August 1, 2010 will mark the 50th anniversary of Orchard Road Christian Center.
It all began with two people, Marilyn and Wally Hickey.
Over 55 years ago, Marilyn, now 79, came alongside Wally Hickey when she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. She teases, “I don’t think he would have married me if I didn’t.” Sharing the same beliefs served as a pillar that God could utilize.
Three years after they were married, Wally said, “I’m very discontent. I feel like I’m failing God.”
They had become busy with church: Choir, Sunday school, and a home Bible study. She replied, “What more can you do?”
So Wally began to fast and pray.
At the time, the Hickey’s didn’t have a close relationship with Charles Blair, Pastor of Calvary Temple. However, at a Wednesday night service, he announced, “This morning, when I was praying, God spoke to me that He had called Wally and Marilyn into full-time ministry.”
Wally began to speak in some churches. They did evangelism for a year and then were assistant Pastors at a 1st Assembly of God in Amarillo, Texas for one and a half years. That’s where Marilyn began to teach the Bible and saw how it changed people.
Marilyn acknowledges, “Wally saw our time in Texas was over so we came to Denver and a neighbor that we had gotten saved and spirit filled started a little church in her house and asked if we would help.”
At the Keys to Miracles Breakfast Saturday morning, Ruth Hickman stood before the group at the Double Tree Hotel and shared how she invited Marilyn to come teach a Bible study for an evening.
“I didn’t know she wanted me to teach for one evening, so I kept going back,” Marilyn chimed.
“She came back for the next ten years,” Ruth added.
They moved to a store building on Hampden near the hospital. On the first Sunday, they had 22 people. They called it Full Gospel Chapel because they were Pentecostal. They remained there for a year and then moved to a building on the 800 block on Clarkson Street. The building no longer exists.
A year and a half later, a building at 1701 S. Washington came open and they moved. That was the beginning of the Charismatic renewal. Lutherans, Catholics and Baptists began to come but Marilyn said she “felt they were not getting people saved like they should.”
She stated the Lord said to her, “if you want to reach lost people, you have to go where they are.”
She prayed and received an invitation to have another Bible study in a Methodist home with unsaved women. That’s where she feels she started her teaching ministry.
It grew to 22 home Bible studies. Someone suggested, “Why don’t you go on the radio, put a phone number on out and invite people?” The women paid for the spot and Marilyn went on 5 minutes every weekday. This was around 1962.
The studies multiplied. People brought a sack lunch to the all-day events, which ranged from Cheyenne to Denver, once a month.
Marilyn was then told she had to travel if she wanted financial support from people who listened. Wally was willing and she went for 2-3 days a month.
She remembers she thought at the time, “who would have me?”
Pastor Marilyn is committed to taking the word of God to the world. Below is a short clip of how one word from God can bring a major change.
Next: Orchard Road Christian Center's future: From radio to television to world travel