Eloise Herrin's UPC Experience
I just checked out your website and think it's a wonderful thing you've done. I would also like to add my story to it in the form of a letter to a missionary's wife who've just recently come out of UPC. She was needing some answers at the time, and so I wrote to try to help her out. They are doing great now and have found a good church to go to.
Dear (name omitted),
Here's my story, and I warn you, it's long--I have a lot to tell you.
Yes, you ARE still a sister! Don't let anybody tell you differently. I'm Eloise Herrin, wife of Pastor Delbert Herrin in Texas City. My husband was Texas District Sunday School Dir. of UPC for 14 years, and we were "dyed in the wool" UPer's for all our lives. I've read all your emails to Mary, and just couldn't wait to write to you. Bless your heart! I know where you are, and just have to smile with joy (not at your pain), because I KNOW where God is taking you, and you are on your way! Rejoice!
My husband started praying many years ago, "Lord, why aren't we having revival in the UPC? Lord,, we want revival, please. Get us in on what you are doing in this end time!!" He had no idea what he was asking.
I know it is hard right now because you are in so much fear. Just think about it now.....where does fear come from? God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind. I know that cold fear feeling, and I've been the "Jezebel" everyone accused and blamed. I just want you to know that I've come out, and forth, and up, I have silenced the voice of the accuser, and THERE is VICTORY!
I can testify to that. I am living proof of it. I cut my hair, gradually like you're doing for five years before my husband resigned our church here. I did it --not because I was rebellious. You see, I was a stickler for many years, for the standards. I did not even trim my hair for all those years before. But, the Lord kept directing me to study those scriptures in I Cor. 11. I would study, and repent for studying, study some more, and repent for questioning. This kept on for quite a while, until one day (four years before we left UPC) I was praying and studying down on the floor in my room.
I did this faithfully EVERY morning, but that morning the phone rang, and on the line was a woman from MS who would not tell me her name. She was in terrible fear and told me the told her to call me. She said, "I am on verge of backsliding, because I cannot quit cutting my hair, and my pastor told me that I might as well just quit serving God because I was going to hell."
I tell you, the Holy Ghost came on me, and I began to minister to this lady all that the Lord had shown me, that I was afraid to tell anyone, and that I had repented for even studying. I was shaking under the mighty anointing of God. I told her she was NOT going to hell, that God loved her and that it was not a sin to cut your hair, and that the only real sin is that of walking in condemnation and not turning to Jesus in spite of what you feel is wrong in your life. Your only true sin is that of turning away from Him! He is your Lord, He wants your heart, not your split hairs!!!!!!
She cried and cried, and we prayed, and she said she felt like a ton was lifted off her shoulders. It was awesome. We hung up, and FEAR hit me like a ton of bricks! "What if she tells someone what I said?" Oh my God, my husband doesn't even know what I know. I had enough sense to rebuke it, I had learned through what I'd been through with Cindy, my daughter, that FEAR is a demonic spirit, and that if I called him by name and ordered him out of my house, that he had to go. That's what I did. It worked. But I was changed. God had shown me something.
I 'eased' along and didn't rock the boat too much immediately, but I KNEW. I started trimming a little here and there, and one day a couple or three years later, one of the "standards sheriffs" women came in my husband's office and told him that I was cutting my hair and she wanted to know why I could get by with it. He asked me about it, not thinking it was really true, and I shocked him to the core by admitting that I had. Then fear hit me, and I couldn't tell him why to his face, so I wrote him a letter and laid out all that the Lord showed me. He didn't belittle me at all. He listened. He started studying too, and the Lord started showing him the same thing.
I just kept cutting, a little here and a little there. I finally got my hair short enough ( it had originally been almost to my knees) that I could wear it down but clipped back in a ponytail. I felt so free. One by one the women of the church came to me and asked. Those that loved me and agreed asked. The "standards sheriffs" just accused and gossiped. The lines were being drawn. Many people left us during that time. Many blamed me for the fact that Delbert was getting soft on the standards. He just didn't preach on it. They accused us of "going charismatic" and the other churches wouldn't fellowship with us anymore. It was a long process. The Lord was leading us every step of the way.
Things started heating up and speeding up then. We went to visit my step sister and her husband, in Dec of '92 . My step sister took me to the beauty shop to get my hair shaped up, not shortened, just a real haircut. It was the first time I had worn my hair down and loose with no pins in it for 30 years. Talk about feeling free! When I walked out of the shop, my husband was in total shock! He didn't say much but he did not speak to me all the way home from Nashville. I knew he was totally blown away from fearing what would happen at home. He was very cool to me for the next few months.
I had had a supernatural experience with the Lord though a few months before, that I realized later was preparing me for the onslaught ahead. We had an evangelist there, (name omitted), who came forcefully down off the platform and laid his hand on my head and prayed for me. I was knocked to the floor of the church, could not get up for two hours. I felt as though I weighed 1000 lbs. I laughed and laughed till my stomach was hurting. I felt the literal wind of the Holy Ghost even though there was no A/C on at the time. So, it carried me all through this ordeal.
I was being well prepared for it.
My husband had a hard time even tho he knew it was the right thing. He decided to teach some on the things God had showed us about the standards--what the Bible really said about them. He let no tapes be sold at all. He did let them tape him though. One of our board members who was such a sweet man and who saw everything just as we did, had a wife who was poison. She came to my husband and pretended that she wanted the tape to study further that she was beginning to see it. She and another woman (who was the biggest money person in the church) got together and co-erced her husband into signing a letter of complaint and sending the tape to the district office. He totally betrayed us.
We had just announced our intention to disaffiliate the church, so they had to move quickly. If just one board member complains, then the church must be brought into question and the pastor must meet the board. It was so awesome that during this time, we thought everything was going smoothly with our transition--nearly the whole congregation was in agreement with us. It was going to be easy to pull our church out and we would just keep our UPC license, and it would be okay.
