Make Sure Ministries began about 1985 in Pennsylvania with several couples, including Mike and Cheryl Ayers, Todd and Betty Ellis, Jim and Donna Lyman, Chuck and Karen MacDonald, Bill and Dawne Nock, and Tom and Marilyn Zapach. We had attended a mid ’80s Witnesses Now for Jesus Convention in New Ringgold, PA, hosted, at the time, by Personal Freedom Outreach under the direction of Bill and Joan Cetnar.
We came away with a profound desire to help former Jehovah’s Witnesses with a support group. We wanted to let them see that they are not alone, to allow them a venue to express themselves among those who understand what they have been through, and to gently guide them to personal relationship with Christ, not an organization.
We incorporated in about 1986 and chose the name Make Sure Ministries because of the Watchtower Society book, Make Sure of All Things and the New World Translation scripture, “Make sure of all things, hold fast to what is fine” from 1 Thessalonians 5:21. We began to hold regular meetings in the Allentown, PA, area.
In 1987, the Nocks moved to Boca Raton, Florida, and found themselves called to service when, through the Cetnars, they received a call from a Miami couple needing help.
Within a short time, a South Florida support group had been formed. We all met many new friends as we helped folks to make the break from the Watchtower Organization and to find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Meanwhile, in the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania, a local couple continued to reach out to the hurting as Make Sure Ministries.
Marilyn Zapach still speaks occasionally and is available to those who call for help in the Allentown, PA, area.
The Nocks left Florida in 1990 and the South Florida ministry flourished as Hope Ministries under the guidance of Carol Levak and Michelle Leeds. They expanded the support group to help people from any of the many high demand authoritarian religious groups, including the Mormons, Christian Scientists, New Age, and Boston Church of Christ to name a few.
In 2008, Todd and Betty Ellis sold their business in central Florida and revived Make Sure Ministries in the New Smyrna Beach, Florida area, incorporating in this state. They developed the ministry with more of a focus on teaching Christians to defend their faith through small studies and seminars as well as providing One-on-One Bible Studies by Phone for those leaving the Watchtower.
A few years ago, Todd and Betty put together a workbook entitled, Know the Truth! You can learn about it by clicking on the title, as well as request a copy. It is chuck full of excellent information on topics of interest to those concerned about the Watchtower Organization and what they teach as compared to biblical teaching. It also includes a number of photocopies of interest.
In 2011, the group of people who had been so active in the late 1980s in South Florida and had continued as Hope Ministries, re-formed as a part of Make Sure Ministries with an initial focus as a support group for Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.
Make Sure Ministries’ lead location remained east central, then central Florida, with the Ellises until 2017. After the passing of Todd, Betty continues to focus on teaching those leaving or who have left the Watchtower Organization and who are seeking to understand the truth of Scripture. Her primary means is the One-on-One Bible Studies by Phone.
Our lead location now is Palm Beach County, FL, with Bill and Dawne Nock. Serving Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties, and now anywhere via Zoom, we focus most on our Support Group as a safe place for those leaving or who have left any of the high demand authoritarian religious groups–groups which practice psychological and sociological manipulation. We are in the initial stages of offering classes to Christians to help them understand the special needs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, both as they come to the door proselytizing and once they have left the Watchtower Organization, to find the Christ of Scripture.
Marilyn Zapach continues to be of service in the Allentown, Pennsylvania area.
If you would like to reach any of these folks, please fill in the contact form in the upper right sidebar or use the contact information below. May God bless your search for Him and for His truth.