A QUICK KMMG ASYLUM HISTORY LESSON ~by Rev Bishop Dr. P.M. Quigley, Jr., Protopresbyter~
Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group is the national metamorphosis of what used to be an Illinois regional ministry called Quincy Faith in Action. That metamorphosis would never have taken place had it not been for the Asylum Gothic Outreach Ministry.
Asylum started in 1998, as an independent outreach. Circa 2001, Asylum tried to “come under” Youth for Christ, but that didn’t work out. So Asylum operated unofficially, as a loose team with a two general ministry principles: (1) Leave your dogma at the door, and (2) clean your fish AFTER you catch them!
I first attended Cornerstone 2007, at the urging of a beloved brother. His goal was that I meet the Asylum team. C-2007 was a dramatic year for Asylum. At the time, I was the Sectional Commander of Royal Rangers, and a member of the Illinois District Men’s Ministries Staff. Throughout C-2007, I wore only Royal Ranger uniforms. (I was amazed at how many former Rangers I met there!). It was here that I met 3 Greek Orthodox Fathers who encouraged me to study the ancient church.
At Cornerstone 2008, I had a sort of “all access backstage pass”, which gave me a tremendous respect for the dedication and devotion of the Asylum staff to both The Lord and His people; not just Goths. Everyone was welcome and well-treated. In retrospect, C-2008 was God’s way of giving me a better understanding of the Asylum and deepening my relationship with the staff.
At Cornerstone 2009, the Asylum leadership team prayerfully named Rose’s successors. They also urged the new leadership to seek a relationship with the QFIA board, who unanimously agreed to expand the area of our tents to include subcultures as having “slipped through the cracks of traditional ministries” (You know how God placed Joseph in just the right place [thru much tribulation] in order to accomplish His greater purpose? Yeah. It’s been kinda like that.)
So, in early 2010, QFIA took Spiritual oversight responsibility for two subculture groups that were operating at Cornerstone: Asylum and Nailed to the Cross. Cornerstone 2010 was an important transitional year. Rose & Zoe passed the torch to Ben, Liz, Bill & KJ.
At Cornerstone 2011, JPUSA announced to the key ministries only that 2012 would be their final event. Ben Rau was formally ordained.
At the 2012 Cornerstone Finale, discussions between Asylum and Momma Linda for another event over next July 4 weekend – somewhere…someplace – morphed into Audiofeed.
The fact that Audiofeed 2013 was held in Champaign/Urbana – outside the QFIA area of operations – created a difficulty. QFIA wished to continue our sponsorship of Asylum. We investigated several ways to expand our charter.
In 2014, Mama Linda’s “spiritual covering church” shuttered its doors. Linda approached Asylum about Road Dogs coming under them; and by extension, under QFIA. The QFIA board was willing, but it fell outside the legal limits of our charter. While we had been able to extend out-of-area coverage to Asylum based upon when and where our relationship was established, this rationale could not extend to picking up a whole new ministry from outside the zone. It was determined, through much prayer and fasting, that we needed to again expand our vision and “increase the area of our tents”.
From a purely legal standpoint, it was necessary to reorganize into a completely new ministry group to meet the new need. A group of willing elder ministers from the board and member organizations went work on what became a nine-month labor process.
To gauge the extent of the interest in such a ministry, QFIA launched the Subculture Ministry Connection group on Facebook. The response was overwhelming.
The QFIA Board and our subordinate ministries, including Asylum, weighed in on every aspect of the creation: doctrine, polity and structure. Here my five-year study of the Orthodox Church came into play. A comparative analysis of the QFIA and Orthodox Statements of Faith found there were few substantive differences. No substantive changes to the QFIA SOF that has been in place for years, but we did include paragraphs explaining the distinctions and our opinions upon them and the rationale for those opinions.
The Orthodox comparative exercise did heavily influence our structure and polity. Pentecostal, Evangelical, and “independent” churches often speak of ministering in “the New Testament model”. So, it made sense to structure our church in that manner (which, coincidentally, made our more liturgical churches very happy). What most people mean by “religion” is actually a sect. In the Body of Christ, sects are merely “right hands finding right hand, left hands finding left hands’ etc. etc.” CHRISTIANITY is the religion.
Contrary to certain dogma, “structure” does NOT equate to “bondage”. It was GOD Who established the Abrahamic Covenant, and GOD Who created the Mosaic Law, and it was GOD Who fulfilled that covenant through Jesus Christ. It was JESUS who established the religious order amongst His followers:
On the day of Pentecost, there were 120 people assembled in the Upper Room. Of those, 71 were the disciples sent out in pairs. Of those, 12 were the listed disciples. Of those, 3 were the inner circle: Peter, James and John. Of those, Jesus Himself appointed Peter, based upon the divine revelation of the Godhead. So, the whole argument that the Church structure (whether Jewish or Christian) was a man-made construct is a myth.
Many subculture people have been damaged by legalism. Many more by recklessness masquerading as prophecy. The goal was a new ministry structure which provides enough accountability to guard against recklessness, but provide enough flexibility to avoid legalism. To that end, with the creation of a national ministry in mind, we established a classic orthodox presbytery system: complete with a dual bishopric. We built a presbytery, into which any Christian subculture ministry could fall upon acceptance of their application.
We polled the membership for name suggestions, and Cave of Adullam’s Rick Drakke’s suggestion of “Kodesh Mishkan” (Hebrew for “Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle”) was chosen from among several options. It was both popular and legally available.
Name, doctrine, polity and structure now in place, QFIA’s Board of Directors “went public” , launching the KMMG Facebook group on 1 January 2015, and transferred all subordinate ministries to Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group on 29 January 2015. The QFIA BOD unanimously appointed Rev. Patrick ‘Mike’ Quigley Jr. as the Bishop Overseer, and Rev. Benjamin Rau as the Presbyter Bishop.
When our April 2015 inaugural service and training seminar was held in Kewanee, four subculture ministries (Nailed to the Cross, Road Dogs, Song & Sword, Asylum) were already signed on, and a half-dozen more had applied.
Each subculture ministry has its own internal leadership structure. Our Bishopric and Presbyters are available for advice and guidance only. While we enter a Covenant relationship of mutual accountability and support, we do not take a demanding authoritative stance over any member ministry. Ours is a true New Testament discipleship model.
We have been greatly pleased by the staggering response to the KMMG launch: the sheer numbers of interested ministers and chaplains, of willing partner churches, and requests for training seminars, certifications & ordinations has been, quite literally, a Godsend.