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An elder with Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena tells why Harvest needs Ambassador Auditorium
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An elder with Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena
tells why Harvest needs Ambassador Auditorium
By Bill Stough

LONEDELL, Mo.--The Worldwide Church of God has sold the Ambassador Auditorium and other structures on its 13-acre "lower campus" in Pasadena, Calif., to the charismatic Harvest Rock Church and Maranatha High School.

The WCG announced May 14 the completion of the transaction, which includes the hall of administration, physical-education complex, student center and Grove Terrace dormitory.

Neither seller nor buyers disclosed the sale price.

The WCG has an agreement with the new owners to lease space in the administration building for two years.

However, WCG treasurer Bernie Schnippert had earlier stated the church intends eventually to move its base of operations to an undetermined city east of Pasadena.

The disposition of the approximately 18 acres of the upper campus is yet to be determined and could sell off piece by piece, Dr. Schnippert said.

However, as part of its arrangement with the WCG, Maranatha has first option on buying the upper campus.

Why Harvest Rock?

The Journal contacted Kenneth Storey, a 64-year-old elder with Harvest Rock who was a member of and an official with the WCG in the 1970s.

"I was director of space planning at AC [Ambassador College, operated by the WCG on the church-owned grounds]." I helped plan the new buildings and allocated space to the various departments who needed it.

"I then went on to start the Foundation for Biblical Research with [former WCG members] Dr. Ernest Martin and Gary Arvidson. I am a founding member of Harvest Rock Church, a member of [Harvest Rock's] stewardship council and am called an elder by the leadership."

Nowadays Mr. Storey is a project engineer for Mackintosh & Mackintosh, Inc., in Los Angeles.

When asked why Harvest Rock wanted to buy the Ambassador Auditorium and adjacent property, Mr. Storey forwarded a written statement to The Journal.

Reasons for the acquisition

"We believe that it was the Father's will that we purchase Ambassador Auditorium," said the statement, which mentioned that "God began to speak through his prophets that it was time for HRC [Harvest Rock Church] to look for property."

God "supernaturally" provided the funds to purchase the auditorium, said the statement, which continued: "What was once a prophetic vision has become a reality."

Mr. Storey also provided The Journal with an article he wrote in 1987 for something called World Insight Newsletter. The article mentions the death, a few months earlier, of WCG founder Herbert W. Armstrong, in early 1986.

"One of our readers asks, 'What does Mr. Armstrong's death signify?'" wrote Mr. Storey in 1987. "To answer that question let me take you through some of the revelations and experiences that we have had over the past decade."

In the newsletter article Mr. Storey related a story he had heard from the mother of a man who had studied at Ambassador College. The student had attended Mr. Armstrong's annual formal dinner for senior AC students at Mr. Armstrong's on-campus residence.

'If I should die'

At the dinner Mr. Armstrong interrupted the meal and blurted out, according to the account Mr. Storey related: "You know, if I should die, this whole church will turn Pentecostal."

The students sat around the table stunned, not knowing what to say, said Mr. Storey. Why would Mr. Armstrong say something like that? Had he seen a vision of the future after his death when God would pour out the Holy Spirit, something he spontaneously called "turning Pentecostal"?

Mr. Storey acknowledged he might not be relating the details of the account entirely accurately "since the story is third hand," but he believes "there is an essence of truth in it."

"It was as if Mr. Armstrong had made a prophecy much like the high priest of Jesus' day," said Mr. Storey. "When I heard of Mr. Armstrong's remarkable statement I immediately thought of the scripture in John 11:49-53 where the high priest, Caiaphas, prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation of Israel. The high priest really didn't understand what it was that he had prophesied.

"Likewise, Mr. Armstrong might not have known the full impact of his statement."

Che Ahn
Che Ahn
Bernie Schnippert
Bernie Schnippert
Benny Hinn
Benny Hinn

The breakthroughs are coming

Mr. Storey related another "spiritual experience," as he described it.

"I was almost asleep late one evening when I heard the Holy Spirit say: 'Praise God! For the breakthroughs are coming! The breakthroughs are coming!" It was as if I had heard a voice in my mind. It was quite loud and clear. My heart was full of praise as I went to sleep that night. What could this word ['breakthroughs'] mean?"
Ken and Valerie Storey
Ken and Valerie Storey

Voice of a prophet

Mr. Storey related still another experience:

In 1986 his wife, Val, and he were attending a church in Pasadena listening to the preaching of a man Mr. Storey described as a "prophet" named Dick Mills.

"Dick has memorized thousands of verses of Scripture that he uses as God directs him during the service," said Mr. Storey. "At this service [Mr. Mills] told us about a [non-COG] church in Texas that made a habit of quoting Isaiah 43:6, in particular the first part: 'I [God] will say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.'"

Mr. Storey said Mr. Mills explained that members of the unnamed church in Texas would en masse stand and face a northerly direction and in unison command the demonic forces to, in Mr. Storey's words, "give up the sons and daughters of God."

