By: Ray Shelton


California State College at Los Angeles

When the Billy Graham Los Angeles Crusade was over in September 1963, I was out of job and we had to move to a small house on Ave 64 in Highland Park. We got food from a Pentecostal mission in Highland Park called Old Pisgah; I helped the superintendent of the mission, Brother Smith, to revise and clean up his mailing list. On Wednesday nights, many of the Spirit-filled Episcopalians would come for the service and stay afterwards for fellowship at Brother Smith's house. Here we met Bill Travis and his wife Nancy. He was a Spirit-filled Greek and a retired radio announcer, and Nancy was a born-again Jew. Edith and I became close friends with the Travis's and Bill encouraged me go on and get a doctorate in mathematics. But before I could do that I needed to finish an undergraduate degree in mathematics. Someone gave me some money for that purpose and I enrolled at California State College at Los Angeles (CSCLA) in the undergraduate mathematics program in February, 1964, expecting to get a masters degree in mathematics there. Meanwhile I started teaching part-time at Pacific States University again and was invited to teach in the summer session at LAPC the required general education course, the Introduction to the Physical Sciences; this was the last course given at LAPC before it merged with Azuza College in Monrovia to become Azuza Pacific University. While I was taking the courses in mathematics at CSCLA in the fall of 1964, I took a course in Numerical Analysis and Computer Programming. I learned how to key punch and to program in the FORTRAN computer language. I enjoyed the course so much, spending a lot of time in the computer lab, that I did not study enough for my other courses to get A's. In the summer of 1964 we moved into a L.A. housing project in Culver City, between the Los Angeles International Airport and Santa Monica, near the Hughes Aircraft Company. On June 18, 1964, the day before we moved into the housing project, Edith had our fifth child, our third boy, whom we named Jonathan Christopher; we called him our Holy Spirit baby. A David needs a Jonathan, so we named him Jonathan. Jon's middle name, Christopher, was Bill Travis' original Greek name. On the day I moved us into the housing project, I went up to Glendale with Barbara to get the new baby.

CSULA and Hughes AeroSpace

In the spring semester of 1965 I finished my undergraduate work in mathematics at Cal State University Los Angeles (They had changed the name from Cal State College Los Angeles). I thought I should get a second bachelor's degree, but when I talk to the registrar at CSULA about getting a second bachelors degree, she told me that I would have to meet the general education requirements and take U.S. History and Government to get a B.A. degree in mathematics. I had not taken those courses at Wheaton because they were not required. But I had already taught those courses at PSU as part of the liberal arts teaching. So that was the end of my second bachelors degree; but I now had the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in mathematics. The next fall I started the master's program at Cal State University LA. It was a long drive from Culver City to the CSULA campus and I took only one class, Complex Variables, in the masters program, before dropping out. So I decided to enroll at UCLA (it was a shorter drive to UCLA than to CSULA) and start work toward a doctorate in philosophy there. I was accepted into the doctorate program and during the spring semester of 1966 I took Quantum Mechanics in physics, Kant in philosophy, and Symbolic Logic. Meanwhile Dean Evans retired from PSU and I was asked to be dean. Edith took the job as my secretary and registrar. That didn't work out too well; it didn't pay enough even with both of us working there. And we needed a new car. So I decided I needed to find a full-time job outside of teaching. I applied to Hughes Aircraft Company and other companies and got turned down. But one of my fellow teachers at PSU in the night school, worked at Hughes AeroSpace Division. I talked to him and he talked to his boss, and he talked to the personal department, and I got a job offer from Hughes. Edith and I quit PSU and I stopped my graduate work at UCLA, and on May 27, 1966 I went to work full-time at Hughes AeroSpace Division on the south side of the Los Angeles International Airport. I was given the title, MTS (Member of Technical Staff) Mathematician and was put to work writing computer programs to analyze the data being sent back from the Surveyor Space Craft, sitting on the moon. Back when I left LAPC in 1963 and we were living on Ave. 64, I thought the Lord told me I was going to work in aerospace. I then tried applying to aerospace companies and got turned down; apparently I was not ready yet. So now in 1966 that word of prophecy from the Lord was fulfilled.

The Episcopal Church

When we moved into the housing project in Culver City in 1964, we went to the Evangelical Free Church in Playa del Rey. It was too far for us to drive out to the North Hollywood Evangelical Free Church, with our old car. We went to the adult Sunday school class as well as the church services on the Sunday we first attended. The topic that they were discussing in the Sunday school class on that Sunday was the move of the Spirit in the Protestant Churches. That was very interesting but we did not say anything. The next Sunday the pastor of the church was in the class and they continued the discussion on the same topic. When the pastor was asked for his view on the subject. He said that those who were interested in speaking in tongues and the other gifts of the Spirit should go elsewhere; the Evangelical Free Church did not believe that the gifts of Spirit were for today, since we now had the Bible. The gifts of the Spirit were for the Apostolic Age and that gifts of Spirit ceased when the canon of the New Testament was completed. Even though the pastor did not know us, I took that to apply to us. Edith disagreed with me. So the next Sunday I went by myself to Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Westchester. Edith went with the kids to the Free Church. But when I pick them up after the Sunday morning church service, Edith said that she now agreed with me and so the next Sunday Edith and I went to Holy Nativity, leaving the kids in the Sunday school at the Free Church. We enjoyed the prayer book service; it was so full of Scripture and praise to God. We went to confirmation class and joined the church. Holy Nativity was very anglo-catholic; it had the stations of the cross, a Mary altar with votive candles burning, and holy water at the doors of the church. Strangely none of this offended us; Edith and I would often go into the church late in the evening and pray in the Spirit and for the pastor and members of the church. We particularly enjoyed the Sunday service when it was sung, led by cantor. Edith and I even joined the choir. It was a whole new spiritual world for us. We finally understood our Spirit-filled Episcopalian friends in the prayer group that we went to on Sunday evenings in the San Fernando Valley.

