In Memory of Peter Reding

I am not sure when I first met Peter Reding but it was sometime in the late Nineteen Eighties or the early Nineteen Nineties.  At that time Peter had just been Elected National Director of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in the USA, for the State of Oregon.  It was a time of great change in the International Fellowship.  Demos Shakarian, the man who God had used to start the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International and had served as the Fellowships National and International President for forty years had suffered a serious stroke, and several years later at eighty years of age he had passed on to his eternal reward.

Demos’ son had followed him as International President of FGBMFI and National President of FGBMF-USA. But conditions in the American Fellowship were not going well. The number of Chapters in the Fellowship in America had fallen from more than 1600 chapters at the time Demos stroke in 1984 had fallen to less than 300 chapters by 2005. Peter had continued to faithfully direct the work of the Oregon Chapters of the Fellowship during the difficult years of 1992 to 2005.

Then at 4 AM in the morning of July 21, 2006 the Lord woke Peter Reding out of a sound sleep and told him to “incorporate a new organization in America,” which was to be called the “Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America”, and the Lord told Peter that he was organize it in the image and likeness of the original Fellowship, the Fellowship that was incorporated by Demos in 1952.

I believe that God selected Peter Reding for the task because he was first of all a man focused on fulfilling the Vison that God had given to Demos when the Fellowship was started in 1952, “that of reaching men for Jesus Christ, and training and equipping them to fulfill the great Commision”.

And Peter Reding, a certified Public Accountant was an educated man, a Harvard Graduate, a man familiar with the by-laws of the original Fellowship, a man familiar with the legal requirements for establishing a tax exempt organizations, (Peter had established many such organization’s) and Peter was a man with a built-in moral compass, a man who had the legal and accounting skills required for such an undertaking, and perhaps most important, he was a man who could not be moved by opposition.

And it was not long until opposition came.  Within a month or so of incorporating the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America, Peter received a Letter from a FGBMFI Attorney threatening him with Legal action if he did not cease and desist from using the name “Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America”.  Peter sent the Fellowship Attorney cursory reply, and continued to operate the new organization under the name “Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America”.  The new Fellowship held its first National Convention in April 2007.

By September of 2009 most of the original Fellowship Chapters had joined the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America.

Then on October 7th of 2009, Peter Reding and every National and Chapter Leader of FGBMFA received a threatening letter from Westly B Carter, a Tulsa Oklahoma Attorney, representing the International Fellowship. That letter charged each FGBMFA Leader with trademark infringement, and threatened each of them with Federal Trademark Violation and Penalties of $1,000,000.00 per infringing act.  Many of the men in the new Fellowship in America were intimidated, but not Peter Reding. Peter contacted Portland Attorney Martin Medeiros an attorney specializing in trademark law to represent FGBMFA. Martin Medeiros wrote an eight page rebuttal of the International Fellowships Position, and charged them with attempting to intimidate FGBMFA. The Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America has never received an answer to that letter from the International Fellowship.  

Peter Reding was God’s man god selected to incorporate the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America, and the word that he heard from the Lord to incorporate the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America, on that early Morning in July of 2006 has been substantiated by the great work that is being accomplished by the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America, and the anointing that is being Manifested in our National Meetings.

In Jesus’ Name,

Robert W. Bignold

National President,
Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship in America