Crusaders Celebrate 60 Years TourBy Kathryn Fenstermacher Published: Nov 26, 2018
Crusaders Reflect on 60-Year Journey Together
By Kathryn Fenstermacher g13
“We were so fortunate to be able to retrace some of those steps and see some of the people who, like us, were kids at the time when we first came. That meant a lot to us. There was this inertia that just kept building all along the way, and we couldn’t help but look back in wonder. It was very satisfying to be able to sing with my brothers there, “It’s Not an Easy Road.” It was obvious in our singing that was not morose, that was not pessimistic, it was about a presence of this divine mystery of life whom we call our loving God, who enabled and accompanied us all these days through all these experiences. That’s the one that really reverberated among us, that’s what we know about life after 60 years. Now, as we’ve gotten older, we understand each other better, we can tell each other’s stories, we can finish each other’s sentences. It’s very meaningful.” – Paul Brennan g60, PhD, former linguist and Bible translator in Papua New Guinea
“The group became very supportive of one another. Most of the guys would say that we are closer to one another than we are to maybe even some of our family members. When you travel that much together and spend that much time together and you work that hard together, you develop a very special bond. There’s that special place in our heart for all of the other people in the group, and we would do anything for one another. We’re quite different personalities, we have followed different vocational tracks, we all have slightly different families, and so forth. But, there’s that special place in our hearts for our Crusader buddies and that’s what’s endured now for over 60 years.
“I have to say that getting out and traveling with the Crusaders was an additional education – in some ways, it was a more helpful education. Classical education teaches you a lot of knowledge, but ministering three weekends a month and all summer long teaches you the very practical side about how that knowledge needs to be packaged in order to truly impact people. I’ve always appreciated the fact that FWBC put a lot of emphasis on Christian service and [that] it was a requirement in order to be a part of any of the classes. The Crusaders was that for us, where you actually were able to take what you learned about the Christian gospel and apply it in all kinds of different situations, to all kinds of different people, to all kinds of different parts of the country. Our faith grew as a result of actually exercising our faith through Christian service, and our faith became more than some sort of intellectual exercise. It became, in fact a way of life. We were greatly advantaged in terms of our individual careers because we had that kind of experience as a part of our college days.” – Paul Robbins g60, retired President of Christianity Today
“Although length-of-time-wise, we were [only] together for three-and-a-half years while in college and reunited for a brief time in our five reunions compared to the years I've been in ministry, the impact of my four brothers in Christ has been vibrant, enduring and full of joy for me. That we each have purposed to follow Christ and we continue to do so brings a tremendous sense of praise to our faithful Lord Jesus Christ. I am humbled that the Lord has allowed each of us in the quartet (actually quintet, counting Ken Mays, our pianist, a vital part of our group), to still be able to minister together even though we have been apart from each other for years at a time, then bringing us back together again. It is only by His grace that this has been possible.” – Rev. Ed Terui g60, retired Pastor of Kapaa Missionary Church
“The way in which we got together still comes back to me, that we are put together by the Lord in a very special kind of way. I’ve grown through all those experiences because we saw how God had prepared for us many times. Don Rohrs g48 was the main one that became our discipler . . . and we learned deeply from him how prayer should be a part of what we did. We often stopped and prayed along the roadside, and Don showed us how to do that. I really believe that my involvement in the quartet set me up to do what I’ve done all these years. The things that I learned being with the team and giving my testimony and singing, just literally living with these guys . . . totally prepared me for what I have done through my lifetime.” – T.A. Strader g60, retired Executive Director of Chicago Youth for Christ
“All our personalities are quite different, but we enjoyed each other right from the start. I lived at home as a student, so it was neat to be out traveling on weekends, rooming with different guys each time. The longer we were together, the deeper those bonds became. It’s neat to sit around the breakfast table and talk about things that you can only talk about with friends who are as close as brothers. We ask questions like, what is the best choice you made years ago? What was the thing you wish you would have done? We certainly are unified in terms of serving the lord, wanting our lives to count for him, and for our music to still be in the hearts of those who listened to us.” – Ken Mays g60, Professor of Piano at The Master’s University
The Crusaders Quartet-Paul Robbins, Ed Turui, Paul Brenneman, TA Strader and Ken Mayes-were one of Fort Wayne Bible College's finest musical groups. Incredibly have done it again. Touring Hawaii is a homecoming for them. Here are photos and memorabilia from their many tours.