Idaho Falls minister

Called to Idaho Falls – Dr. Joseph Gulick


Written by Charles Barnes:

In the history of the churches in Idaho Falls, the pastor with the longest record of service, at 50 years, is Rev. Donald Austin.  The pastor with the second longest period of service in Idaho Falls is Dr. Joseph Gulick, who served here from 1923 to 1959.  Here is a brief account of his story.

Joseph Isaac Gulick was born on a farm near White House, New Jersey in 1890.  One of his earliest memories, before he turned three, was seeing his mother frantically trying to revive his father, who had come into their house from farm work and collapsed onto the floor from heart failure.  Following his death, the family, with 4 young children, moved to his grandparents’ farm.

Joseph writes that when he was about 12, became tired of school and decided to quit.  I could see no use in “wasting time” on such things as grammar, learning to phrase and diagram.  So he went to work on neighboring farms and later learned the blacksmith trade.  After several years working as a blacksmith he was overcome with the desire to go to college, and prayed to God for months to make it possible.

God answered his prayers when after a church service, the minister pulled him aside and told him, “Joseph, I can’t understand it, but something has been working on me, pushing me, telling me that I ought to talk to you about going to college and preparing for the ministry! Have you ever thought of it?” So Joseph started the long process of finishing grade school, completing high school, and going on to college and finally seminary.

His college years were interrupted by a year of sickness.  Joseph came down with a severe case of typhoid fever, and was cared for by his mother and brothers.  At one point his heart stopped, and his mother dropped to her knees and prayed desperately for God to give him back to them.  Another time when he was sinking low, he sensed he was floating through a tunnel.  He writes, “At the end of the tunnel, light was shining.  I floated slowly toward a ball of indescribably beautiful colors!  Around about were equally beautiful sounds!  Instinctively I knew I was drawing near a theophany—a manifestation of God!”

His illness left him weak from a loss of weight and angry with God for getting even farther behind in his education and also because of a broken engagement.  He writes, “God was letting me pass through the furnace so I would understand lives of people who later came to me for help.”

He also had an experience one Sunday afternoon when he went out into the woods to “wrestle with God and while there, I had a dramatic conversion experience, not unlike St. Paul’s on the Damascus Highway.”  Many years later he wrote of it, “What a powerful evangelist I might have become had that Pressure of God’s Presence remained with me as I felt for some days after that experience of joy and inner illumination in the woods.  But though it gradually faded, I had been given both new conviction and a new life direction by it!”

Prior to his final year in Princeton Seminary, he took a summer assignment in Soda Springs, Idaho.  Back at Princeton he received many letters from individuals in Soda Springs asking him to return, and Joseph tried to persuade other students at Princeton Seminary to go.  Finally he prayed to the Lord for guidance and had an immediate answer, “Go, and I will go with you!”

Borrowing money for the trip West, Joseph arrived in Soda Springs on May 31, 1920.  In the nearly three years he spent there, the congregation grew from 36 to 105, and for the first time in their history, became self-supporting.  He began raising funds for a new building, but ran into opposition within the congregation and the community, and sensed it was time for him to move on. Soda Springs’ loss was Idaho Falls’ gain. However, just before coming to Idaho Falls, Joseph married a member of the Soda Springs congregation, Winifred Louise Ferebauer, and gained a family, as she had two young sons.

On an earlier visit to Idaho Falls, Joseph had been impressed by the architecture of the newly constructed Presbyterian Church.  He writes in his autobiography, “As I left the sanctuary, a sudden prophetic insight swept my soul, ‘This is yours!  God will call you to this church to serve it!’”

In 1919, Idaho Falls was in the midst of the post-World War I boom, enjoying a period of prosperity.  The town was growing and churches were flourishing.  The First Presbyterian Church had been organized in 1891, and that same year they built a small building at Shoup and A Streets.  They met there until 1917, when they had grown to about 260 members and were cramped in their building.  Temporarily meeting in a building hastily constructed on Eastern Avenue south of the present Museum, they began construction at their current location in 1918 and dedicated the building on April 11, 1920.  Then the depression of 1920-1921 hit.  Jobs were lost, people were leaving Idaho Falls.  The congregation of First Presbyterian, which had grown to 366 by 1920, was reduced to 155 in 1923.  Pledges that had been made toward funding the building were not being fulfilled.

