This problem was quickly solved when we were offered a two-thousand-dollar carpet for about five hundred dollars! It had been reclaimed, due to default of payment, after being used for only thirty days! This gave us wall to wall carpeting for our main auditorium and also for the upper room a fine-sized room for prayer meetings.

Every day at work also brought added spiritual blessing to the diligent workers, for the love of Jesus burned in each heart and automatically they fulfilled the command, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might!" This was no chore to theses young people, for they were in their first love and felt like Jacob of old, when he served for Rachel, "It seemed but a day!"

But what was to be done with the bank vault which was encased in three feet of solid concrete? Nothing for the present, but some time later it was converted into a baptistry, one of the largest of its kind, and probably there is not another one like it. A neon cross - something quite new and unusual in those days - with the church name - Emmanuel - was installed above the entrance.

The day of dedication arrived - Sunday, March 14, 1936. The auditorium was full - not an empty seat, but, more important, it was evident as the service opened that indeed God was with us - Emmanuel! And the marked presence of the Lord made us one. At first, we all wept. Then His presence became so precious that we just sat in awesome wonder. After this, the glory of the Lord fell upon us and great liberty came over the entire congregation so "that in His temple every one spoke of His glory!" The testimonies were inspiring, and we were assured that Jesus had started a good work this day and would also finish it! The evening service was very precious, and we were blessed with Brother Gottfried Waldvogel's ministry who encouraged us to pray and "march forward."

The building was there, many nice tan and grey brick,s but that was not the church, for the church is comprised of living stones. Now it was our job to pray, to witness, and to have faith that Jesus would build the church.

One of the first stones which the Lord dug out of this Elizabethport quarry was dear Mrs. Mason. She had lost her husband at sea, and after a long procedure, the insurance company mailed her a check which was quite large, to help her with her six children. As she wanted to be sure of the safety of the check, she hurried to deposit it in the nearest bank - "People's Banking and Trust - Corner East Jersey and Third Streets." The stately gentleman who waited on her asked her to take a seat for a while. He was gone a long time. When he returned, he said, "Yes, lady, the check is good, but I would like to advise you not to deposit it here." Mrs. Mason was baffled! First time she had ever heard of a bank not taking a good check for deposit! But she obeyed and went home. The next morning the headlines of the Elizabeth Journal told the story: People's Banking and Trust Company Fails!

Now she understood! The Lord had His eye on this widow and protected her! She had been raised in the Church of England and had the fear of the Lord in her heart, and the Lord had watched over her! From that time on she always loved that building! Imagine her joy when years later she became a living stone, the same place became her spiritual home, and she became a joyful depositor in the bank of heaven. Today, "Nanny Mason" is 77 - her love for Jesus increases - and every one says, "I wouldn't mind getting old if I could be like Nanny Mason."

The Lord was with us as we went out to canvas the neighborhood for boys and girls. My brother Frank Posta, came to help us in the work. The Lord had laid the Sunday School upon his heart mainly. During this time the Lord blessed us with boys and girls that knew nothing about Jesus. It was a great joy to minister to these precious hearts.

There is nothing that can quite take the place of working with "lively stones." Their simplicity of faith and trust is surely rewarding! No wonder Jesus said, "Forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." We would have missed almost everything if it had not been for boys and girls. They have added spice to our life, and also have added big folk (their parents) as some more of the "living stones" of the church.




 I Will Build My Church

Emmanuel Pentecostal Church sketch



The mother of one little girl who came to our Beginner's Department was a fine Christian, but the father just would not come. His little girl was the "apple of his eye," and so for Easter and Christmas he would "transgress" and come to hear her say her part. He loved it all, but hurried home. The mother would often claim the verse, "A little child shall lead them." Several years elapsed. The girl got into the Junior Department. Her wise teacher had a contest and offered a very special prize to all those that got their Dads to come to church. She gave him no rest until he came. Today this man is not only a "living stone" but one of the trustees of the church, full of zeal and love for the Lord Jesus!

In one of the Wednesday afternoon youth meetings, the lesson was on Noah's Ark and the end of the world. The Spirit of the Lord moved so mightily on boys and girls that all present were conscious of standing on holy ground. Suddenly, little nine-year-old Gregory cried out, confessed his sins with real repentance, and asked Jesus to please take Him into His Ark of safety! His earnestness made a mighty impact on the whole service. Many boys and girsl were definitely changed! A few weeks later, while Gregory was riding his bicycle on a busy street, he fell under the wheel of a bus and was crushed to death! We were all stunned! The great consolation of parents and workers was the fact that Gregory had gotten safely into "the ark!" How grateful the youth workers were that they had had time for Gregory! How thankful the parents were that they sent their boy to the youth meeting. At the end of seven years, God impressed my husband that we were to have tent meetings! The rest of us were all a little scared and did little to encourage him. The Lord, however, had given him the direction, so we went right ahead and we followed the leader. In the summer of 1944 a tent was erected on a downtown corner in Elizabeth - a "tough city."

