As the photographer at the Review & Herald Publishing Association I could look out the window of the photo Studio and see Des Ford pounding the typewriter in his window at the General Conference when he was creating his thousand page defense. The office space they'd given him in the rear of the old building at the GC was directly across the roof of the R&H so I could look right into his office and watch him type. I was just starting to discover the problems that he had uncovered, and Sligo Church actually let him teach a Sabbath School Class we attended for the six months that he worked on his defense to be presented at Glacier View Camp that summer of 1980. I was able to get my hands on one of the binders that had his thousand page defense and many of us thought for just a short while that the brother just might accept his stand, and go on having accepted the Bible above Ellen G. White, but we didn't know what Ken Wood and Neal Wilson knew all along: EGW was the goose that had laid the golden egg, and there was no way they'd give up their sacred cow for The Truth.
Sitting at Ford's feet and listening him present the true gospel each sabbath was a treat that one can't imagine. He would end each class with punch lines that left us all floored and we all just SAT there when he walked out of the classroom, stunned at the pure gospel the man taught. He was amazing. But it wasn't just Des Ford that had shocked us: I recall reading Hebrews 6:19-20 and Hebrews 10: 19-20 that tells us that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place after His death on the cross two thousand years ago, so therefore nothing happened in 1844. If we were going to put the bible above all else, then 1844 and EGW had to go.
The other thing that did it for me was the fact that I had been able to photograph Ellen G. White's letter to Joseph Bates in 1980 when Ron Graybill brought it to the Studio for me in exchange for doing a rush job for the White Estate. He was in a hurry to get a painting photographed so they could sell copies at the upcoming General Conference session that would be held in Dallas Texas that year, so I jokingly asked him on the phone: "Tell you what Ron, bring me Ellen White's letter to Bates and I'll photograph your painting today!"
I thought he would tell me to drop dead but instead he showed up a while later with the 133 year old letter in hand. I wasted no time getting it copied because I had no idea he'd leave it with me for three days as it would lay locked in my office for all that time! It was in THAT letter that EGW tells Bates that the door is shut and she wanted him to know that she was also a shut door believer because she knew that he was! Once any Adventist reads THAT letter, knowing the full history of the Shut Door, they then know that there can be no doubt that Ellen was a fraud from the very start. Only 3 pages of the letter are left because "somebody" did away with the other pages evidently because she said something else that was so shocking that they missed what she had said about the Shut Door! There could now be no doubt. All we believed in was buttressed by lies.
Right as all this was going on with Des Ford, Neal Wilson the President of the General Conference had "arranged" a job for me at the Adventist Media Center in Thousand Oaks California because I had put on my wedding ring at the Review and gotten the President of the Adventist Review mad over that issue. We had a three hour knock down drag out meeting in Neal 's office with the Review President where Neal finally got up and said "There's not room enough for both of you here. One of you has got to go." I knew then that I'd get a call" someplace, but was amazed to end up on the west coast where we were able to watch even more unraveling of the lie they were trying to protect.
Living then on the west coast we were able to go to the Gospel Congress that Ford, Van Rooyan and others held at Monterey. There were over a thousand "Adventists" that showed up for those meetings. It was like a "camp meeting for former adventists" before there was such a thing. Smuts Van Royan (Not sure about the spelling) told us how he had struggled with the gospel and rolled on the floor crying that so much had to be given up for the truth. Ministers everywhere were being called on the carpet and "Put to the test" about Ellen G. White, and many gave up their retirement right when they were a few months from retiring. It was amazing to see what people did for Christ.
We left the church in 1982 when they shut down my job at the Adventist Media Center that Neal Wilson had arranged for me at that meeting in late 1979. The Media Center killed two birds with one stone by getting rid of me because they didn't have to see me driving up with "Heretic" on my license anymore and they saved all that money they had been paying me. We knew it would go just like that if I was crazy enough to take Neal's bate, but we were young then and did daring things. To be rid of Adventism and the job at the same time made some kind of sense and we went back east having lost everything in the moves. Like hundreds of other denominational workers we were ruined in the great Exodus of the Adventist Church of the early 1980s.
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