Church services began in York's city auditorium

The Grand Island Independent/1990
By Michael Hooper

York -- The Rev. Edward Morey, pastor of the Good Life Pentecostal Church in York, came to York from Hastings in 1978.

He began working as a painter in York. Services for the Good Life Pentecostal Church began in the city auditorium in York.

Morey agreed to discuss the church and his background with The Independent, but did not want to publicly address allegations that his church is a cult. He did say on the record that such allegation are untrue.

Since 1978, Morey said, church membership has increased and now the church owns a church-school, three houses and three lots used as a playground for the church school, York Christian Academy. The church building has been expanded and renovated several times. Church members use old barn wood for the construction, Morey said.

All church property is in close proximity of the church building, located at 74 Nebraska Ave. in York.

One house owned by the church is occupied by assistant pastor John Cemer, who has been away on revivals. Another church house is occupied by Bill Budler, treasurer of the Good Life Pentecostal Church. A third house is used as the church's day care center, the Tender Loving Care day care center.

Morey's house is across the street from the church, but he owns it. All the other mentioned property is owned by the church, which incorporated in 1978, he said.

"We were not in the market to be landowners here," he said. Like other churches, he said, it's good for the Good Life Pentecostal Church to have a "buffer zone" between it and homeowners who don't belong to the church.

"We're a noisy church," he said. Music is played inside and members often raise their hands, singing and shouting the name of Jesus.

Morey said he was raised in California and went to high school in Sacramento. Before becoming a Christian, he said he played in a rock and roll band, sometimes playing Rolling Stones music.

"I don't play rock anymore. I play for the Rock," said Rev. Morey, who plays guitar, bass and drums.

He said he was saved and received the Holy Spirit in June 1967. He and his wife Irene married in 1969, he said. In 1970, he said they moved to Sterling, Colo., and helped out in a Pentecostal church there. In 1975, he said he and his family spent nine months in Ogalala and then moved back to Sterling. In 1976, he went to Hastings, where he was involved in a Pentecostal church. In 1978, he moved to York.

He said he received his credentials to preach while in Hastings. He did not go to a seminary, but learned pastorship through apprenticeship under three pastors.

The Good Life Pentecostal Church is currently under expansion. The school, adjacent to the sanctuary, will be moved into the expanded area and the current school room will be a reception area for the church, Morey said.

Despite the controversy surrounding his church, he said, some strangers have been kind to him.

When he was building a truss Friday night, a man walked by on the sidewalk, and Morey said he asked how long the nice weather will hold up.

The stranger, whom Morey said he had never seen before, said, "Don't be discouraged. We have Christians praying for you."

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