Simi Valley

With a full time job at Hughes Aerospace, now for the first time we had enough money to take care of our family of three boys and two girls. We bought a new car; the old Ford station wagon died when we picked up the new car. We also wanted to move out of the housing project, so we began to look for a house that we could buy. But the houses for sale that we looked at were too expensive in the area around the airport LAX, particularly in Westchester and Playa del Rey. So we looked out in the San Fernando Valley, same problem. We finally found a house we could afford, but it was in the Simi Valley, 60 miles from my work at Hughes Aerospace, down on the south side of the Los Angeles International Airport. I decided that I could stand the drive, down through Thousand Oaks and Malibu along the Coast Highway and through Santa Monica; it made a long day for me to be away from home. So we bought the house in the October of 1966. I only had to drive to Hughes only for a year; the Surveyor Project ended in October 1967, and I got a job as a computer systems programmer at Litton Industries in Canoga Park in the west end of the San Fernando Valley just over the hills to the east of the Simi Valley. There I maintained a remote computing system and taught classes in FORTRAN programing on the system.

When we moved into our new house in the Simi Valley, our prayer group from the San Fernando Valley came to our new house and we had a house-warming party. We invited the pastor or vicar of the Saint Francis of Assisi Episcopal Mission Church there in the Simi Valley to the party. We were already praying for the move of the Spirit in that church. That pastor soon left the church and the bishop assigned a new vicar, Bill Campbell. We became good friends and I became a lay reader and participated in the services. Because the church was only a mission it did not have a church school; so we sent our children at first to the Missionary Alliance Church and later to Church of Living Christ, an Assembly of God church. I thought that maybe God wanted me in the Episcopal ministry, and with Bill Campbell's encouragement I enrolled in the fall of 1968 at the Bloy House Episcopal School of Theology, which was then meeting at The Church of the Angeles in Highland Park, Los Angeles. The classes were held on Saturdays and it was for those who had full time employment. Edith and I attended for only one semester; but it was too far to drive.

After Bill Campbell left Saint Francis, we left the Episcopal church for awhile and attended the Baptist Church there in Simi. We also visited various churches in Simi Valley and met many Spirit-filled believers in those churches. Among them was Judy and David Dowd; David was elementary school teacher and the Dowds attended the Lutheran church down the hill from were we lived in the west end of the Simi Valley.

In May of 1969 Edith's mother for the first time visited us in California. The children finally got to know their Grandma. When she returned to Illinois, she died on August 29, 1969. Edith and her brother Jim, who was at BIOLA, drove back to Illinois for the funeral and to be with her other three brothers and sister in taking care of necessary business. She had a wonderful visit with the whole family. Edith's father had died a number of years earlier; he had been gassed in First World War and suffered the effects of it later in his life.

A Christian Programmer

While I was working at Litton Industries, I met Jim McKeever, who was then working for IBM. In 1969 I saw an employment ad in L.A.Times classified section for a Christian Programmer. What was a Christian Programmer? I decided to call the telephone number and to find out what a Christian Programmer was. Jim McKeever answer the phone and I found out from him that he was a Spirit-filled Christian and that he had just started his own business to provide main-frame computer software for Christian organizations; he wanted a programmer who was a Christian to help him develop the software. He offered me the job and I accepted. I started to work for McKeever in May of 1969. His office then was in El Segundo, on the south side of the Los Angeles International Airport. There was that long 60 miles drive again. After 17 years in California Edith finally got a California drivers license; she had had a license back in Illinois. But I had only to drive to El Segundo two days a week; Jim had gotten a contract with World Vision in Monrovia, east of Pasadena, to develop a donor and mailing software package for their IBM main frame computer, so three days a week I drove to Monrovia. That contract lasted for about a year and six months and when the package was finished, Jim got the permission of World Vision to market the package to other Christian organizations. He sold it to Nicky Cruz Ministries, and to Campus Crusade for Christ Ministries located then at Arrowhead Springs, north above San Brenardino.
In the fall of 1970 Edith took a class that met two nights a week to study Modern Hebrew.

Bloy House

When the Bloy House Episcopal School of Theology move from Highland Park in Los Angeles to Claremont, I decided in September 1970 to study for the ministry again at the Bloy House Episcopal School of Theology which now met at Claremont School of Theology. The classes were held on Friday evenings and all day Saturday two weekends a month. One year's work gives one semester of credit. The school was in Claremont, only a short distance from World Vision in Monrovia. Among the courses I took, I studied Church History again (Medieval and Reformation Period) under Dr. Bromiley and Anglican Theology under Dr. Morrell. I became Dr. Morrell's student assistant at his church in San Fernando. Dr. Morrell was an evangelical, not an anglo-catholic, Episcopalian and he wrote articles for Christianity Today. I also took courses in church music, homilectics, liturgics, ascetical theology, moral theology, and world religions.

