Deliverance Temple

The Solid Rock is what we called the house on Wilson Street in
Novato. It was perhaps the most active and important of all the
Christian houses, and its founder was Mark Buckley, later joined
by his wife, Kristina Kenner, after their marriage.
Mark grew up in a northern suburb of San Rafael called Terra
Linda. (From the years 1968 onward, to 1975, Mark was my closest partner in
ministry. He met Kristina at a Bible study I held on Tuesday nights on Greenfield
Ave. in San Rafael. In my mind’s eye I can see Mark seated right next to Martin, later
Moishe, Rosen in the front room of the Greenfield house, otherwise known as Zion’s
Inn. Currently Mark is senior pastor of a large church in Phoenix, Arizona.) There were eight Buckley kids, four boys and four girls, and
everyone in town knew them. Mark was the first of the family to
become a Christian. His conversion took place somewhere in Oregon
through the testimony of people from the Manifested Sons of God, a
group I considered cultic, but they did tell Mark about Jesus.
Mark and his brothers, John, Robert, and Barry, were star athletes
at the high school, playing mostly football. They were all handsome
young men and gifted in many ways. Mark got into the hippie thing,
and his salvation saved him not only from sin but also from what
could have been a devastated life. Instead, he was instrumental in the
conversion of two of his brothers and one or two sisters, as well as
his mother.
Mark was a very skilled carpenter and developed a work crew to
provide income and learn a trade for new Christians living in some
of the houses. He was very energetic, strong, and optimistic, and he
taught a number of young men how to work with their hands. A treasure
I still have is a hammer Mark gave me in probably 1969, when
he hired me to put redwood shingles on the side of a house he was remodeling, in Ross or San Anselmo. During those years I was either
working as a janitor or as a painter.
It was not long before Mark moved out of his childhood home and
became the leader of Solid Rock. If I were to attempt to relay here all
the events of note that occurred in and around that house, it would be
too long a chapter. But there is one story, maybe two, I will recount.
In the back yard of Solid Rock was a large, unfinished, two-story
building. The ground floor was meant to be a three-car garage, and the
upstairs—well, we never really found out about that, but we used one
of the rooms for casting out demons. We called it Deliverance Temple,
from the Lord’s Prayer, “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).
A little background would be helpful now. I graduated from Golden
Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in 1968 with an M.Div. degree;
my diploma may say 1969. An M.Div. used to be a B.D. (Bachelors of
Divinity). A three to four year program, it is the basic seminary course
of study. My ministry in the Haight with the hippies occupied me for
some time, but in 1971, I went back for another masters program, this
time a Th.M., or Masters in Theology, a two to three year program. (Earlier, in 1969, I began volunteering at San Quentin State Prison, located
in Marin. For over three years, I worked under the auspices of the Garden Chapel
(Protestant). I taught New Testament in the School of Theology and later facilitated
a Yoke Fellows group. This volunteer time ended with the George Jackson shoot-out
in 1972. I returned in 1985 to work with a new chaplain, Earl Smith, and for about
twelve years did cell-to-cell ministry. In 1997 I was asked to coach the baseball
team, first the Pirates, then the Giants, which I did until 2012. By my calculation, I
volunteered for thirty years there. I have a treasured photo of Joyful Noise playing
music at the prison chapel in 1971, at just about the conclusion of the band’s ministry.
It is on the cover of this book.)
After the class work and the seminars, I began work on my thesis.
Because of the constant encountering of persons involved in the
occult during my years on the street, I had a desire and need to know
more about it. Already I had moved away from my earlier college
days’ concepts that the demonic was merely poor and outdated primitive
psychology. By 1972, I knew better, but I did not know as much
as I needed to.
By that time, I was already doing deliverance ministry, and my
teacher, via tapes and books, was Don Basham, one of the Fort Lauderdale
Five, about which I will have more to say later. Casting out
demons was a necessary ministry, since so many of the ex-hippies had been involved in or initiated into occult rituals or eastern religious
practices where they had literally invited various deities (so-called)
to guide them, or had experienced trances or altered states of consciousness
through mind-altering drugs like LSD. It was not something
that was going to go away; this ministry, in fact, was requiring
more and more time.
A Manual of Demonology and the Occult was the title of the thesis.
For more than a year I spent every possible spare moment working
on the manual in the old library at the seminary. My major professor,
Dr. Richard Cunningham, signed off on each chapter, and I entered
the oral phase of the project with confidence. But I was harshly shot
down. My favorite New Testament and Greek teacher, Dr. Clayton
Harrop, who long after remained my friend, had the task of telling me
my thesis failed. Disappointed, but not ready to give up, I submitted
a new proposal for a thesis, which took me four months to prepare.
When, however, I gave it to Dr. Cunningham, he decided to tell me
the truth. He reminded me that Golden Gate was a Southern Baptist
institution and that they would never allow a tongues speaker to be
awarded a high academic degree. (Moishe Rosen, who thought I should become a seminary professor rather than a pastor, advised me to sue the seminary to get my degree. My thinking was that I should have known better in the first place. The seminary had the right to do
as it pleased, but perhaps I should have been informed early on about their view
of my tongue speaking. My wife Katie graduated with an MDiv degree in 2009, son
Vernon is a student there now, and currently I am mentoring one student from the
seminary, one of many over the years. It is a fine school.)
The thesis, I reasoned, was yet worth something, so I called
Zondervan Publishing House in Grand Rapids and spoke to Bob
DeVries, the man who wanted to publish Two Brothers in Haight. He
asked me to send him the manuscript. To make a long story short, the
thesis was published in 1973. A second edition came out in 1976; it
was even published in Swedish. It sold like crazy and is actually still
available; a pirated version can be bought at Amazon.
The publication of that book, however, opened a floodgate of people
who wanted demons cast out of them. Many showed up on a regular
basis, some even arriving at my front door in Terra Linda with
no baggage, no money, and desperate. At one point there were twenty-
six people trained to do casting out of demons—thirteen teams of
two, just to cope with the volume of requests.

