Summary of Events at Port Austin
December 20, 2004
The briefest description of what happened with the Port
Austin Sabbatarian Church Community Sacred Purpose
Trust, from the point of view of Norman Scott Edwards (herein “Edwards”) is as
- Edwards first learned
about the Port
Center on the former
Port Austin Air Force Base property in early 2000. He arranged for a Feast of Tabernacles
meeting there in the Fall of 2000, and maintained
an occasional contact with it’s owners, Eternal Life Bible Institute
(herein “ELBI”), and their representative, Warwick Potts.
- Edwards began to write articles on
forming a Sabbatarian Educational Environment
somewhere in 2003 and publish them in Servant’s News. Terry Monte Williams
(herein “Williams”) was also interested and wanted to work together to
include a Sabbatarian Elder Adult Living (SEAL)
program and a farm. Edwards published one of Williams’ articles as well.
They began looking for a place to implement this program and Edwards
contacted Potts, but received no significant response. Edwards and
Williams made a presentation to the Spring Vale Academy Board of
Directors, proposing to implement such a program at their campus. The
board rejected the proposal.
- In late 2003, Warwick Potts contacted
Edwards and offered to make the facilities available for Edwards’ purposes
if a suitable contract could be negotiated. ELBI was having financial
difficulties at the time.
- Edwards wrote additional articles
intended for Servant’s News, but emailed them to hundreds of people and
wrote articles for other Sabbatarian
publications. Phillip Daniel Frankford (“Frankford”) and Paul Douglas
Drieman (“Drieman”) responded to one such article and asked to join
Edwards in the project.
- Drieman, Frankford, Williams, and Edwards
made a general agreement to work together to make all of the decisions
necessary for the project.
- In the SEE plan
published January 2004, Edwards wrote:
The SEE government will be selected after D-day
[earlier defined document as “Do-it-day”—The time when
those interested would actually move to the property]. It should be governed by
those who are providing the facilities and and doing
the work. If that is primarily one person or a small group of people, then it
will be a small group. If it is many, then, many will govern. The government
will be firmly bound to implement the plan for SEE as laid out in this and
future documents. SEE will maintain its independent status—it will not become
tied to a particular church organization, but serve Sabbatarian
believers from a variety of congregations.
There was never any jointly written plan for the
project other than Edwards’ articles and Williams’ one article on SEAL (heavily
edited by Edwards). Later plans called for responsibilities to be divided in
the following manner:
Drieman: manage the
b. Frankford: develop SEAL program and help
Williams: develop SEE
program and farm, and help financially
Edwards: develop SEE
program, publications and write contracts and other documents necessary for the
purchase of the property and for the organization of the project
- The fundamental issue
that has caused the rift between Drieman/Frankford/Williams/and Edwards is
which of the above two points are most important. Was this project to be
whatever four men decided it would be? Or, was it to implement the
specific plans outlined in Edwards, and Williams’ writings?
- The question of
commitment to the project has often been raised. Early in the planning,
all four men talked about selling their houses and moving their resources
to the project. Here is what has happened:
- Drieman did not plan
to sell his house, but did speak of moving substantial collection of
tools and parts to the property for its use. He only moved half a
truckload of belongings, most of his tools still being in
- Frankford initially
spoke of selling his house or collecting a large insurance settlement on
damages to it and using it to help the project. Neither has been done.
- Williams did move from
his Ann Arbor apartment, but did not put his
house up for sale as once planned, but did come through with a nearly
equivalent amount of money.
- Edwards did sell his
house, used the proceeds for the project and moved everything he owned to
In short, the others all have a home to “go back
to”; Edwards does not.
- It is also significant
to note that the four could not agree on how to make the initial payment,
so Edwards made it himself, because he was determined to see the project
through, not to simply be one of four men talking about it.
- In early April of 2004,
all four men had a conversation with the preparer and creator of the Port
Austin Sabbatarian Church Community Sacred
Purpose Trust (herein “the Trust”). They agreed that the property would be
purchased by the Trust. Edwards prepared a contract for the Trust and
ELBI, which all signed on the 28th of that month. This was a
preliminary contract, as it was known that the property descriptions, the
provisions for the Trust, and other points may not have been completely
finalized. Point 19 of this contract indicated that there would be a need
for changes—and required either part to cooperate to so this within a
certain period of time.