Next the Texans standing at attention--whom Mr. Storey described as 15,000 strong--faced south, then east, then west.

Mr. Storey said Mr. Mills then, in the later (non-COG) church service in Pasadena, led the worshipers in a similar "proclamation for the city of Pasadena."

"We stood," said Mr. Storey, then "faced the north and forcefully said: 'I say unto the north, give up!' When we came to the part where we faced the west and said, 'I say unto the west, give up!' I looked at Val and whispered, 'That was for Worldwide.'"

"I know," Mrs. Storey replied.

Mr. Storey continued: "I felt something flow out of me going west toward the college. It was like wind or energy. At that moment we knew that the words we spoke were for the Worldwide Church.

"The Ambassador College campus was just a couple of miles west of us at the time. We knew that God was doing something. The next morning, Thursday, Jan. 16, 1986, Mr. Armstrong was dead."

Mr. Storey said when he heard that Mr. Armstrong had died he decided that one of the "breakthroughs" the mysterious voice had mentioned to him was Mr. Armstrong's death.

"I then went back to my notes and noticed that the prophetic word had come to me on Jan. 16, 1985, at about 11:30 p.m., exactly one year to the day before Herbert Armstrong died."

Ambassador Auditorium Dedication
The new owners of the famed Ambassador Auditorium include Harvest Rock Church, which will begin regular church services in July. At the beginning of that month several famous preachers will participate in a grand opening, including Benny Hinn, founder of World Outreach Church in Orlando, Fla., and World Healing Center in Dallas, Texas.

The AU dream

Mr. Storey forwarded to The Journal a message describing a dream he had on March 17, 2003, a day he described as "the date of the Fast of Esther."

"In the dream I was looking at a document," he said. "It was eight and one half by eleven. It looked like a typical [Microsoft] Word document or report.

"While looking at the document I wondered what it said. At that moment I zoomed in on two letters of a word. I was so close up to the document that all I could see was two letters. They were 'AU.'"

Mr. Storey then recalled from the chemistry classes of his youth that Au is the scientist's abbreviation for the element gold.

In his dream he looked more closely at the document and read a word that began with "Au," "Aurora." Miraculously in his night vision when he recognized the word he realized he was reading a "mining document."

The next morning, fully awake and alert, he fired up his personal computer and searched the Internet for "Aurora Mining" and forthwith discovered the Aurora mine in Esmeralda County, Nev.

"The Aurora mine was one of the first big gold mines during the era of the gold rush," he said.

After delving into the Aurora mine's history and prospects, he found that someone was laying plans to newly develop the old mine.

So without delay "I bought stock in the company," he said.

Why on the fast?

Mr. Storey analyzed why he had dreamed about Au and Aurora on the Fast of Esther.

"The fast of Esther was about deliverance from their [the Jews'] enemies," he said.

Further, he continued, citing Esther 10:1-3, the Fast of Esther commemorated an "incredible transference of position and power and the exaltation of the people of God, which led to great wealth." The Jews of Esther's time "were exalted into a position of leadership over the whole nation."

One year later "on or about the Fast of Esther," on March 4, 2004, Mr. Storey was driving his car near the former campus of Ambassador College and "praying for" the grounds that had served many years as WCG headquarters, when he spied an engraved stone at the corner of Orange Grove and Green Street.

The carving in the stone formed letters that clearly and unmistakably spelled "Worldwide Church of God."

"I immediately thought back to what it used to say, 'Ambassador College,'" remembered Mr. Storey.

Then Mr. Storey recalled that Ambassador College, before it closed in 1997, had become Ambassador University, whose initials were "AU."

"And then I saw in my mind's eye the whole campus filled with students who were on fire for God, and the gold was the presence of God dwelling in them. The young people were the gold that was being mined."

(Mr. Storey's vision apparently did not include the revelation that AC Pasadena was never Ambassador University. The AC campus in Big Sandy, Texas, became Ambassador University in 1994, after AC Pasadena had closed as an institution of higher learning four years earlier. AU Big Sandy, the last of three Ambassador campuses in America and Britain, closed its doors for the final time in 1997.)

Mr. Storey summed up what his dreams, research and insights mean for the long term.

They mean "it is the dawning of a new day, a golden day, a day when the heavens declare the glory of God," he said. "It is a day of the transference of authority, power and wealth to the people of God for the leadership of nations."

Mr. Storey passed his Au-Aurora dream on to Dr. Che Ahn, founder and senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church.

Dr. Ahn, he said, immediately realized Mr. Storey's insights "served as confirmation of what God had already showed" Dr. Ahn and his associates.

New schedule

Harvest Rock Church's Ambassador Auditorium plans its grand opening July 1-3 with headliner speakers that will include evangelist Benny Hinn, founder of the World Outreach Church in Orlando and World Healing Center in Dallas.

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