My Problems with the Episcopal Church

But I had problems with the sacramental theology and with the Episcopal form of church government and its three orders of ministry: bishop, priest, and deacon. I could not find these in the New Testament; in particular infant baptism and that ordained ministers were considered priests. I was baptized as an infant in the Presbyterian church, but after the baptism of Spirit, I became convinced that I needed to be re-baptized with water as believer. So I was rebaptized by Pastor Miller at the North Hollywood Evangelical Free Church in 1964, at the same time when my daughter Barbara was baptized. I could not find infant baptism in the New Testament; only those who repented and believed were baptized in water (Acts 2:37-38). I thought that the New Testament taught only believer's baptism, since the infant cannot make that decision. Instead of infant baptism, Edith and I believed that the infant should be dedicated to the Lord, which is supported in the Bible (I Sam. 1:20-28; Luke 2:22). The infant does not need to be baptized to wash away the stain of original sin, because the child is not guilty of Adam's sin; the Scripture does not teach that all men sinned in Adam, but that all men died in Adam (I Cor. 15:21-22). And the child is not made alive in Christ or regenerated until the child by faith personally receives Christ who is the Life (John 1:12; 3:16).

Also I could not find in the New Testament that ministers were priests; in the New Testament, instead of a special group of believers that were priests, I found that all believers were priests, blessing and offering up to God sacrifices of praise through Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest (I Pet. 2:4-5, 9; Heb. 6:20; 9:11-12); thus I believed in the Reformation doctrine of the priesthood of all believer. Some Evangelical (low church) Episcopalians argued that the word "priest" was a corruption of the Greek word for elder, "presbuteros," and that priests were really elders. But this corruption, I found, did not take place and it was not the official teaching of the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church held that there were three orders of ministry and that only the second order of the priesthood could bless, forgive sins, and perform the sacraments: baptism and the Lord's Supper or the Eucharist. Although the Episcopal Church did not officially teach the doctrine of transubstantiation (that is, that the substance of the bread and wine became the actual body and blood of Christ during the Lord's Supper or Eucharist, and that Christ was re-sacrificed each time that words of the sacrament were said by the priest), there were many anglo-catholic Episcopalians that did believe and teach that doctrine; they believed that the priest alone could perform the sacrifice of the mass. As I re-studied the New Testament I could find no basis for this doctrine, on the contrary the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament clearly teaches that Christ was sacrificed once for all (Heb. 9:25-26). Also as I re-studied the New Testament, I could find no order of bishops, in the New Testament, particularly the Book of Acts; I found that the Greek word, episkopos, translated "bishop," meant an overseer and that this was the function of the elders; there was in the New Testament no office of bishop. It is not included in the list of Christ's gifts to men of ministries listed in Eph. 4:11; there were some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastor and teachers, but no bishops and priests. Paul speaking to the elders of the church at Ephesus (Acts 20:17) exhorts the elders to take heed to themselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit placed them as overseers (Greek, episkopous), to shepherd the church of God (Acts 20:28). As I studied the history of the early church after the close of the New Testament, I found that the churches in the big cities became so large that the elders divided the one church of the city into to a number of smaller congregations with an elder placed in charge of each flock and the president or the leader of the elders was given the position of bishop to oversee all the elders. Later this arrangement was turned into the official doctrine of the church that the organization of the church consisted of the three orders of ministry. Originally it was not a God-given structure of the church, but a human arrangement. As a practical arrangement, I did not have any problem with it, but to make it into the God-given order of the ministry of body of Christ, with that I had a problem, especially when they insisted on it as divine doctrine, and separated themselves from other Christians who tried to return to the New Testament order, like the Presbyterians tried to do. With these doctrines of the Episcopal Church I could not agree and could not become a minister, "a priest," in the Episcopal Church; so I quit the program at Bloy House at the end of the school year, 1970-1971.

Campus Crusade for Christ

In the summer of 1970 Campus Crusade for Christ also hired Jim McKeever's company, Triversal International, to manage their computer facilities in San Bernardino. So I now had to drive on Monday mornings about 100 miles to San Bernardino and work for 5 days a week at the Campus Crusade computer facility, living in either in the ArrowHead hotel or in various motels in San Bernardino, and on Friday evenings after work to drive back home to the Simi Valley for the weekend.

Trinity Bible School

As we prayed about what to do next, Edith and I felt lead by the Lord to start a Bible School in Simi Valley. I joined an organization of evangelical charismatics in Monrovia, the United Evangelical Churches, and under their auspices we started the school, which we called Trinity Bible School. So on October 2, 1971, on the Saturday mornings, we started to hold Bible classes, I teaching Bible Survey and Edith teaching New Testament Greek, at the Our Redeemer Lutheran Church down the hill from our house at the west end of Simi Valley.

