[UPDATE – SEE END OF ARTICLE]
In this article, we will make it very clear that Kevin Conner, among others leaders at that time, was recognized as an apostolic father. To do so, we simply need to look at history and the perception people had of Kevin Conner. To honor a leader as a ‘father’ in NAR is to acknowledge their apostleship. Talking behind the scenes about this, some were led to believe that it was a mistake for men such as Conner to be treated as a father/apostle figure, given that was the treatment of others like Frank Houston.
Kevin Conner was involved in spreading the teaching of the ‘New Order of the Latter Rain’ (NOLR) to Australia. And sadly, it wasn’t too long before he was treated as an ‘Apostle’ in this cult.
The Latter Rain cult also helped spread its movement into America and the church acting as ‘base-camp’ for the cult was Bethesda Missionary Temple, through the work of Myrtle (Mom) Beall.
A supporter of the Latter Rain movement, Archibald Thackeray, records, “The momentum of the revival thus shifted from its early site in Saskatchewan to Vancouver and Detroit. ”
Thackery even recorded Kevin Conner’s involvement with the NOLR among others we’ve monitored (like Violet Kitely) back in the day.
Back in the day, Bethesda had a great male quartet with singers like Bill Defibaugh, Bob Krause, and Ron Wein … the Temple Tones trio of Joanna Jones, Linda Mayo, and Joan Gay were a blessing … the Smith family also brimmed with talent … soloists who ministered over the years were Bethesdans Buddy Mack, Steve Morrison, Cynthia Bailey, David Dahlstrom, Edward Stingley, Patricia Lynne Basch, and Cheryl Beisel … plus, special music was often provided by the likes of Andrew Culverwell, Archie Dennis, Charles and Paula Slagle, or Jimmy and Becky Pearce.
The convention speakers I heard challenged, informed, and edified me – women like Violet Kiteley, Charlotte Baker, Iverna Tompkins, Fuchsia Pickett, and Rachel Titus … and men like Kemp Holden, Garlon Pemberton, Dick Iverson, L. H. Hardwick, John Gimenez, David Schoch, Moses Vegh, Max Wyatt, Paul Walker, John Meares, Charles Green, Charles Simpson, Kevin Conner, H. Beecher Hicks, H. L. Chesser, Trevor Chandler, Ernest Gentile, Ern Baxter, Frank Damazio, Paul Paino, Owen Shackett, Daryl Merrill, Winston Nunes, Travis Rogers, Bob Benson, Jim McAlister, Ron Cottle, Emanuele Cannistraci, Paul Stern, Judson Cornwall, and Arlie Whitlow.
Source: Archibald Thackeray, Bethesda Missionary Temple turns 80!, The Latter Rain Movement of ’48, https://lrm1948.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/bethesda-missionary-temple-turns-80.html, June 20, 2014. (Accessed October 19, 2017.) [Archive]
Please note when we say this, Hillsong and C3 are familiar with the Bealles (mainly James Bealle). And they had no problem embracing the theological works of Kevin Conner.
Thackeray provided “a list of ministers involved in the early days of the Latter Rain Movement,” that included Kevin Conner and another important name, Ray Jackson. [Archive] Not only that, Thackeray states (see in sidebar in the below archive link),It was the Latter Rain movement that was condemned for a number of heretical teachings by the AOG Pentecostal churches of America, one being that God was restoring end-times Apostles and Prophets to govern His church. This ‘skeleton in the closet’ of Connor’s theology clearly followed him back to Australia.
Morag Zwartz penned the book ‘Apostles of Fear’, talking about the development of the NOLR cult to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) in Australia, specifically through Jackson and Conner’s ‘Waverly Christian Fellowship’ in Melbourne.
