Pastor Raymond A. Schoch
July 7, 1917 - September 26, 1977
Living Faith in Action
“Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee, How great thou art, How great thou art.” The voice of Pastor Ray Schoch leads the Faith Center congregation in worshiping the Lord as they begin the live Sunday night broadcast of ‘Living Faith'. This song is truly the message and theme of this pastor and this church. God blessed Pastor Schoch and he never forgot how far he had come and all the things God did for them.
Pastor Schoch leads the congregation in song and worship as the live broadcast of Living Faith begins
Raymond Arthur Schoch was born July 7, 1917 in Pasadena California, the son of Chester and Rose Schoch. He grew up in a large family of 5 boys and 2 girls. Three of the children passed away when they were young. The remaining boys, Ray, David and Paul went on to be pastors and their sister Hazel married a country pastor. This was to be expected with the rich spiritual heritage they had. Chester Schoch owned a very successful plumbing business in Pasadena where all the children helped out while growing up. But more importantly, they also grew up in a home rich in Godly influence and teaching. Chester and Rose were very involved in the Azusa Street Revival and their home became a haven for missionaries and evangelists. Their guests often included John Lake, Thomas Hezmalhalch, Smith Wigglesworth, Aimee McPherson, and David du Plessis. Pastor Schoch talks about sitting at the table and hearing about the wonderful miracles God was doing all over the world. As he got older, it was his privilege to drive these giants of faith to their different meetings, getting personal time with them to hear how great God was. Pastor Schoch accepted the Lord as his Savior as a very young boy and while he suffered with rheumatic fever as a child, he never faltered n his faith that God could and would do miracles.
Back row: Hazel, Ray, Mariam, Rose & Chester Schoch
Front row: David and Paul
This opened a new chapter for the couple. At this time they were assisting Pastor Larrimore at Bright Corner Church in Glendale, their daughter Linda was born, and a small group of people began looking to Pastor Schoch to be their shepherd. Pastor Schoch attended Southern California Bible School, the Assemblies of God Bible School in Pasadena. (The school later became Vanguard University in Costa Mesa.) He was licensed and ordained by the Assemblies of God.
Ruth and Pastor Schoch holding their daughter Linda
His calling and commitment were heavy on his heart and in 1946 he took the first steps to form a new church. In the beginning, 35 people met in one of their homes for their services. It became obvious very quickly that they needed a place of their own. This was the first test of the new church’s faith. They found a house they could buy and remodel on the corner of Maple and Adams in Glendale for $12,000. He presented the need to his congregation and took an offering. They got $35. Pastor Schoch remembered the miracles of Smith Wigglesworth and others he had heard about when he was growing up, and figured this money was not too big for God. They began to pray and within days the money was raised mostly from people outside the church, and they moved in. That was just the beginning of a ministry and congregation that thought it was normal to have God provide all their needs. Maple Chapel, as the new church was called, was beginning to live by faith.
Pastor Schoch was a hands-on pastor. Literally helping to raise the roof, plaster the walls, and upholster the chairs or whatever was needed. Being the son of a plumber he knew a lot about plumbing and remodeling and his inventive nature gave him the ability to improvise when needed. He could be found at the church most week days helping to build or improve the little church. He invited the men of the congregation to come out and help, and the women came and provided hot meals. It was a great way to get the work done, and to provide a fellowship time for the new congregation. Pastor Schoch also loved to cook, and he realized that feeding his ‘flock’ physically as well as spiritually was an opportunity to get the work done and create a family of believers that God could use. When the remodeling projects were done the men continued to meet for dinner once a month and the Men’s Fellowship became an opportunity of ministry.
Just about the time the remodeling was finished, a young couple came and asked if they could be married at the church. Pastor Schoch was thrilled, until he heard the couple’s request. They would like to have an organ to use at their wedding. The church already had projects they were working on, and bills to pay, but Pastor Schoch felt God speak to his heart with the message that he was not to limit God to the resources he could see, but to remember God had all the resources in the world. He presented the need to the congregation will the instructions that this needed to be paid for from resources outside of the church. As he was greeting the people leaving the morning service, a man from out of town gave him $120. This started the people’s faith growing, they contacted friends and neighbors and by Sunday evening they had over $600 from outside their congregation. This was just the first time God would raise up help totally outside the congregation, to meet their needs.