Stephen Shelton

In the summer of 1969 our oldest son, Stephen, graduated from Simi High School, and in the fall our youngest son, Jon, started in kindergarden. Barbara graduated from high school in summer of 1970, and she married Danny McKay at the Missionary Alliance Church during October 17, 1970. She finished beauty school that she had started during her senior year in high school and received her cosmetology license during December, 1970. In September of 1970, Stephen married Linda Barton, and he joined the Air Force in May 1971 just before he was to be drafted. After he finished his basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, he was stationed at Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino. He and his wife, Linda, got a two bedroom apartment in the Highland section of San Bernardino and they ask me stay with them in other bedroom of the apartment during the week when I was working at Campus Crusade. Steve and I together watched the L.A. Lakers basketball on the television (the Lakers won the national championship in 1972). Toward end of the spring Stephen complained of back pains and when he had a medical examination at March Air Force Base Hospital in Riverside they found that he had cancer of the spine and that it was inoperable. When Stephen was a baby he was given radiation treatments for swelling on his face and skin growths on his lower back. The swelling decreased and eventually disappeared. But apparently some damaged had been done by the radiation treatments that doctors were unable at the time to detected. By the end of the summer he was paralyzed from the waist down. The Air Force gave him a medical discharge and he was placed in the Veterans Hospital in Long Beach. On Monday afternoon, January 15, 1973, Stephen died of pneumonia at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital. The funeral service was held in Simi, and Stephen was buried at the Veterans Cemetery in Westwood. I remember Jon, Stephen's younger brother, saying after the funeral that "He had gone to a better place."

Christ the King Church of Simi Valley

During the first week of April, 1972, I quit my job at Campus Crusade with Jim McKeever and Triversal International. For nearly two years I had been traveling from Simi Valley to El Segundo and Monrovia and since previous summer I had been traveling to San Bernardino on early Monday morning, and working at Campus Crusade five days a week away from my family, and driving back to Simi late on Friday evenings after work in San Bernardino. I was tried of being away from my family. And on top of that Edith was expecting our sixth child, which due in early April. On April 11, 1972 our third daughter was born and Edith named her Adrienne Elizabeth. We now had six children with four of them still in the nest. I started looking for a job closer to home. We also started a prayer group in our home, and toward the end of the summer of 1972, with the Dowds and several other families together we started a church. The United Evangelical Churches licensed me as a minister of the Gospel. About that time we were joined by Ken and Judy Greenlee. Ken had come to California from Illinois to study at Fuller Seminary. He met Judy Young, who had been one my students in the Introduction to the Physical Science class at LAPC back during the semester in 1962 when I received the baptism of the Spirit. She was the daughter of a Free Methodist pastor in Monrovia, at whose church I had preached on a fund raising Sunday for the school the previous year. Ken and Judy got married and moved to Simi, near where Ken was working for the California Personnel Board. With Ken and David Dowd, and several other members of our prayer group, we formed a board of elders for the church on October 6, 1972, and I wrote a statement of faith for the church. We named the church "Christ the King Church of Simi Valley" and it grew and we planned to buy the Lutheran Church's old building when they moved into a new building. But we didn't have the money.

Orange County and Eocom

And Edith and I did not have any money. I was unable to find a full-time job near Simi; I worked part-time for Jim McKeever from November of 1972, but he wanted me to go back to work for him full-time, but I would have to drive into downtown Los Angeles, where the main office of Triversal International was located. Since we had not been making the payments on the house, the loan company was going to foreclose on the mortgage and we would be evicted from the house in April, 1973. So I decided that if we were going to have to move, then I should look for a job further away from the Simi Valley. I applied for several jobs in Los Angeles and in Orange County. I got several responses in Orange County, but when I went for interviews I was turned down, except for one in Irvine at a company named Eocom. The name "Eocom" was short for Electronics, Optics and Computers. It was a new research and development company; they liked my background in computers and mathematics; and they hired me to be part of their computer development team. So I had a job but we had to find a place to live in Orange County. Edith and I looked at several places, but were turned down for not being able to pay our rent, except for a condominium in Irvine on Ironbark. It was owned by a professor at UCI, who was now living in San Francisco on a Sabbatical and was anxious to rent it. David Dowd loaned us the money for first and last months rent and the security deposit, and we moved to Orange County. I rented a truck, with some friends from the church we loaded it and drove to Orange County. We went to the bank in Irvine, signed the papers and paid the rent to the bank that was managing the condominium for the owner. And then we moved in and after we unloaded the truck we had a prayer and praise meeting right there with our friends who had helped us to move. We moved into our new home on a Saturday and I went to work at Eocom on Monday, April 16, 1973. The Lord was so good. He gave me what we needed both in a job and a home. It was just another way of reminding us that God really does love us. And Edith loved the condominium. And I enjoyed the new job at Eocom; I was now doing scientific programming again which I had not done since working at Hughes on the Surveyor project. At first I worked on a super secret Satellite Surveillance System (SSS or S cubed) for the government at North American Aviation. And instead of programming IBM 360 mainframe computers I was learning to program mini-computers, Digital Equipment Company (DEC) PDP-11 computers. Eocom was also developing a spectrometer that could be used for gas analysis to determine the levels of dangerous gases. The computer was used to analyze the electronic signals from the spectrometer and to activate an alarm if dangerous level of gas was detected. I help write the software for the computer.

