Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
Frank Worthen will be 80 years old this coming February.
I have known Frank for over 22 years and live every day in the fruit of his labor in my personal life. I have experienced the amazing testimony of Frank’s walk with the Lord from personally and have seen the integrity and powerful hand of God in everything he has done.
Frank is an amazing unsung hero of the Christian Faith. Due to the length of his ministry vocation and the 100’s of thousands of lives that have been touched by Frank’s quiet yet strong convictions that God can set people free from a life of homosexuality. I would place him right alongside Corrie Ten Boom, Mother Theresa, and many other Christian heros.
There will be a day when Frank Worthen’s life will be memorialized as one of the greatest men of our time for these very reasons!
In 1973 Frank didn’t know how the Lord would use him but the foundation was laid through his life for a specialized ministry to help men and women walk away from homosexuality through Jesus Christ. This developed into a distinct movement of God called the “ex-gay” movement.
Frank’s vision was to develop a world-wide ministry based upon solid biblical truth. He believes in the strength of a person’s testimony to help people gain the hope they need to follow Christ.
This vision continues today through Frank’s involvement in founding Love In Action International, Exodus International, Bagong Pagasa and New Hope Ministry.
One of the most memorable statements I heard from Frank regarding Roman’s Chapter 1 is: “God’s wrath is letting us have our own way!” Another saying I remember from Frank is: “The height of victory equals the depth of submission.” Frank is deeply convicted about our calling from the Lord to be obedient to Him!
Virtually every established ministry around the world offering help to those seeking freedom from homosexuality today has been influenced by Frank’s 35 years of devotion to helping people.
One of Frank’s greatest desires is for the people he knows and loves to live in unity of relationship and purpose. This was his initial reason for the first meeting of ministry leaders back in 1974, which eventually became Exodus International.
New Hope Ministries and Church of the Open Door will mark this special event on February 21, 2009.
The celebration will take place at the San Rafael Community Center in San Rafael, CA. Admission is strictly “reservations only” event. To reserve your place call Church of the Open Door or email “firstname.lastname@example.org”. RSVP no later than February 13, 2009 (please) The cost is $10.00 per person in advance or at the door.
There will be a buffet supper, special slide show of Franks life, a cake and a special gift given to Frank. If you would like to contribute towards the gift please include this in your check for the event. Checks can be made payable to Church of the Open Door mailed to PO Box 6217, San Rafael, CA 94903-0217. For questions call Church of the Open Door at 415-459-1980, ask for Barbara or leave a voice mail.
This would be a great time to send him our blessings to help him celebrate 80 years of life! Send your blessings to New Hope Ministry.
Frank Worthen’s Life Story
Friday, December 5th, 2008
During this time we are spending our time on development and infrastructure of Grace Rivers and it appears God is with us in our plan. We will be scheduling new events for January.
We are praying about potential workshops at Collierville Bible Church, Central Church in Memphis, The Love of Christ Church all for January. We are laying out plans for our California trip in February for Frank Worthen’s birthday. This will include a “Steps Further” retreat in northern California and possibly a family conference in Southern California.
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008
I have been in conversation with the leadership of New Hope Ministry in San Rafael California about scheduling a first time ever, “Steps Further” men’s retreat in February, 2009. I will be in Northern California for Frank Worthen’s 80th birthday party and I figured if I am going to be ther anyway, we can make it better for everyone who would want to come for either one.
One of Frank’s greatest pleasures is to see the men that have come through his ministry. Having a Steps Further retreat connected with his birthday party may allow for more to come celebrate with him. Since his birthday party is arranged for February 21st, it is a great time to do more ministry and plan a retreat!
The purpose of the retreat will be to cover more ground with men who have aleady been through through some sort of foundational material. This can include men who have been through Frank’s “Steps Out Retreat” or his “Steps Out ” program but can include others as well.
We will keep you posted as this develops.
Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Report on the Men’s Freedom Retreat
I stand in awe of God’s goodness. I was not prepared for the ways that He moved on our hearts while we were men – together – seeking Him for His grace and goodness. There were 38 men from every possible walk and life struggle standing together in fellowship and support.
I found myself with an experience of further integration into the world of men that was gratifying and comforting. I was asked to lead one of the general sessions and to help facilitate one of the small group processing sessions. It was an awesome privilege to serve others in this capacity.
Men who struggled with drug and alcohol, pornography, adultery, homosexuality, and deep father wounds found level ground at the foot of the cross of Christ. There was a tremendous sense of support and an outcome of deep joy as we ended the retreat arm in rm closely praying for God’s grace.
I am so thankful that I was asked to join in on this group. We are already discussing some follow up plans for further support and growth throughout the next year.
Monday, October 13th, 2008
Grace Rivers Development
An awesome 12 days in California!
Thanks to your prayers, I met with five pastors to discuss Grace Rivers. All of these meetings were incredibly productive from many angles. I began to get a better look at how Grace Rivers can serve our local churches. I received wisdom from each pastor that has helped me very much in the development of the practical application of our Grace Rivers ministry model. We walked away from each meeting pondering the prospect of Grace Rivers returning for ministry opportunities.
