My search for the Truth started as a young man in the Sunday school of a very conservative Christian denomination. I was always one to ask, “Why?” I was never satisfied with the pat answer, “Because we have always done it this way.” I went to a Bible college in Northern Indiana, still searching for the Truth, and still not satisfied. The Lord intervened in my life through a terrible accident in which I was confined to the hospital for thirty days. At this time, flat on my back, nineteen years old, I asked the question, “What would you have me do with my future?” Within three months, I left my safe, secure home and found myself in the US Navy. The Lord opened my eyes to see that there were in fact other Christians in the world and that they were not confined to Northern Indiana.

My wife and I were going to many denominations searching for the Truth. None of the denominations answered my heart’s deep longing for answers. One question that always was with me, “Why are there all the denominations?” I was excommunicated from my former denomination because I had married my wife who was not of that denomination. I will never forget the letter that I received stating that I was not welcome to the Lord’s Table. A search through the Word revealed absolutely no grounds to denominate the Body of Christ. At this time we were asked to join the non-denominational church we were attending. I replied, “How can I join one when I just got kicked out of one?” Hence, my search continued.

I was introduced to Witness Lee, in 1963, through a series of audiotapes heard in an apartment in Pittsburgh, PA. Although the tapes were of poor quality and the speaker spoke in broken English, my search for the Truth intensified. There was definitely something of the Truth in that speaking that echoed satisfaction deep within me. I was given two books during this time: Sit, Walk, Stand and Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. These two books once again intensified my search and kept the fire burning within. We were studying a book entitled Release of the Spirit by Watchman Nee, which really made clear to us that there was a spirit in man.

My wife and I were asked to go to a conference in Los Angeles in 1968. We had no idea what we were in for! It was there that we saw the matter of the oneness of the church composed of all believers. We were never the same after that time. We heard the ministry of Witness Lee during the next period of time in the church in Los Angeles. The informal, new beginners meetings, and the numerous conferences during those years were answering my quest for the Truth in a wonderful way.

We have been in the local church now for over thirty years. I still consider myself a seeker after the Truth in the Word. Witness Lee exhorted us many times to not take his word, but to search the Scriptures ourselves. He never would allow himself to be set up on a pedestal, but was a humble slave of Christ Jesus in everything. All of his fellowship and council was always with the goal of the Body of Christ and not his own glory. He led by example in so many ways. His life was truly a pattern for my life and conduct before the Lord.

Donald Klopfenstein