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 Hebrew Roots, The Four Waves & Their Roots

 Wheat and Tares: 

Discipling a.k.a. Shepherding Movement Connections

Matthew 13:25,26

“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.”

It was the Full Gospel Business Men and Charismatic Renewal that brought in the Discipling or Shepherding movement, which continues to grow rapidly as many in leadership take the position they are neither to be doubted nor questioned. Parallel names for the theology involved are: headship, discipleship, covenant relationships, cell groups and accountability groups. 

Bob Mumford and Ern Baxter were two of the instigators of the Shepherding movement. Eventually called the "Ft. Lauderdale Five", the main leaders besides Mumford and Baxter, were Derek Prince (Assemblies of God), Don Basham (Disciples of Christ), and Charles Simpson (Southern Baptist).

Bob Mumford of Lifechangers, recounts some of the history of his personal involvement in Shepherding in the article “Forty years later.”  

"...In 1963, we took a position as Professor of New Testament and Missions at Elim Bible Institute in New York. While teaching at Elim doors began to open with the Full Gospel Businessmen, allowing us to teach on the renewal in denominational churches. During this same time we also became involved in the Charismatic Renewal because of the vision imparted to me by David Duplessis. He came as a visiting ministry and spoke about John 17:21 and of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in mainline denominations around the world, and the need to facilitate unity in the larger Body of Jesus Christ…California in 1969 to work with Ralph Mahoney and World MAP...In 1971 we became officially involved with New Wine Magazine and Christian Growth Ministries in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Derek Prince (Assemblies of God), Don Basham (Disciples of Christ), Charles Simpson (Southern Baptist), and two years later Ern Baxter (Charismatic). There was a sense that out of the five of us there would be a diversification of teaching which would give more of a balance and less of a personality emphasized…"

 "In 1972, four of the teachers held extensive seminars on the truths of God's Word as we saw them emerging, namely: spiritual unity, spiritual authority, more personal pastoral care, covenantal understanding, and discipleship. Basically, the vision sought to establish the truth needed to prevent the Charismatic renewal from disintegration or a degeneration into subjectivism and experience fixation. The response to these truths was remarkable… Out of this came what is now known as the "discipleship - shepherding" movement. All of this was consummated in 1977 in what became known historically as the Kansas City Conference… We moved to Ft. Lauderdale for the primary purpose of the development and maturity of new leaders…"

"We saw ourselves in a military model, like commanders involved in spiritual warfare…In 1975 the controversy began… We began to understand how dangerous it was for charismatic leaders to teach God's people what other pastoral leadership did not know. By doing this we were contributing to the injury, pain, and pressure of a church and society that was already fragmenting…" {Bolding added}

 "While many of these original principles have been mastered and adjusted, I still believe in them with all my being… 1984 saw the break up of the five teachers. My choice was to renew my relationship with the Elim Fellowship once again.”29

Elim Bible Institute in Lima, New York had several 1948 Latter Rain Movement members on staff, including the president, in 1976. Demos Shakarian invited the president of the school to a FGBM convention in 1953, which indicates there was Latter Rain influence in FGBM.  New Wine was also a conduit for Latter Rain teachings.30 New Wine Magazine was applauded at the National Religious Broadcaster’s 1986 convention. 31 The issue, included in convention materials, presented a special report on "M.G." Pat Robertson who had denounced “the Five” in 1975. At the same convention, “shepherding leader Charles Simpson was with an elite party of guests at a private reception in Robertson’s honor.”32 

In 1986, Bob Mumford sent a letter to his followers describing changes and that, “it seemed necessary to decentralize in order that we might minister more effectively.”33 The strategy of decentralization seemed to work. By 1987, (Late) Don Basham appeared on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, and Bob Mumford appeared on Trinity Broadcast Networks’ PTL talk show. 34

As early as 1974, Bob Mumford, Derek Prince, Don Basham, Charles Simpson and Ern Baxter entered into a ‘covenant relationship’ with Ralph Martin and Steve Clark, founders of the Word of God Catholic charismatics in Ann Arbor, Michigan…” 35 Their alliance was called “The Council” and “its purpose was to strengthen the shepherding system across the denominational lines.” By the mid-1970’s, the Council had expanded to include Catholic shepherding stalwarts, Paul DeCelles and Kevin Ranaghan and also Larry Christianson, a leader in the Lutheran charismatic renewal. 36  

See: General Council Minutes of the "Ft. Lauderdale" Elders from 1974.

