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The Lie: Evolution


Adventures of the KCSG

By Karl Priest April 10, 2009 (Revised 4-2-16)

Origin of the Kanawha Creation Science Group

In the Fall of 1995 two things happened that began to revive a lukewarm Christian. His daughter came home with questions about the evolutionism being crammed down her throat in a college biology class and Dr. Bert Thompson was speaking several times at a nearby church. That lukewarm Christian was me and I felt a tug on my heart to go out on a cold, drizzling night to hear Dr. Thompson. I ended up attending every session and renewing my subscription to the Institute for Creation Research mailing list.

Soon God laid it upon my mind to begin a local Creation Science ministry although I had never heard of such a thing. I found a pro-creation letter-to-the-editor I had clipped several years before and called the author. That fellow told me the cause was hopeless, but he gave me the name of someone else who might be interested. After several phone calls I eventually contaced a young Baptist youth minister who had recently graduated with a degree in biology from a secular university.

I met with him a couple of times and he told me that he felt God had called him to use his biology degree to honor God as the Creator. The next month he evidentially was “uncalled” because he told me he could not find the time to work on the creation cause.

I continued to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead and passed out some leaflets at a Carmen concert and a March for Jesus. I got nothing except some static from the march leaders who didn’t want me to pass out literature.

I paid for a radio spot on local Christian radio and reserved a room in the South Charleston Public Library for meetings. There I sat alone reading my Bible and praying. Finally I began to think I had called myself to start the ministry and God had not been involved. I was ready to quit.

I went to one last “meeting” and decided to end the effort of starting a Creation Group. That same day Bobby O’Connor (who lived over 30 miles away) called who had seen a sign the library had posted (unbeknownst to me) and I reluctantly agreed to meet with him. John Roller, a local pastor (tipped by his wife who heard the radio spot), had contacted me previously and expressed interest, but said his time was extremely limited. The three of us met and a bond was immediately formed. Soon, Jo Bricker who was a retired high school science-math teacher joined with us. At first, she said she only wanted to attend meetings. In her quiet way, she became one of our most powerful resources. This nucleus met monthly for round table discussions and several others (supporters and antagonists) came for varying lengths of time. Our first official meeting was on June 1, 1996.

Into the Intelligentsia Dens

University of Charleston

Early in the history of the Kanawha Creation Science Group we found ourselves cast into a den of lions (or should I say liars?).

A liberal Presbyterian pastor and UC professor used to meet with us.  He was a rare honest and open-minded liberal.  At the time (they may still have for all I know) UC had an annual intelligentsia seminar for several weekday evenings where they brought in authors or invited speakers with some thought provoking material.

Well, he invited us.

So Bobby, Jo, and I accompanied our "big" gun, Dr. John Roller, to our dedicated session.

The place was packed and (to my knowledge) we were the only Christian conservatives there.

I didn't know John very well at the time, but he had readily offered to speak and the rest of us did not feel confident enough to do it.

John got up and did the Woody Woodpecker call.  You know, from the cartoon!  I thought, "Oh, know!  What have we done?".  Then John (without notes) goes into a 45+ minute description of the attributes of a Woodpecker that held the audience's avid attention.  (Power point did not exist then.)  Afterwards, during the Q/A, John embarrassed one of the UC science professors.  (The UC professor thought he was going to humiliate John.)  Even Bobby shot down a group of science professors who raised some kind of questions about the sun.

That was a wonderful night and firmly established that we local nobodies could show evolutionism is for the birds.

Note: John Roller is an ex-atheist, now pastor, with an IQ that would rival Dr. Jackson's.

West Virginia State College

Not long thereafter (Oct. 16, 1997) one of our members got us into a West Virginia State College forum and we recruited Dr. Gail Terrell of Cincinnati, OH, to speak at a weekly Faculty Lecture series. This was a lunch time event that had few attendees. Dr. Terrell, a former chemist and current Baptist preacher, drew a large audience as he presented the creation message. The faculty members in the audience were very rude and hostile in the Q & A period. Dr. Terrell was unflinching and several students stayed afterwards asking polite questions.

