This is an accurate transcript of the tape of the oral history interview of Rev. William A. Drury (CN 492, T7) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. Any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers have been omitted. Foreign terms that are not commonly understood appear in italics. In very few cases words were too unclear to be distinguished. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. The transcribers have not attempted to phonetically replicate English dialects but have instead entered the standard English word the speaker was expressing. Readers should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
Some portions of the interview that referring to living persons have been removed from this transcript and from any copies made of the tape of this interview. The removals have been indicated in the text. This restriction will expire on December 31, 2030, thirty-five years from the date the interview was recorded.
. . . Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of though within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
. . . . Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of a incomplete sentence.
( ) Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
[ ] Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
This transcription was made by Robert Shuster and Jennifer Taussig and completed in March 1998.
Collection 492, T7. Interview of William A. Drury by Robert Shuster, March 22, 1995.
SHUSTER: This is an interview with Reverend William Drury by Robert Shuster for the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. This interview took place in Mr. Drury's home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on March 22, 1995, at 2 p.m. Reverend Drury, we talked last time about how you started Teen Haven and how it developed in Philadelphia and a little bit about how the camp in Lancaster began. But I know Teen Haven also had branches in York and Buffalo and Washington. How did they start?
DRURY: In Lancaster city (just to give you a little bit of...of background)...Lancaster city, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, most people know Lancaster County, they think of Amish country and Pennsylvania Dutch. The city...the city, even since the last time I saw you, the city has become a killing zone. Just the other night a girl got gunned down. A seventeen year old boy killed a sixteen year old girl. Prior to that, about two weeks before that, a fourteen year old boy put a gun to a...to a...to a cabbie's head, and he blew him away.
SHUSTER: Are these gang-related?
DRURY: Not really. Not really. They...they...they don't have any real organized gangs as we knew gangs back in the '60s. I think I shared with you...back in the '60s we had two hundred sixty vicious, violent, organized, marauding street gangs in Philadelphia. The largest one, Bob, was the Moroccos. Anywhere from a thousand to fifteen hundred members in one gang. Bigger than (I think) the two big gangs out in Chicago. I don't know how big they are. But here you've got little cliques. But usually it's...it's just random individual killings. It has to do with sex or maybe drugs. There's been a lot of drug-related killings in Lancaster City. But twenty-five years ago some Pennsylvania Dutchmen said to me, "Where do you get your money from?" I said, "God's people." They said, "Where do you get your money from?" [Shuster chuckles] I thought they needed a hearing aid. What they were talking about was geographically, where do we get our money from geographically. I said, "Central Pennsylvania has been very, very generous to us." And they said, "When are you going to do something for Lancaster city?" They had had a mini riot here. So I came and I did some exploratory work. I rode shotgun with a police captain, Captain Luther Henry. And I went out in an unmarked car and we visited the high crime rate poverty pockets. And we went down into what they call Sunnyside and I went up outside of Lancaster city to Welsh Mountain, which was a poverty pocket at that time. I saw the need for a facility. I...I talked to kids on the street, as I have in other cities, and we had the same thing. "Hey man, who cares?" And they had some expressions of their own. But they said, "Shove it up your nose, stick it in your ear." But we bought a building. I...I bought a building that was known as the old Hambright estate. It was the oldest house of its kind in Lancaster city. It was built in the 1700s. Now the house is in the city, in what we refer to as the Seventh Ward. But when the man built that in the 1700s, he had three hundred acres. That three hundred acres is now a good part of what we know as the high crime rate Seventh Ward. So we began to work in Lancaster city. We have relocated that center, because that big old stone house really became a white elephant, and we needed more apartments. And so we own two buildings now, side by side. It gives us three apartments and a big multi-purpose room downstairs we have the ping-pong and pool tables. Buffalo, New York...Buffalo, New York....
SHUSTER: Is that apart from the house on Willow Street? Or is that a part of...?
DRURY: Oh, yes. Yeah, yeah. That's in the city. And...and the last building you were here...in...was 1811 Willow Street Pike, and that was our residence, where we lived for twenty-five years. Buffalo, New York, was a strange happening. If you'd ask me whether I'd rather be there or in Baltimore, I'd rather be in Baltimore. It's a lot closer to our camp which is in southern York County. We own 110 acres there. A woman invited me to...to come up to Buffalo, New York. She sent me, for lack of a better word, a very tear-jerking letter about the kids and the crime and the violence and all of that.
SHUSTER: How did she know you? How had she heard about it?
*DRURY: I'm on radio up there. I'm...I'm on WDCX. So she had heard me up there. I had been touted as a big bad gang worker. I don't know exactly what that is, but we did work with gangs in Philadelphia, that's for sure. So I went...she invited me up there for a week of meetings. I didn't realize that...that she was a charismatic woman, and not ordained, but a petticoat preacher.
SHUSTER: What was her name? What is her name?
DRURY: Her name was Rose. She has since married, and I don't know what her last name was. Unfortunately, [chuckles] the kids in the neighborhood called her Nutty Rose. I knew nothing of this, other than there was a need. You know, people say, "How do you get involved?" And I get a chuckle out of this "ascertaining the will of God," and "knowing the will of God," and "being called" to something. Some of those things, I don't know anything about, really. I...I just go. When the doors open, you go in like a bull in a china shop and try to do something for Jesus. So I went up there, and I had the week of meetings. She had done little or nothing to get kids off the street, really. And I went in on a Saturday night. And they met me out at the airport (I'll never forget it) with a cancer-ridden [rusty] bomb of a car, where the fumes were coming from the floor from the Buffalo airport to the location. She had a chapel on the first floor, and apartments on the second floor and her and a woman lived up there, and I stayed in the back apartment. I asked her what she was doing and she said, "Oh, nothing." She started telling me, "We are going to be at Brother So and So's church tomorrow morning, and he wants you to take two or three minutes in the service." I said "I'd really rather not." I said, "If you haven't done anything to kids off the street," I said, "I'll be walking the streets tomorrow morning." "Well, aren't you going to go to church?" I said, "Yes, I'll have church by myself before I go." [both laugh] And I did. I went out and I talked to kids. I went down to a big Roman Catholic church. A lot of kids are coming out of there. And I talked to the kids, and they kept saying, "Nutty Rose, Nutty Rose...what are you doing with Nutty Rose?" And I thought, "Lord, what did I get involved...?" [Shuster laughs] So we had a meeting on Sunday afternoon in the chapel. If you pushed them in, there'd probably be a hundred people, maybe eighty-five people. But the kids came. And it was a wild and wooly old time Salvationist meeting, where...you know, [William] Booth [founder of the Salvation Army] and his daughter used to go into the bars, you know, and have a meeting. And these kids sat there and do cat-calling, and singing off-tune. One night...one night I jumped off of the platform (there was a little make-shift platform at one of these chapels) I jumped off and grabbed this kid (white kid) by the hair of the head, turned him around, waltzed him down the aisle, threw him out in the street (Seneca Street), came back, and I'm still preaching, walking down the aisle back to the platform.
SHUSTER: You say this was a white kid. Was there black and white kids coming to the meeting?
