Some background on Dick Iverson’s recent marriage

I know we've been a little Dick heavy on this blog. (Yes, you read that correctly. I'm not afraid to go low class for a cheap joke). But I heard some recent news that adds a little context to DI's marriage.

Reportedly, in her last days, Edie (Dick Iverson's wife) was concerned about her husband and worried what would happen to him upon her death. So she asked Roxie to marry Dick and take care of him when she died.  After losing his wife, DI was incredibly lonely and thought that a marriage to Roxie would help the loneliness go away. (It probably also extended his life several years, if you ask me.) Dick informed his family, who were none to pleased. According to my friend, who is Dick Iversons' grandson, only he and his wife supported Dick's marriage. The rest of the family adamantly opposed. Which is partly what led to Dick's removal as Chair of MFI. (Allegedly)

Anyway, not sure what to make of this news. It doesn't really change my opinion much. I've never had a problem with Dick getting married to his long-time secretary. Because even if everything was completely legit, and there was no fooling around before the marriage, it certainly looked sketchy. I believe that Dick Iverson created a church where image was predominent. And I understood the MFI crew being very leery of how the marriage would look to the public and their respective congregations. Thus, Dick was hoisted upon his own petard.  

To be fair, Dick's Grandson does not feel that Bible Temple was an image conscious church when Dick left. I don't agree with this. But it's his grandfather. If it was my grandad, I'd probably defend him as well.

I always liked Iverson. But I think he made a mistake in appointing Frank Damazio to head pastor. And I think he has put church over people. And MFI over congregation.  I firmly believe that people are more important than institutions. And I don't think Dick Iverson shares this belief.

42 thoughts on “Some background on Dick Iverson’s recent marriage

  1. One word, Spluttering:
    I-M-A-G-E.
    If they asked him to step down, it was for image. So, going with that very safe assumption, they would give him a lavish gift because they would want everyone in their (tiny) world to view his departure as a fabulous, grandios exit. Because, gosh, how would it look for MFI leaders and pastor-members if the man they idolized for 50(?) years went out with his head hung in shame or without any fanfare?

    • Before I became a member of City Bible Church, I got DI’s MFI address from a member of the church I was attending. The church was folding, and I wrote him because I was upset. He answered me in a 3 page handwritten letter, including scripture and encouragement for me to continue on with the Lord in forgiveness and peace. It was later that I realized who he was and all the responsibilities he held.

      • Lana, that sounds like DI. Whatever his faults, I think he was extremely pastoral.

        While there is the occasional post about him on this blog, I think you will find that the main focus of protest against CBC and its off-shoots is the current leadership.

      • I was a member of the original Bible Temple from 1973 – 1999
        Dick Iverson is the kindest man I have ever met. I personally didn’t agree with the appointment of Frank, (Nothing personal)
        But was glad to see Dick take a break from babysitting the herd, and moving on to his real passion. “Helping Pastors”

        May GOD bless
        Jerry Gibbs
        Hawaii/Thailand

  2. I can agree with Scipio Rising that damage control or “spin” must be the motivating factor. You’d almost expect KRI to boycott the farewell party to validate the “rightness” of what he did.

    Yes, I do remember the rule book, the one for the students, just don’t remember seeing one for teachers, staff, and pastors. I do remember diligently reading the rule book my first year and getting a good laugh when circumstances changed the next years edition.

    I guess there is no demand to “favorite” this site on Facebook or Twitter?

  3. My God! Who really cares anyway. It was not uncommon for older men to marry younger women throughout the entire bible both old and new. I thought my fellow “Chritians” actually read the Bible. Apparently not so! I can see where a younger woman who will actually outlive an older geezer could be problematic for a family member who may now NOT inheret stuff (unless of course there is a pre-nuptial agreement). Let’s not get so religious here. Do you want to take care of Bro. Dick? I think Dick’s poor health caused the MFI dudes to ask him to step down or perhaps he volunteered. I hope the observations placed on this blog can be shoulder if God forbid the time come for any of us to consider replacing thier spouses. The Bible clearly states “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”. We should elevate out thinking to compassion for Bro. Dick even if he never gave you personally any compassion.

  4. it’s been awhile, but just returned after a long hiatus. This was well-written. Couldn’t agree with you more. Not sure if anyone remembers me around here these days . . . Karli

  5. I think it is a good thing if they can have some happiness. There is some hypocrisy in every situation. In your life too. so why pick at an 80 year old man who helped found a church that has done far more good than harm?
    Can you answer that? Thanks

  6. who helped found a church that has done far more good than harm?
    Can you answer that?

