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2857 Ernie Pahlek

Orthodox Jewish, Anger

Ernie’s parents are Auschwitz survivors. Ernie rebels against his Orthodox Judaism after his Bar Mitzvah. He marries a Jew and has two sons, then divorces. Five years later he marries a Christian. His mother dies of Alzheimer’s. His father suffers three heart attacks, dying after the last one. When Ernie sees the look of terror on his father’s face, he knows there is a hell and begins a search for God. He comes to faith through the witness of believers, a radio preacher, and Bible reading. Listening to a Christian song while driving, he prays for salvation. He ministers to the church now by giving his testimony.

2871 Bill Marshall

Drunkenness, Drugs, Abuse

Bill’s father is a cowboy whose drunken abuse drives Bill to drink and use drugs. A school counselor is no help. After his father yanks an earring from Bill’s ear and throws him out, Bill uses intravenous drugs and his life spirals down. He marries Pam and they have two daughters, but his drinking, drugs and neglect drive her away. A cousin who urges him to go to church and a couple that gives him a New Testament lead to his conviction and salvation. God restores his marriage, and he goes to Bible college. Now an evangelist.

2870 John Ruhlman Classic

Alcoholism, Poverty, Tuscarora Indian Connection

John is a hopeless drunk with eight children, whose wife, Sophie, stands by him. Told through daughter Grace, who sees her mother pray against all odds, John goes to a revival one night, where his old drinking buddy leads him to Christ. John and Bob start a church, and John visits a Tuscarora Indian Reservation where he becomes pastor, serving for 27 years. He adopts orphaned Indian boys, serving until he dies at 75.

2869 Merlyn Dillow

Alcohol, Deception, Hypocrisy

Merlyn pretends to be saved when he is fifteen just to impress his girlfriend. He likes to drink and surf and does poorly in school. He works in a grocery store where a Christian witnesses to him, but Merlyn disdains the gospel. He meets Joyce and they marry while both are in different high schools. His drinking drives her away after their daughter is born, but they reunite. He works at a paper mill and goes out drinking after his shift. Through her job at a bank, Joyce meets a preacher having revival, and Joyce persuades Merlyn to attend. On the last day he is saved. He’s now in prison ministry.