DRURY: Mostly white kids then, mostly white kids. A few black kids that people brought in from, like over on Broadway, and...and the projects, a handful of them. We had the week of meetings, and kids got saved. I was waiting for the following Monday to come, when I would get on the plane, and wipe my feet, and say, "God bless you, Buffalo, New York." And Buffalo back...that was twenty-five years ago. It looked like a tired city, you know, that someone should have just thrown dirt on and started over. But Sunday afternoon...Sunday afternoon something happened. There was a knock on the side door of this building that I was staying in, the facility. And I was alone. I don't know where the women were, but I was alone. I went downstairs and there was a teenager who'd been in the meeting. She said, "Mr. Drury," she said, "you're not really leaving tomorrow, are you?" I said, "Sweetheart, I am history." I said, "I'm gone." "No, you can't do that!" she said. "You can't do that!" she said. She said, "You're the best thing that ever happened to this city," you know. :And we might be rotten and prostitutes and harlots and drug addicts and all of that, but we love you. They said that I should come and tell you to stay because we love you." I said, "Honey, I am going. I am leaving. God bless you." She threw her arms around me [laughs], hanging on my neck, crying up a storm. I said...I said, "I've got to go back." I said...I said, "I'll pray about it." "Please don't go, please don't go." Next day, I got on the plane and I left. Months later (I don't know what it was, three, four or five months), I was speaking at Houghton College, Buffalo campus. They call it Buffalo campus, which is a joke, because it's out in West Seneca, which is far removed from the city of Buffalo. Now they have their main campus in Houghton, New York. And so I was...was booked to speak at the main campus and at the Buffalo campus, both. I spoke at the Buffalo campus, and I got up, and I chewed those kids up one side and down the other. I...I said, "You ought to get off your doctrinal statement. There's hurting kids...I was here for meetings months ago, and there's hurting kids that...." And I really reamed them out, chewed them up. After chapel, one of the older students, in his thirties...in his middle thirties, he came up to me. He said, "Mr. Drury, thanks a lot for the message. But we've been down in that neighborhood doing your follow-ups since you left there." And I felt about yea [so] big. [Drury indicated with his fingers that he felt pretty small.] And they said, "We want to talk to you today." And we talked in somebody's apartment, a young couple on the campus of Houghton...the Buffalo campus. And talked. We had maybe a dozen students and this couple that went to school there. And they said, "What would it take for you to start a work in Buffalo, New York?" I said, "Nothing. It's too far removed," etc., etc. "Well, we want...." And then this couple said, "If you buy a building, we will move in there. No salary. We don't want any salary. Just give us rent. We'll even help with the utilities and all.
SHUSTER: And it would be a Teen Haven program as it was in Philly?
DRURY: Yes. And so I said, "You know, I'll talk about it." I had to do a radio program either that day or the next day, a talk show on WDCX. I was going to be there for a few days, as a matter of fact. I got on the radio program, and I said, "You know, we have been invited by these kids at Houghton and I want to do some investigating, but I need wheels. I don't have any wheels. I flew in to Buffalo." When I got off the radio, there was a telephone call from a guy who was a fencing contractor. He said, "I've got wheels for you and I know where there's a building for sale." [laughs] I thought, "Lord, do you know hat's happening here?" So he said, "I'll come down to the station and I'll pick you up. So he did...he came down to the radio station and picked me up. Bill Mekelberg. Mekelberg Fencing. And he had the station wagon for me, and he showed me this building. It was a big old drugstore. I mean, a big old drugstore, with a soda fountain in there. I'm sure they had them out in Chicago, and maybe even up in Hatboro [Shuster chuckles], I don't know. But I went and I looked and things were moving so fast, you know. And I realized what other Christian leaders would say, you know: "Oh, you've got to take time and pray and ascertain and search the will of God...." But it seemed like the pieces were jelling, falling together. I think they wanted something like twenty-one five for the building. It's a big...a big front room, like I say, with the store. On the second floor was two apartments. A big, old-fashioned apartment, the kind we lived in in cold water flats in New York. But this had a monstrous big living room. And then it had a second apartment in the back. And I looked at it, and I called the realtor. I said, "What about fourteen five?" Now they wanted twenty-one five, or something like that. And...and I didn't know, I was talking off the top of my head. Well, he said, "I'll get back to you." Fifteen minutes the phone rang, and he said, "You bought yourself a building for fourteen five." And I thought, "Lord...." So anyhow, that's how we got started. We renovated that building. It needed siding. Somebody said to me, "You know somebody at Armstrong Cork?" I said, "Yes, do they do siding?" I had been...so I called the guy at Armstrong who I know (who, incidentally, which we'll be talking about later, ran against me in the...in the Congress in '76. That was John Sheldrup). I said, "You do siding?" He said, "No, but we know somebody."
SHUSTER: Somebody up in Buffalo?
SHUSTER: This was somebody up in Buffalo?
DRURY: No, no, no.
SHUSTER: Somebody down in Lancaster?
DRURY: Here in Lancaster. This is their world headquarters here for...for Armstrong, multi-billion dollar operation. And he said, "But I have a contact for you out in Samsonite. I think they're in Chicago, I'm not sure...Samsonite. So I called this guy and he said, "No, we don't do anything like that. We don't give to religious organizations. And I said...and his name was Leminski or something like that. And I said, "Pardon me, sir, I'm just inquisitive." I said, "Are...are you Polish by any chance?" Silence on the other end of the phone. You talk about God working. He had told me no, he couldn't help. He said, "What does that have to do with anything?" I said, "I just want to know. It sounds like...." "I am Polish," he said, "but what does that...?" I said, "Buffalo is a Polish city. Do you know that?" I said, "The building that we're looking at, that we bought is in a predominately Polish, low-income area. "You've got to be kidding!" I said, "Check it out. Ask your relatives about Buffalo." "Oh, for crying out loud. How about that? Send me a letter." Sent him a letter. Boy, I don't know what the stamp cost back in those days. He delivered to that building a flatbed of Samsonite siding, which is Cadillac, Cadillac - four by eight sheets of Samsonite siding. Some Mennonites up there put it together, and we were well under way. And today we service hundreds of kids. We do a lot of different things in Buffalo that we don't do in other cities. For many years, we...we had this fellow.... Bob Gogel, who's our fielder up there, married, has two children, lives.... All of our staff have to live at the centers, Bob, they don't bus in or bus out, or, you know. And he put together a thing called City Spike, where he got churches from all over....
SHUSTER: City Spite?
DRURY: City Spike. It's a volleyball tournament. He got churches from all over the city and had this one-man volleyball guy...Christian guy, born-again guy...come in and play any team that was willing to play him.
SHUSTER: All by himself?
DRURY: All by himself. He's played the Philadelphia Eagles [professional football team], and the 76ers [professional basektball team], who put together a volleyball team.
SHUSTER: What was his name...what's his name?
DRURY: I was afraid you would ask that. I don't know. But he's an evangelist. He's an.... I didn't hear the man speak, I wasn't even up there. But more recently we...he has put together up in Buffalo, New York, a thing called City...City Jam, or Slam Dunk. And he thought he would get more inner city churches in a basketball tournament rather than volleyball. Black kids are not into volleyball the way white kids are. So, we're doing that, you know, this year. Up there, we do not have a camp, as we do for the other three centers. So we have to rent a camp up in New York. However, renting a summer camp up there is maddening, maddening. It's almost impossible. And again, we can talk about this later, the city, state, and federal government. When you walked into my office today I was reading a letter from the city of Philadelphia asking us for funds - gifts, donations - to fund the city program because we are tax exempt, like a three page epistle. And then the threatening thing is that, "If you don't give us money, your non-profit status will be in jeopardy." And it's almost impossible....
SHUSTER: So it's like protection?
