Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

The Way International — Newcomer to the Indy Festival of Faiths

Participants in the 2016 Indy Festival of Faiths are curious about some of the new groups what exhibited. Carl Krockenberger shares this history of The Way International:

The Way International is a biblical research, teaching and fellowship ministry based in New Knoxville, Ohio has home fellowships located internationally, including Argentina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chile, and the UK It was founded by Victor Paul Wierwille 1942 as a radio program, subsequently becoming The Chimes Hour Youth Caravan in 1947 and The Way, Inc., in 1955. The ministry distributes publications such as The Way Magazine through its company, American Christian Press, and has developed and promotes classes and other programs, some of which are in several languages It formed The Way Corps in 1970, a leadership training program. The Way offers classes in biblical studies its followers, prominently The Way of Abundance and Power class series.  The teaching of The Way is based on 2 Peter 1:20 that “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation”. Its founder’s and subsequent Way interpretations of the Bible are taught in ministry classes and publications.

In 1953, Wierwille started teaching the course that would later become Power for Abundant Living, or The Way’s standard training course.  It was held in Van Wert, Ohio. It expanded to other locations in Ohio and eventually other states. Four years later, he resigned from the Evangelical and Reformed Church pastorate to devote his time to The Way ministry

Moving to his family’s farm in New Knoxville in 1959, he established the location as the headquarters for The Way’s Institute for Biblical Research and Teaching, later The Way Inc. The Way’s followers grew significantly in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In January 1968, Wierwille’s visited San Francisco to personally witness the  Jesus people street ministries, such as those in Haight- Ashbury, where he ministered himself. Some of the groups he met later incorporated as The Way East (based in Rye New York) and The Way West (based in Mill Valley, California), groups that utilized Wierwille’s PFAL class in their ministries  Wierwille also recruited a number of new members on his trip, marking a period of large growth for his ministry.

 

Victor Paul Wierwille

Victor Paul Wierwille, known by his followers as “Doctor”, was born in his family farm’s kitchen on November 31, 1916 (occasionally attributed as December 31) He developed a great interest in Christianity since his youth. He attended Mission House College and Seminary, Moody Bible Institute and the University of Chicago Divinity School. He later received a Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and an unaccredited doctorate from Pike’s Peak Bible Seminary

He was ordained as a minister in the Evangelical and Reform Church (now United Church of Christ), later undergoing a faith crisis, during which he destroyed his whole theological library. He maintained he had recovered the true apostolic understanding of Christianity which had been lost to the church In 1942, Wierwille met Rosalind Rinker, a young missionary just returned from China. Rinker urged him to “align his life with the Bible”. He later claimed God spoke to him personally, telling him He would teach him “the Word as it had not been known since the first century”, so that he could pass it on to others.

Please come by our booth next to the “Quakers” to get more history.

Or visit us at www.theway.org


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