It was to Bob Mumford that Lonnie Frisbee went in 1971, when he left Chuck Smith of Costa Mesa Calvary Chapel, where he’d been unofficial youth Pastor since 1968.  At the invitation of Mumford, Lonnie entered the beginning of the shepherding movement “to join with other Jesus People leaders,”37 for five years of “intensive Bible study”38, where upon he returned to Calvary Chapel for a short time. He then joined John Wimber in 1980. Some suggest that Bob Mumford and Derek Prince gave the ”discipling” a ‘test run’ in one church which ended up splitting, followed by the Five going public, with similar widespread results.39  


The Way International began with Victor Paul Wierwille. Wierwille developed many of his theological ideas by plagiarizing from such writers as E. W. Bullinger, George Lamsa, Kenyon and several others. The Way International teachings include: Jesus Christ is not God, denial of the three persons of the Godhead, i.e. no Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 4 Mary was not the mother of God come in the flesh, but the mother of a man, the Old and New Testaments were originally written in Aramaic, pro-abortion, bad seed theology, mass weddings, stockpiling of weapons, American holocaust and invasion, them or us mentality and much more. 5

Victor Paul Wierwille was eventually part of the Jesus People movement, and is remembered by the Jesus Movement website. 

".... Believing that much of the Christian was in error, in 1955 Wierwille founded The Way to educate young men and women in the "correct way of biblical education." ... The Way International raised the ire of other Christian groups, labelled a "cult" because of their antitrinitarian views. One of the largest of all the extremist groups of the Jesus People movement, by the mid-1970s the organization boasted over 20,000 active members..." 1 

It is noteworthy that it was Victor Wierwille who went to the House of Acts in 1968 and gave Ted Wise, the Heefners, Doops and Lonnie and Connie Frisbee, and several others their understanding of the Holy Spirit. Wierwille worked miracles, cast out demons--which he did while teaching them about the Holy Spirit, as well as teaching them how to speak tongues, all in one night. The Heefners and Doops joined Wierwille and helped set up his national organization. 2

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

When first challenged by Ted Wise, who was one of the founding 'fathers' of the Jesus people movement, about his belief in Christ and even though he rejected the divinity of Jesus Christ, Wierwille passed with flying colors.

"The first person Wierwille met was Ted Wise, who put him through a test he couldn’t possibly fail. Wise said, "You know, it says in I John you test the spirits. We usually ask everybody here to confess the Lord Jesus Christ, or they freak out and they can’t. So where do you stand on this?"

"And that pleased Wierwille," said Heefner, "he liked that up-frontness. And he gave his witness. So by the time he was through with two or three minutes of talking, we said, ‘Okay, fella, we believe you.’ " 3

Lonnie and Connie Frisbee and the Wises began taking Wierwille's PFAL classes and then discontinued. Lonnie then went to join Chuck Smith in Costa Mesa's Calvary Chapel, which caused an explosion on growth. Frisbee eventually joined with John Wimber, who had also been with Chuck Smith. Wimber later split and helped start the Vineyard movement with Frisbee joining him and also others. For More on Lonnie Frisbee and John Wimber, See: What Happened in Africa?; Part 2: Taking the Mark; Quaking Like Quakers; More Manifestations LESS Bible, etc.. 

