Saving souls on the side of the road

Jane Stebbins
Special to the Leader
Posted 2/26/20

Ron Colosmo and Sister Susan Pillion were bundled up against the 37-degree weather outside New Life Church on Hastings Avenue a few Sundays ago, in search of a soul to save.

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Saving souls on the side of the road

Posted

Ron Colosmo and Sister Susan Pillion were bundled up against the 37-degree weather outside New Life Church on Hastings Avenue a few Sundays ago, in search of a soul to save.

The two are part of an evangelical ministry that preaches the word of God by the Book, trying to save souls by encouraging people to get saved, repent and believe the Gospel — because once you die, it’s too late.

“I have the Holy Spirit, and I am the fisher of men,” said Colosmo, who declined to spell his last name and instructed this reporter to “spell it like you think it sounds.”

A card he distributes reads: “No cults, no gimmicks, no nonsense.” Below that reads: “Catholics, Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, drunks, remarriage, adultery, once saved always saved, Jehovah’s False Witnesses, the Apocrypha, rich men, Unitarians, prosperity gospel, Muslims, women pastors, praying to the dead, Calvinists, ‘saved’ sinners, Judaizers, liars and backsliders, blasphemers, Buddhists and other soul damning.” The block of type has an “X” through it.

The two select a local church each week and take their signs and video camera out to encourage people leaving services that much of what they are being taught goes against the wishes of God. They have Bible tracts to distribute, but primarily wait to see if someone is inspired to approach and strike up a conversation about God.

One sign reads, “Women teaching Men is Sin.” That sign is specifically directed at the New Life Church because it has a woman pastor, and Colosmo’s evangelical, yet nondenominational, religion has an order to things. Jesus is at the top, the Son in the center and the Holy Spirit after that, he said. It extrapolates to life on Earth, with man leading the women who lead the children.

“People have said we’re ‘hate preachers,’ that we hate everything,” Colosmo said. “I tell people not to sin and have faith in Jesus.”

He himself gave up a life of sin in Ohio, where he was the manager of a strip club, an alcoholic and a “degenerate gambler”; he moved to Port Townsend in 2015. He admitted to a few false starts in becoming born again.

“False conversions were a big problem,” he said. “I did spend time as a false convert. I was learning so much about Jesus I thought I’d arrived. But I still had sins. In 2015, I received an anointing of the Holy Ghost to preach. It’s a connection from God.”

Sister Susan, an 18-year Port Ludlow resident, was a member of a church she declined to name and had a falling out with a friend there. She is demure, frequently allowing Colosmo to speak for her.

“Susan, as a woman of God, knows she’s more protected letting me do the talking,” Colosmo said. “We get men come up and bait her. It’s cowardly. God expects men to protect women. Susan has shown herself to be faithful to this ministry.”

She was born again in 2017.

 

Yays and nays

A woman inched by in her car, frowning and wagging her finger at the two. They waved.

Colosmo and Pillion preach on street corners in town and in front of any given church on Sundays. The selection is made based on how the spirit moves him.

“It’s sad to me anytime one religious group finds it necessary to publicly protest another,” said Pastor Coe Hutchison of Grace Lutheran Church. “It seems like there are more productive and Christlike things we can do.”

Beau Ohlgren, the director of family ministry at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, agreed.

“They are free to express their speech, and I wish it were more loving than it is,” he said. “Fortunately, they haven’t been here for awhile. It was stressful for some folks, trying to figure out how to respond and figure out how to ignore it.”

A card Colosmo distributes refers people to RAF Proclaims John 1248, a YouTube site where videos of street preachers and their interactions with the public are posted, along with theological tutorials. A Facebook page, last publicly written on in 2017, refers to someone or something named Raf, but nothing identifies who or what that is.

Colosmo and Pillion are busy, with 20-plus churches from which to choose. Some don’t make the cut.

“Quimper (Unitarian)?” Colosmo said. “They’re not even Christian. They’re more like the Quakers, a group. I have preached there, though, for the sake of saving souls.”

A woman leaving church proudly held up her rosary and smiled at the couple.

“Oh, the Catholics,” Colosmo moaned. “That (rosary) is a Catholic issue, and that’s not even a Catholic church! They have lots of problems. The idolatry of Mary, they use a different Bible — there are more books in their Bible than there are supposed to be. It’s not inspired by God.”

Colosmo and Pillion have protested outside a church on the grounds that a pastor there preaches that once one is saved, they are always saved.

“That’s total heresy,” he said. “You can become saved and then become a pedophile and you’re still saved?”

There are numerous facets the two will address — “I could go on all day,” he admitted.

They often stand outside the church on Hastings Ave., but all the churches preach the false gospel, he maintained.

“The Christians say ‘Follow Jesus.’ That’s obvious, but not to them,” he said. “The church wants to shut us down, but we want to try to help them.”

He noted they only stand on public property, hold signs that even comply with the city’s sign code, never raise their voices and rarely use amplification — and have a good rapport with the local police.

Their goal is to reprove and rebuke bad behavior and exhort the good. Surprisingly, perhaps, issues of the day such as LGBTQ, don’t bother them much. There are bigger problems out there to tackle — including women’s equality, which flies in the face of the orderly manner in which God says mankind must live.

“It’s an issue of headship,” Colosmo said. “Men should be standing up for women, and women expect that with their children. I don’t know why people don’t understand that.”

A man stopped in the road to read a sign: Gamblers, Rich Men, Drunks, Harlots (Cheerleaders) = Hell & the NFL.

“That’s so sad,” the man said, pointing at the sign. “So sad. You’re totally taking it out of context. That was one letter to one group of people, and you’re applying it to everyone. Get out of your little box. Grow up, bro.”

He drove off, shaking his head.

“We get that,” Colosmo said, shrugging his shoulders.

When asked how many souls he gets to save in an average year, or month, he admitted the count was low.

“If I preached to every person who knows the difference between good and evil, maybe 11 people will be saved,” Colosmo said with a smile. “What we do is not based on numbers like churches. It’s quality over quantity. We give out the word and it does what it needs. We just sow seeds — ‘One soweth, one watereth, and God gives the growth.’”

Comments

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Sandra Stowell

Sorry to hear about these two, somehow it makes me sad. Probably I assume they are sad or unfulfilled, but that is probably my own prejudice at work.

Their presence with signs,and their choices of locations, feels intrusive and a bit unpleasant, but of course it is their right to demonstrate on public property.

Wednesday, February 26
Susan Pillion

Brother Raf, aka Ron, will have an initial response on the miniseries YouTube channel to the above article

tomorrow, around midday, the channel provided within the article, Raf Proclaims John1248. Brother Raf needs to clear up a few things said of him in the article, and will have proof of his doctrine.

Jesus is LORD (Jesus is not over the Son, Jesus is the Son).

Saturday, February 29