According to the history of the First Presbyterian Church, “Dr. Joseph Gulick came to the church in 1923 on a starvation wage, supplementing his income by teaching history at Idaho Falls High School.”  Joseph Gulick actually taught three history classes and one English class, and for it received a salary of $150/month.  Still there came a time when he needed to withdraw the last cent from his bank account to buy groceries.  Many years later he reflected, “This was to be the story of our years of ministry in Idaho Falls—through daily prayer attempting to secure God’s guidance, and in every crisis, going into the sanctuary at night, lifting our eyes to the beautiful dome above and beseeching God for help!”  He also wrote that his time teaching at Idaho Falls High School “caused me to be favorable known by both Mormons and Gentiles.”

Rev. Gulick served at the First Presbyterian Church of Idaho Falls for 36 years.

“The first thing that needed to be done,” he wrote, “was to encourage a very discouraged congregation and to make them aware of God’s presence with them.”

 One of the first needs he focused on was building a youth group.  When he came to the church there was none, and the “Old Guard” had no interest in teens.  Within three years, over 70 were coming to the youth group meeting he started.

One of the next needs he saw was to pay off the debt for their building.  In January 1925, after his sermon he invited all the men who wanted to be part of a campaign to reduce the debt to come into his study. Nearly every man showed up; many couldn’t get in.  Both men and women took up the challenge, and Joseph later reflected, “It was a demonstration of the presence and power of God in the life of His Church.”

In January 1929, Rev. Gulick began broadcasting worship services over KGIO radio (which later became KID).  According to his autobiography, it was the first religious broadcast in Idaho.

Two of the goals of the church in 1931 were: (1) a 25% increase in average attendance and (2) a new experience of the Presence of Christ in our lives, and a new loyalty to the church and the Kingdom.  The church made that year, which was their 40th anniversary, a year of prayer.

In 1932, Joseph asked for a year of leave, in order to work on his Master’s Degree.  He took his family to Washington DC where he and his two sons all studied at George Washington University.

Coming back to Idaho Falls alone, while his sons continued their studies and his wife stayed with them, he threw himself into his ministry.  “One thing that contributed to the work pressure upon me was my inability to delegate responsibility to others.  It was my custom to pitch into every project and do everything possible that I myself could do.”  One Sunday night he discovered a leak in the church roof. As he worked to minimize the damage, he became angry at the church trustees for not repairing the roof, and an elder and his wife who were leisurely visiting with his wife instead of helping him.  The following day, as he was walking to Emerson School to give an address to the Parent Teachers Association, he became disoriented.  He eventually got to the school but as he began his talk, he felt weak, sat down, felt sharp pains in his cheeks, and then collapsed.  It was the beginning of long days of both mental and physical pain and depression.

In his words, “It was a jagged, wounding, storm-covered mountain top experience in my life, but God was in and throughout it all, hammering and tempering His instrument as the blacksmith tempers his metal in the heat and cold.”  He gives much credit to his wife for getting him through this period of weakness.  He also came to understand that because of it he could better minister to people with mental problems, and it taught him not to try to carry so much responsibility on his shoulders.

In 1947 Joseph completed his Doctor of Divinity Degree through the College of Idaho.

Remembering the years 1947-50, Dr. Gulick writes, “If certain important events were like mountain peaks on the skyline of Idaho Falls Presbyterian Church history, the “New Life Movement” launched by the General Assembly in 1947 was the Mount Everest of them all! It was the period in the Idaho Falls Church’s history when the Holy Spirit’s directing Presence and Power, like that reported in the Book of Acts, was felt more vividly than at any other time.”

 Prior to this date, for many years the church had not been adding more than 20 members annually.  And over the years Dr. Gulick had become sort of a “Community Pastor,” with an increasing load of funerals, counselling sessions and community demands. [He was also called “The Fishing Preacher,” as he spent one day, and sometimes two days, each week during fishing season on the river.]  One focus of the New Live Movement was personal witness.  Following a 5-day training session at a Regional Conference and a sermon series focused on an individual’s relationship with Christ, teams were ready.  On Monday, November 17, 1947, 18 men went out in pairs to share the gospel.  Though 16 of the 18 men had never spoken to anyone about a relationship with Christ before, that day the teams led 21 people in decisions to become followers of Christ.  The following Sunday 50 people became new members of the church, and over the next 13 months more than 175 people found Christ.  Dr. Gulick writes, “Though I had always relied upon the Holy Spirit, I needed to realize that the Holy Spirit can work through others as well as myself, and it is wisdom to involve others, especially the men, in the work of church visitation.”