Back now to Deliverance Temple. Once a week I drove up to

Novato to join Mark and cast demons out of people. Mostly, I never

knew who the people were, never saw them before, and usually never

saw them again. They simply showed up, and Mark or someone else

did the scheduling. And this went on for a long period of time.

Two Stories

Now the first of two stories: After an article covering the casting

out of demons somehow got into Time magazine, I received a call

from Nancy, a young reporter from the magazine, who asked if she

could come to a session where demons were cast out; she wanted to

do a follow-up story. She lived nearby in Greenbrae, so it wasn’t going

to be a big deal for her to show up. I agreed and scheduled a time for

her to witness the “activities.”

It was a stormy Thursday night in mid-winter when I picked Nancy

up and headed for Novato and Deliverance Temple. Mark, Nancy,

and I, along with the first person scheduled for deliverance, passed

though the house, walked into the back yard, entered the unfinished

garage, and ascended the stairs to the second floor. Mark led the way

with his flashlight to where he had arranged four chairs underneath

the single light bulb, our sole source of light and warmth. Nancy was

seated to my right, Mark sat across from me, and the subject, a young

man about my age whom I will call Bill, sat quietly on the metal chair

to my left.

We talked a while with Bill, discussing details about how he might

have gotten demons. Then the praying started, with Mark and I taking

turns commanding any demons in Bill to come out in the name of

Jesus. There was nothing about him, either his behavior or his past,

that indicated that there were or should be any demons present in

Bill. But, as we had found out many times before, one really never

knows, so we did not easily give up.

It was a miserable night in Deliverance Temple, really cold, and we

wore winter coats. Nancy sat quietly watching and making an entry

or two in the notebook she had on her lap. Despite the cold, Mark and

I began to sweat, not so much with the effort put forth, but due to a

certain embarrassment that came over us. Here we were, sitting in a

weird dark unfinished room with only studs along the walls, no real

ceiling, only a roof far above us in the darkness, with the wind and

rain howling outside. We were Jesus freaks, and Nancy was a reporter

for Time magazine; no doubt she thought we were fools, at best, but

more she probably thought we were deluded and crazed cultists.

