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Of Calvary Commission


It goes back to 1969 when God called us to pioneer a Teen Challenge Center. Charlotte and I were in the grocery and restaurant business in Tyler, Texas. We had just returned from our first missionary outreach in Mexico. We had been touched by God's compassionate heart and felt a powerful call to reach out to the hurting and troubled teenagers in our area. We had rented a downtown building to start a youth ministry. Throughout the month of December, I was busy cleaning, painting, and planning to open a "coffee house" after Christmas. As I painted some old tables and chairs, I thought, "Who will be sitting in these chairs? Do I really know how to help this generation?"

The "Watchnight Service" was extra special for I knew that the New Year was going to be a new and challenging experience. On January 9, we opened the Teen Challenge Center and about 200 teenagers came in the first weekend. Charlotte and I learned real quick that we had been very secure in our own little world while a whole generation of youth had lost their way. The hippies filled the parks and the streets and began to make our new center their "hangout" and we saw so many searching for something that would make sense.

Our eyes were opened to the drug world and the crime scene. We prayed, "Lord, Help us to see these lives changed." We began to see many miracles through the saving and delivering power of Jesus Christ. We felt that with men this is impossible, but with our Great God, all things are possible. When one of the residents of our Boy's Home had to go to court, we thought he would get probation, but the Judge sent him to the Texas Prison. As we went to minister to him, we discovered a whole prison world and thousands of hopeless men and women who had messed up, been locked up, and who had given up. God put into our hearts a Message of Hope. We saw the need and had to help. We sold our remaining businesses. We began to receive parolees into a loving Christian community. As we saw the vision in the hearts of these zealous new Christians, we saw a vision of a unique missions organization that would take hope and help to a hurting and troubled world.

God gave birth to a new movement of hope, it was called Calvary Commission. Now, today, there are 165 inmates in prison who have been approved to come to our training school upon release. Hundreds have come and have been helped since those first years. There will be some of these "Commissioners" who are now pastors, educators, missionaries, and businessmen.

Calvary Commission has teams in Belize, Romania, and at 6 different places in Mexico. At our recent missions conference, we were blessed to hear the testimony of Steve Campos. He told of his life of drugs and crime. Then he said, I was in the Coffield Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections and in came Joe and Calvary Commission with their message of hope. Today, I can truly say that God has put my life back together. I am happily married and I am a practicing attorney with my own law firm in Austin, Texas. I am the leader of a house church and I go to the Austin jail weekly to minister. You do have a Calvary Commission in Austin.

1977 - PRESENT

Walking into a warden's office, Joe Fauss made an appeal, "Warden, we've got to do something to help these men." Looking untouched by Joe's youthful zeal, the warden answered, "I've got a chaplain and he handles all that stuff." That could have been the end of it, but a major sitting in his office got involved. "Preacher, if you really want to help these men, you need to help them when they get out!" Joe and a team went back again and again and soon realized that they had discovered a treasure in the field - BORN AGAIN CHANGED LIVES SITTING INSIDE PRISON CELLS.

THE PIONEERING YEARS . And Still Serving Time In Prison 1977 - NEW BEGINNINGS

On July 10, 1977, Joe and Charlotte Fauss resigned as Directors of Teen Challenge of Tyler the Fauss family, Jody, Milton, Andy, Randy, Terry Cooper (Miller), Mother Mary Parker, along with Rusty and Mary Draper and family, Leo Miller, Larry Savala, Dale Meredith, Grady Flowers, John Rodgers, Claude Danforth, Benjie Walker, Paul Escobar, Robert Lamb, launched out without a name, but with a mighty vision to see a powerful missionary force come from the depths of sin and prison.

PLANTERS- We became quickly known as the "planter people". Manufacturing and selling a wooden container for plants seemed a rather unlikely means of support, but God gave it and blessed it! In 11 years, over 100,000 planters were made and sold and Calvary Commission made friends.


Ghettos, gangs, and violence. Chicago was a Goliath to 17 young Commissioners. Knowing nobody, God supernaturally led the team to Bob Brenneman as he was praying for someone to come and help him pioneer an inner- city church, the Friendship Center, on Chicago's north side. We later returned for a second evangelistic crusade.


After a successful sales outreach in Wichita Falls, Texas, a devastating tornado hit, killing many and destroying scores of homes. The entire team of Calvary Commission returned to help and minister to the new friends met just days before. God sent Mac and Mary Reynolds to construct our first of many buildings, The Bennett Napier Prayer Chapel was dedicated and construction began on the dormitory, and cafeteria on the186 acre ranch given by a special Christian family.