DRURY: Yeah! That's...that's right. The old mafioso type of thing. And this is the city of Philadelphia, the fourth largest city in America. But it's almost impossible for a non-profit (and especially a religious non-profit) organization to help city, state, or federal government with their problems, as it was up in Buffalo. They hassled us so much about a camp...to rent a camp. We would rent the camp, but we had to get a...a lifeguard. And beside the lifeguard, we had to get a water safety instructor. We had to make absolutely sure that the...the camp had all the devices that you need, life-saving devices and all of.... So I finally said our man, Bob Gogel up in Buffalo, I said, "Robert, we are going to take the kids down to camp down in Pennsylvania." Which I should have thought of, because the kids enjoy the ride. It's an eight hour ride. They enjoy the ride, the trip to Lan...to York County as much as the camp itself. They have a ball, you know. So we take those kids down here. We have met...I have met with city council up there...they call it Common Council (I don't think they have any common sense) but that's the council that runs the city of Buffalo. I've met with the mayor, I've met with the chief of police, for no other reason, Bob, than to tell them "Hey, we're here to help." When our recent mayor in Lancaster City came on the job, Mayor [Janice] Stork (we have a woman mayor), I took her out to lunch. I said, "Mayor, we do not accept city, state, or government funds. Wouldn't touch them with a ten-foot pole." And every time you meet with a pol...with that type of politician who assumes that you're meeting for money, they let out this big sigh of relief. "Ahhhhh. You don't accept city money?" I said, "No, absolutely positively not. I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole if they came with a U-Haul truck and twenty dollar bills. I wouldn't touch it." Recently, in the last few weeks, I took the new chief of police out of Lancaster City. And I told him, "Chief," I said, "We will accept every youngster with the gangs and the violence and the problems and the drugs that you're...." They call them gangs or they have another name for them. But I...I said, "We will take every one of those youngsters to camp at no cost whatever. If they use your name, the Chief of Police, those kids...." With other kids, we have a registration fee, where they have to pay. And I might have shared with you before that back in the beginning, thirty-two years ago, when we began to work in Philadelphia, we did it for free. The kids literally spit in our faces. And people who start in this kind of ministry ought to know and realize and understand that you have to be very careful that the young people and their parents don't think that you are part of the dehumanizing welfare system, give away, give away, give away. So that's how the work got going up in Buffalo. We've been there for twenty-five years. And we...we need staff...we need staff in all the cities, all the cities.
SHUSTER: Do you still get people from Houghton?
DRURY: No. No, not the way we used to. I...I hope to get up to Main Camp this next year. But we got people out of Houghton for their...what they call a Winterim...Winterim. It's a practicum between semesters. They...they do six, seven day practicums. We don't get those but then, I haven't preached at Houghton for a long time. If you preach, you get them emotionalized, you get them worked up. That's happened at Wheaton and Moody. You get out there, and they get all shook up. [laughs] I just spoke at Lancaster Bible College. Must have had forty to forty-five decisions at Lancaster Bible College. Kids getting crud out of their life. And I'll be speaking at PCB [Philadelphia College of the Bible] in a couple of weeks. But the problem is...the problem is.... Franklin Delano Roosevelt said a long time ago, "There's nothing to fear but fear itself." Word of God says, "God has not given us the spirit of fear." Fear permeates America when it comes to urban America, the inner city, and all of that. Not only do you have kids going to these so-called Evangelical Christian colleges, who say incessantly, "I don't know how talk to that type of youngster." You talk to inner city ghetto kids the same way you talk to anybody else - one word at a time. One word.... But we fantasize. And I think some of the problem is, is our teachers, our instructors, our perfecters...professors in these schools. And where you do have a sociological program, some kind of program in sociology, these profs haven't got their head screwed on properly. They come up with jargon and infect the kids with fear, you know. So the...the...the kids...the students are rather reluctant to come. Then if they choose to come, or they want to get their feet wet, Bob, then you have the problem with the parents. "No son of mine...no daughter of mine is going into the ghetto of Lancaster or Buffalo or Philadelphia." So it's a problem, it's a real problem. People have to have a real heart for God and realize that where He leads you He will guide and protect and take care of your needs. And He's done that, you know, for thirty-two years. Washington, D.C. We had a great work in Washington, D.C.; in the nation's capital. How did I get started down there? I spoke at a banquet in the suburbs. And it was like a Youth for Christ, but not Youth for Christ, just that type of banquet. They wanted to hear about working with bad kids, and blah, blah, blah. So I spoke at the banquet. A great big guy (looked like John Wayne) came up to me. "Hey, Drury. What are you doing tomorrow? Are you going to be around? Are you staying overnight?" And I said, "Yes, I am." In fact, I was staying in the home of a pastor who was instrumental in my salvation, Stewart J. Rankin who is now dying of Parkinson's in a Presbyterian home in Washington, D.C. I said, "Yes." He said, "How would you like to meet my boss?" I said, "Who's your boss?" He said, "The Chief of Police in the District...in the District of Columbia." I said, "I'd...I'd love to meet him." He said, "Are you free all day?" I said, "I can make myself free. I was going to go home after breakfast, but what do you have in mind?" He said, "Well, we'll just play it by ear and see how the Lord leads us." Here was a born-again cop. I didn't realize he was the administrative assistant to the Chief of Police in the District of Columbia.
SHUSTER: Now what year was this again?
DRURY: Sixty...sixty-five. Sixty-five. Thereabouts. And I'd begun to work in '63 in Philadelphia. That just shows how this thing was snowballing. So I went down and I met the Chief of Police, and he turned me over to the juvenile area captain, who wrote a book called Cops and Kids. [Possibly Donald Bouma, who wrote Kids and Cops, ca. 1969.] I can't think of his name right now. I can see his face. But he wrote a book called Cops and Kids. He said, "Would you like to see some of our troubled areas?" I said, "Yes." I went to see some the same day. Again, this thing is snowballing, you know. And he called in two plainclothesmen. One guy was a white guy by the name of Fox. The other was Gus. Big...both these guys were large, economy-size cops...plainclothesmen. They said, "Okay, Rev., let's go." So they said, "If we step out of line...."
SHUSTER: They called you Rev?
DRURY: Rev. Rev. They said, "Okay, Rev., if we...sometimes we use language that, you know, maybe...if we say anything offensive, you tell us." I said, "You can be sure I will." So I sat in the back of this car and they took me out into Cardoza. Cardoza become the riot torn area in 1968, Bob, and in 1968 Cardoza went up in smoke. Fourteenth Street - nine hundred ninety buildings went up in smoke. And if it can't be had on Fourteenth.... The insane part.... All the sociological and the racist jargon in those years.... Fourteenth Street...Fourteenth Street was the shopping district for minorities in Washington, D.C., okay. Fourteenth, Thirteenth, Twelfth.... You go over to Sixteenth Street sometimes, and if there's a Fifteenth Street, sometimes...there isn't. [unclear] But Sixteenth Street is where the money is. Sixteenth Street is where some of your embassies are. There was not a building touched on Sixteenth. So it was not anti-system or anti-establishment, it was looting and stealing for stealing's sake on Fourteenth Street - nine hundred ninety buildings went up in smoke. That was '68.
SHUSTER: I remember that, because that was when they had those pictures of the machine gun nest being set up around the White House.