For More on The Way International beliefs please see: Michael John Rood Continuing The WAY

Update Footnotes

1.       click Leaders

2. The Cult That Snapped: A Journey Into the Way International, Karl Kahler, 1999,  p. 60-61

3. Ibid, p. 60

4. JESUS CHRIST IS NOT...A Closer Look at The Way's Efforts to "Divide" The Word About Jesus Christ;


*****End Update

Ern Baxter wrote the workbook study course, The Chief Shepherd and His Sheep which organizers sold at the July 1987 Congress on the Holy Spirit and World Evangelization in New Orleans. Ironically, over 40,000 charismatics attended and received free copies of Charisma magazine. It had the cover story “After Discipleship”, which was about the controversy of the ‘shepherding movement.’ 40

Dennis Peacocke is one of the many disciples of Bob Mumford. Peacocke has been on the board of advisors of the Family Christian Broadcasting Network. (FAM/CBN) He networks with numerous shepherding and New Right organizations, including sponsoring right-wing conferences, at least one of which included Phyllis Schlafly. (CNP) 41 Anatole Fellowship was founded by Dennis Peacocke, who "shepherded" Colonel Doner, founder and director of Moon-controlled and financed Christian Voice mentioned in CNP biographies.

Dennis Peacocke leads The Convergence, a reconstructionist/dominionist global leadership conference “that is focused on the conversation that must take place between the Church and the postmodern secular world. By definition, convergence occurs when people of different ideologies begin to approach the same point, even though they may be coming toward it from different directions, and engage each other in meaningful dialogue. This dialogue can change the world by aligning it more closely to God¹s will and God¹s Kingdom.”

For his opening address at The Convergence, Dennis Peacocke, also president of Strategic Christian Services, “called the principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness to task for their dissemination of lies in this century…”

That is all the more interesting, when we know that in 2 Peter 2, these types of things were warned about.

2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

The inaugural leadership conference, hosted by Dennis Peacocke and Strategic Christian Services was held in Santa Rosa, California on June 24-26, 1999. According to their Purpose, “The Convergence signaled the emergence of a far-reaching multinational movement to do exactly that: care enough to bring biblical solutions to the nations¹ wounds…”

Besides Dennis Peacocke, the 1999 Conference included: Bishop Eddie Long, Senior Pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church (a 22,000 member Atlanta fellowship); Bishop Flynn Johnson, Senior Pastor of Atlanta Metropolitan Cathedral; Wallace Henley, former staff assistant to President Richard Nixon, former senior pastor of The Encourager Church, and now running for the U.S. Senate in Texas; John Kelly, former NFL lineman, founder of Antioch Churches and Ministries; Dudley Hall, President of Successful Christian Living Ministries and pastor-teacher at Restoration Church near Dallas; and Richard (Dick) Bruner, Senior Pastor of Christ Church North Bay and President of Sent International, a prophetic ministry.” 

Dick Bruner had worked with Kent Philpott, a pastor who had a youth ministry, in San Rafael/Marin County during the Jesus Movement.

Dennis Peacocke’s Strategic Christian Services provides the parallel mission and support to The Convergence:

“Our mission is to pioneer in transforming the world we know into the world God has intended. This transformation, which requires genuine, lasting change in every area of contemporary life, is the venture to which the men and women of Strategic Christian Services have dedicated their lives.”

Mr. Peacocke’s associate, Jay Grimstead, drafted the “Worldview Documents,” which involved cell groups for ‘sheep’ and pastors. In 1986, Grimstead organized pastors of the National Association of Evangelicals into “accountability groups.” 42 In other words, they became “shepherded.”  

Those who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ will recognize those who are false.

John 10: 1,2,4,5

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep…And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”

Jesus said in John 10:26-27: 

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”


Next Section:  General Council Minutes of the "Ft. Lauderdale" Elders

Previous Section --Charisma With  Latter Rain


    29.   Bob Mumford, Lifechangers' Mission

30.    op.cit. Riss, p. 140

31.    Sara Diamond, Spiritual Warfare; The Politics of the Religious Right; p.118; South End Press, 1989

32.    Ibid

33.    Ibid. p. 119

34.    Ibid

35.    Ibid. p. 122

36.    Ibid.

37.    Lonnie Cognate Essay by David Disabatino

38.    Ronald Enroth, Edward E. Ericson, Jr., and C. Breckenridge Peters, p. 93, The Jesus People: Old-Time Religions in the Age of Aquarius. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1972.

39.    Online Discussion String, Statement by one who parents attended the church that split

40.    Op.cit. Diamond, p. 111-112

41.    Ibid. p. 128

42.    Ibid. p. 128-129 


Copyright . All articles are the sole property of and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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