Melodyland School of Theology

At first we went to Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, where Chuck Smith was pastor. But a Charismatic Presbyterian minister, Lou Sheldon, who helped us with the church in Simi and now was working at Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, persuade me that there were more opportunities at Melodyland for ministry. So we changed to Melodyland. Earlier I had applied to Melodyland to teach in the new Bible School that they were starting. I was interviewed by the school's president, Dr. Rodman Williams, who had been a charismatic Presbyterian seminary professor and had come to Melodyland to start the school, and he turned me down; the school that was being started was not a Bible School, but a Graduate School of Theology, for which I did not have the graduate degree to teach there. The new school was offering a graduate theological degree. So in the fall of 1973 I enrolled at Melodyland School of Theology (MST) to finish my seminary training. I finished my course work in the spring of 1974, but since I was the only one who had finished then, the school wanted me to wait until it had a larger graduation class the next year. So in June of 1975 I graduated from MST and my graduation class had only three in it; it was the first class to graduate from MST. Pat Robertson spoke at my graduation. So on Sunday June 29, 1975, I received the Master of Divinity degree. It had taken me 23 years to finish Seminary. The same weekend that I graduated from MST, our daughter, Judy, graduated from the high school in Irvine, we had our 25th wedding anniversary, and we celebrated the birthdays of my son, Jon, and of Edith's brother, Jimmy, who was living in Anaheim then. We had quite a weekend. Then in August I was ordained to the Christian ministry by Melodyland Christian Center, after I accepted Dr. William's offer to teach at MST. I taught New Testament Theology, Romans, and Apologetics at MST for a couple semesters. At the end of first semester I thought that the Lord told me to leave Melodyland and the School of Theology. I thought that was strange; teaching Bible and Theology is what I always thought the Lord wanted me to do; but I obeyed and started to leave. Then Dr. Williams ask me teach one more course, Apologetics. Dr. Walter Martin had been scheduled to teach the class, but had suddenly gotten sick; so Dr. Williams needed a substitute for Dr. Martin. Dr. Williams knew of my background in philosophy, mathematics and the physical sciences and that I had taken courses in Apologetics at Fuller Seminary. After praying about it, I told him that I would do it with the understanding that the Lord had told me to leave MST. This decision to leave Melodyland probably the hardest decision that I have ever had to make but I had to obey the Lord. But I could not get away from Melodyland. The next year the alumnae of MST met at the graduation and elected me president of alumnae association that they had formed. I served for one year. Edith was not happy with Melodyland and especially with the pastor Ralph Wilkerson. She did not trust him and she was happy when the Lord told me to leave Melodyland.

But we had made many friends; I had taught a week-night Bible Class for three years in the Melodyland Christian Center Bible School, which was run by the church and not by MST. When we left Melodyland a number of our friends left with us and I started a small prayer and Bible study group of these people. I stopped the group when I thought that it was turning into a cult; I was quite upset with the Jonestown massacre of the cult followers of Jim Jones. In the Charismatic movement we were always exhorted "to stay where you were planted." The leaders of the Charismatic movement did not want the Charismatics to break off from the mainline churches and to form their own churches. After that I did not know what to do; I was working full-time as software engineer at Eocom. In 1979 we went back to Melodyland Christian Center. The School of Theology was dying after Dr. Williams left to join Pat Robertson at his new school. Back in 1975 while I was teaching at MST, the administration decided to seek accreditation but they ran into two obstacles: they did not have a sufficient size of library and there were too few doctorates on the faculty. They started a fund raising campaign to buy books for the library and they were very successful. But it was difficult finding charismatics who had doctorates in theology. They brought in one charismatic who had his doctorate from Fuller Seminary, Dr. Tappeiner, who taught the classes in systematic theology that Dr. Williams had been teaching. But they brought in several non-charismatics who had doctorates, among them Dr. Warwick Montgomery. This changed the whole direction of the school; instead of a school to train charismatic leaders, as Dr. Williams put it, to be "a school of the prophets," it now became a conservative evangelical school to defend the Bible, a "charismatic" Fuller Seminary, to do the work that many of them thought that Fuller Seminary was failing to do. I saw that the way to defend the Bible was to promote the move of the Spirit and gifts of Spirit that would make the Bible, in particular the Book of Acts, to come alive today. Then a rationalistic defense of the Bible that Dr. Montgomery and Harold Lindsell were promoting was unnecessary. You cannot do the work of Spirit by rationalistic methods, but only by the Holy Spirit. Don't misunderstand me, I believed in a defense of the Bible, but not a defense that borrowed and used the method and approach of philosophical rationalism. There were some of the faculty that thought that MST should be separated and completely disassociated from the charismatic movement, and in particular from Melodyland Christian Center. The charismatic students stop coming to MST, when they could go to the real Fuller Seminary, where Peter Wagner, a charismatic, was teaching. MST never got its accreditation. Also the theology that was now being taught was Calvinism; Dr. Warfield's old book, The Plan of Salvation, which is a Calvinistic explanation of salvation, was required reading in the Systematic Theology course. MST instead of being a school of theological renewal, of Biblical theology, it was now a school teaching Calvinism. And in the late 1970's evangelicalism along with charismatic movement got swept up into politics and the anti-abortion movement. The charismatic movement almost disappeared. Instead of preaching the gospel of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the evangelicals were now preaching a gospel of anti-abortion.