DRURY: Fourteen thousand, fourteen thousand GIs were there. And we can talk about that. But getting back to '65, I went out with these cops. And they showed me every nook and cranny. They showed me the harlots, they...where the drug dealers went down, on Seventh Street...Seven and T [street]. And Fourteenth Street. And I was being exposed to the nation's capitol like I never.... When I was stationed in Fort Mead, Maryland, in World War II, that city was a white city. Today it's ninety-eight percent black, the school system is ninety-eight percent black. Riding around, riding around and this black cop said, "How would you do this thing, Rev? You would need a building." I said, "Yeah, we'd need a building." "Well," he said, and he turned to the other white cop, and he said, "Now, Fox, you keep your mouth shut." And he said, "It just so happens, Rev, that I've got a real estate license in my pocket." I said, "You do?" I said, "Did it grow there by moonlighting?" "No, that ain't moonlighting," he said. That's helping the poor." "Sounds like moonlighting to me." [Both laugh] So we went back. He got another car. He didn't quite understand what he was doing. He showed me some houses that were cesspools in the city. I had no intention...the day before I had no intention to start a Teen Haven [laughs] in Washington, D.C. And he showed me some buildings. And I...you know, they were cesspools, and I was not interested. But I was interested in the city, in the nation's capital. And the more I thought about it, the more that turned me on. The idea of getting into the Congress and the Senate with some of these guys, and trying to shake them up to really do something for urban America. We finally found a building. Not that day, but I...I found a building. It was interesting. One of the guys that served on our board in the nation's capital, A.B. LeFleur, said, "Hey, I saw an ad in the paper about a house." And I was going to look at a house that someone had told me about. He said, "I saw..." I said, "Where is that?" He said, "1430 Newton Street." I said, "I'm on my way to 1430 Newton." So I went. And this big row house. And we bought it and I think we paid, probably, twenty-one five for that building, something like that. And renovated it, had some staff put in. You cannot have a vacant building in any of these areas or they'll be vandalized in seventy-two hours. They strip out the copper tubing, the BX cables.... So we began a work, and a good work, an excellent work. We...we were in the schools in Washington, D.C., had carte blanche with the gang workers....
SHUSTER: In the schools in what way? Like Bible studies?
DRURY: Just going in. Going and talking to...to kids in the class about Teen Haven, about Teen Haven and working in the gospels. But not organized Bible studies on the campuses, because of who we were, and our reputation in Philadelphia. I did some name-dropping with people in Washington D.C.
SHUSTER: So you'd go in and recruit kids.
DRURY: Well, go in and talk. Talk to them about drugs, and acid, speed, smack, and those kind of things, and tell them "Hey, man, there's a better way. Teen Haven is a better way. You want to get your head together, you want to get your head screwed on proudly? Check us out, man, we're at 1430...." So we went to McKinley, we went to Cardoza, and then it was a junior high that we went to. But we ran out of staff. We...we...we finally ran out of staff. The one guy who was running the building had a desire to go get more Bible college, more training. And so the building was vacant. However, a guy...a guy babysat that building for us, or buildingsat.... A big black guy, got saved in a ministry a few years before. Now he was a...was a heavyweight contender in the Olympics...in the Olympics and he had some good marks, high marks until his last bout before he got into the Olympics itself. And they wore these big helmets, and the guy came up and caught him in the face, you know, with the helmet. Phut! [indicates a hard punch] He had a concussion, I don't know if there was any brain damage. But he was babysitting that building. He would have been a tremendous staff worker, because of his magnetism. And he did, part-time, piecemeal, without being paid. He had a place to live, he got utilities. But then we finally had to sell the building in Washington, D.C. The building was paid for, everything was paid for. We had renovated the building. We did not have staff. That's our crying need. Staff.
SHUSTER: About when was that, that you sold the building?
DRURY: '70. 1970, I'm guessing. I'd lived in Washington, D.C. area before I moved up to Lancaster to start the work in Lancaster. I lived in the Hyattsville.... [Pauses] I can't think of the name of the section which is right next door to the city. You cross over the district, and you.... Woodlawn! Woodlawn section of Hyattsville. So we actually still own the building. We...we sold it to a guy who turned it into apartment houses. But we could not get a cash sale for it, so we sold it to this guy, and he's been paying us for the building. He's been paying us twelve percent interest on this building for...since 1970. Again, I'm guessing. But I'm sure it was 1970 when we sold the building. So we were there five years. We had a good ministry, had rapport with the police department, with the district attorney's office, with everybody in D.C. You cannot function without personnel, without people.
SHUSTER: Did you ever get any staff from, say, the Washington Bible...?
DRURY: No, no. They moved out, they moved out. PCB moved out, Philadelphia College..., Washington Bible.... I used to speak at Washington Bible College and Seminary every year. But inner city...inner city urban ministries do not appeal, not even to black guys. Black guys want to have a pastor, they want to be a preacher, they want to have their own store-front church, you know. It's extremely difficult to...and to get people to...to work.... Our work is primarily with young people. We work with some adults, only because the kids bring their parents. I don't know if we talked about that the last time. But we have family retreats, where the...only kids who bring adults with them can go to camp. So they have to bring a mom, pop, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, whatever. So these kids bring adults to camp during Family Retreat. I think it's twice a year - once in the spring and once in the fall and the parents are evangelized. And we tell them what we're all about. And some of the adult males who come (and they are few and far between) are as bad as the kids. Because we tell them, even the adults, "You cannot bring tobacco or alcohol to the camp." And some of these guys try to bring their wine. And if we know it, if we find it, it's gone. We confiscate it, just pour it out. "Hey, man! You can't do that." "It's the rules, it's the regulations here. It goes down the drain, down the tube." So that was the work in Washington, D.C. In York, Pennsylvania.... I had a desire to have a Teen Haven center in York because York City is about twenty-five miles from our camp in York County...is in Bogue, Pennsylvania. And we did exploratory work over there from time to time. I even tried to work with a couple of agencies. I got...got a guy started over there, [name omitted] ...I don't know whether you've heard that name or not. But he wanted to work with inner-city kids. I got him started. Be glad to talk to any city who...who wants to duplicate this program.
SHUSTER: So he wasn't working for you but he was starting his own program?
DRURY: His own thing called [name omitted]. He bought a camp up in the Poconos somewhere, and moved out of the city. He was trying to duplicate Jack Wyrtzen, and I don't think he ever did. He lost a leg.... When he was getting incorporated and everything else, he called me up. Every other day was on the phone with questions. What he didn't ask me was whether or not he should buy a motorcycle. And he bought a motorcycle and he was lying through his teeth 'cause he said he had to get the bike to get down where the kids were. He wanted a toy, and the toy cost him his leg. He...it almost cost him his son's life. Him and his son was on the bike, and they were turning into their driveway, and he miscalculated, and the bike went out from underneath him and a car ran over him and took his leg off. His son was hospitalized for the longest time. So we try to work...work with other agencies, as we do in the cities where we exist. We...we work hand-in-hand. I think I've told you before we work...we work with the police department. They've been fantastic with us in Philadelphia. They bring in our camp forms into the public schools. We can't go into public schools. But the police department can go in on their DARE program. I don't know if you...drugs, alcohol, something like that. And they bring our camp.... And we try to work with them. So, finally, we did some exploratory work in York City. York is a different make-up. It's not like Lancaster City where you have the south end of Lancaster City is a poverty pocket. A good-sized...I don't know how many people, twenty, twenty-five thousand people. Maybe more than that. Maybe thirty-five people live in that part of the city. But in York, the poverty pocket is...is pockmarked.
SHUSTER: Scattered all over the place.
DRURY: Yeah, scattered. Good street, bad street, good, bad. And we have a work on College Avenue. Again, we...we bought a building on College. Another of our buildings, everything is paid for. We own the buildings; nobody can put us out. And that work is probably fifteen years old, something like that. Getting back to the place up in Buffalo, it was very interesting. I'm speaking up in Tok, Alaska, at a men's meeting. I...I...I might have shared with you that I tried to go up there to get some kids out of a commune. The kids were raised in an Evangelical church, Evangelical home. They got involved in this hyper-charismatic thing. Sold all they had, and go...went to live in a commune.