    Could you break down your math a little bit? Maybe show us your work sheet? Every time we run through the numbers we end up with:

    = More Harm than Good

    I don’t know, maybe there’s something wrong with our theorem.

    • John Paul,
      I have attended City Bible church for approximately 12 years. I ran into this blog searching to purchase more The Journey books by Dick Iverson. You ought to read it.

  7. Well I’m not sure which grandson you are referring to, but if you are talking about the one I’m thinking of, then of course he would defend Bible Temple. (City Bible) because of the church he currently attends.

    This whole marrying Roxie blows my mind, although I always did find it strange that she was 40, unmarried and living with them.

  8. Bob said

    Well I’m not sure which grandson you are referring to, but if you are talking about the one

    James, son of Mark and Brenda, sitting up front with wife (or wife to be?) and baby at the wedding.

    I used to have a link to photos of their wedding but cannot find it. Maybe someone here does and can post it

  9. Hey bloggers out there. Interesting this is still getting hits. How’s your Christ-life these days? I already forgot all about City Business Church since I have been set free from the opinions of religionist. Walking by faith in the love of Christ is so much more fun and freeing. Better to concentrate on how much effort it takes to walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh, eh?! I am not saying throw out your thinking ability but definitely lift up Christ and Him crucified-the life of Christ in victory over some of this pettiness. Anyhow-life is good outside of the “organized church” I believe the new movement is the “organic”church. If it behaves like a loving community and walks, and talks, like the biblical church-it probably is!

  10. Dear Nobody, Thank you for putting us all in our places. Now, with clear consciences, we can just walk by those spiritually abused people laying on the side of the road — or ignore those learning how to walk again in health.

  11. Dear Anna,

    I guess you must be one of the abused who willing sacrificed freedom for group acceptance. Having been willing abused and healed by the healer not the spititually abused person by the side of the road, nor am I ignoring individuals who are learning to walk in “health” which is a very subjective term. I am sure this will seem condemnatory also which only demonstrates where you are in your journey. I was not trying to ignore or put anyone down but without relationship with you, or anyone in general all comments can be taken any which way. The kind of love we all desire takes committment and time, patience with each other (nothing much instantaneous).

  12. Wow Nobody, your voice is so full of compassion I can’t wait to run over to your version of organic Christianity.

    There’s a reason we may respond to you in a reactionary way to what feels condemnatory by you. I don’t know if you intend to come across that way but you do.

    Hey bloggers out there. Interesting this is still getting hits. How’s your Christ-life these days? I already forgot all about City Business Church since I have been set free from the opinions of religionist. Walking by faith in the love of Christ is so much more fun and freeing. Better to concentrate on how much effort it takes to walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh, eh?! I am not saying throw out your thinking ability but definitely lift up Christ and Him crucified-the life of Christ in victory over some of this pettiness. Anyhow-life is good outside of the “organized church” I believe the new movement is the “organic”church. If it behaves like a loving community and walks, and talks, like the biblical church-it probably is!

    I’m sorry but that sounds a bit self righteous to me. Maybe it’s just your writing style and you are more ‘loving’ in the way you walk and talk in your new biblical church setting. I’ll try to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it is a stretch.

  13. Nobody, you may have observed in the scripture, that not everyone who was healed by Christ, dropped everything and followed Him. Some remained in their communities to bear witness to Christ among their family and friends.

    It’s been my experience of many contributors to this blog, that they are indeed healed and free, but remain here not to contribute to pettiness, but to greet, affirm and help those who are still in sick churches, who are captives of religionists, etc.

    Consider the healing of the 10 lepers. Nine grabbed their healing and ran, while one returned to the Lord and give thanks. The only one to submit them self to Jesus was sent directly back to the abode of the religionists (the temple priests) as a witness for the Messiah. The same was true for blind Bartamaeus, likewise the man out of whom Jesus cast the demon Legion. About the the latter, it is written:

    Luke 8:38-39 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

    Perhaps the healed who remain here, like Anna, JP, Cat, et al, have been sent here by the Lord as a witness for Him, for his power to heal, deliver, set free. Perhaps they just aren’t able to grab their healing and run.

  14. Hey bloggers out there. Interesting this is still getting hits.

    I know isn’t it? Amazing how many people are still out there who can relate to this blog. Wait, that gives me a thought? Maybe it means there are still people who are being spiritually abused by CBC? Wow, I never thought of that. Guess that means we should keep on blogging eh?!