From Death to Life

So we left Melodyland and went to a charismatic Episcopal Church in Newport Beach, St. James Episcopal Church. Edith was very happy there and got quite involved, even becoming the church's librarian. After my time at Bloy House and what I learned about the Episcopal Church there, which I related above, I was not comfortable in any Episcopal Church, even a charismatic one. And incidentally they did not recognize my Melodyland ordination. I guess I had gotten to use to being a leader, rather than a follower and pew-warmer. So I threw myself into my computer work and started to expand my master's thesis into a book. My master's thesis was titled: The Need for Salvation: the Biblical Doctrine of Sin and Death. The thesis was divided into three parts:
Part I: The Biblical Doctrine of Sin and Death;
Part II: The Misunderstanding of the Biblical Doctrine of Sin and Death;
Part III: The Validation of the Biblical Doctrine of Sin and Death.
I wanted to expand the thesis into a book that would deal with not just the need for salvation but with the whole Biblical Doctrine of Salvation. As I began write this new book, I began to realize how much the doctrine of salvation had been misunderstood. So I titled my new book: The Misunderstanding of Gospel. When I finished it (I wrote it on the computer at work on Saturdays), Edith said that the title and its subject was too negative; so I revised it again making it more positive and changed the title to: From Death to Life: the Biblical Doctrine of Salvation. By this time in 1989 we had our own personal computer at home and I wrote my new book on our own PC.

In July, 1976, Edith and I and the four kids, Judy, David, Jonathan, and Adrienne, moved from the condominium on Ironbark in Irvine to a one story house on Friends Court in Culverdale section of Irvine across the 405 freeway. In May of 1977 there on Friends Court in the backyard our second daughter, Judy, married Michael Patrick. During the first part of 1979 Edith taught New Testament Greek at Newport Christian High School where our two sons, David and Jonathan, were enrolled. David was in her Greek class. David graduated in June of 1981 and went to work at Eocom in the stockroom. Jonathan was a junior in high school. Both boys were active in the youth group at St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach.

Edith's Holy Spirit Commentaries

We lived on Friends Court until 1982 and then moved around the block to a big two story house on Salem. It was there in summer of 1983 that we got our first PC, a Columbia Personal Computer, and Edith learned to do her typing on the computer; up to then she did all her and my typing on a manual typewriter that we had purchased many years ago. In 1982 Edith began to write her Holy Spirit commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. Some years before as she was reading Matthew she began to write down what the Lord told her concerning what she was reading. Some times it was comments on the meaning of the passage, sometimes personal application, etc. She actually started in Matt. 24. After going to the end of the book, she decided to go back to the beginning of the book and start from there. She wrote later in an introduction to the commentary,

"It was the Lord's commentary on the sermon on the mount that began to bless me so much. Even though I know better, I've had a hard time not reading that rather legalistially. But when God speaks, He always speaks love. And so for a long time I've been wanting to share some of the things He told me about those passages."
So she began write down what the Lord was saying to her about those passages, some of the commentary dating back to 1975. She wrote in 1982,
"So here it is, just as it was in my notebook. I make no claim to infallibility, inerrancy, etc. I Cor. says that now our prophecy is incomplete and so is our knowledge. We see through a glass darkly. We have this treasure in earthen vessels, but excellency is of Jesus. So I will leave the responsibility with the reader to read prayerfully and let the Holy Spirit show you what is from Him and what is for you. Be sure to read the Scripture passage first before reading the comment on it."
Later in May, 1983, she wrote a similar commentary on the gospel of Mark. In 1995, she retyped them with Word Perfect on our PC.

The 1980's in Orange County

We liked the two-story house on Salem, but the owner decided to sell it and we had to move when the lease was up September, 1984. We moved into a smaller one story house on the north side of Irvine on Ryewood.

Late in 1979 I left full-time employment at Eocom as Senior Systems Analyst to become a self-employed Computer Consultant. Then Eocom hired me back as a consultant and I did that until 1984. Edith handled all the financial and tax details. Then in August, 1984, I went to work for the Midcom Corporation who contracted me out as a computer consultant to Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton and then later to De La Rue Printrak Corporation in Anaheim. Edith was glad that she did not have to do all that financial and tax business now. Printrak built computerized finger print identification systems and I worked on developing finger print data bases on DEC computers. In February 1986, they offered me a full-time job as Senior Software Engineer at a very large salary (probably equivalent to what they were paying Midcom for my services), which position I took. In the summer of 1987 we moved again to a small one story house on Cinnamon back on the south side of Irvine. I stayed with Printrak until September 1988, when I quit Printrax, hoping to return to Midcom as a consultant.

But Midcom could not find me any jobs. There were not many jobs open then for my computer specialties in automated finger print identification systems. I had worked myself into a hole. We ran out of money and we had to move in with Judy and Mike and the girls, Michelle and Samantha, in Fontana in November of 1988. Now we were out in the Inland Empire again.