Pastor Schoch believed that without a vision the people perish, and he was constantly asking the Lord for more opportunities to reach souls. Not long after the remodeling was done, God gave him the desire for a radio program. The new body of believers was barely meeting their needs but he truly believed God would supply the need. He found a radio program time slot that could be bought for $13.50 a week. He wanted the people to use their faith to buy this time, so he made a clear plastic tube that held just enough half dollars to make the payment. He sat the tube on the side of the pulpit and every week the tube was filled and it paid for ‘Chapel Melodies.’ The broadcast was during the Sunday evening service and was mostly music with an altar call. The program started with “Jesus is the Joy of living, He’s the King of Life to me..” a truth that Pastor Schoch wanted the world to know.
Pastor Schoch wanted his congregation to see beyond their own limitations and expand their faith to foreign fields. With this on his mind, he asked his congregation to begin supporting missionaries, Claude and Vivian Malcolm. The Malcolm’s had been Sunday School teachers in Bethany when Pastor Schoch was growing up, and now were ministering in Alaska. It soon was evident that these missionaries needed an airplane to reach most of the areas and this was the first step of faith for foreign missions. After church one morning as he was talking to the Malcolm’s, he took his Bible and placed a dollar on it and immediately another was placed on top to begin the project of buying an airplane. Pastor Schoch said the Lord showed him that even a dollar on the Bible means part of your need is paid for. He was a very visual pastor, loving illustrations and things that involved his congregation in the worship and ministry. So he ran a wire from the back of the church to the platform, placed a model airplane on it and when the congregation sang “Wings over Alaska” the little plane shot across the church. Within six weeks time they had the price of the airplane.
He also had a concern for the people in the immediate area around his church, especially the children he saw playing in a park not far from the church. He watched how excited they were when the ice cream trucks came along. One night he got the vision to have a trailer, outfitted as a chapel complete with small pews, pulpit, piano and a bell. The vision was presented to the congregation and they took an offering. Before they could finish, someone said they wanted to purchase the whole project. The congregation began working and it was completed, air conditioner and all. Volunteers signed up to drive “Mobil Chapel” and teach the Bible stories to children all around Glendale. Almost everyday some area of the city was ministered to by this project. This was such an unusual concept that the local newspaper came and wrote a story about this little chapel. It was picked up by the wire services and it spread across the country. Others wanted to start the same type of ministry and eventually Child Evangelism used the idea.
Ray Wilkins (driver), Pastor Schoch and the mobile chapel
Maple Chapel continued to grow and many changes were taking place for the Schoch family in the ‘50’s. Their son Timothy was born and the small house they had built in Pasadena was soon too small. Their daughter Linda was ready to start school and the Lord laid it on their hearts to start Kahnack Academy. God had given them Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go…” and the name Kahnack means “to train up.” They used the church facilities and God provided the principal, teachers and a bus. The school quickly grew with students from all over the area. Pastor Schoch taught some of the Bible classes along with driving the bus back and forth to Pasadena. To keep the spirits of the students up during the slow drive up the hill to Pasadena, Pastor Schoch would play Bible quizzes and sing with them. This became a special time for this pastor his students.
Schoch family - Pastor Ray holding Tim, Ruth and Linda
As the school grew, it became very evident they needed a new facility and through an amazing series of miracles, God provided a building and a piece of property on a hill in the Glendale area that would become a future blessing for the church. The new school required remodeling the buildings and once again the congregation came together for ‘work nights,’ often six nights a week. On the school property was a two-story house, just perfect to provide a home for missionaries on furlough or retired. They called the house Beth-Eden, a “house of joy.”
Kahnack Christian Academy
In the early years of the church they decided to have a family summer camp. Not kid’s camp or youth camp, but as a family. Pastor Schoch and his wife had been greatly affected by their attendance at Camp Radford and they wanted this experience for their church. They found a very primitive camp to rent, mostly tents, and they had to haul their own water up the mountain. The food was prepared, dishes washed, bathrooms cleaned, and tents swept by the pastor and campers, forming bonds and relationships that God put together. During these camp meetings, two messages came that changed the church forever. One message said “I’ll take a worm and thresh a mountain.” Pastor Schoch said “That means that God will take a most unlikely thing to do the greatest job.” Another message came in that same camp that said “I’ll take you from the tail and I’ll make you the head.” Pastor Schoch said “I know what it means to feel exactly like David felt when the Spirit of God came on him and he looked at that Goliath. There is something that is uncanny, there is something that is reassuring, there is something that is undergirding, there is something that is out of this world when the Spirit of God comes upon you and you have no idea what God has in the future. But you know the Spirit of God is there.” From these messages came his motto to live by….. ‘But God.’