Mark and I stole glances at each other. Bill sat still and peaceful,

not saying a word or even twitching. No demons were showing up.

Nancy squirmed a little as the time rolled on. Maybe an hour passed.

Suddenly, without warning, Bill literally flew backward, straight

back and up. If there had been a ceiling he would have crashed into

it. He hit the wall behind him and slid down to the floor between the

studs. Nancy had fear on her face; she had just seen something that

was physically impossible. Mark and I were relieved.

We walked over to Bill, picked him up and escorted him back to

the center of the room and his chair. We started again, knowing now

there were indeed demons in him. After a few minutes it happened

again; Bill flew through the air the same way as before. This time

Mark and I pulled our chairs over to him and proceeded, with Bill sitting

on the floor, to cast out several demons. We continued until there

were no longer any demonic manifestations.

Next and last was a young woman, about Nancy’s age, and this

time it was different, typical really. We talked some, prayed some, and

then started to command the demons to come out, based on the power

and authority of Jesus. Several demons were cast out, and we spent

some more time talking, essentially a counseling session intended to

be encouraging and helpful. That was the end of it.

The reporter had little to say on the way home. I asked her to let me

know when the magazine with the deliverance story came out. Weeks

went by before the edition appeared. I read every word but found

nothing about what happened at Deliverance Temple. I called her and

asked why not. She said she submitted the story and described accurately

what had happened, but an editor found it unbelievable and

deleted that part entirely. I never heard from Nancy again, but I will

always remember that strange night at Solid Rock.

One more story: Joyful Noise had been invited by a large Presbyterian

Church in Walnut Creek to minister to their youth group. The

pastor, whom I will call Joe, and I got along well, and I added him

to my newsletter list. Perhaps a year went by before I received a

phone call from him. He wanted to bring his daughter, aged fifteen,

over for prayer. Sue, not her real name, had been acting strangely, and

Joe thought it was of a demonic nature and described some strange

things going on. Once I heard this report, I agreed with him, and he

and his wife, Sue’s mother, brought Sue over for deliverance.

Mark, Sue, and I spent many weeks, six or maybe seven, two hours

minimum at a time, hoping to cast some demons out of the teenager.

She sat quietly and at rest time after time, week after week. Mark and

I decided that she did not have demons, which I called and told Joe. He

did not agree and pleaded for just one more time. Joe was one of the

finest men I had ever met, and the whole family was just as precious

as could be. I agreed to another attempt.

Once again Mark and I trooped out to Deliverance Temple with

Sue and made every effort, did all we could do. As always there was

nothing but simple prayer and asking God to cast out demons. Nothing

again, and I dreaded walking back into Solid Rock with Sue to face

her parents. Since this was to be the family’s last visit to Novato, Joe

wanted to have communion. We stood in a circle in the kitchen area.

Joe served us with the bread first, and then he began to pass the cup

around. As it reached Sue and she raised it to her lips, she collapsed to

the floor, and the cup and its contents went flying. Mark and I looked

at each other and bent over Sue, and just as quickly and easily as anything

I had ever seen, we cast out a whole bunch of demons. Finally

she was exhausted; we raised her up to her feet, there was some charismatic

type of praise, and off the family went.

It was not over, however. Joe called a week later and told me they

found out how the demons had gotten into Sue. There had been a mission

trip to Haiti, and on the return trip they brought home with them

a girl Sue’s age, whom Sue had befriended in Haiti. Sue confessed that

she and the Haitian girl had been playing around with Voodoo spells

late at night when everyone went to bed. Weird things had started to

happen, and both girls were scared to say anything about it.

I agreed to have the Haitian girl come over, too. This time, it was

fairly quickly done. Indeed, demons were present and were cast out.

Some years ago now, maybe fifteen, Sue showed up just before the

morning service at Miller Avenue. I was called out to the front porch

of the building and there was Sue, her husband, and two little kids.

She wanted to simply say thanks for what had happened many years

ago at Deliverance Temple.

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