After 30 years of ministry in Idaho Falls, Dr. Gullick took a sabbatical in 1953 to study for six months in Israel, Egypt and Europe.  After getting home he showed slides of his trip 96 times and gave 21 lectures based on what he saw and learned.

Dr. Gulick’s final Sunday in the pulpit at the Presbyterian Church in Idaho Falls was June 28, 1959, but his ministry was not over.  The first year of his “retirement,” Dr. Gulick served as the District Governor of Rotary.  During the next seven years he led churches in Swan Valley, Ririe and Rigby.  In 1967 he entered into complete retirement in order to devote himself completely to the care of his wife, who was suffering from declining health, and passed away in September, 1969.   Joseph Gulick died in Idaho Falls on March 3, 1972.

[Note: My primary source for the above was a copy of the first 118 pages of his autobiography, Joseph I Gulick, God’s Missionary, privately published and undated.  I have not been able the find the remaining 152 pages.  If you have a copy or know of one, or have memories of Dr. Gulick that would add to this story, please contact me.]


Called to Idaho Falls

Here is the testimony of Pastor Anthony Manzanares, as written down by Charles Barnes:

Anthony Manzanares is the senior pastor of New Destiny Ministries Church of God in Christ in Idaho Falls.  The church has its office and meets for worship in the historic Rogers Building downtown, and Anthony has a burden to reach people who live (or are homeless) in the downtown area.  There was a period of his life when he was homeless.

Anthony’s earliest years were spent on and near the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming; his mother is Native American.  Some of his earliest memories are of the Saint Stephens Mission, which is near Riverton on the Reservation.  When he was four or five years old his parents divorced and he went to live with his father in Lander.  There he did well in school, so well that twice he was moved up in grades, one time by two years.  However, at age 14, while in high school, he got in trouble.  Caught smoking with a friend by the school principal, he and his friend were expelled from school.  Given an ultimatum by his father of two options that both seemed impossible, Anthony found himself on his own.  So he left Lander to come to Idaho Falls where his mother lived.  But he didn’t fit in with her life of alcohol, drugs and partying.  So Anthony was on the streets in Idaho Falls.  Complicating his life was the fact that he left Lander carrying no identity papers, which made getting a job in Idaho Falls nearly impossible.

Anthony will tell you that he was born again when he responded to an altar call at a Jehovah’s Witness church.  Growing up he had had some exposure to the Catholic Church and Assemblies of God churches.  Though his father quit going to church after his divorce, he insisted his kids still go, so they often went wherever someone would give them a ride.  A Jehovah’s Witness lady was doing that.  When Anthony went forward one Sunday to receive Christ, and was kneeling at the altar, he sensed a shadow come over him that became a huge bright light.

In Idaho Falls, Anthony was influenced by the people he hung out with, and unable to make money any other way, he turned to illegal activities.  He knew what he was doing was wrong, but justified it to himself by thinking, “No one is taking care of me.”  In fact he got so sick once from the guilt he felt that his aunt called an ambulance.  Yet he needed money to live, and without identification papers, could not hold a job permanently.

By age 18 there were warrants out for his arrest in Idaho and Utah.  But when he got word of it, he turned himself in, first in Idaho Falls and then again in Utah.  Facing two 5-10 year sentences, and having an incompetent lawyer, things did not look good for him.  But He had the Lord, and the Lord provided an opportunity in the courtroom for Anthony to explain to the judge the circumstances of his case.  The judge, who had been ready to sentence him to prison, upon hearing his testimony dropped one charge, reduced the other from a felony to a misdemeanor, and pronounced a withheld judgement. Anthony is thankful for God’s hand in this because if he had been convicted he would not be able to minister in the Youth Center in St. Anthony as he has been doing.

