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Overview: This is the first of a four part series with Ken Ham that we will present in the coming year along with other interviews. Your comments are appreciated. These interviews will maintain the verbal format with only changes to simplify repeats done in informal conversation. This interview will cover how Ken and his wife got started and how his ministry got to this area. Ron: I am with Ken Ham on 9/13/95, during the AIG Seminar at Dayton. Ken, you have been at this for about 18 years. Please introduce us to you and what you have been doing.
Ken: Well, I am previously a high school and biology teacher in science from Australia and taught science for about five years. And as a result of my upbringing as a Christian, and seeing a real need for Christians to believe in Genesis and not having the materials to do it, I eventually resigned from school and started an organization in Australia called the Creation Science Foundation which today is one of the largest conservative Christian ministries in Australia. About nine years ago our board really thought led of the Lord for I and my wife to come to America as missionaries to help evangelize the Churches over here. So I was on loan to the Institute of Creation Research for seven years.
Instead of returning to Australia [after the 7 years] because of the emphasis I have on the biblical relevance layman's programs, I realized the desperate need to have a specialist ministry in that area in this nation, particularly over the East and Midwest where you have the largest concentration of the population centers.
Therefore, 20 months ago we took a big step of faith and the three of us [Mark Looy, Mike Zorvath, & Ken Ham] started a brand new organization called Answers in Genesis centered in Florence, Kentucky, right near the Cincinnati Airport which is an airport hub. One of the main reasons we moved there was because we are within one hour's flight of 69 percent of America's population and near the busiest north/south interstate in America, that's I-75.
Ron: What you do isn't easy, as you have found out by personal experience by teaching other people. But you have been effective at that. Don't you think what you do and who you are may become more important than the message? Or do you think the message will always be more important than you?
Ken: The message will always be more important than me and if it was ever the other way around I would stop doing what I was doing and get back to Australia and hide in the outback somewhere! The message is always more important! And I think that is one of the things we always have to be careful of as Christians. That we don't in anyway get prideful or ego, and even more than that, that we don't get confident in what we are saying and think that we know it all and think that I know all of this and I'm here to tell all of them.
I trust that I have had people tell me [truthfully] that when I talk it comes out ... that I sincerely want them to understand the things that we understood over the years. I recognize my inabilities and my inadequacies. I can't answer all the questions and continually forget information and so on, but you keep up to date. The message is so important, I think that is what keeps us going. I always liken it to in Jeremiah. Jeremiah had that fire in his bones which he couldn't get rid of and that is how I see myself.
The Lord has given me a fire in my body and I speak. It is interesting some of the words and ideas that come; I sort of know what I am going to do, but when I am talking sometimes [I say to myself] "Boy, that is a great way to put that. Hope I can remember that the next time." But I believe that is the leading of the Holy Spirit. The message is so important, it has to take priority, even in other organizations, we need to make sure that the message is most important and not [take] pride of position or anything else. Therefore, we have to be prepared to look at what is most important to the Lord's ministry and not what we want. ... If we are prepared to give that priority, I believe the Lord will honor [us], if that's what we are doing.
Ron: One of the things in a Christian leader's life is Christian families. You have talked several times about your family and its importance to you. And I think [your wife] Mally is an integral part of your ministry. Would you like to talk about your wife and family just a little bit and how it affects you.
Ken: Well, I totally agree with you. In fact, the number of times I've seen full time Christian workers or pastors whose children are very, very rebellious; and you know a lot of people say a lot of Christian workers [have that problem] because they are away a lot; and I'm certainly away a lot from my family. But I believe a lot of [the problem] is related to the relationship between a husband and wife and how the children see that. [It is also] what you do with your children.
Mally is a very, very submissive, supportive wife. She has always supported me five million percent. She has never in any way questioned my being away or what I'm doing or anything like that; she's never shown any jealousy in regard to the ministry's time taking my time or taking my time away from her. She's never ever shown anything like that, not even one little hint of that at all.
And the children have really grown up with this ministry and they also know that the Lord gives them very special rewards. I mean, look at our children, they have all flown the Pacific from Australia to America about ten times or something like that and they get very special rewards, in that sometimes they travel with us to certain centers where I'm asked to speak and places where other people would give their eye teeth to go and see and have the opportunities that we have. They fly in airplanes like other people travel in cars, so to speak, because of all the frequent flyer miles [I get] and I take them with us on occasions and they drive with us on occasions. They are with us on this particular occasion, three of them, two of them are in college, of course.
But the family is so very, very important that if I saw any sign of rebellion in my children because of what I was doing, then I would see I could not do what I am doing; particularly when my whole ministry always is talking about the family and relationships between husband and wife and training children and getting back to that foundation. You know that runs comes through all the talks and tonight I'm doing a very special talk on that; and if my family could not stand up to the teaching that I'm giving tonight, how could I do that, I'd be a hypocrite. So I can't do that, so I'm praising the Lord for a very special wife who wants to always support me and support the children and loves the Lord. What more could I ask for in a family like that?
We pray together; we have devotions together. The ministry is our life in a very big way. She sees the ministry as so important in getting the message out. She ever sometimes, when I'm away and something has happened that would cause me a little distress, maybe something is broken in the house or something's broken down or something. Rather then tell me [while I'm away], sometimes she won't tell me until I get home. She'll gets someone else to fix it or whatever. Cause she has said to me in the pass, "I just don't want anything causing your talks not to be as good as they should be, because I want people to hear that message." So that's the sort of wife that she is.
Ron: One of the issues that The Ark Foundation of Dayton, Inc. members have addressed is that our goals are very similar to yours and we want to do a lot of the same things that you are doing. Do you consider that competition to what you are doing?
Ken: Oh no, not at all. In fact you could have a 100 organizations in this nation and you still couldn't reach everyone. We get so many requests per day for our seminars, there is no way we can do all that. And we do need others doing these sorts of things. I think the best way to look at it, is that the Lord does raise up special people with special talents at certain times to do special things.
Look at Dr. Henry Morris. I mean the Lord certainly raised him up to really start the modern creationist movement in a big way. I believe God has raised Answers In Genesis up in a specialist ministry.
I believe this museum project we are trying to get underway--if we can get that off the ground--that will be the base for spawning other museum projects across the nation, helping others by copying the displays, copying the research, helping them to do those sorts of things too; putting it on the internet or in whatever way it happens to be.
So, no, I don't see it as competition at all. In fact, the market out there is limitless and we should not think that anyone has a monopoly on that market; there is no such thing in my opinion; we should never look on it like that. We all have to get out there and do our bit the way the Lord has called us. And if he has called us to do something and we do it then he is going to look after us.
To Be Continued Next Month