The Lord spoke to me one morning at that time all this was about to happen, and told me to gather together as a family. Our son, Kevin, and his wife, Melissa, are co-pastors with us. They were to come over with their checkbooks and their bills and we were to get ours too and to have communion over all our finances. I had read something in my Spirit Filled Life Bible that just opened up my eyes the fact of God's provision through the blood covenant. It was the little explanation given there by the communion scriptures in I Cor. 11. (Strange how that chapter gave me such revelation.) I had heard Kenneth Copeland talk about how he and his wife always took communion together anytime they had a problem they couldn't handle that really needed God to intervene.
We knew that the sister who paid the largest tithes was already withholding her support from the church. We were going to be in trouble since she had turned against us. That's the way big money people do when they are trying to control you. All we would have had to do to get her support again was to repent and tell her we'd made a mistake. I never understood that scripture before that said, "You cannot serve God and mammon (money). " Now I do. It came down to that.
So, we met together, the four of us. Amazingly, for one solid hour, as we prayed and committed our lives, futures, finances, and the church to Jesus, wherever it took us, the phone did not ring once. It was as if we were in another realm of the Spirit. We had communion, anointed our pile of stuff that represented our very lives, and prayed about everything one at a time. We made the decision to obey the will of the Lord, and reminded Him of His covenant with us to take care of us if we just stepped out in faith. We felt so good and so confident that the Lord's will was utmost. We had to go.
I'm telling you the truth, ONE HOUR later, our doorbell rang and a postman gave us a registered letter. That letter was from the board member that we had thought was for us for 25 years. He had been. It was a copy of a letter of complaint that he had sent to the District Office to Bro. Holley about us. He asked for an investigation for the purpose of stopping the disaffiliation. We could not believe it was really his signature. I went to the church to get a copy of his signature to compare it. It was his all right. The process had started and we had to go with it. We were not upset, a calm peace prevailed. God was in control.
We prayed and the Lord showed Delbert that he was not to meet the board as they requested. We prayed and talked to our son, and others that we trusted, and made the decision to leave the building and go start another church here in town. Those that wanted to could go with us. We had no idea how many would go or stay. It didn't matter. We had to go.
Ironically, at this time, Bro. Holley's son, (name omitted), was a very dear friend to us. They had left the UPC 10 years or so before and had been through the fire too. They comforted and helped us and prayed with us. Words can't express how they helped us get through the fear and anxieties that came during that time. That's why we are so eager to do the same for those coming out of the darkness.
Delbert called Bro. Holley and told him that he was resigning the church and that he would not be meeting the board. He agreed to certain conditions, and for a week before the church meeting, that was supposed to be for the purpose of voting on disaffiliation, we moved our things out. When we got to the meeting, instead of voting on affiliation and having a district board member present, Delbert resigned the church and told them that our next service would be held in the Tradewinds Theater building. (That's another story how God led us straight to that building and everything was set up for us to go there immediately.) He told the people that were going with us to drop their church key in a box that would be at the door. We had just issued everybody numbered keys, and the locks were new. It was amazing--it looked like the whole church was dropping their keys in that box. Wow!
The next day, we went back one more time to finish up. As I locked the door that last time and we walked away, I can tell you that I did not feel one thing. No sadness, no remorse, no grief, nothing! It was if I were going to lunch or something. It was supernatural joy. My husband's process is another story. He grieved for 6 months or so, but he knew he was right. I admire him so much for the stand he took, and for being big enough to admit he'd been wrong, and it was time to move on in God. I told him about Caleb in the Bible who was 85 years old when he finally took his mountain. He was delayed 45 years through no fault of his own, but he never gave up his dream or considered that his time had been wasted.
I was accused of causing the whole thing--not by my husband, but everyone else that didn't agree with me. For weeks, our friends called. They called from everywhere. They tried to get us to fight. We said, "No, our fight is the good fight of faith." If we fought, what would happen to God's kingdom? This way, the church there could survive on their beliefs, and we could start again on God's will for us. We had to follow where the Lord was leading.
Lawyers even told us we could win. It wasn't worth it. We had to go on. The building was within a year or so of being paid for. So what? We had to do the will of God, if it meant losing everything. No matter.
I had so much joy during all this, I literally could not stop smiling. We were like children on an adventure. Joy, Joy, Joy! Freedom was in view.Our friends dwindled off, stopped calling and most of them completely dropped out of our lives.
Our son was a leading evangelist and singer in the UPC. His friends turned on him. They were forced to examine their hearts though, as one told him. Kevin had been such a pure hearted person even in his years at Bible college. He was a spiritual leader, not one of those wild kids, trying to see how much he could get by with. They couldn't say Kevin just wanted the world. They couldn't say Kevin had gotten into false doctrine. They did say it anyway, but it wasn't true.
So, here we are. God has more than taken care of us. It is so awesome. We have never known that God was so big and loving. We never knew that the Kingdom of God was so huge. It has blown us away. We thought the UPC was the Kingdom. We thought we had to win the world. Imagine our wonderful surprise to find out that the Lord has a HUGE body and incredible things are being done that we never knew about. It was mind boggling! And such a relief!
Well, I hope I have not bored you to death. There is so much to tell you. You are on the verge of great things. The promises God made to you couldn't have come to you unless you left the UPC. Don't worry that they will not happen in your lifetime. You are JUST beginning to LIVE!
I'll sign off for now. Please feel free to call or write to us. We are here to help you! There is a great church for you in SA somewhere. Don't be afraid to go. Don't let fear rule you. Get victory over it, and obey God.
There's nothing like it.
In Christian love,
Posted February 21, 1998
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August 23, 1997
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