It wasn’t long after this that God provided a way for the church to partner with Immanuel Christian Church and buy their own camp, Sa-Ha-Le Lodge. A real estate man had a camp for sale in Big Bear and the asking price was $30,000. They didn’t have that kind of money, but the Lord showed Pastor Schoch that he should ask the owner what receiving that kind of cash would do to his taxes. He did this and the man replied that he would only get $3,000 and the rest would be taxes so he would sell them the camp for that amount. However, the church didn’t have their half of the $3,000. Immanuel Christian had $1500 and Maple Chapel needed to put in $1500 also. Pastor Schoch presented the idea to the congregation and a man came to him and told him that a friend had owed him $7500 for more than 7 years. He asked Pastor Schoch to pray that the man would pay the debt and said if it was paid he would give the $1500 needed to buy the camp. The next week the debt was paid, and they purchased the camp.
Living in Pasadena became more and more difficult as the church was growing and needed Pastor Schoch and his family in more areas. They decided to take a personal step of faith and they purchased a home in the Glendale area, to be closer to the church and with enough room to continue the legacy of sharing their home with some of the great spiritual leaders as they came to town.
The church was in the middle of finishing the school, when the former principal of the school came into the church office right before service and told Pastor Schoch there was a radio station for sale in Texas for $2500. He made the statement in front of the church treasurer who immediately reminded Pastor Schoch of all the bills they already had waiting to be paid. But Pastor Schoch felt a witness in his heart that this was an opportunity to touch millions. He remembered the story of the organ. He had made a pledge to himself to not burden his congregation or abuse them financially when things like this happened. He believed that if this was from Lord, He would provide help outside of this congregation for that need. He presented the opportunity to the people and before the service was over he was handed a note that said “we will buy the equipment”. This was from two missionaries that had come separately to the service, not knowing the other was planning to be there, and just happened to meet and sit together that morning. Each had $1250 through unusual circumstances, and wanted to use it to start this ministry.
Pastor Schoch and Jean Carpenter began filling out the paperwork themselves to apply for the radio license. God gave them all the wisdom they needed and favor with the FCC. and when they mailed the final paperwork, Pastor Schoch jokingly said he would love to have the license for his birthday, July 7th. This was in February and the months went by with no word. On the 7th of July still no word. Pastor Schoch had suggested they call their attorney in Washington DC and they were told the paperwork had been moved up in the Commission and could take more time. At 5 o’clock Pastor Schoch was cooking dinner for the Men’s Fellowship, when the phone rang. It was a newspaper wanting to know who or what Maple Chapel was, as it had just received word that at 11:00 AM, the FCC had granted them their radio broadcasting license. What shouting, what joy, what a birthday present!! This was the beginning of the things God would do, and the steps of faith Pastor Schoch would lead them through to get the station on the air.
Through a series of miracles, the church was able to obtain property on the hill above their day school for the transmitter and broadcast tower for KHOF-FM. Pastor Schoch originally thought they would put the radio transmitter on a small hill behind the school property. When the engineers checked it out they decided to go up to the top of the hill. They approached the owner and asked to rent the acres needed and he agreed. But when it came time to finalize the transaction he said he wanted them to buy all of the property, 50 acres. This was overwhelming, they didn’t need all of that property but the price was amazing $50,000 with $5,000 down. Again the congregation was called to prayer. Pastor Schoch took a lot of criticism from other pastors. They felt he was out of the will of the Lord, and throwing money away that could help missions. But God had put the burden on his heart, and had done miracles to bring them this far, so he turned a deaf ear and prayed. The money began to come in and at 11:00 PM the night before the deadline, they had the $5,000.
