6-Broadway Tabernacle Days


The days at Broadway Tabernacle were busy for my father, Ramon A Haas, as he helped frequently with outreach campaigns. This meant our family was at the church quite often. He was also deeply involved in many other church organizations in the Seattle area. Philadelphia Bible College, Kings Gardens, Kings Teens, Campus Crusade for Christ, Full Gospel Businessman's Fellowship, David Wilkerson Crusades, Billy Graham Crusades, Nicky Cruz Crusades, Union Gospel Mission and many many others. It seemed he was seldom home.

In 1965 Bill Bright; a then famous tract writer; introduced a brand new tract called "The Four Spiritual Laws". I came home from school one day and several cases of this new tract had been delivered to our house. My father, it seemed, was spearheading an effort to distribute these tracts to all of the major churches in Seattle and it was partly his role to go from church to church, speak with the pastors about the tract, and hope they would order more to distribute widely. 

My father was also intensely involved with visiting and preaching at the local missions so my brother and I spent many nights locked in the church basement while he ministered in the streets of Seattle. Rarely was our father home for any length of time and, when he was at home, it was usually to study or hold a meeting with college kids from Philadelphia Bible College.

The tools used by the Assembly of the Body of Christ to conduct Greek Word Studies were developed during these Broadway Tabernacle days. James A Watt, emboldened by Ern Baxter in his quest to develop an exhaustive Greek study method, worked diligently on a workbook named "Through the Word, Word by Word".  It was essentially a reprinting of select pages of a book by John Stegenga called "
An Analytical Concordance of the Greek-English New Testament". This book allowed a person to read a scripture in context then write the applicable section on the page.

The "Through the Word..." book listed scriptures found in the bible for repentance, faith, baptism, etc. as found in Hebrews 6:1-2. It also showed the Greek derivatives, tenses, mood and context for each.  It was an attractive book with a red and black cover depicting a microscope and a telescope on the cover. The connotation of the cover design was that it was possible to examine the bible microscopically with this book but in doing so see God telescopically and more clearly. Our family spent quite a few hours in the church basement collating and stapling these booklets together for mailing.

My father and Watt were quite excited about this new method of study and began a "Through the Word, Word by Word" class at Philadelphia Bible College in Seattle. The school was hesitant to allow the class initially but, after an experiment using the Greek word "Dorea", or gift, the class was deemed a success and was allowed on a limited basis.

Several students from the college wanted more from the Greek so my father began a special meeting, once per week, on Thursdays, for college students at our home. Since we had no table big enough to handle the large group, each week my father would bring out a large plywood sheet, lay it over our dining room table, and the group of students would then pore over Greek word studies, have lively discussions about the words and seemed to have a great time. I recall there was lots of snack food consumed. Several years after the formation of the ABC, this "Through the Word…" booklet was reformatted into a loose-leaf notebook renamed "The Foundation Truths". It is essentially the same book, usually distributed at cost of printing and is an important part of being a member of the ABC.

The development of the "foundation" book has been attributed erroneously to my father. In reality, it was James A Watt, and a few others, who developed the method of using John Stegenga's book. It was James A Watt who developed the original foundation booklet and my father later adopted this book for the Assembly of the Body of Christ. Derek Prince has also recreated this in a book he titled, "The Foundational Truths" which can be found at Amazon or most other bookstores.

In the ABC it is general practice to read three or four scriptures every day out of this book, then write them down. Many complete these books over and over, year after year, but once you have completed the entire book at least once you are considered to have “completed your foundation". 

Another project James A Watt completed while we were at Broadway Tabernacle is the "Daily Reading Card shown here. (Click to enlarge.)

This Daily Reading Card, developed by Watt, allows a person to read the entire Bible through in one year while alternating between Old and New Testament books. The Assembly of the Body of Christ simply adopted this card without revision as seen below.

The only thing changed was the removal of James A Watt's name and address. (Click on picture to enlarge)

The Broadway Tabernacle days lasted just shy of four years then ended suddenly with our move from the Seattle area to San Juan Island in the middle of Puget Sound. The reason for that move will be the subject of my next post and I will delve into the catalyst that caused my father to move away from Broadway Tabernacle and into strictly home based meetings. The concept of home-based meetings would later be incorporated as a doctrine of the "The Assembly of the Body of Christ (ABC)", despite the actual beginning to be in a steepled church building initially. This all changed due to a conflict with the Superbowl.


Directly after the formation of the ABC the teachings moved rapidly towards isolationism and forbidding of contact with any other church. Also forbidden was the reading of other church publications or Christian books. From here followed the banning of any viewpoint other than the ones espoused by my father. One soon learned that to express an alternate viewpoint would cause one to  suffer extreme discipline measures including shunning for a set period and/or total ex-communication. A learned silence soon enveloped the members. The philosophy also developed that any person not directly associated with the ABC was unsaved or "in Mystery Babylon". It was highly discouraged one should associate with a person “in the world” or “in Mystery Babylon” or "in the wilderness" unless it was to bring them into the “safety” of the ABC. Isolationism is a prime marker of a cult. 

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