    I am not saying throw out your thinking ability but definitely lift up Christ and Him crucified-the life of Christ in victory over some of this pettiness.

    That’s a good idea. But hey it gives me another thought. If it is petty to read and post on this blog, then why are you doing it? Maybe you should follow some of your own advice eh?!

    If it behaves like a loving community and walks, and talks, like the biblical church-it probably is!

    That is good to know. So if what you are saying is true then no one in a church that appears warm and loving would ever try to lie or decieve people. Does that mean all those biblical warnings about false prophets and wolves in sheeps clothing should be ignored?

    I was not trying to ignore or put anyone down but without relationship with you, or anyone in general all comments can be taken any which way.

    This is the first true statement I’ve heard you say. Too bad you didn’t consider it yourself. If you had, you would maybe not take what’s being said in a way that would lead you to question others “healing” on this “journey.”

  15. Oh that spirit of being judgmental, how subtly it sneaks around. It’s like being proud of your humility. So glad you were “healed by the healer not the spititually abused person by the side of the road,” So what are the rest of us, chopped liver?

    Nobodyreallysaid, Re-read the story; God wants his people to stop and take the time and effort to help the bleeding and beaten ups (that’s how they get back to Christ and get healed), not just go on their merry way because they themselves are free. In effect, you may not be near as free as you think you are.

  16. Not sure I would believe Sister Edie would have said that…I’m more inclined to believe there was something going on prior to her death…we all know Roxie was single a long time and for her to “just answer to Edie” and marry her former husband because Edie asked her to? Please! Who of us would od that? Obviously, Roxie had feeling for DI. I think he is as dishonest as the Wendell Smith’s, Ken Wilde’s and Mark & Dave Bryan and the like and their children.

  17. [Comment ID #38212 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Tim,

    You seem to make it sound like the collateral damage is to be expected and is acceptable. The kind of harm this church has done is never acceptable. It is alright to pick on DI? Well, in this instance, I happen to know the story behind the story of their marriage and I personally feel that anyone that is judging it is a hypocrite and is doing so based on the concern for image over the person. I will also say that DI is the one that established that as the Bible Temple standard and consequentially for CBC. He established that it is more important what people think you are doing than the truth of what you are doing. So he is just getting a taste of his own medicine and being expected to live by his own standards, so I have no pity for him regardless of it being fair or not. When you consider the harm this church has done to sooooo many people, it would be my conclusion that the world would have been better off without them than it has been with them. The good they have done doesn’t begin to cast a shadow on the severe harm. It has been the superficial making of clones and robots. It is full of usury and exploitation. Condemnation and judgment. So that is why DI gets picked on.

  18. Amen Sharlee. Reminds me of a song by Steve Taylor some 25-30 yrs ago, makes me wonder if he had visited BT:

    I’d gone through so much other stuff
    That walking down the aisle was tough
    But now I know it’s not enough
    I want to be a clone
    I asked the Lord into my heart
    They said that was the way to start
    But now you’ve got to play the part
    I want to be a clone

    Be a clone and kiss conviction goodnight
    Cloneliness is next to Godliness, right?
    I’m grateful that they show the way
    ‘Cause I could never know the way
    To serve him on my own
    I want to be a clone

    They told me that I’d fall away
    Unless I followed what they say
    Who needs the Bible anyway?
    I want to be a clone
    Their language it was new to me
    But Christianese got through to me
    Now I can speak it fluently
    I want to be a clone

    Send in the clones
    “Ah, I kind of wanted to tell my friends and people about it, you know”
    “What?
    You’re still a babe
    You have to grow
    Give it twenty years or so
    ‘Cause if you want to be one of his
    Got to act like one of us”

    So now I see the whole design
    My church is an assembly line
    The parts are there
    I’m feeling fine
    I want to be a clone
    I’ve learned enough to stay afloat
    But not so much I rock the boat
    I’m glad they shoved it down my throat
    I want to be a clone

  19. Sharlee said:

    …So he is just getting a taste of his own medicine and being expected to live by his own standards, so I have no pity for him regardless of it being fair or not. When you consider the harm this church has done to sooooo many people, it would be my conclusion that the world would have been better off without them than it has been with them. The good they have done doesn’t begin to cast a shadow on the severe harm. It has been the superficial making of clones and robots. It is full of usury and exploitation. Condemnation and judgment…

    Even if the MFI creators think the rules of the universe don’t apply to them, it would seem they can’t escape it after all: You reap what you sow!