Once again the men of the church came to help prepare the property. The hill had a rock base and a lot of muscle and energy was spent in getting ready to build the cement block transmitter building. Pastor Schoch was right in the middle, using the jack hammers, shovels and moving the blocks. After one of the work sessions he began driving down the hill when excruciating pain hit him in the chest. He pulled the car over and began to pray. The pain and weakness left and he went on his way. He believed it was a physical attack from Satan who was not happy with this way to ‘give the winds a might voice.’ Pastor Schoch believed the airwaves were a way to give a voice for God to reach many souls. This attack did not stop the project. Miracles continued to happen and in November 1956, KHOF-FM signed on with “All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name,” something this congregation had experienced in building this station. They began broadcasting with 16,500 watts of power 3 hours a night, and ended up with 100,000 watts of power and 24 hours a day of broadcasting. At the time, this all Christian Music station was the strongest broadcasting FM station in Southern California. This was part of the fulfillment of the prophecy, “I will take you from the tail and make you the head”. Many opportunities came to this unique ministry. They were invited to do remote broadcasts for Phil Kerr Monday Night Musicals from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Kathryn Kuhlman, Oral Roberts, and others. They had a booth at the LA County Fair for many years.
The format of KHOF-FM was Christian music with some devotions and news. They were blessed with local Christian artists, Lorin Whitney, Doris Akers, Ralph Carmichael, Haven of Rest Quartet, any many others who came by and gave their time and records to participate in this new ministry. One of the regular broadcasts was “Across the Pastor’s Desk” hosted by Pastor Schoch. Over the years he shared this ministry with many of the local pastors and missionaries. Pastor Schoch was never hesitant about sharing his pulpit and the church was blessed with the ministry of many spiritual giants who came to minister, and be ministered to by this congregation that truly knew what is was to experience living faith. Tommy Barnett came several times for weeks at a time and held youth revivals which helped the little church take the step of faith to move to larger quarters. Loren Cunningham of Youth with a Mission, David Wilkerson, of Teen Challenge, Demos Shakarian of Full Gospel Businessmen, Paul Finkenbinder “Hermano Pablo,” T.C. Cunningham and Thomas F. Zimmerman, General Superintendents of the Assemblies of God, were pulpit guests.
One of the most frequent visitors was Dr. David du Plessis, often spending several weeks, staying at the Schoch home as he ministered in the area. This quiet gentle man was a great source of encouragement and support for Pastor Schoch, talking for hours about what God was doing in both their ministries and what they believed God could do. Pastor Schoch encouraged him in his ministry with the Charismatic Catholics and rejoiced with him when doors opened for Dr. du Plessis to take the Holy Spirit message to many denominations and nations. They were also blessed by their friendship with David Yonggi Cho who was a young man at the time, seeking God’s will concerning a church in Korea. He also would come for weeks at a time, staying with the family; using a room they called the Prophet’s Chamber. Pastor Schoch and Pastor Cho spent many hours talking about what God could do with steps of faith. Again he rejoiced with Pastor Cho as his church, Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul Korea, began to grow and became one of the world’s largest churches.
Pastor Ray & Ruth Schoch with Dr. & Mrs. du Plessis
Pastor Schoch’s brothers, David and Paul, were both pastors and often exchanged pulpits, or spoke together for special meetings. They were affectionately called the “Three Sons of Thunder” as they believed in worshipping and praising the Lord with all their hearts and souls and voices. They were all blessed with strong voices and encouraged their congregations to audibly express their praise. “Hallelujah,” “Praise the Lord,” were phrases Pastor Schoch often said during services and called the congregation to say it with him. He loved illustrated sermons and decided to illustrate that Jesus was the Lion of Judah by bringing a baby lion, Ona, to church one Sunday evening. A local pet store in Glendale was very familiar with Pastor Schoch and his love of animals and graciously let him borrow this cub. As Pastor Schoch was preaching on the Lion of Judah, the little lion let out a roar. The congregation laughed, but they remembered it, and later on Pastor Schoch would sometimes ask his congregation to roar in the face of difficulties. Vanguard University, Southern California College at that time asked Pastor Schoch to come speak for Spiritual Emphasis Week and he spoke on the Lion of Judah and taught the students to roar. Years later some of the students from those meetings told him how much that sermon meant to them and how God was using it in their ministries.
Ray, Paul and David Schoch
He loved to feel and hear the congregation respond to the moving of the Holy Spirit and it was not uncommon for him to pause in his sermon to sing with the congregation. His hand would raise, and his voice would sing “Oh how I love Him, how I adore Him, my breath my sunshine, my all in all”. This song was one of his favorites. He adapted the chorus of the Christmas carol of “O Come All Ye Faithful” to “For He Alone Is Worthy” and “We’ll give Him all the Glory” and sang it all year long. In the early years he would often lead the worship, sometimes longer than he would preach. He truly had the ministry of leading the people through praise and into worship, and he wanted this experience for them every time. He believed their hearts would not accept the sermon if they were not prepared by worshipping. There were even services where the Spirit of the Lord would fall and he never preached his sermon, he just let the Spirit move, often with singing.