It was in Mexico, in 1969, that Joe Fauss, International Director of Calvary Commission, first heard and answered a call to missions. Since then, many others have been called to missions and full- time ministry through seeing the need in Mexico. First, going to construct a church in Rio Verde, Mexico, God enlarged the vision and Larry and Molly Savala returned with a team to Leon, Guanajuato to establish a Missions Base. Today, two churches are continuing in reaching and sending.

Back in Chicago, a neighboring south-side church had heard of our work with the Friendship Center and said, "Come and help us!" We went experiencing a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit, with God calling youth into missions. The fruit still remains!


Keith Green made a plea, Come and help us in Hidalgo / Reynosa Mexico. Immediately, a team moved in to give food and clothing to hundreds. The teams then crossed into Canada with many hearing first time the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.


Back to Winnipeg, Canada where it still remains a field white unto harvest, crying for laborers. Let's go! Calvary Commission Tucker Prison Unit, Arkansas "You'll be back!" Often, these are the last words an inmate hears when he is released from prison. Statistics prove this to be true, as well. We had a desire to make a difference. Two Commissioners went back to prison as Chaplain Interns on the Tucker Unit, Arkansas.


Belize, Central America, seemingly a world away, soon became close to our hearts as Dell Lawton and Pablo Flores went to live among the people, ministering to their needs. Sixteen commissioners took a flight across the Gulf of Mexico for a special Belize Outreach. The Landry Family left for Europe. ( Dr. Gerry Landry, his wife Denise, and two daughters, Julie & Dianne). His work with other doctors and medical people sent him around the world. Traveling to Patterson, New Jersey, the team saw the poverty and despair of America's inner-cities as we reached out with the message of hope.

1984 - Labor And Reward

1984 began with a full schedule and lots to do. Jeffrey Nickell was released from the Eastham Prison Unit. Upon completion of the Basic Christian Training School, he literally traveled the nation. Jeff is serving in Belize with his wife, Ruby, and continues to be a dedicated and faithful Christian. It was also a time of sorrow as we felt the loss of Joe's father, Rev. M.L. ( Papaw) Fauss. This servant of God was a laborer and minister all his life. Teams returned to Patterson, knowing that God has called Calvary Commission to the cities.

1985 - Reaching Out To The Body Of Christ

Brenda Roberts died while returning from Belize. After much sorrow and trial, the year seemed to reveal the expansion of God's vision for Calvary Commission with a "Chain of Hope", involving the Body of Christ with expansion of short term missions and links with many churches.

1986 - A Vision Unfolds

After years of Mexico ministry seeing street children with no place to call home, The Josiah and Bethany Children's Home opened with 19 children. Also, the International Missions Institute was launched.

1987 - 10 Years of Hope

Leo and Terry Miller pioneered First Assembly of God of Lockhart, Texas. Joe Fauss pioneered the Chaplains' Intern Program and Administrative Segregation Ministry in Texas prisons. Hope Crusades and seminars reached many. We celebrated 10 wonderful years and commissioned Jim and Cindy Moss to reach out to the Tarahumara Indians. Larry and Molly Savala turned the Leon Church over to Julio and Luz Garcia. John and Jodi Ginty made plans to take Hope to Watts, Intercity .LA.


The Josiah and Bethany Children's Home and the Reynosa Calvary Commission Church, a 3 story structure was dedicated to the Lord. John and Jody Ginty took a team to Watts in Los Angeles. A team of Commissioners crossed the Atlantic for the first time to take hope to England, Sweden, and Germany. DIGGING IN / BREAKING DOWN STRONGHOLDS

..And Still Serving Time In Prison 1989

Edward and Rachael Mauricio pioneered Calvary Commission in Mexico City. John and Zelda Essary moved to Missouri where he became Chaplain Essary at the Missouri State Prison. Ed and Karen Graves have established a very successful business in Tyler, Texas. "IT IS WORKING!"


Back to Europe - this time through the wall and on to Romania preaching the freedom of Jesus Christ on Revolution Square. The Lindale Base pioneered Hope Christian Fellowship in downtown Tyler.

1991 - The Freedom Chain

Bill and Francine Harris produced the full feature musical dramatic production about prison life and making choices. The Cross-Cultural Training School began in Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico. The Hope House Ministry began in Tyler, Texas to disciple men coming from prison. Juan Jose Ramirez became the pastor of the Reynosa Church.