  20. Loved Steve Taylor! Saw him in concert when I was a younger lass. Good times and thought provoking music. He was ahead of the game.

  21. I don’t know all of the circumstances regarding Dick’s marriage to Roxy, I will not speculate on it. However, that church was ALWAYS worried about appreances, and being “religious.” It was such a judgemental place and I am glad I do not belong to that church any longer. Since Frank took over, it seems to be all about apperances and money. Oh, and leaving the spiritually wounded, just that; Wounded and hurting, and judging those with any sort of past, making it hard for them to grow and move forward in Jesus.

    What a sham. If you’re not like them, and squeaky clean, you will not fit in there, I promise.

  22. I have never felt anything but encouragement and compassion from the people at CBC. I have never felt that anyone was trying to mold me into a certain image. I have grown closer to Jesus as a result of the teaching and preaching. My husband and I decided to try going to a class at All Things New. We went to separate classes on Tuesdays for 12 weeks. They serve a meal, have a time of worship, and you can choose from many classes to attend. The class I attended basically encouraged us to spend time with Jesus and listen to and follow the voice of the Holy Spirit in our daily life. I made a couple of close friends I intend to enjoy the rest of my life, along with many from our small group , and other gatherings. They are there for us and we hope to be there for them. I phoned, then took a special pie I had made, to one members house, to bake on Thanksgiving day! My oven had quit. I called on a couple that came to the hospital and stayed the whole night till morning and prayed for my dying husband. He improved to come home for a few days before he passed. I could go on and on with acts of kindness and compassion seen in the members of CBC. It seems to me when reading all this stuff that most of you are talking about a totally different church than where I have been for 12 years! I feel very free and encouraged. My husband and I do what we feel the Holy Spirit is guiding us to do, not some enforced set of rules, and we feel no condemnation or judgement.

    • Lana, I am so glad that you have experienced true Christianity at CBC. Without a doubt, there are very wonderful people there. When our family left CBC, it felt like a divorce, because I have many dear friends who still attend.

      I think by and large, you will find that most of the criticism of CBC is put squarely on the (mostly) recent leadership. Their teaching has gone off-base, their nepotism and cronyism rivals political parties, and their elevated view of their position is Napoleonic.

      Seems to me that many people love the church because of the dear members that attend. When I my still going friends how they can stand to listen to the frou-frou from the pulpit, they tell me that they pretty much don’t notice. Wow.

  23. Me and my family went to the church until Frank took over, so I can’t attest to what has gone on after he took over, but have heard rumors, that cast a negative light.

    But I hate gossip and rumors, so I don’t put much weight on them. Being a business man over 50+ yrs I know that all leaders are criticized every time they turn around, so I can’t judge.

    I can say we left because judgements were cast upon my family that were not true.
    And the harm done to my children was severe. But that just forced us to get closer to GOD in more of a private way. (All things work together for good)

    I was young (24) and fell head over heals in love with GOD, And Bible Temple was just what I needed to grow my trust and faith in the Lord.

    I left the church at age 51… A changed man for sure, Now I’m 64 having survived terminal cancer, and have had 13 heart surgeries.

    So I focus on the future, which seems to be coming at warp speed, my birthdays now seem to come every 3-4 Mo’s… what happened to full one year birthdays I do not know.

    Knowing that my time is getting very short, I’m in the opinion that we all are a bunch of boneheads, that are simply trying to get through this life in a successful and honorable fashion.

    Am I in a organized church? NO

    Do I regret having been in one? NO

    Jer

  24. Edie Iverson was extremely unique. She had what the dictionary calls a “Nimbus aura.” She was filled with God’s presence to an extreme measure, but I am sure she had her faults. The only problem with MFI and City Bible Church is that none of the ladies or pastor’s can replicate this spiritual model. That has been the real pressure on Frank Damizio, to fill that big building up and keep it financially aflot, because we are all equal in God’s eyes, but not equal in spiritual gifts. If sister Edie has been from India and taught Eastern Religion she would have started a new sect. Poor Frank can’t figure out that the reason he and Sharon have to overcompenstate is that they had a real sage in the Church and their Biblical Theology won’t allow them to expound on this in a positive way. I feel sorry for Judah and Chelsa in Seattle, Connie in Boise, etc. No matter how much they spend on jeans and prosperity, it won’t bring back the spiritual vibration of a SAGE or high spirit who initiated Bible Temple–Sister Edie, and congrats to Pastor Dick for taking care of this SAGE/angel person. It is sad that you can’t face the real truth.

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