Our first meeting was indeed a memorable service. Before the meeting was to begin we knelt to pray. When we got up from our knees, we found the tent full of lovely youngsters. We had a wonderful time with these open hearts, many of whom came to the altar.

Then came the hurricane of September 14. The headlines of the next day's paper reported: ATLANTIC CITY STEEL PIER SMASHED - ROOF BLOWS OFF CITY's LARGEST THEATRE. The full Gospel Tent? It was the talk of the town, for it was still standing though scarred in one corner and ripped in some seams! That night many came to the tent meeting out of curiosity to see this phenomenon for themselves. The devil's hurricane had become the Lord's advertisement. The revival was on. Souls began to find Jesus. And the revival continued after the tent meetings right through the winter.

Among the seekers was the lady next door to the tent who had let us use her electricity. She told us that she had neglected to go to her own church and now the Lord was sending the church to her. At first, she sat by her kitchen window and listened to the service. Then she mustered up courage and came to the tent and sat in the last row. Soon the love of Jesus overwhelmed her heart so that she was wonderfully saved.

The next summer (1945) the repaired tent was erected on the same corner, and the campaign was even more rewarding that year! The Lord brought Grandma Maucko and her large family in. One night she got her eight children and twenty-five grandchildren to come! Several of her daughters were saved, and many of her grandchildren also. Five of these grandchildren are now teachers in our present Sunday School.

Another summer of tent work in Linden, a neighboring city, brought salvation to a precious young man that was in inventor and worked with radio. The Lord gave him a very wonderful love for Himself and sent him out to work for Him. He now has a radio broadcast in Cuba and in the Panama Canal Zone. Both he and his wife have had an excellent ministry witnessing to natives that are hard to reach, and the Lord has blessed their labors.

As our tenth anniversary was approaching in 1946, we became conscious that Jesus wanted to do a new thing in our midst. We thought that perhaps this might be accomplished by having some special meetings. All our efforts to get an evangelist, however, were futile. As we wondered about this, the Lord brought to our remembrance the word the Lord had given us when we were to open the work: "I want you to do things; I want you to do things for Me." What could WE do? We could pray! So we called a solemn assembly and gave ourselves to prayer. The Spirit of the Lord was poured out so wonderfully that we had special prayer services for eight weeks straight! During this time, many of the young people were filled with the Holy Spirit. This blessing, of course, carried over into all the meetings. The services seemed to go by themselves. God healed people right in the meetings, filled them with His Spirit, set captives free, and truly the Lord was magnified.

At the same time the Lord began to deal with several about full surrender and full-time Christian service. The first to answer the call to ministry was one of Grandma Maucko's granddaughters, Beatrice. Some years later the Lord led another of her granddaughters, Grace, into full-time service. It was these two women whom the Lord led to open a Daily Vacation Bible School in Keansburg on the Jersey shore in July 1957. God blessed their every effort, and a month later we were led to open a branch work there. A little store-front chapel was secured which served as the sanctuary for eight years. Recently the Lord has enabled the congregation to purchase a lovely building in the heart of the town. James Schultheis, the son of the first Keansburg convert, is now serving with Grace, his wife, as ministers of the Keansburg Pentecostal Church.

The Lord added another great blessing to Emmanuel when He arranged to have our son, Robert, and his wife, the former Ruth Bocker, of Ridgewood, NY, come to this needy field and be laborers together with us in His vineyard! The "young blood" has really acted as a great stimulant to the work. The ordination service for Robert and Ruth on our twenty-fifth anniversary was a very blessed occasion! The church rejoiced exceedingly to witness this holy scene, and no heart left the sanctuary unchanged! Some time ago the Lord opened another door of ministry to an earnest group of young people in north Jersey where meetings are being conducted in a home.

So it is that God leads His dear children along. As we have scanned the thirty years that have fled so quickly, we seem to have heard time and again, the echo of one our most-loved poems:

On Christ salvation rests secure;
The Rock of Ages must endure;
Nor can that faith be over-thrown
Which rests upon the "Living Stone."

In Him it is ordained to raise
A temple of Jehovah's praise,
Composed of all the saints, who own
No Saviour but the "Living Stone."

View the vast building, see it rise;
The work, how great! the plan how wise!
O wondrous fabric! Power unknown
That rears it on the "Living Stone."


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