It wasn’t long after Anthony’s legal problems were cleared up that he met his wife, Laura.  Laura grew up in an LDS family, but found Christ through the Awanas program at Calvary Baptist Church in Idaho Falls.  After getting married, they moved to Las Vegas where they both attended a trade school, Laura in a medical assistant’s program and Anthony in business management.  Getting away from Idaho Falls, Anthony was looking to start a new life.  While in Las Vegas, Laura went with some girlfriends to midweek revival meetings of RW Shambach, and invited Anthony to go with them to the Friday night meeting.  Anthony didn’t really believe that his wife had been going to religious meetings that week, and wasn’t interested in spending his Friday night with several women, but agreed to go just to see if his wife was telling the truth.   There he responded to an invitation to rededicate his life to the Lord.

After finishing their studies, Anthony and Laura returned to Idaho Falls.  They were starting to look for a church to attend when they saw a flier about a new church, meeting at the Westbank Hotel.  They went to the first service and continued to attend Westside Assembly, later named Cornerstone Assembly.  Anthony’s first sense of calling into the ministry occurred when a Native American group made a presentation at Cornerstone, and Anthony heard the Lord tell him to bring his family to Christ.  Later he understood that to mean his aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.  Anthony helped with Royal Rangers at the church and was asked to be a deacon, but didn’t sense it was the right time.

In 1994, his brother-in-law was killed in a car accident and the following year his younger brother died of a drug overdose.  Anthony struggled with why the Lord allowed these deaths and he turned away from the Lord.  He poured his heart into his work, which grew to three businesses: a very successful landscaping business, an interior and exterior remodeling business and selling steel buildings.  He was putting in long days working, and to stay awake started taking amphetamines.  Then to fall asleep he would use alcohol.

Though Anthony was not seeking the Lord at this time, the Lord was at work drawing him back.  Two business deals that fell through left Anthony deep in debt.  Compounding his financial problems were three accidents that happened in a period of six months, totaling two vehicles and badly damaging a third.  Somewhat miraculously Anthony escaped any serious injuries in all these accidents.  Also during this time period his stepmother died and his father asked him to go to the funeral at the Saint Stevens Mission in Wyoming. The night before the funeral, Anthony had a dream about what would happen the next day, and the events of the day unfolded just as Anthony had seen in his dream.  After this Anthony started seriously asking the Lord to take away his need for drugs and alcohol.  Years earlier when Anthony had prayed this, the Lord immediately took away his desire for drugs and alcohol.  But this time the Lord responded that He had done it once, and now he would have to overcome his addictions himself.  For a couple months it was rough.  With pain throughout his body that made him yearn to stay in bed all day, Anthony would get up and go to work only because of his wife’s insistence.

All of these things got Anthony to seek the Lord deeply in prayer.  When he asked the Lord how he could get out of debt, the Lord told him to do what seemed illogical, not to accept every job that came his way, and to bid jobs much higher than he had been doing.   The Lord told him to trust that He would bring him the jobs He wanted.  Anthony did take on fewer jobs, cut back from running three crews to only one, and it wasn’t long before he had paid off his debts and obtained a good truck, something he didn’t have after the accidents.

At this time Anthony and Laura were still attending Cornerstone Assembly, and Anthony was teaching the Jr. and Sr. High youth as well as continuing to be involved in their Royal Ranger program.  But he sensed the Lord had more for him to do.

One way that the Lord has used Anthony and his wife has been as foster parents.  Over the years they have opened their hearts and home to 18 kids, 15 of which stayed for considerable periods of time.  Three of these they adopted, one from birth.

About 2004 Laura met Bishop Taro Golden when he brought a client to her office, and after a second visit a connection was made.  Anthony and Laura visited New Covenant COGIC once, and then again, and they both sensed the Lord leading them to become involved there.  Over the next four years Anthony was trained to become a minister and then an elder, which in the Church of God in Christ denomination is essentially equivalent to being a pastor.

As Anthony prayed more about how the Lord could use him, he sensed the Lord was leading him to plant a church in Blackfoot or possibly Pocatello, and made numerous trips to Blackfoot to look for possible locations.  He was offered pastoral positions in several places, including Boise, which would have been convenient for his wife to remain employed with the same company she was working for in Idaho Falls.  But in the summer of 2013, Bishop Golden invited Anthony to lunch, and asked him to take over as pastor of New Covenant.  While Anthony had been focused on Blackfoot, he did remember that three years previous he had told Laura that one day he would be the pastor of New Covenant.  Bishop Golden also recommended getting a fresh start by finding a different meeting place and changing the name of the church.  By November of that year, New Destiny began meeting in the Rogers Building.