Christian Ministry

We visited many of the charismatic groups in the Inland Empire, and in particular, Abundant Life fellowship in San Bernardino. The pastor there was Harold Beach. A few years back in 1983 when we were living on Salem in Culverdale in Irvine, Harold and some of his leaders came down to Irvine to our house and I taught the book of Romans and Biblical Theology. A friend of ours from Melodyland, Carol Lunbeck Drochette, who attended his church, had told him about me and my teachings. He was relying heavily on the theological teachings of a Calvinist, a Dr. Thieme, who was a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, in Dallas Texas. Harold had been a high school football coach and had a masters degree in physical education from USC; he had been raised a Roman Catholic but was converted and received the baptism of Holy Spirit in an Assemblies of God church in San Bernardino. Believing that he was called to the ministry, he went to Kenneth Hagin's RHEMA Bible School in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a year. When he returned to California, the Assemblies of God church he had attended had split and the splinter group formed the Abundant Life Fellowship and they called Harold to be the pastor. For some months Harold came down to our home in Irvine where I taught him and others that he brought with him The Biblical Theology of Salvation; he invited Edith and I come to visit his church in San Bernardino; we accepted his invitation and I preached the Sunday evening we visited there. Some months later in the fall he invited me to teach on Wednesday nights during October until Christmas 1984, in the Bible school that he had started, Abundant Life Bible Institute, or ALBI, for short. I taught the Biblical Theology of the Gospel from the letter to the Romans. About a year after that Harold stop coming down to Irvine. So when we moved in with Mike and Judy in Fontana in November, 1988, we went to Harold's Church. Harold was not very friendly and I wonder why and decided to go to him and find out what was wrong. He told me that he had come to the conclusion that what he needed was not theology, but pastoral counseling to make his church grow. A friend of ours from his church told us later that he said to him that Ray's theology did not work. I now think that Harold misunderstood the purpose of theology; its was to build up the believers in their faith and walk with the Lord and so they would understand what great things God had done for them in Christ, not to make his church grow. I did not even touch on that subject. Anyway Edith and I started visiting other charismatic groups there in the Inland Empire, hoping the Lord would lead us to the place to fellowship. Edith was not happy with the non-charismatic Episcopal churches she visited. In Riverside we visited the Wheat, Oil and Wine Fellowship pastored by a fellow we met at Abundant Life, John Kowalkowski. John invited me to teach on Sunday evenings, and I taught the Biblical doctrine of Salvation, from December, 1988 to April, 1989.

Anaheim Christian College

All this time I was looking for full-time employment both in the Inland Empire and in Orange County. One of the places I visited was Anaheim Christian College. I talked with the president of the school, Brian Trott, and he ask me to come down to the school in the city of Orange, California, and to teach in the college; there was only one catch, he paid no salary and I would have to raise my own support. So Edith and I prayed about it and decided that we should send out a letter telling about the opportunity for ministry teaching in the college, and asking our friends for financial support. We received some support but just enough to pay for my gasoline to drive from Fontana to Orange and back. Brian also asked me to be the dean of the college and I accepted. As dean I revised the college catalog. I taught there from September, 1989, to September, 1990, teaching Hellenistic Philosophy, Ephesians and Colossians, Galatians and the book of Romans. I wrote a commentary on Galatians for that class.

Donor Automation

One of the students that I had at Anaheim Christian College was Richard Johnston, who had his own business, called Threshold Designs; he created designs for new housing developments. Richard hired me in May, 1990, to draw house plans and make site maps on the Macintosh Computer and IOLINE plotter. Two months later Edith and I moved down to Costa Mesa so I wouldn't have to commute so far, more than a hundred miles a day. But we didn't find a house down there to rent, so we moved into a motel; Edith also found a temporary job that she enjoyed greatly, but we felt unsettled, "temporary." As I was praying one day in September, I asked the Lord what we were supposed to do. And I got an answer. The Lord said to me (not audibly) that on October 4 I would know what to do. The recession of 1990 hit the housing development industry in Orange County and Richard's business dried up. Richard told me on October 4 that he had to let me go in November. And on that very day I got a call from Hayne Baucom, the president of Donor Automation, Inc. in Redlands, California. He wanted me to come to work for him in Redlands. We had not wanted to return to San Bernardino County, but Edith and I took this as the leading of the Lord, and I accepted the job. I had met Hayne when I was working for Jim McKeever at Triversal International; Hayne was a Vice President of Triversal and an Account Executive for Campus Crusade for Christ; and he also managed Triversal's computer centers, which served Christian charitable organizations. When Hayne left Triversal he founded Donor Automation to provide an entire line of computer automated donor software for Christian organizations. I had applied a year earlier to Donor Automation for a job but Hayne did not have any need for my services. Now in November, 1990, he had gotten several big contracts, with Back to the Bible and Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse, and he needed my skills. I accepted his offer.

