Weldon Bowling earned his doctorate from the University of North Texas more than 30 years ago, but he never forgot the presentation Jews for Jesus made to his campus in 1976.
Nor did he forget what one of his professors said in response to the Jews for Jesus: They’re not Jews.
“My professor was Jewish and said that the believers of Jesus could not be Jews. I’ve been hearing it ever since,” Bowling said.
But according to Bowling, 83, a devout Christian, specific examples dating back to the earliest days of Christianity showed those of the Jewish faith believed Jesus to be the Messiah.
Despite the fact that he has heard the “they aren’t Jews” argument for three decades, Bowling’s vast educational background allows him insight into the subject.
“These people are Jews; they accept Jesus because Jesus was a Jew, and so were his Apostles,” Bowling said. “These men and women celebrate Pentecost, albeit under a different name — they call it Feast of Weeks. But it is the same.”
Bowling is not a bona fide expert on this particular subject, so he called the Jews for Jesus home base in San Francisco and asked for a speaker to come to Killeen to give a presentation.
They agreed and on Monday, Stan Meyer will speak on Jews for Jesus at Central Christian Church at 1301 Trimmier Road.
Meyers is a self-confessed missionary out of Los Angeles, where he preaches the Jews for Jesus message to an area that consists of more than 450,000 Jews in the Los Angeles region alone. Jews for Jesus was founded in 1973 by Moishe Rosen with the objective to convert Jews to Christianity. Since then, branches of the association have been established in 14 countries to include Brazil, Russia and, of course, Israel.
Though Rosen died in 2010, the mission continued strong behind the leadership of David Brickner, who has been the organization’s executive director since 1996.
His view is simple but focused.
“We exist to make the Messiah-ship of Jesus an unavoidable issue to our Jewish people worldwide,” Brickner said. “There are still a few who haven’t heard of us.”
Bowling hopes Meyer will speak to a packed house Monday.
“We invite all denominations to come and listen to this important message,” he said. “The word of Jesus is universal.”