SHUSTER: They were that Pentecostal group?
DRURY: Oh, yeah. Very, very hyper. Extreme...extreme. I mean, I...I speak in charismatic churches, but that is your hyper, extreme. And this commune is up there to perfect believers...the perfection of the believers. I didn't find anybody up there was near perfect. And I stayed at the commune, and that was a hairy situation. You can ask me questions about that. But I'm up in Tok, Alaska, up in the boondocks of Alaska, speaking at a men's group up there. And that was fascinating for me, growing up in New York, to be in that...I don't know whether they call it the tundra or what they call it [laughs], up in the boonies. And I was speaking to these guys, and I preached. I think I gave an evangelistic message and I gave an invitation, one or two hands were raised. But then I took questions, and a guy raised his hand. "Hey, preach. Did you say you had a work in Buffalo, New York?" I said, "Indeed, we do, on Seneca Street." "Whereabouts on Seneca Street?" I said, "1221 Seneca Street." "You can't be serious!" He said, "I used to be a soda jerk. I...I..."
SHUSTER: Same place?
DRURY: Same location - 1221...he named the people that owned it. I didn't know him. But he worked in that store, which is now Teen Haven. He's now living the hermit's life up in the boondocks, and he had to come in for this conference, you know. But God is blessing in all of these cities. The thing with these kids in the commune.... I...their uncle invited me out for lunch at the Union League in Philadelphia. I don't know whether you know where the Union League is.
DRURY: That's where the elite meet to eat - the 400 Club, the conservative Republicans....
SHUSTER: Very exclusive club.
SHUSTER: Very exclusive club.
DRURY: Oh, exclusive is the understatement of the year. I don't know what the...the...the dues is there but it's astronomical. This man that I'm talking about put me in for clergy membership, and after months of interrogation, they said I was outside the thirty-five-mile limit [outside of their boundaries for membership] - after they questioned me about everything - my doctrinal statement, my position...the whole nine yards. But we had lunch with [names omitted]. [Name omitted] built skyscrapers downtown - that's the kind of operator he was. He built [name omitted] and mammoth buildings and shopping plazas and malls and all of that. We had lunch, and we had lunch with this girl's daddy. As a matter of fact, this girl years before had come forward [during] my preaching as a Christian, there's something in your life, you know. She came forward, she got married. The uncle and the father financed a hardware store for her husband up on Shelton Avenue. And everything was all set, and then they found their church to be dull. The average Evangelical church, very dull. You always do the same things. Business as usual. So they got bored and somebody invited them to a prayer meeting, and they went to the prayer meeting. They found out about a Second Blessing [doctrine about baptism of the Holy Spirit], and the third, fourth, fifth, sixth blessing, and speaking in tongues, and all of that. They got more and more involved, and then they heard about this commune up in that was starting. It's this massive barn...the largest barn I've ever seen in my life. The second floor sleeps ninety people. The second floor of that barn was completely renovated. They have ninety cows underneath. Now you know what the second floor smells like. [Shuster laughs] And I stayed in this thing; this is not fantasy.
SHUSTER: What was the name of it, do you recall?
DRURY: [Pauses] The Body of Christ, I think. They now have something like seven farms up there in Alaska. And they have farms in Thailand, and I don't know where all. So these two men questioned me and told me what was going on. And I couldn't believe it, I couldn't believe it. Because this woman, now married, was brought up in a very godly, godly home. Beautiful parents and a very conservative church - Dr. George Schmitter [?], Fellowship Church in Philadelphia...a long, long time independent Evangelical conservative church. So [name omitted], the guy who built...he's now dead and gone...who built skyscrapers, shot from the waist, you know. And he said, "Drury, if that was your daughter, what would you do?" I said, "You'd better believe I'd go up and find out what's going on." That's all I said. "Really. How would you do that?" So I told him what I'd do. I'd get on a plane and go up there. The next morning, the next morning the girl's mother calls me 7 o'clock in the morning - in tears, crying her heart out. "Oh, Brother Bill, I understand you're going up to Alaska for us!" [Shuster laughs] I said, "I'm doing what?!" She said, "[Name omitted] called and said that you're willing to go to Alaska." And now she's in hysterics. I said, "Let me talk to [name omitted] about that."
SHUSTER: Now their daughter and her husband had gone up to Alaska to this commune. Was there something else just besides the fact that they had gone there that had upset them? I mean was there...?
DRURY: Oh, yes, yes.
SHUSTER: ...something they had heard?
DRURY: They sold their...they sold everything they had. They sold the hardware business - the stock, which wasn't theirs to sell. They were told, "Sell all you have, and follow me." And that's what Jesus said, but they sold stuff that wasn't even theirs. Their...their car, I don't know whether they had a little house.... But they sold all of this and gave it to the commune. And so that really upset the parents; they knew nothing about this. Plus the fact that they'd heard rumors which were confirmed by someone whom I'll talk about in...in just a few minutes. So I called [names omitted] , and said, "What in the name of common sense did you tell [name omitted]?" They said, "Well, we thought you might be willing to go." I said, "That's not what [name omitted] said. [Name omitted] said I'm going, you know." "Well, can you go? Will you go?" I said, "Let me give it some serious thought and see if I can block out some time." I said, "If I go up there, it's going to take a week, you know two weeks, something like that, to go wandering around Alaska to find this place."
SHUSTER: Why did they feel that you, rather than the girl's father or one of them..."
DRURY: The girl's father would have nothing to do with her. He...he was bitter. He was a Christian, born-again man, but he was bitter. I mean, he was bitter. He said, "She...I gave her a good education, she knows better. She never even consulted us." And...and [name omitted]...[name omitted] was the one who put this thing together. He was the wealthier of the two. So I called...I called...well, I called my own congressman, and said, "What can you tell me about this Body of Christ?" This wasn't too long after the massacre in Guyana where the one thousand people...
SHUSTER: Under Jones...Jim Jones
DRURY: Yeah, under Jim Jones Sr. [?]. But at any rate, I went up there. Well, I...I inquired, and I talked to my own congressman, who was the guy I ran against in '76. [Shuster laughs] He is a fruitcake; he's got scrambled eggs for brains. And I would tell that to him...well, I did tell that to his face when I got back from Alaska. But I called John Buchanan. John Buchanan was a very dear friend of mine, a southern congressman from Birmingham, Alabama. I preached in his church in Birmingham. And I called him and said, "John, let's have lunch. I've got a problem." So we had lunch on Capitol Hill. I said I knew nothing about this commune, about this group, or anything like that. He said, "Let me...let's get back to my office and call Junine Mann." Junine Mann was one of the head investigators at Guyana for this cult. And she investigates cults, and checks out the legalities, you know. So he called her and she said, "I'll get on it immediately."
SHUSTER: She works for the Justice Department?
DRURY: Yeah. Somebody in Washington. A few days later, maybe seventy-two hours later - my congressman had not done a thing yet - she called me about 11 o'clock at night. I was impressed that anybody in D.C. was working at 11:00 at night. She said, "Rev, how are you?" "Fine." She said, "Are you in good health?" "Yeah." Blah, blah, blah. She said, "Are you sitting down? Do you have a pad?" And she...she read me all the information. Some of the head honchos were already in federal security prisons. One of them had died in a Lear jet. (And she had all of this information.) Ploughed into a mountain on Alaska. She said, "We have a good report that everybody up there has guns." And she said, "Remember Congressman Ryan." He was a guy that was murdered down in Guyana. She said, "Are you going by yourself?" I said, "Well, not exactly. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit hopefully is going with me." She said, "Well, I would...I would be very careful." She sent me a packet of stuff on some of the things.