Our Family Retreat through Living Stones Ministries was really successful. Carol Wagstaff, LSM Director, was an excellent host for this conference. We had 28 participants which was more than we had expected. One of the personal highlights of the conference was that a good friend of mine and his wife, Josh and Jess Wenig, lead the worship time for us. A ministry highlight was the work we experienced with a family that was working hard to restore their relationships.
I stayed with the Wenig family before and after the conference and found some deepening friendships formed that were a real blessing to me both personally and in their support of Grace Rivers. Their encouragement was invaluable and I look forward to a future return to follow through with what God is doing there.
On Saturday evening during a free night of the conference, I met with a group of 12 men in a Same Sex Attraction support group in Glendora California. At first I felt a little uncomfortable but through the vulnerability of the men present I began to quickly feel connected. At the end of the evening we all went out to eat together and we discussed the possibility of Grace Rivers coming back and facilitating a weekend conference for the group.
I flew up to Northern California feeling little physically tired from all of the activity during the previous six days. I rode for about two hours to the St. Columba’s Retreat Center in Inverness, California, where we were meeting for the New Hope Men’s Retreat. When I walked into the building I became overwhelmed with warm and significant memories of the 8 years I had been involved in ministry in Northern California through Love In Action.
The men were on an outing when I arrived so I took the opportunity to walk around and experience the incredible ambiance of this awesome redwood “mansion” that was built in 1932. I was shown my room with a three sided view from the fourth floor. It had some of the same character of my favorite place to sleep in the world, the Faith Cabin at the Lord’s Land retreat center. I could see Tomalas Bay in Point Reyes, CA, the redwood forests, and I could smell the beautiful moist cedar-like fragrance that was so familiar to me. I was surely in for an awesome personal retreat alongside this ministry event.
I didn’t fully understand the scope of what God was doing in leading Frank Worthen, (director of New Hope Ministries and former director and founder of Love In Action) to invite me to participate with him in leading this retreat. But I began to see even more clearly, God’s blessing. I was pleasantly surprised when a man walked in that 22 years ago had worked with me at the beginning of my involvement with Love In Action. His presence was a tremendous gift to me and it just added to the wonderful memories from years gone by that I was experiencing there. He was there for a refreshing of his walk with the Lord and continued personal growth.
Frank expressed to me that he may not be leading this twice annual retreat next year due to the loss of his sight from Macular Degeneration. He asked me if I might be willing to help facilitate the future retreats and we discussed how this could grow into other areas of the country. From the beginning of the retreat I felt a sense that this deeply needed ministry must continue. At the end I could see first hand the valuable impact it had on those who were there. I told him that I believed this might fit within the vision of Grace Rivers and I would definitely consider his invitation.
I felt deeply privileged to be part of this retreat. With the upcoming new director for New Hope there, there were three generations of the ministry of Frank Worthen’s ministry present which made it even more special. There was a diverse variety of men from east coast to the west and all the way from Florida. How awesome that God allows us to participate in His redemptive process!
When I left the retreat I had a great meeting with Mike and Mona Riley from Church of the Open Door in San Rafael and the next day I went further north to the Sacramento area to meet with others regarding Grace Rivers. Those meetings were refreshing and rewarding.
In the end, I traveled from Southern California all the way up to Sacramento in 12 days and can only praise God for His wonderful provision and faithfulness to go before me in each and every way. Thank you all so much for your encouragement and prayers for this trip.
Please pray for:
- God’s continued work through the Grace Rivers Steering Committee.
- Continued development of the Leadership structures for Grace Rivers
- For divine wisdom for legal advisors as we work through the incorporation of Grace Rivers
- God’s development of the GR Team
- Financial preparation and provision for our next few months of operation
Tuesday, August 19th, 2008
Family Weekend Workshop
This past weekend GR facilitated a Family Weekend Workshop. We worked through our home church, The Love of Christ Church to accomplish this awewome event.
We had about 20 people who came to us in varying ways. One couple happened to visit our potluck last Wednesday evening at church. They were invited to attend by one of our church Elders. They quickly signed up for the Workshop. I can honestly say that there was no question that God brought them to the weekend! I wanted to share with you some of the comments.
- Being transparent with our feelings is very healing!
- John has a God-given gift and calling for this
- John has a wonderful ability to get to one’s lifelong hurt. I began to heal this weekend.
- Thank you so much for coming to share with us. You’ve changed the course of our family.
My pastor sent me an e-mail with the following comments:
John, I have spoken with several people that attended the Family Weekend Workshop. I heard people describe the weekend using phrases like “life changing, amazing” or “I wish our whole church could do this.” I have asked several of these folks if I can record their testimonies so that we can use them in the future to spread the word. I hope that you are greatly encouraged by this awesome success and please forward this email to all of “Smidites” so that all of us can celebrate this victory. We need to be praying for the means and opportunity to expand this ministry and perhaps plan to do it again as soon as you are able. John , we are so honored to have you as our partner. I think we are seeing the birth of a powerful ministry. -dana
I am truely blessed to see what the Lord is doing as HE leads me into this new life of ministry.