After that it was whirlwind of activity for us lay persons who were called to serve God through the Kanawha Creation Science Group. There were radio talk show appearances, and radio adds, letters to newspapers, an attempt to pass a criticism of evolution as a West Virginia United Methodist Conference resolution, commentary or Inherit the Wind, helping students with Science Fair projects, and communicating to untold numbers of individuals.

Early on a nuclear physicist, Dr. Eugene Chaffin, spoke at a KCSG meeting.

Bobby O’Connor built a wonderful float for the huge Jackson County 4th of July parade. We set it up in the dark early on the morning of August 23, 1997 behind John Roller’s house on the West Side of Charleston and drove it in the Charleston Sternwheel Regatta parade. Dr. Roller walked in front with a “Brainwashed” sign.

We got non-profit regognition and opened a bank account and rented a P. O. Box on January 2, 1998.

In March of 1998 Dr. Kent Hovind came to a nearby church. After all local evolutionists ducked his debate challenge (perpetuated by our local creationist group), he appeared on a local talk radio show and was held an extra hour due to the huge listener interest. The hosts said, “They say we are descended from apes, but it looks like some of us descend from chickens.”

In 2003 we began having a Charleston Creation Conference.*

Besides the battles related in my testimony, which could not have been effectively fought without help from the KCSG team, God brought in many gifted people to be a part of the local ministry.

Many precious Christians of various denominations, and personalities united with us for various amounts of time. Bobby launched a Noah’s Ark ministry and encouraged me to present an insect program; Richard Aliff (ex-Golden Glove champion) provided meticulous accounting of our finances; Bob Rhodes (geologist) and his wife Jackie (Bob headed the production of a video about our group); Cathy Chandler started a newsletter; Harold Clark began a “In the Beginning” magic ministry which delighted audiences; Linda Hoskins took over the newsletter and performs several helpful functions including working with children; Daniel Hoskins begin to speak on “The Lie of Evolution”, eventually became the group president, and has other presentations; Mark Dowler added his Bible Science Safari ministry; an amazing “Truth Transporter” ministry was started by Barbara Smith; and a multi-talented craftsman, artist, humorist, Gary Gordon, lent his expertise; Terrence Williams provided vocal music at our conferences as well as opening his church to us; Brock Terry and Nichole Dean both of whom are great assets to the ministry and provide expertise with the black Christian community; Rick Greathouse serves as our web master; Terry and Margaret Knorr provided a puppet ministry; and Jason McCale blesses us with his faithfulness and while fulfilling the office of secretary.

Many others are helping in some capacity and we look forward to more folks becoming involved. Their stories will be added as events develop.

In 2009 we were blessed to welcome the talents of the sharp intellect of Tony Breeden who originated the national Creation Letter and Creation Sunday projects and the science expertise of Hamilton Duncan (P. E., P. G..

The adventures of the KCSG are still unfolding.

Note: Some of us have gone on to meet the Creator in person. They are Robert Rhodes, Jo Bricker, and Harold Clark.

*The host site and keynote speaker(s) of the Charleston Creation Conferences

2003 Community Chapel, Joseph Mastropaolo
2004 Mt. Pleasant Baptist, Ed Chesley
2005 Fairlawn Baptist, Charles Jackson
2006 Greater Things Fellowship (GTF), Jay Auxt
2007 GTF Paul Abramson
2008 GTF Joseph Mastropaolo and Charles Jackson
2009 Rock Branch Independent Church  KCSG Speakers
2010 Rock Branch Independent Church  KCSG Speakers

L-R Karl Priest, Bobby O'Connor (1st president), Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, Dan Hoskins (3rd president)

Site of first
Creation Conference

Harold Clark (2nd president) at youth session
Dr. John Roller marching in major parade in Charleston, WV
Dr. John Roller in front of parade float

Note:  I am no longer a member of the KCSG.