should what is now Homestead Heritage have stayed under the coverings of the UPC and Pastor Kenneth Philips?

Steven Avery

Sincere men have asked me this, again and again, thinking that this was, or may have been, the core problem of what is now Homestead Heritage.

"They emphasize covenant so much, but they broke covenant."

First, whenever Homestead Heritage describes their early history, understand that they can misrepresent today. As an example, Howard Wheeler wrote to a Mennonite that the beginning of the fellowship was some families coming together, making it sound Mennonite-style. However, their videos, like The Dream, or the one made for 40 years, are reasonably good, if you allow for poetic license.

And I saw the separation from the UPC. It happened soon after Woodstock 7/7/77. There is a not very relevant discussion about exactly who left who first. (Since it clearly had to happen, who actually pulled the trigger is a technical matter.) The biggest issue was UPC territoriality, and the work of the fellership on the Jersey shore. It was a dynamic work, led by Paul and Donna Riga, and many were coming to faith and being zealous, committed Christians (at that time it was a Christian work, emphasizing the Lord Jesus Christ.) Some of those folks remain involved today, mostly the sisters. There may have been other issues, like the new tendency to TV ministry (Kenneth Phillips going that route) and maybe others. And I remember the meeting where Blair Adams symbolically tore up his UPC card (not in anger, but in spiritual compelling hurt). Or dropped it to the floor.

The main issue was territoriality, the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ could not be constrained because "there is a UPC church in that region, and they are upset, and they want you to disband the work.") The full fellership/community, at that time with meetings in Paramus NJ, (the Hackensack Truth Forum started a bit later, as I remember) was of a very different dynamic and spiritual energy and quality than UPC churches.

As an aside, the most interesting meeting where some UPC pastors attended was on Route 4, at a dinner at a catering house. Brother Morris and maybe others who were dear friends with Blair and Regina attended. We even had a skit or two. Ralph Quinones directed one where Richie Annunziato and I played seeker and guru, and we the seeker, Richie, traveling the world and finally meeting the guru, wanted to know the meaning of life. Richie played it beautifully. My guru response: "A wet bird does not fly at night!". Richie was astounded, and I said "what, it doesn't"?. I actually felt the concern of what happens to people who try to become gurus in occult realms, it was funny and I was a bit shaken. Ralph directed us in the one or two minute preparation time, including some garb.

Many other incredible things at that time. Dear sister Helen testifying about how her former magic arts books got full of maggots when she dumped them out for garbage pickup.

Returning to the UPC, the fellership did what they needed to do by the Holy Spirit. They went astray into yahwehism and losing the plumb-line of faith of the pure Bible much later. (What I believe are the two core problems.) This was not caused by the UPC separation. The leader of the UPC today supports corruption versions. They have their own problems.

Blair and the fellership should not be criticized for the move of the fellership leaving the UPC. And when others who were not there criticize, I suggest you smile, take it with a grain of salt, and they are welcome to speak with yours truly. it is hard for those who were not there in the 70s, or were little children at the time, to really understand. Especially if they are involved in UPC ministry or churches today.
Homestead Heritage contacts

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or you feel you want to share more excellently. Generally I will publish without editing, and anonymously if you request.

The forum has a personal contact info post at the top.
The Kenneth Phillips separation is planned later. I may fill out the above more, as well.