As we have seen elsewhere, Zwartz documents the rise of abusive governing apostles and how they abused people. It is interesting to note that Mark Conner reacted to Zwartz’s book, his hollow words confirming he cared very little for the victims. Furthermore, his response protected the status of Kevin Conner, (his father) while at the same time shunning any responsibility about the nature of his own NAR beliefs or NAR network relations. Even a witness on Conner’s website claims,
“I for one was extremely angry when I realised Kevin and others knew about Ray’s behaviour as far back as the 50’s.” [Archive]
Zwartz’s work tackled a lot of the heretical issues within the NAR such as five-fold, heavy shepherding and sonship heresy. With this dangerous foundation, of course Kevin Conner would run and say nothing – it comes with the NOLR/NAR territory.
So we can start to see how people viewed people NOLR adherents like Kevin Conner. And he has left a legacy. He has been polished like Frank Houston with fatherly titles and authoritative status’.
In the below advertisement for Jubilee Church, you can see Kevin Conner being presented as an Apostle. ‘Father’ is a code-word within the NAR to mean Apostle. And if you don’t think this is the correct interpretation of this word, consider the other ‘fathers’ around him. We have the head of the Australian AOG, Andrew Evans, from 1977-1997 who was recognized as an NAR Apostle by men such as NAR Apostle C. Peter Wagner and NAR Apostle David Cartledge.
According to David Carltedge, any person who was part of the AOG executive were also recognized as NAR Apostles throughout their movement across Australia and around the world. Philip Hill is also a recognized as an NAR Apostle.
So from being a New Order of the Latter Rain disciple to being raised up as a New Apostolic Reformation Apostle, Kevin Conner has a lot of explaining to do before Jesus. May his life serve as a warning – do not be misled by the lure of ‘revival’ and spiritual status. A pursuit of these things will not only shipwreck your faith, you may spiritually shipwreck the lives of others.
Australia and New Zealand. Ray Jackson, after returning to America from missionary work in Japan and Indonesia, attended the meetings in Saskatchewan. Hands were laid on him by the presbytery and prophecy came forth that God wanted him to go to Australia. He became an apostle of this movement in Australia and New Zealand. Jackson is presently pastoring a large present-truth church in Melbourne, Australia. Rob Wheeler, a New Zealander, was a co-labourer with Ray Jackson. He is pastoring a large congregation in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand. Peter Morrow and Kevin Connor were outstanding ministers of this movement in these countries. Peter Morrow is presently pastoring Christ’s Church New Life Centre in South Island, New Zealand. Kevin Connor, an Australian, has travelled around the world as a conference speaker, authored several books and is presently in the United States serving as dean and teacher at Portland Bible College.
Source: The Eternal Church (Revised Edition), (Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA: 2003), pg. 252.
Apostle Bill Hamon recorded that Conner, at the present day of writing/publishing his book (2003), that Apostle Kevin Conner was “serving as dean and teacher at Portland Bible College.”
Archibald Thackeray obtained a photo of Kevin Conner with the founder of the New Order of the Latter Rain ‘Portland Bible College’.
City Christian Publishing:
City Christian Publishing is an independent publisher and part of the Extension Ministry of City Bible Church in Portland Oregon.
In 1967 twelve young adults met with Pastor Dick Iverson at Bible Temple, now City Bible Church, and asked to receive leadership training by seasoned leaders within the church. With just a handful of students, Portland Bible College was launched. As the school trained and released leaders into the community and abroad, interest in the biblically based resources created by the pastor and instructors began to grow. In just a short time, it became evident that an organized method for producing and distributing these educational materials was necessary; and that was the beginning of Bible Temple Publishing, now called City Christian Publishing.
Since that time, God has blessed City Christian Publishing with tremendous growth and demand for the timeless truths found in those early resources. During the past 40 years, we have published additional titles by great educators and leaders including Pastor Frank Damazio, Kevin J. Conner, Bill Scheidler, Ken Malmin and others. Our products have stood test of time and are written to strengthen the Body of Christ by equipping every member to be a vital, participating member of what the Spirit is doing in the Church today.
It is our prayer that you would receive a fresh word from the truths found in these resources. May God bless you richly as you discover, grow and fulfill His plan for you and your ministry.
Source: About Us, Christian City Publishing, https://citychristianpublishing.com/pages/about-us, Accessed October 19 2017.
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Categories: New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)