Music had always been a big part of his life and his love for music showed in many different ways. He could play the organ, piano, vibra harp and others instruments. In the early days of their radio broadcast he played the vibra harp and once in awhile the congregation could talk him into joining his wife in a piano duet for a special occasion. But he really enjoyed singing, all kinds of music. He was blessed with a great sense of humor and a quick wit, so if he thought the occasion called for it, he would compose a little chorus. Most were simply for the moment but several became part of Maple Chapel, “Wings over Alaska” was used to build faith for an airplane, “I Can Walk On Water” was to build trust in the Lord during some difficult times. Then there were ones where his humor was more evident like “Get your elbows off the table…” a song he wrote for summer camp to teasingly help teach table manners to the kids, but which stuck around as fun for everyone. The Lord used this love of music to direct him in building an all Christian music station.
Faith Center on Glendale Avenue
Dedication of Faith Center
As the church grew so did the staff and the ministries. The people were learning to trust God and take steps of faith. Many miracles were happening, not just physical, but spiritual and financial miracles. They quickly outgrew the Maple Chapel facilities. The church had begun meeting in the Epicurean Towers on Brand Blvd. during one of Pastor Barnett’s revivals. One day Pastor Schoch and David du Plessis saw a For Sale sign on a large property with a 3 story building across from Forest Lawn. It had plenty of room for what they needed, parking, very close to the main freeways, and large enough to expand; it seemed like the perfect choice. Pastor Schoch called Coldwell Banker and the selling price $400,000 was staggering…but God. He was reminded how God provided the first $12,000 for Maple Chapel and had continued to provide abundantly and above. They decided to make an offer. When they sold the school property, Maple Chapel site, and the left over acreage on the radio transmitter hill, they had enough to buy the building and to build the All Purpose building. Each one of these properties had required that Maple Chapel buy more property than they needed…but God in His wisdom was getting the resources ready for this purchase. In 1965 they moved into the new facilities, church, school and radio station.
Each big step of faith seemed to bring a physical challenge to Pastor Schoch. The move to 1615 S. Glendale Ave. was no different. He became very ill and was diagnosed with diabetes. When they checked him out they could see that he had had a heart attack but was healed. Praise the Lord; this was the miracle God had given him that day while building KHOF-FM. Once again the congregation went to prayer and the Lord raised him up. These people were taught to pray and to take steps of faith. A group of people dedicated to praying, became known as the Mountain Movers. They truly believed nothing was too big for God and there was a large plaque in the room where they met with the words…‘But God’ carved on to it. This became the motto for this congregation. Pastor Schoch had a sign over his desk in his office and a sign in the Chapel with the same statement.
The move to the new facility meant a name change for the church. They had been called Maple Chapel because they were on the corner of Maple and Adams. The church was non-denominational and they wanted their name to let the world know what they believed. The name Faith Center gave the message that everything this congregation accomplished involved steps and leaps of Faith. At this time there was no other church with this name and it truly was an example of faith that brought them this far. As the ministries continued to grow they expanded the name to Faith Center Global Ministries. The Lord had been moving through this congregation and they were part of radio ministries in Mexico and Brazil, and they were able to help start a Bible School in Trinidad. Pastor Schoch and his wife Ruth, had been privileged to go on mission trips with the Malcolm’s and other missionaries, and his heart was moved each time with the large amount of people that responded. He taught his congregation to give to missions, and the church went from giving a $1,000 a year to over $1,000 a day for missions.
The KHOF-FM audience was continuing to grow, and the interest in television was growing also. The church was in the middle of expanding to new facilities when Pastor Schoch expressed his desire to build an all Christian television station. The idea was presented to the congregation and radio audience and the funds began to come in. It was trial and error time putting the right people and information together to bring this ministry to life. It sometimes seemed hopeless….but God. He had everything under control and Pastor Schoch brought in Bernie Marston, who had helped with KHOF-FM, to look over what applications had been filed, and what equipment was ordered. Bernie was an exceptional man, very much like Pastor Schoch, in that any obstacle he faced he trusted God to help him overcome. They became an amazing team. Bernie evaluated the situation and told Pastor Schoch he could put the station on the air for $100,000. Sunday morning Pastor Schoch led the congregation in praise and worship, and the presence of the Lord was very real. He presented the need and challenged people to give $1,000. People began raising their hands. The faith and excitement could hardly be contained. Pastor Schoch continued to lead the congregation in prayer and worship. He never preached that morning. God touched many lives with people taking the leap of faith to respond to God’s presence. More than $75,000 was raised in that one service, and the balance came in immediately. KHOF-TV would now be able to show the world that Jesus Saves and could change their lives thru living faith. In 1968 Pastor Schoch was invited by the Assemblies of God to speak at the Council on Evangelism in Missouri, sharing what God was doing through radio and television.
