Tuesday, February 3, 2009


So there I was, walking through the administration building at Cincinnati Bible College (formerly Cincinnati Bible Seminary, now Cincinnati Christian University... the school has changed it's name more often than a guy in a witness protection program who can't stay away from his girlfriend...) as I was saying, before I got lost, I was walking through the administration building for a reason that has been lost to the hazy daze of college life when I recognized the sound of a voice as it floated out of an office door. I looked through the office door and spied Richard Allen Mapes sitting in the office of someone official. I assumed, since he was someone who attended the Jesus House, that he must be in trouble! So I listened. I spied. Thinking I might need to come to his aid, I moved back into the shadows so no one could see me and waited for the outcome of Rick's trouble. I was wrong. Rick was not in trouble. Yes, this is in contrast to the experience most of the Jesus House staff had when sitting in an office in the administration building. In fact, Rick was talking about enrolling in school full-time. He had been auditing classes but decided to enroll and actually receive a degree! Eureka! The answer to all our problems!!

A little back story. In those days, the person who was the Director of the Jesus House was supposed to be married. I agree with your thoughts, kind of an archaic way of doing things. Yes, that means Jesus would never have been able to be the Director. Yes, Paul would never have been able to be the Director. Yes, the Pope would never have been able to be the Director . . . okay, enough examples. It was a rule, one of the few we had. The other rules were, no smoking in the Jesus House, no consuming alcoholic beverages in the Jesus House and no painting any walls black. (Deny, I think at one time or another you broke all three of those rules!) So why, you ask, was I (Terry Fisher) allowed to be the Interim Director? I guess the rule did not apply to Interim Directors. End of back story.

I went home excited. If Rick Mapes was going to be in school full-time and since he was married, he could become the Director. (I just reminded myself of another rule. To be on staff, you had to be enrolled at Cincinnati Bible College or one of it's other names, full-time. This rule was relaxed for me when I graduated.)
Upon arriving home I told Kent about my discovery. He was excited.
I contacted the Elders at Highview Christian Church and shared my discovery. (They were our overseers. That's three syllables not two) They were excited and gave me the authority to approach Rick with an offer of employment.
Offer extended and . . . after much discussion, prayer, and conversations with others, Rick accepted. He, Jenny & Christy moved into the Jesus House and changed us in many very good ways. For one thing, there was a child in the house. She was the cutest 2-year-old who ever lived until I had my own children. I am not going to include stories about Christy out of respect for her grown up self except to say that she became my buddy, was a wonderful companion every day when I returned from work or school and she prepared me for being a father and enjoying my children.

Rick did not have the experience with ministry that Stan had, but at that point in the development of the House, it was not important. One of the strengths Rick brought, though, was great organizational skills and a willingness to learn how to run the ministry. He had been attending the House since our first summer of operation, so he knew the ministry from that angle. Now we were teaching him about it from the other side. Because Rick is so smart (more on that later) he was a quick student. This was very important for many reasons, one being that Kent Odor was about to get married and move out. Yes, adams was gone, odor was about to leave, and fishy needed another friend and co-worker. Rick became that and more. Compatibility was important among the staff. We needed to like the same kinds of music, food, and adventure. There was instant compatibility with Rick, Jenny & Christy. During their time on staff, we had our first Jesus House birth when their son, Micah was born.

Besides Rick's strengths, we soon saw that Jenny was going to bring a new set of gifts in her creativity. She found so many ways to express creativity and had lots of drive. Jenny is the reason the entire downstairs was repainted. She moved us from the bold, psychedelic days of the early 70's into the more subtle earth tones of the late 70's. We lost all the murals of our early days (if anyone has photos, please scan and email them to me: tfishh@gmail.com) but moved into a new visual era. Her contributions were inspirational and exciting. She even understood that it might be a good idea if someone organized our Thanksgiving Feast to make sure not everyone was going to bring green beans!

I could write lots about Rick and his family but want to end this blog with one example of Rick's abilities. During those years, he worked full-time at a second shift job, attended school full-time, was a husband and father and helped run the house. Rick graduated a year after I did. A week before his graduation, he brought home his cap and gown. As we checked it out, he pulled out a golden rope and asked what it was for. I informed him, it meant he was graduating with honors. He wondered what he was to do with it. I responded, "I assume you drape it around your neck, but I'm not completely sure." Then he asked the question that I knew was coming. "Well, what did you do with yours." My honest response needed to be, "I didn't have one." Ever the inquisitive person, Rick persisted, "Why not." "Well, you see, Rick, I didn't graduate with honors." He didn't ask anymore questions...

This Week in History(Actually last week) Artists Who Performed at the Jesus House the Fourth Week of January

1972 - Mark O'Hara
1973 - Mike Wilshire
1974 - Monk
1975 - Bozo Brothers
1976 - Terry Fisher, Sharon & Dan, Sandy
1977 - Rick Marksberry
1978 - Dave Shubert
1979 - Closed due to weather. Peter Leighton highlighted us on the Q-102 weather closings. Called us the most important closing announcement. The only person who showed up was John Jaffe, who thought the roads were fine.
1980 - Andy & Alice Danzl, Rick & Diane Marksberry
1981 - Larry Bubb
1982 - Lois Snider
1983 - Lighthouse

Fifth Saturdays Yes, January is another of those months with an occasional Fifth Saturday.

1972 - Rick Carter
1976 - A huge round up of people including, Tony Ross, Andy Danzl, Rick, Hodgy & Tom (eventually known as Manna) and Terry Fisher
1977 - Prodigal
1981 - Scott Roley
1982 - Willoughby-Wilson Band (Recharge Weekend, more on this later)
1983 - Willoughby-Wilson Band (Recharge Weekend Too)

Things I Said Quotes from Terry Fisher's Jesus House Talks

If a sin takes more than 15 minutes to commit, does it count as two?

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