Tag Archives: Autobiography

Review: Vinton Huffey Autobiography

Born on the Seventh Day, by Vinton Earl Huffey. Xlibris, 2007.

Reverend Vinton Huffey has lived a life of adventure. Living by faith began when he experienced conversion in a St. Louis, Missouri church at age eighteen. A poor farm boy, he had been riding the rails, a hobo, planning to head north to Alaska, and no one was more surprised than he to find himself called of God to preach the gospel. Despite extreme financial hardship, he attended Central Bible Institute (Springfield, Missouri) and North Central Bible Institute (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and began his life of ministry, marrying Lillian Crouse, a young Assemblies of God evangelist, raising four children, always listening to see where God told him to go next. Reverend Huffey’s gift for storytelling is a mix of American farm wisdom and a long life based on practical and daily faith. Reverend Huffey pastored several churches in Iowa (Oelwein, Le Mars, and Ames) and then moved to southern California where he pastored the Monrovia Assembly of God (now New Life Assembly, Duarte, California) for twenty years. While pastoring, sometimes earning only one dollar a week, he discovered that God had given him the gift of wisdom in business, and as he became wealthy, he pioneered a missionary outreach to America’s inner cities, to communities the church has abandoned, funding some of the work with the money God has given him.

Born on the Seventh Day is a history told in human stories. Ninety-two years old, Huffey takes us to the poignant moments of his youth, and to the funny and impossible moments of life on the Assemblies of God frontier, and to the surprising work of God in one of his servants, a witness to the early years of the movement.

Reviewed by Rhoda Huffey.

Read the article, “The Life and Ministry of Vinton Huffey,” as told to Augustus Cerillo, Jr., Assemblies of God Heritage 27 (2007): 42-46.

Paperback, 81 pages, illustrated. $15.99 plus postage. Order from: amazon.com.

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Review: Doris Dresselhaus Menzies Autobiography

Young at Heart

Young at Heart: The Story of a Heart Transplant Recipient, by Doris Dresselhaus Menzies. Springfield, MO: Celebration Publishing, 2007.

Doris Dresselhaus Menzies has had two famous last names. Her husband, Dr. William W. Menzies, is one of the most highly-regarded educators in the Assemblies of God. Her cousin, Dr. Richard Dresselhaus, served as the long-time pastor of San Diego (CA) First Assembly of God and continues to serve as an executive presbyter of the Assemblies of God. Few people can claim to be related to one statesman of their caliber, much less two!

But Doris Menzies has her own story to tell. In Young at Heart: The Story of a Heart Transplant Recipient, Menzies recounted her testimony — from her Assemblies of God upbringing in Iowa, to her years in the ministry with her husband, to her roles as wife and mother, to her recent medical triumphs as a heart transplant recipient and as a cancer survivor.

Born on a frigid December day in 1932 on an Iowa farm, Doris was reared in the sturdy Willard and Beatrice Dresselhaus family. Her mother taught Sunday school, and her father was the Sunday school superintendent of the Decorah Assembly of God. Willard, a farmer, served as Farm Bureau president for Winneshiek County, was involved in local politics, and owned his own plane. Young at Heart challenges the assumption, held by certain historians, that early Pentecostals were disinherited or socially uninvolved.

Doris met Bill Menzies, her future husband, at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Bill graduated in 1953 and accepted the pastorate of the little Assemblies of God church in Big Rapids, Michigan. They married soon after Doris’ 1955 graduation and settled into pastoral ministry. Continue reading

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Review: My Journey

My Journey

My Journey: An Autobiography of Dr. Lula Baird, by Lula Baird. Turlock, CA: The Author, 2004.

Lula Baird is part of, to use Tom Brokaw’s words, “The Greatest Generation.” Lula — along with thousands of other mostly unheralded men and women who were born in the first two decades of the twentieth century — built the Assemblies of God. Born in 1908 in Utah to a family of Mormon lineage, few could have imagined that Lula Ashmore Baird would serve as a leader in the emerging Pentecostal movement. But she did — serving as an Assemblies of God missionary and pastor to the Chinese people in Asia, Cuba, and the United States. Continue reading

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Review: Is There a God?

Is There a God

Is There a God?: The Life and Times of Frank Reynolds, by Frank Reynolds with Joan Kruger. Lenexa, KS: 3Cross Publishing, 2006.

Filled with anger after his father deserted his family in the midst of the 1930s Depression in rural New York, Frank Reynolds was determined to graduate from high school and go to college. He became an atheist early in life, was convinced success was in wealth and education, and graduated from Cornell University. However, after an extended period of research and reflection, he came to believe in God and accepted Christ. He immediately felt a call to the ministry, was ordained by the Assemblies of God, and became one of the early leaders in Teen Challenge, a Christian drug and alcohol treatment program. He ultimately served as the first National Representative for Teen Challenge. In Is There a God?, Reynolds shares his own faith-building story, which provides an insider’s perspective concerning the early years of Teen Challenge.

Paperback, 139 pages, illustrated. $12, plus $1.60 shipping. Order from: Frank Reynolds, 4626 S. Crescent Ave., Springfield, MO 65804.

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Review: My Life with God

My Life With God

My Life with God, by Gordon H. Matheny. Plant City, FL: The Author, 2005.

Gordon H. Matheny, long-time Assemblies of God pastor and district leader, has touched many lives in over 60 years of ministry. In My Life with God, he recounts the people, places and varied experiences from his life of service. Matheny, converted as a child in the Woodworth-Etter Tabernacle in Indianapolis, matriculated at Central Bible Institute in 1941 and went on to serve as an evangelist, pastor, district official in two states, as well as being active in mission work in over 25 nations. He began his ministry in Indiana, where he pastored four churches and served as District Secretary for ten years. He moved to Tampa, Florida, where he pastored Bethel Temple for nineteen years and served as Assistant Superintendent for seventeen years. He retired in 1990, only to be elected Superintendent of the Peninsular Florida District. My Life with God will evoke memories for those who have counted Matheny as a pastor and friend.

Paperback, 131 pages, illustrated. $10, postage included. Order from: Gordon Matheny, P.O. Box 3604, Plant City, FL 33563. Ph. 813-754-0050.

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