Anthony has seen the Lord bring him through a lot, has learned to seek Him, listen to Him and obey Him.  He desires to see God use him to bring healing, deliverance and growth.  And just as important, Anthony wants New Destiny to send out capable servants of the Lord to minister wherever God leads them, whether in other churches in town or other places.

Featured minister in Idaho Falls – Alipio Amaral

Charles Barnes writes this post for today:

Called to Idaho Falls – Alipio Amaral

From time to time in this email we want to share glimpses of the lives of people God has brought to Idaho Falls, or sent out from Idaho Falls. We do this not to exalt one person or one church over any other, but to rejoice in the ways God has worked in the men and women He sends to our city.

Alipio Amaral came to Idaho Falls last March, and is the discipleship pastor of Watersprings Church. Alipio’s excitement for inductive Bible study is contagious, as is his enthusiasm for ministry in Idaho Falls. You can hear him share much of his testimony in a sermon he preached at Watersprings November 30, 2014, A Life of Impact, available from the webpage

Alipio grew up in Hawaii. One day when he was five years old, he was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle. The truck that struck him was going twice the legal speed limit, and sent him flying twenty-five feet in the air. Landing head first into the base of a stop sign, he cracked his head wide open, and bit off his tongue. He was flown inter-Island to the capital city of Honolulu, where at Queens Medical Center he was put on life support. He had slipped into a coma, and his entire right side was paralyzed. His church flew his mother over to the hospital where she commenced a vigil of prayer. The doctors explained to her that Alipio’s worsening condition would render him immobile, inoperable, and incapacitated for the rest of his life, and recommended that she have them pull the plug on the life support equipment. Believing that God had already healed him, his mother told the doctors “no” and waited and prayed for nine days until the night that Alipio woke up. When he awoke, his mother asked him if he remembered anything, to which he confidently responded with his tongue that had grown back, God told me He wants me to tell people how He healed me. He walked out of the hospital two months after he entered, on a Christmas day.

As Alipio continued to grow up in Hawaii, the hedonistic culture of the Islands began to influence him, and he walked away from the Lord. His family life was focused on God, but by high school Alipio had become a rebellious teen. Yet during those teen years God did not forsake him. Alipio was involved in 15 car accidents, some in which he could easily have been killed, and he walked away from every one. The nearness of death in some of these accidents, plus a friend’s remark about his self-centered behavior, brought him to a point of clarity about the direction his life was going, and one day at home, alone, he rededicated his life to the Lord. From that time on, Alipio has had an insatiable desire to understand God’s word, loves to study it and teach others how to study it.

When he was 18, his family moved to southern Oregon. Alipio attended Southern Oregon University for two and a half years, and then Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, California for a year and a half.  He has skill painting murals, and used that skill to finance trips to Israel and then Austria. In Austria he was taking some training that included a mission trip into Hungary and Serbia, a few months before NATO started bombing the country. When sharing his testimony in a high school in Serbia, he saw how the Lord can work, as every student in six consecutive classes accepted his invitation to receive Christ. Yet what impressed Alipio just as much was the willingness of two Christian teachers in that school who were risking their jobs to allow the gospel to be preached there.

For the next 13 years, Alipio served the Lord in Europe, sharing the gospel, planting churches and starting a Bible college. Most of those years were spent in southern Portugal, and he will tell you that the soil of people’s hearts there is very hard. The Lord also sent a girl, Ashley Carlyle, to Portugal whom Alipio had first met in Hungary, who happened to be from Idaho Falls, and who would later become his wife.

Less than a week after returning to the States in 2010, Alipio was asked by his church to go to Brazil to take charge of a Bible College and Conference Center.  While willing to go wherever God would send him, Alipio wasn’t eager to go to Brazil immediately, and stayed in Oregon a year while Ashley went to Bible College.  Shortly after getting married, Alipio and Ashley went to Brazil, and were there for two years. However in July 2013 when his mother was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer, they returned to the States to take care of her.  His mother passed away on October 14, 2013.

A few months later, God opened the door for Alipio to join the staff of Watersprings.  God is using his love for studying His Word in various groups he’s leading or teaching here.  Also, Alipio is working on preparations for a discipleship school that will start September of 2015.