Miracles continued to happen in the development of the television station. Unfortunately, Pastor Schoch felt the spiritual attack in his body. Some pastors and denominational leaders had told him that television was a theatrical medium and should not be used to spread the gospel, but he knew God had given the vision and opened doors and nothing was going to stop Him. God brought together a staff who shared the vision and didn’t let things like bad weather, long hours or lack of equipment keep them from doing their best and overcoming many obstacles. KHOF-TV was the first church owned television station in the nation and the all Christian format drew a lot of excitement and curiosity. The television studios were on the upper floor of the office building and the church auditorium served as the main production studio. Pastor Schoch’s love of technology kept him involved on the technical side of this ministry as well as the programming side. He would often stop by the engineering department to keep in touch with Bernie and his staff to see what was developing up there.
It was not Pastor Schoch’s desire to become a radio/television personality. He agreed to broadcast portions of the Sunday evening service live, and it was called “Living Faith.” As for the rest of the time, he was happy to share it with other pastors and ministries. In the early days of KHOF-FM, Sunday nights after the services, Pastor Schoch had co-hosted a radio program where the audience would call in music requests. The response was great, and hearing about the Jerry Lewis Telethon he decided to have a Praise-A-Thon on the radio with the audience from the request programs. Pastor Schoch would help host the program, musical guests, other pastors and radio personalities would assist him. The audience loved the ability to interact with these people and the testimonies that came in were amazing. This became a regular feature twice a year and when KHOF-TV went on the air it became a part of their programming, also. Local churches and ministries were interested in this new station and wanted to become part of this ministry. Many of their programs were produced at the Faith Center studio.
In the early ‘70’s, Maple Chapel had grown from 35 people to a large Spirit led congregation and changed its name to Faith Center. This congregation thrived on the spiritual and physical challenges that came their way as God over and over again answered prayer. KHOF-FM and TV, Glendale Christian School (formerly Kahnack Academy), ‘Christ, the Living Word’ Bible School (taught by Dr. Willard Peirce and Dr. George Wood), Sa-Ha-Le Lodge Campground, numerous missionaries, radio stations in Mexico and Brazil, were all a part of ‘Faith Center Global Ministries’. But God wasn’t finished yet. Through very unusual circumstances, two different times Pastor Schoch was told that someone wanted to donate broadcasting stations to Faith Center. He had a desire to touch more areas, so this was exciting news. KIFM in Bakersfield was a radio station that would become a sister station to KHOF-FM and carry some of the same programs.
The second station was WHCT-TV in Hartford Connecticut and presented a whole new challenge. Pastor Schoch had been having a strange dream for two nights. He dreamt he had two million dollars to spend on spreading the gospel. But it seemed like a fantasy. The reason for the dreams soon became clear when he was contacted by RKO General and offered a television station on the east coast. The price they were asking was $2,000,000. Pastor Schoch knew they did not have that kind of money, but God impressed it on his heart that this was an opportunity He had brought them. The congregation went to prayer, and the Lord put it on Pastor Schoch’s heart to present the option to the RKO General owners, of receiving a tax-deductible receipt for the station. This seemed a total impossibility. Whoever would give away a station valued at $2,000,000? But God! He had it in is His plan to increase this congregations ministry, and they agreed to the offer, a tax deductible receipt for the studio, transmitter, equipment and license. What a time if praise and thanksgiving came with this agreement.
In 1974 through more miracles and blessings, KVOF-TV in San Francisco went on the air. This sister station to KHOF-TV was managed by Pastor Schoch’s brother Paul Schoch and brought more miracles and challenges as God opened doors of ministry in the Bay Area. The Lord blessed these stations and sent dedicated people to help. Jim Bakker, Paul Crouch, Audrey Meier, Andrae Crouch, and others were part of this exciting time of ministry.