SHUSTER: Now some of them were in federal security for fraud? Or for...?
DRURY: Kidnaping. Kidnaping. They...they were indicted and then convicted for...for.... And embezzlement. I guess you call it embezzlement - getting properties and funds under false pretenses, I don't know what. So I called up to what is now SEND International. It was Central Alaskan Mission. Vince Joy was the founder, very, very dear friend of mine. I said, "Hey, I'm going to be up in the neighborhood. Can you use me to speak?" He said, "Yeah. Bill Drury, yeah." This guy said, "Yeah," I knew him. "I grew up in Oliny [Avenue in Philadelphia]" and so forth. [break in tape]
SHUSTER: ...were at the Palmer Bible Institute in Palmer, Alaska.
DRURY: The man...the man who worked for what we now know as SEND International said, "I'll...I'll line you up with all the...all the speak... speaking engagements you want. And you can stay right here at the Palmer Bible Institute." Which was in Palmer, Alaska. And the commune was in Palmer, Alaska. You talk about God working things out.
SHUSTER: Well, so the people at SEND must have known something about the commune, too.
DRURY: They didn't know a thing about it. Not a thing, not a blessed thing. Nobody knew anything about it. And it wasn't a stone's throw, I mean, it was a few miles away, down in the canyon. They knew nothing about that commune. It was a super separatist, perfectionist group, okay. They do not evangelize. They do not evangelize. They proselytize Evangelical Christians that come into the Body of Christ, the...the commune. So I...I went up there, and so it was.... Alaskan Mission came and met me in Anchorage. And I found out that half the people who live in Alaska live in Anchorage. And we have less people in the whole state of Alaska then we have minority people in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We...they have maybe seven hundred thousand people in the state of Alaska. Mind-boggling. Half of them live in Anchorage. Well, they came and met me. And I spoke at the...at the Bible School, and I spoke up in Glennallen. But it was interesting. A very good friend of mine, a very good friend of mine.... If you ever do anything on SEND, and if you ever get up there....
SHUSTER: We have their records in the Archives.
DRURY: Do you? Well, it was Al Kelley. Al Kelley. I don't know whether they...they talked Al Kelley. Al Kelley and I went to Bible School. He knew from day one....
SHUSTER: In Washington?
DRURY: No, no. In New York City.
SHUSTER: In New York, right, right.
DRURY: NBI...National Bible Institute. And he knew from day one that he wanted to go to Alaska, when it was a territory. I never did find anybody in the state of Alaska who voted for statehood. [Shuster chuckles] They've all got this territory mentality. But Al Kelley went up to Central Alaska Mission and drowned in the waters up there. So that story would have been in the Archives, because they've got a big picture of him up there in Glennallen. But I had a mindset, you know.... You get this picture of these poor Aleuts, and the Indians, and the Eskimos running around in loincloths. I don't know why they would be running around in loincloths in the snow, but you get this.... Well, the people I talked to, the Aleuts, they had money. They were fishermen, salmon fishermen, and hunted bear and elk and moose and I don't know what all. So I spoke in the Bible School, and I told them why I was in Alaska. And I needed wheels. I said, "I need wheels." This one guy came up to me...I don't know whether he was an Aleut, big guy.... He said, "Brother Bill, I have a four-wheel-drive out here. If you can handle it... Let me show you." So I went out, and there's this monstrous four-wheel drive that they use up in Alaska...you feel like King Kong. I didn't even know whether I could get into the thing because you've got steps. Like the big old-fashioned tractors, you know, that.... He said, "You take that down in...into where you're going. And if you need help, you let us know, and we'll come down." And I thought this was cowboy and Indians, and I would have the Indians.... [laughs] I went down, unannounced. I...I went down into this canyon. And I really felt like John Wayne, you know. You went down and circled around and down and back in there. And there's this mammoth barn. They had this barn. And then there's this little school where the kids go from the barn over there. You talk about mindset, you talk about mindset. When the kids go from the barn to the school, which is only a couple hundred yards away.... They have a rope, and there are knots on the rope. And each child must hold onto his knot or her knot to walk a few hundred yards. And I contend it is nothing but mindset. Mind control, you know. So I went down in there.
SHUSTER: So they won't run away? Or so that they...?
DRURY: No, just control. Mind control...mind control. Everything in their life is programmed. Everything is programmed. Very little play time. If it's play time, it's organized play time. But it's from the time they get out of bed...their prayer time...they get up 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning. Even the kids pray and pray and pray and pray. And...and then they go to school. Well, I went down in there unannounced. This...this mammoth barn, like I said, the largest barn I've ever seen in my life. They had a tannery, they had these ninety cows that they were milking three times a day...the cows got milked every eight hours, which is unheard of here in the States. You know, you milk them twice a day, up there, three times a day. They had a tannery, they had a tannery. All in the same building. The place was a fire trap, explosive thing ready to happen. But I went in there, and I said, "Could you tell me where...." I can't think of their name now. I guess it will come to me. And lo and behold, they were back in the kitchen and they heard my voice.
SHUSTER: This is the girl and her husband?
DRURY: Yeah. And...and...and the wife said, she let out this expletive, you know, "Oh, my gosh! That sounds like Bill Drury!" Because she knew me as a kid growing up. And she said, "Bill Drury, what are you doing here?" I said, "I'm speaking up here at the Bible Institute and I came to visit you." She said, "Did you really?" Even the way she said it then, I thought, this kid knows what's going down, you know. So we got to talking, and she said, "Can you stick around and have lunch with us?" I said, "Yeah." So I did, and, oh, when they prayed, Bob, they prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed until the food got cold, you know. And we talked, and I asked questions. Some questions I got answers to. They do not talk about money, about finances, how the thing is operated, all of that. So, I said, "Do you enjoy it here?" "Very much so." I said, "Why are you here, down in a canyon, and all the way up in Alaska?" They said, "We are here to be perfected." I said, "You're going to be perfected?" I said, "There's none perfect, no, not one, other than the Lord Jesus Christ." And they know Scripture. They know volumes of Scripture. And...and...it's...this is their life. It's not a job, it's not even a ministry. It's twenty-four hours, like I say, even the adults are programmed. I saw things that I had read about the de-programming of people who...who wanted to leave the commune. And one was that they take them into a shower. And people take...they give them a bathrobe, take their clothes off, give them a bathrobe, they go in the shower. Now I don't know what they do...if they fight and whether they restrain them or what. But they hand the bathrobe outside of the shower. The shower is in the only corridor that there is on the second floor of this barn. You've got these cubicles...these cubicles...these little tiny rooms. And if you have children, the children will sleep in one cubicle, in one room, and you're in the next room...side by side. It's not an apartment - there's no kitchen in it, there's no bathroom. It is communal living. It's the old commune. But in the center of that corridor there's this shower. And I happened to be walking around. And wherever I walked, there was eyes. It's almost like a communist...whatever you call it. I looked down at the end, and somebody was standing there, looking around the corner. I looked down at the other end, and.... And I didn't know if I was going to get out of here the first time. But I opened up the shower. And this one guy started walking to me. "Mr. Drury, Brother Drury, does that fascinate you?" I said, "Yes." I said, "There's only one...one nozzle in there." I said.... And I'd heard about this ice-water shower, but now I'm looking at it, you know. And I thought, "If I don't behave myself, I might be in there." [chuckles] So, at any rate, I...I left, and they said, "Can you come back?"