In November we moved into a motel in San Bernardino and I started my new job. Within two more weeks we found, rented and moved into a three bedroom house on Church Street in Redlands, California. Edith just loved it. It was so roomy. We now were all by ourselves in our new home, all the children had gone from the nest. Adrienne was living in Costa Mesa, and Jon and Tania were living in Long Beach. For two months Edith was not able to find a job. So during that time she was very busy putting the house together, cleaning all the stuff that had been in storage for two years, and getting ready for a wedding. And on December 2 in our new home Adrienne married Tony Linn, with me officiating. Also on Edith's birthday, December 27, 1990, she got a surprise gift of a grandson, when David's second son, Christopher Michael, was born on her birthday. In January we started a Sunday evening Bible study in our home which I taught. It was not a very large group, but several men put their faith in Christ during these evenings. Edith also taught an 8-week introductory New Testament Greek class to three men who came on Sunday evenings. And at the end of January Edith also got a job as a secretary with the San Bernardino County through Kelly Temporary Services, which lasted until the middle of March, 1993. At Donor Automation I learned the C computer language and wrote programs for the UNIX operating system to enhance Haynes' automated donor system. And when the first two contracts were completed at Donor Automation, Hayne got a study contract with World Vision, where he had worked for five years as Director of Data Processing in the 1980's, to enhance their computer system. When that contract ended, World Vision decided not to implement it and Hayne had to let go me and some of the others on the staff in March, 1994.


While I was looking for another job, I tried to finish my commentary on the Book of Romans, which I had started many years ago. I got the commentary on the first nine chapters written. Then on June 24, 1994 I got a job as a Software Engineer at Dyncorp, in Norco, north of Corona, California. There I worked on a personnel system for the Navy, running under the UNIX operating system, using the Unify Data Base, which I had programmed at Donor Automation. I retired at the end of 1995 at the age of 65, although I continued to work for another six months to finish the system. Our youngest daughter, Adrienne, her husband, Tony, and their son, Ian, came to live with us in 1995. Also in 1995 Edith and I started a Bible study on Sunday afternoons. Edith taught Bible Survey and I taught Biblical Theology. Our youngest son, Jon, and his wife, Tania, drove from Long Beach to attend. And Barbara attended when she could. Back in 1990 Barbara had gotten divorced from Danny and soon after that she met Steve Phares, who was working for the Southern Pacific Railroad. They got married in the last week of 1992 with me officiating. They were then in 1995 living in Ontario, California. In 1996 just before Christmas they moved to Fillmore, California.


In 1995 I retired after working as a computer programmer and software engineer since 1966. In early 1996 I had a detached retina in my right eye and had an eye operation in March that only partially restored my vision in that eye. I stopped driving because I lost my depth perception and could not judge distances accurately. After driving for almost fifty years, I had to let Edith drive us anywhere we wanted to go. Edith attended services at Trinity Episcopal Church here in Redlands. She became active in the Order of St. Luke, a healing ministry active in the Episcopal Church.

Our Children

Edith and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on June 17, 2000 at Judy and Mikes' new home in Mira Loma, Calif., with the whole family. We have had a total of six children, Stephen, Barbara, Judy, David, Jonathan, and Adrienne, eight grandchildren (Tim and Patrick [Barbara's children], Michelle and Samantha [Judy's children], Stephen, Christopher and Kaitlyn [David's children], and Ian [Adrienne's son]), and seven great-grandchildren (Jode, Sade, Jonathan [Tim's children], James and Chloe [Patrick's children], LaRae and Nicholas [Michelle's children]. All of our children know and love the Lord.

Back in December of 1989, David married Michelle and they had two sons, Stephen and Christopher. Later in 2002 David got divorced from Michelle and David married Star; I officiated at their small, late night wedding. They had a little girl that they named Kaitlyn Ellen-Ann, after her grandmother, Edith Ellen Bilyeu Shelton. Katie was born on March 22, 2002, just about a month before my beloved wife, Edith, went to be with the Lord on Friday, April 19, 2002. Edith was 75 and died of liver cancer. My brother, Dick, died on the next Monday, April 22, 2002, three days before his 71st birthday. He died of a heart attack as he was taking his afternoon nap. Edith's funeral was held on the 25th of April, Dick's birthday. Edith's body was cremated and her ashes were buried in the Memorial Park at Trinity Episcopal Church, Redlands, California.

I am writing this autobiography almost a year after Edith's death during the last two weeks of March, 2003. In my Christmas letter 2002, I wrote the following:

"I believe ... in the resurrection of the dead,
and the life everlasting."

These words from the end of the Apostle Creed, expresses our faith and hope for the future. For us who have accepted God's gift of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, we have this hope that death is not the end of our lives. There will be a resurrection of dead of those who have this faith in the Living God and Jesus Christ, His Son, whom God raised from the dead for us. We have this faith and hope and do not despair and sorrow as those who do not have hope (I Thess. 4:13). Our salvation is not just deliverance from spiritual death to spiritual life, but it will be also from physical death to physical life (John 5:24-29). By hope we are saved (Rom. 8:24), the hope of our resurrection from the dead. I write these things because, as some of you may not know, Edith went to be with the Lord on April 19, 2002. She died of liver cancer at an age of 75. But she had this faith and hope; "to be absent from the body" is "to be present with the Lord" (II Cor. 5:8). We miss her but we know we shall see her again. Three days later on April 22 my younger brother Dick (Richard Lee) also died. Edith's funeral was held on what was to be his 71st birthday, April 25, 2002. Edith's body was cremated and the ashes buried in the memorial park at Trinity Episcopal Church, Redlands, Calif.

The family celebrated what would have been her 76th birthday Dec. 27 at our family Christmas party on Dec. 29, 2002. This letter is being written during the twelve days of Christmas which ended on January 6, 2003.