It seemed the more opportunities for ministry that came Pastor Schoch’s way the more physical attacks he experienced. The economy had crashed and the churches and Christian ministries felt these crises as well. Some of them had to stop the production and airing of their programs. This was experienced by Faith Center also, and the strain of the issue was felt physically by Pastor Schoch. He continued to minister in the Sunday services as much as possible and the Lord provided wonderful staff and guest speakers to pick up the slack. Pastor Schoch was a man of faith, and believed that God was his healer. He knew God had healed him before, doctors had confirmed it. He struggled with not receiving complete healing as he taught his congregation to believe. Many people were praying for him and words of encouragement came from all around the world. Time and time again he would feel God’s touch and even in the pulpit, he would start out weak but the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him and he would regain his strength.
Pastor Schoch was a family man, driving his children to school, attending ball games, and school events. His wife Ruth was the love of his life and she remained committed to her calling, traveling with him on his missionary trips and helping in whatever projects they had at the time. She was shy about sharing the pulpit with him, but used her talents as the church organist and director of the Women’s Ministries and other areas. His children were active in the ministries also, his son Tim was the Youth Pastor and assisted him in leading worship and hosting several television programs. His daughter Linda helped in the television production department. Pastor Schoch loved spending time with them and his brothers and their families. When they were altogether it was a loud, exciting conversation as they all told of the things and miracles God was doing in their lives. It was very reminiscent of the childhood days of the Schoch brothers where they heard of the Azusa Street miracles, and listened to Smith Wiggelsworth and others talk of God’s great power. They were building a legacy of trusting God for all their needs.
Towards the end of 1975 Pastor Schoch began talking of making a change in his ministry. He felt he had led Faith Center as far as he was able and the time had come to make the change. After much prayer and discussions with his family and other leaders, he tearfully resigned as Senior Pastor to Faith Center Global Ministries. He had come to terms with his own physical limitations but he still felt called to minister in some way. He had always had many invitations to speak, all over the world, but with these health problems he decided to minister locally as much as he could. He said God was showing him that He was his healer and had healed him all along, but God also has a time when He will say “come home” which is the ultimate healing. He and his wife bought a motor home and he became an interim pastor and guest speaker. Pastor Schoch loved people, sharing and speaking to them whenever he could. Their home was always open and even after his health began to decline he loved having some of the staff, Joe, Al and others, come spend the evening with him watching TV, playing dominos and sharing popcorn. The conversation would always involve the things God was doing.
In September 1977, Pastor Schoch’s son Tim brought his family for a surprise week-end visit from Bishop. He was so thrilled to have his grandchildren, John and Carrie at his house; he was a very proud grandpa. When they were leaving he tearfully said he didn’t expect to see them again, God had been preparing him for going Home. Several weeks later, sitting on the couch watching TV with his family, the Lord called him Home.
Pastor Schoch taught “Impossible…But God.” He left a legacy of never doubting that God will supply all our needs, that is Living Faith.
When asked to comment on his ministry, his reply was “To GOD be the Glory, Great Things HE has Done!!”
Written by Tim Schoch & Linda Schoch-Davis
©2012 All Rights Reserved
The Schoch family was involved in many of the early charismatic movements. They were a very supportive part of the Azusa Street revival, assisted Sister McPherson in finding the property for Angelus Temple, and helped Dr. Charles Fuller with his newsletter and other projects. They attended Bethany Church in Alhambra under Dr. Claire Britton where Pastor Schoch helped in the youth department, sang in the men’s quartet with Dr. Bob Bowman, founder of the Far East Broadcasting Company, and Ernie Payne who later were part of the original Haven of Rest Quartet.
During this time, Pastor Schoch was working at JPL/Cal Tech on projects for the Defense Department. Also at this time, he met his future wife Ruth Jane Anderson. They were engaged to be married in 1941, when Pastor Schoch was drafted. They eloped fearing that he would be deployed before their wedding date, but God had different plans and his work with Cal Tech on the defense line, gave him a deferment. They continued to be involved in Bethany Church, helping with the youth departments, playing and singing in the street meetings and assisting in the summer camps at Camp Radford. It was at one of these camp meetings in 1945 that God called Pastor Schoch into full-time ministry. He was hesitant but willing and asked the Lord to call his wife into the ministry also. They were having a baptismal service when the Lord spoke to him and as an act of faith; he stepped into the lake to be baptized again as a new commitment to the Lord. When he turned around he saw his wife, pregnant with their daughter, following him into the lake. God called them both and that commitment never wavered.