SHUSTER: So if somebody wanted to leave, they had to take an ice-water shower?
DRURY: Well, they de-programed them. They de-programed them. They stand around this shower (so I was told and so I read) and they put the defector, the defector, the person who wants to leave, in there and turn on the ice water. Ice water...they...I don't know how they cool it down, but it was definitely ice water that they put this person in. So I got out of there, and they said, "Will you come back and stay with us for a night?" I said, "I just might do that." One thing I did do, I gave the kids "The Bill Drury Story" that was run on Unshackled, and I had it on tape, and I was handing out these tapes left and right to the kids, whether they.... Because everybody had a tape recorder in their cubicle, and they had this whole rack of the teachings of founder and the other leaders and all of that. So I...I left, and I was invited back, and I stayed there. The smell was mind-boggling. The cows were underneath the living quarters. And I met with some of the elders. They have elders and overseers and whatnot. If your child needs a pair of shoes, you take the shoes to the elders and they pray over the shoes to see whether or not you are deserving, whether your child is deserving. The shoes could be falling apart. But they have to pray over these shoes, and then somebody else goes and gets the shoes for you, and so forth and so on. They do bring their products...they...they.... Alaska grows the biggest heads of cabbage the world over. It might be half the size of this table. Like pumpkins, these mammoth things. Then they take them down into Palmer, or they go all the way to Anchorage, and spend the whole day there, and sell the hats that they make, the fur hats and the other stuff. But I went there and I met with the elders. And I made sure that I had access to the door, because I didn't have any idea...and that was...again, I was by myself when I stayed there. And I asked questions about finances, money. When I'm leaving, when I'm finally leaving the commune, this woman and her husband came up to me. They said, "You can tell [name omitted] and Daddy that it didn't work. It didn't work." I said, "What didn't work?" They just said, "We knew from the day you set foot here why you were here."
SHUSTER: They didn't want to leave?
DRURY: Yeah. And they didn't.... I took them out...I got permission from the elders to take them and their kids out. There are very few restaurants, very few restaurants in Alaska. I took them out and paid a small fortune for a hamburger and french fries and stuff like that. But the kids...I'm sure I could have gotten to the kids. No problem to get the kids out of there. And you just got this message that these kids did not want to be there. There were there against their will. Maybe their parents wanted to be there, even their grandparents, but they didn't. But she said, "You tell Uncle [name omitted] and...that it didn't work." I said, "You're wrong." I said, "Love never fails. Love never fails. And they love you, and that's the only reason I'm here," you know. What did happen...what did happen is that I got the father and the mother to go up and visit with them, and they're on speaking terms today. They're still in the commune. They are running one of the farms now up in Alaska, you know. That was a wild, wild story. I don't know how we got off on that tangent.
SHUSTER: Well, it's an interesting story, though, about some of the ways that Christianity can be corrupted.
SHUSTER: You were talking about in York and Buffalo and Washington starting branches of Teen Haven. Did you ever think of starting a branch in Baltimore or Washington or New York or...?
DRURY: Oh, yes. Very much so. Baltimore...Baltimore. We came very close...almost fell into a bad situation in Baltimore. Some Methodist pastor and his wife were not suited or didn't want to stay in the ministry, and they came to me and asked me about starting a work in an area called the Block. The Block is the...the pits, what the kids call the pits, in Baltimore. And we explored it, and we talked and talked and talked and talked. They got an application, they filled out, they gave their testimony, they did the whole thing. I started to look for a building. Again, I found a terrific corner piece of property. The price was right. Before I signed on the dotted line to buy that building, they bowed out. They said....
SHUSTER: A minister and....
DRURY: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Being a minister and doing this kind of work.... This kind of work...you're on, not necessarily twenty-four hours a day, but it's a long day, and six days a week...our people work six days a week. So it's a long, difficult ministry. It's not Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and a few hospital calls in between, you know. So they realized that it was probably more than they had bargained for, and they apologized. I was thankful that I hadn't signed the contract to buy the building...that's how close we were. So we never did start the...the work in...in Baltimore. Raymond Berry...Raymond Berry, who played for the Baltimore Colts at that time, he and Don Shinnick [?], Raymond was the one who asked me to start a work in Baltimore. Raymond...I was in his home one time, and that is another story, but he said, "How do you start a...a work like this in the city?" I said, "We meet with the authorities...the chief of police, the district attorney, the mayor and find out where the needs really are. If the city is foreign to us, we have to find out where the high crime rate, poverty pockets where just poor kids live." So he said to me, "Would you like to have an audience with the chief of police?" I said, "I certainly would." That was General Gelsten. General Gelsten was the interim Chief of Police. He was a commandant of the Maryland National Guard on loan because of the riots in Baltimore to...when they had the National Guard in there, they kept him in Baltimore as the interim Chief of Police. I said, "I'd like that very much. That would be interesting." And I...now I'm living in Hyattsville, Maryland, at that time. I can't tell you exactly what the year was. But the night before.... Now this will impress you, is a professional football player, one of the greatest. He's a Hall of Famer, Raymond Berry...I don't know whether you know anything about football, but he's a Hall of Famer. The night before the meeting, he called me up.... He's from Texas. The name is Raymond. It's not Ray Berry. Everybody says Ray Berry, it's Raymond. He called me up the night before, and he said, "Brother Bill," he said, "About this meeting tomorrow with the general.... What is it that we expect God to do in that meeting?" And I just about dropped my teeth, and I can do that. I thought, "This is a football player asking me what is it we expect God to do in a meeting?!" Which...I hadn't really given it...you pray, but your prayer is as broad as it is wide, you know. And he said, "My wife and I are going to have devotions, and we want to pray about that meeting, and we want to pray intelligently." I thought to myself, "Do you really?" [both laugh] I stuttered and stammered, and began to itemize some things. He said, "Now, just take your time. I want to write these things down." I thought, "I can't believe this! This is not a pastor, this is not a missionary, this is not an evangelist...this is a pro football player!"
SHUSTER: You couldn't believe he was that spiritual?
DRURY: Oh, yeah, right! To...to call me, "What is it, that we want God to do?" So I went up there, and he hadn't told me that one of the coaches had dropped dead of a heart attack, and he had to go to the funeral. But I met him and he brought me into the chief's office. He said, "Brother Bill, if you'll excuse me." He said, "I can meet you in such and such a place for lunch if you'll wait on me, but I do have to go to a funeral, and I have to go." So he left. The chief of police, General Gelsten, said, "The Baltimore Colts can do no wrong in this town," he said, "and there's the prince of the Baltimore Colts walking through that door." He said, "There are few men in this city who have a testimony like Raymond Berry." So he said, "What can I do for you?" And I told him about Teen Haven, and so forth and so on. He said, "Would you like to see our poverty pockets? I've got a captain waiting for you." I said, "Do you really?" [Shuster laughs] Here we go again. So we went out and we drove all over the city, and saw all the problems...went into the Block...what they call the Block. It's not a block, but that's the name they gave this section, the Block. And again, I was convinced.... But to answer your question, we've explored Harrisburg. I've spoken at Dallas Seminary...Dallas Bible College. I spoke in Dallas Seminary and some of the professors down there have been intermittently have been praying for the poor section of Dallas. Where that is, I don't know. But I've said to these people, especially Dallas Seminary, I've said, "Find me six men...who will commit themselves to two years to the inner city...to live there, you know." Not one. Didn't get one...didn't get one at Hollis [?] Bible College. Got...got...found some American Indians at the Bible College who wanted to start a work on the reservation. I think I should have taken them up. As I look back...hindsight... because I've always been sympathetic to the Indians...the American Indians who we raped and molested and put on reservations. I was out in LA. I was out in Watts. Shows you how the white Evangelical thinks. I had to go out there to speak at....
