In 1970 (before the Assembly began) there was a weekend seminar in George and Betty Geftakys’ home. Some people hung around afterward to talk–his teenage son, Tim, and his friends, several women in their sixties who had been part of a similar ministry in the past, several young couples who were experimenting on Saturday nights with their ideas of what the church really ought to look like. George proposed, with enthusiasm (as he did everything), “What we need is a prayer meeting! You people here are the backbone of this ministry. We need to meet every two weeks on Saturday to pray all day for this ministry! The Lord wants to do great things, and there is great opposition. What do you say, friends! Is that too much to ask for the Lord?” Thus was born the Workers Prayer Meeting.
Now, wherever he went he could say, “This ministry is bathed in prayer. I have a whole group of people praying for me all day twice a month.” That tended to set polite skeptics back on their heels a bit. After all, the guy was apparently not a lone wolf, he had serious people behind him.
On another occasion George said, “I remember the days when Billy Sunday preached in tent meetings. Those were wonderful days, friends, wonderful! God came down on that tent, glory filled it. It’s a shame there are no more tent meetings. God used them in a mighty way. I’m all for raising up a new tent campaign for the Lord, what do you say, friends! Wouldn’t that be glorious, a tent right here on Harbor Boulevard!”
And so the yearly Fullerton and Huntington Beach tent campaigns were born. Never mind that they were an anachronism, they never drew crowds of people, they sucked huge amounts of time and energy from many people to put them on. That didn’t matter, because George was able to say, “In this ministry, we don’t care about the latest fad in the churches. We do things the old fashioned way. We just preach the gospel, like Billy Sunday and Billy Graham.”
“…So George could say”….How much of what we did was really for this purpose, so George Geftakys could give an impression – “This is my ministry, this is who I am.” All nights of prayer, summer schools on university campuses, even the seminars…In addition to being tools for mind control, they were stage setting and props and cast to support the illusion of George and Betty Geftakys’ drama.