The Greater Europe Outreach was formed as Milton and Dia Fauss and family, Daniel Guerrero, Marta Cantu, and Melissa Cornelius became the pioneer team in Sibiu, Romania.


Construction of the "Rock Church" began in Sibiu. Romania. Jim Moss and Joe Fauss made their first trip to India baptizing many new believers. A new work was launched in Mexico City with Valarie Rivera and team in Popotla. Charlotte and Milton delivered Dia and Milton's 6th child, Jonathan, at home in Romania. Bill and Francine Harris became certified school teachers for the State of Texas.


Ken Kintsel and other brothers from Oklahoma along with Joe Fauss traveled to Cuba. Randy and Jennifer Fauss and family joined the team in Romania. A large team from Canada and the U.S. continued in Romania in outreach and construction. Joe Fauss, James Walker, Edward Mauricio, and Joab Lohara all suffered a near fatal attack of malaria in India.

MOVERS / SHAKERS / AND RISK TAKERS ..And Still Serving Time In Prison 1995

All miraculously recovered from malaria and Edward and Rachael Mauricio launched a new work with the tribal groups in Acaxochitlan, Mexico. Construction continued in Romania.


The "Rock Church" in Sibiu was dedicated the Lord honoring many from different countries who had helped. The conference was held in Reynosa, Mexico. Jody Fauss launched Kamp Kreekwood for boys whose fathers are in prison.


Calvary Commission received special honors from Texas Governor George Bush. The new Commissioners Center was built and many came to "Give God The Glory" at the 20th Anniversary and Reunion. Only a few Commissioners have been mentioned. Many came for the anniversary; all are very much appreciated. A great team serves with us today from several nations and God has given us an "army of friends". Thank You!


The new men's dormitory was completed and we now have doubled our capacity for students. The International College of Missions was able to offer a two year program that awards an Associate Degree. Schools were started in Mexico and Romania. In July, we were able to take 30 Romanian on their first missions outreach into Bulgaria.

2003- "Behold , I make all things new." - Rev 21:5

New International Office Goes Up!- Prison ministry still going strong with our men's dorm near full. We are going into prisons over 500 times this year. Several teams are going in every month. We are pressing on in missions with new works starting in Peru with our full-time missionaries Valarie & Chrissy. Elvin & Leslie Dudley are full-time in England working with children & involved in prison discipleship. The doors to the prisons in Romania opened with special relations with the administration and Orthodox chaplain.

Continuing in hope. 2004

Joe Fauss was commissioned as an Endorsed Chaplain by the General Council of the Assemblies of God. Calvary Commission was asked to provide a National Prison Ministry office for Cuba and returned to conduct the first National Prison Ministry Training Conference. The team to Peru held the first service and began to children's crusade and held the inauguration of the church. A team returned to Romania in February for a prison ministry training conference and for the 15th consecutive summer.


A team returned to Cuba to be the guest speakers for the National Prayer Conference. A large team returned to Romania including eight members of Grace Chapel Assembly of God in Tyler along with their pastor, Marty Thomas. The property south of Palestine was donated to be used for aftercare.


The brick entrance signs in memory of Rev. M.L. and Cora Fauss and additional signs were constructed and gave a new professional appearance to the campus. Joab Lohara returned after seven years to speak at the annual conference. Marty and Lori Thomas joined the team as Coordinators of Foreign Missions. "The Refuge", an aftercare discipleship center for Women and Women with children was opened. Property was purchased in Lima, Peru near the rented facility and construction began on a three story building to house the church auditorium, classrooms, and staff housing. Calvary Commission became an approved affiliated organization with the North Texas District of the Assemblies of God. James Walker and Glenn Clark held strategic ministry in Africa and India.


In January, the Peru church building was completed and Joe and Charlotte Fauss, Marty Thomas, and a team assisted in the dedication and an outreach for the new location. Calvary Commission was asked to provide certification and training for Chaplains in Cuba. What else will God do? Israel? Muslim Ministries? Croasia?

Calvary Commission is a Christ-centered organization with special emphasis in the areas of prison ministry, discipleship, ministry training and missions work both foreign and domestic.
To bring hope and help to a troubled world through the message of Jesus Christ. We believe that people can be set free from the power of sin in order to live meaningful and productive lives in service to the Lord. Our desire is to raise up an army of men and women in order to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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There is Hope !!