The beginning of several police stops began on January 6th, 1994. On this particular day, Rachel and I decided to take the Embassy of Heaven mail to the Sublimity Post Office around 9:00 in the morning. We traveled in a Heaven vehicle, a white, 1984 Subaru station wagon. We traveled from the Church to Sublimity on Coon Hollow Road. Upon entering Sublimity, we traveled down Church Street to the Post Office on the corner of Center and Church Streets.
Upon completing our business with the Post Office, we then headed back on Church Street. I wanted to take care of some other business, so I turned north at the first intersection on Clay Street. After making the turn, I changed my mind and reentered Church Street to continue on toward the Embassy of Heaven.
At the same time, Quinn Stutheit, a City of Stayton police officer, was traveling north on Center Street and recognized the Embassy of Heaven vehicle. He decided to intercept us. After circling the block, he realized that we were headed out of town toward the Embassy. We were about three blocks ahead of him and he traveled at a high rate of speed to catch up with us. After leaving the city limits, I turned onto the long driveway of our friend's place. Quinn also entered the private property and turned on his overhead lights. We stopped in front of the garage and Quinn pulled up behind us.
I opened my door and started to exit the car. Quinn stepped out of his car and yelled for me to remain in the car. Rather than cause a scene, I remained seated in the car and closed the door. As Quinn was talking on the radio, I asked Rachel how to handle the situation. She had no answer. We both realized that it had been five years since being stopped and I was pretty rusty.
Two unmarked cars arrived within moments. One of the persons in the first car was the Chief of Police. Quinn approached my side of the car and stood slightly behind me. He asked to see my driver license and registration. I asked if he was tape recording and he said he was not.
Rather than answer his question, I stated, "I am an Ambassador of Jesus Christ for the Kingdom of Heaven. I am using the highways in the Kingdom of Heaven in the performance of my official duties to evangelize the Kingdom of Heaven according to the Great Commission."
I had declared my intent which showed I was operating under the highest authority. Yet Quinn ignored my statement and repeated his question. "May I see your driver license and registration." I was not quite sure how to handle the situation, so I said that I needed some time to think about it. Quinn said he would give me a few minutes and he returned to his car and talked with the undercover people.
When he returned, he asked me if I was Paul Revere.
I responded by saying "Yes. I am Paul Revere."
He then asked for the third time, "May I see your driver license and your registration."
I responded, "I have documents at the Embassy of Heaven and I also have documents with me. If I give these documents to you, what will you do with them?"
"If it is those Church documents, I will not recognize them."
"Okay, I guess that settles that."
"Step out of the car. You are under arrest."
By this time, I had already emptied all my pockets and removed my wrist watch. Rachel had my belongings in her coat pocket. The only thing I kept was a pocket Bible.
I stepped out of the car and Quinn placed handcuffs on my wrists. Quinn stated that I was going to the city jail and would be released in several hours. He wanted to know if he could contact someone to pick me up.
I told him that would not be necessary. I would hike eight miles back to the Embassy. Quinn then asked if my rider would need assistance. I responded by stating that she would also be hiking.
Quinn then walked me to his patrol car and had me sit in the back seat. I was able to watch everything and listen to the police radio.
Michael Healy, the Chief of Police, walked around as an observer. Ragona, the other undercover agent, took many pictures of the Embassy of Heaven car. He also took pictures of Rachel.
Unfortunately Ed Hassler, the owner of the property, was not at home. The dispatcher on the radio was trying to call Ed to see if it would be all right to leave the Embassy of Heaven car on his property. I had previously told Quinn that we know Ed and that he would not mind if the car was left on his place. But Quinn decided to tow the car anyway.
Randy, of Randy's Towing, arrived with his tow truck. Rachel was asked to leave the car. She stood near the car holding the Embassy of Heaven mail. Quinn stepped into the patrol car that I was in and drove it out of the way of the tow truck. From my seat in the back, I could still see everything that was happening.
Quinn stepped out and grabbed a tool from the trunk. He walked over to the Embassy of Heaven car and started removing the Heaven License Plate.
Rachel walked over and asked, "Why are you doing this?"
"Don't argue with me because I am in agreement with you."
"Then why are you taking the plates?"
"I have to uphold the law of the land."
Rachel then told him, "This is the age old conflict that started when Jesus walked the earth. Jesus commanded us to go into all nations and preach that the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven is now. Jesus never said, 'Go ask permission from the State because you might be violating one of their rules.' He just said, 'Go!' And if we let ourselves be regulated by anybody other than Jesus, then Jesus is not truly our Lord."
Quinn had no response, but just quietly finished removing the plates.
When he brought the Heaven license plates over to the patrol car, I had an opportunity to ask him why he removed the plates. He said he removed the plates because the plates were switched. I told Quinn that the State of Oregon plates had been returned to Oregon DMV and the car was titled under a different jurisdiction. I also told him the plates were private property and he had no right to take them. He ignored me and continued to place the Heaven license plates in the trunk.
I watched Randy start to hook up the Embassy of Heaven car to the tow truck. He stopped and walked over to Rachel to talk. "I have to tow this car, because I have this contract with the State and they will not let me give a car back until I see a State driver's license and State certificate of title. I don't want to tow it because I am afraid you won't get it back."
At the same time, Quinn entered the patrol car and was preparing to take me to jail. I leaned forward and asked, "Since you are going to tow the car anyway, is it all right if it is towed to the Embassy?"
He asked if anyone would pay the tow bill.
"If the tow truck operator will give the young lady a ride, there will be money at the other end."
Quinn joined Rachel, Randy and the other officers. When Rachel heard the plan, she was not sure if it was a trick. She looked over at me and I nodded my head. Randy was relieved to hear the plan. Quinn then came back and we continued onto the City Jail.
Rachel and Randy towed our car back to the Embassy. Randy said he had been following us in the papers and supported our efforts. He said Michael, the chief of police, is really touched by us. He said that Michael was bending over backwards and Randy had never seen him act this way with anybody. He said that Michael really respects us.
Randy told Rachel, "If this happens again, just ask for a preference tow. Usually the police will honor your request and allow the car to be towed to the Embassy or wherever you specify."
While I was being transported to the jail, we passed Denim Country Restaurant in Sublimity. There were about six Marion County police cars in the parking lot.