DRURY: Biola...Biola [University in La Miranda, California]. I spoke at Biola, I spoke at Westmont [College in Santa Barbara, California], I spoke at Point Loma. Point Loma...is that the name of it? [Point Loma Nazarene College in San Diego, California] And I called a friend of mine, [name removed], who used to lead singing for me, and vocalists, when he was in the Philadelphia area. And I knew he was out there, and I called and I wanted to visit with him. "Yeah, stay with us, please. Don't go to a hotel or don't stay at the school." He said, "I'll get you a car." So I went out there. And I had a day off, and [name removed] said, "Where would you like to go?" He said, "You want to go to Forest Lawn? That's an incredible cemetery out here." "No," I said, "I'm going to die soon enough. I don't want to go to a cemetery." [Shuster laughs] I didn't realize the prediction that that.... He finally took me there on Saturday, and I fell asleep at Forest Lawn! [Both laugh] But he said, "What would you like to do?" He said, "You've got a day free, what would you like to do? You know, I want to take you out to dinner.... But I took the day off. I told my boss." (who became a good friend of mine, [name removed] , a very wealthy man on the west coast). I said, "I'd like to go down to Watts." He said, "You want to go where?" I said, "To Watts. There's a section called Watts where they had a riot." "Yeah, but you don't want to go there." I said, "Yeah I do. I want to go down to Watts." He said, "I...I really do have a busy day tomorrow." [Shuster laughs] Now he was taking the day off. He told me that, Bob. He said, "I have...." And I didn't realize that his wife was standing behind me going like this...."[Drury shakes his head to indicate no.] "You are NOT going to Watts." He said, "Can I just give you the...the...the keys to one of our cars and a street map? But...you really want to go there?" I said, "Yeah, I really do." And I drove down to Watts by myself. I walked around and I went into some of the black restaurants. They had the thing called, "The Wing's the Thing" where you get chicken wings, you know. And I went in there, and talked to adult people, and talked about.... Just curious, not with the intention of starting a work. I said, "Do you think there's a Christian youth center needed in here?" "One? We need ten...fifteen of those places here. You get these kids to come to know God, that's a miracle." I found nothing but receptive adults. Then I...I talked to some of the kids in the street, and they...you know, they.... When a white guy goes in like that...rarely do you have a...does a narc go in by himself. A...narc is a plainclothesman, a vice-detective.
DRURY: Yeah, narcotics. But I went in, I get back to the car, the car was in one piece, and...and I...I took off for my friend's house. So we....
SHUSTER: You were saying that they weren't suspecting you because you rarely see a white guy all by himself...?
DRURY: That's right. And they always think you're the fuzz. White cop. What white man is going to walk around by himself in the high crime rate, volatile area of Watts, LA? It was another city that I had investigated. Huff...Huff. In Cleveland? The Huff section of Cleveland? I was preaching at a father-and-son banquet out there, and preaching in some churches, and spoke at a men's breakfast...that's what it was. And got to talking about who we are and what we do in the area, and I hear this guy say - in the audience, while I'm talking, "Well, he'd never show his face in Huff." I think it was Cleveland, Ohio. Yes, because I stayed in a Polish home there. And I said, "Excuse me? What is Huff?" "Oh, nothing," he said. "I didn't think you heard me." "No, no, no. I want to stop right now. Tell me what Huff is." He said, "Well, it's an area where nobody in their right mind goes in." I said, "Why don't you go in there, then? Do people live there?" "Yeah. Those people live there, you know. Those people live there, you know. They have to live there. I said, "Who are those...." This is in the middle of a message, you know. And the guy's looking at the floor, and the other men are looking at the walls, the ceiling, you know. "Why didn't he keep his mouth shut?" And I said to the pastor, "Are we free tomorrow morning? Can we go down to Huff?" And the pastor's looking at me. [both laugh] Saturday rather. I said, "Can we go down to Huff today?" The pastor's looking, he said, "Do you want an answer now?" I said, "Yeah, an answer now." I said. "Or can I use your...my car?" He said, "If we go down to Huff, I'm going to drive my car." So I went down to Huff...it's the low-income, blighted area and they had a riot there.... A couple of times I've been jumped, you know, but never really molested. I think I told you I was robbed in Washington, D.C. down there. But yes, we've inquired of all the cities. Dr. Stephen Olford spoke at one of our banquets, did a fabulous job, did a great job. Knew I was born and raised in New York, and Stephen with that Scotch-English accent, whatever...Wales...wherever he comes from, Stephen said, "Brother Bill, what would it take to bring you back to New York?" I said, "Men, Doctor...men." He turned to his wife, Heather. He said, "I thought he was going to say money." He said, "I think he...I can get you some money for a project like that." I said, "Get me some men, Doc. You travel the world over...get me some men who would commit themselves to Manhattan." I said, "I don't even know whether we can afford to live in Manhattan...Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant, you know...Staten Island, wherever. Where there's problems, where there's real poor...." He said, "You're serious." I said, "Yes, sir. You get me some men," I said, "and we'll explore the possibilities. I can't do it without men, Doctor." I said, "Now, I need men more than a building." He never got me a man. Stephen Olford never...never referred anyone. But we've explored other cities here and there and everywhere. And the interesting thing is, one of the things that you want to touch on, you think of the billions, billions, and billions of dollars when you hear talk today in 1995 about the Republican's contract with America [a campaign promise made by Republican candidates during the 1994 Congressional elections]. Turns me off, some of it. But when you consider the billions of dollars that the Great Society Program (Lyndon Baines Johnson) poured...poured into every major city in America. And every major city has become a cesspool, a poverty pocket. The total inability of government to govern, Bob. It's...it's history, it's fact, it's gospel that we do not know how to govern ethnic people of other origins, other than your typical WASP or Roman Catholic or you know, white person, you know. It's mind-boggling. And the programs that they put together, that they theorize and put together in some kind of a governmental sociological skypalace. They put this thing together. It's like some kind of a new motor car...that somebody gets a brainstorm to put this battery-operated motor car on the Autobahn [highway] in Germany and this thing's going to fly. And when the thing doesn't work you get rid of it. The only problem is that...that we don't get rid of the programs. But those programs have come and gone. John F. Kennedy...John F. Kennedy said, "We are going to launch a war on juvenile crime and delinquency." We lost that war. The federal government, the United States multi-billion dollar federal government programs lost the war, lost the war. For years....
SHUSTER: And there was the war on poverty and the war on drugs.
DRURY: The war on drugs. I...when Ronald Reagan was in office, I wrote to.... Oh, who was the guy? Bill Bennett? Was he the drug Czar?
SHUSTER: There was somebody before him, but [pauses] maybe it was Bill Bennett.
DRURY: He...he became the head of Education, and now's he's critical of what...now that he's not in there anymore. But at any rate, I wrote to him, and I said, "Hey, listen. We've been there for...." I don't know what it was then...twenty-five...twenty-seven years. "I've got an idea, give me an audience." I wind up with two clods down in Washington, D.C. I was stupid enough to go down to meet with these two meatheads. I said, "Listen. In 1968 we had an emergency in the nation's capital...the capital of the United States...."
END OF TAPE