- During the summer of
2004, Edwards pursued his rather extensive responsibilities, including the
project of selling his house and moving five truckloads of possessions,
many of which are in use by the project at this time. Among many other
things, he conducted a two-week music camp, and reviewed hundreds of
documents in the purchase and set-up of the property, writing dozens
himself. In contrast, Drieman did not complete his promised status report
of the condition of the various buildings and completed relatively few
repairs. Frankford produced many dozens of project ideas for the industry
but failed to follow through on any one of them. Williams greatly helped
financially, but did not develop the SEAL program beyond his own mother or
develop the farm beyond the poultry yards.
- Edwards did not attempt
to interfere in the other’s areas, but helped each of them when requested.
Edwards has records of such for any who would like to see them.
- During July and August,
it became clear to Edwards that the false accusations and general
opposition to his planned part of the project were intended to either
relegate him to a subservient position or to drive him out. Explaining all
of the incidents would require many pages. This opposition became obvious
when Frankford and Williams attempted to make Drieman the “director” of
the project. This is a clear departure from their continual statement of
“four men with equal authority”. They clearly had no objection to unequal
authority, as long as it was in their favor.
- During this same time,
Frankford, Drieman, and Williams all expressed either uncertainty or
opposition to the Sacred Purpose Trust. Yet, they did not provide for any
way to deal with the existing contract between ELBI and the Trust or
provide any alternative form of organization. It became increasingly clear
to Edwards and the Trust creator that they would not be suitable trustees
for the existing agreements.
- In late August and
early September, Homer Kizer (herein “Kizer”) began to make offensive Internet documents and
posts, which further divided the efforts of the project. Both ELBI and
some of the project’s supporters were extremely offended by them, and even
consulted attorneys. Frankford at first agreed with the writings, then
denied that he did. ELBI strongly urged the removal of Frankford from any mangament position related to the project. Drieman and
Williams refused to take and outwardly observable action against
- With all of the above
things happening, the Trust documents still had not been finalized and the
required corrections to the contract between the Trust ELBI still had not
been made. The time period has expired, and ELBI’s
cooperation was required to make these corrections. Frankford and Williams
rarely had any direct communication with ELBI, and Drieman stopped
answering the requests of ELBI.
- Edwards met with
Drieman for over an hour attempting to show him why Frankford should not
have any leadership position in any aspect of the project. Drieman
disagreed and defended Frankford.
- On September 12, 2004,
Edwards then met with Williams, explaining that Frankford was not suitable
to be a trustee and the Drieman was not willing to help solve the problem.
Edwards recommended that the Trust be formed with only two trustees,
Edwards and Williams, until the problems could be resolved Williams agreed
that Frankford was a problem, but wanted to wait for whatever solution
Drieman might agree to
- In the following days,
Edwards found the situation nearly unworkable and even made calls to find
a new ministry wherein he might work. However, both the Trust creator and
ELBI independently volunteered that one trustee could do the job until the
problems could be resolved.
- After much and counsel,
Edwards agreed to become the single trustee. The Trust Indenture was
completed and the certificate of Trust and a corrected contract with ELBI
were recorded on September 17th, 2004, the day after the Feast
- Due to multiple
extended trips on the part of Drieman and Williams, and the urgent
repairing of the meeting hall for the Feast (the ceiling was literally
falling down), there was virtually no time for all four men to meet
together. Edwards arranged for a meeting on October 29 to present the
financial records he had produced thus far and to explain why the Trust
was created like it was. About 20 minutes into the presentation, Drieman
asked about the trust, so Edwards explained that he was the only trustee
at that time. In less than one minute, Drieman, Williams, and Frankford
left the room, not willing to hear any of the other prepared information
or means whereby issues could be resolved.
- That same day, Edwards
wrote a letter to Williams offering to make him whole for his efforts and
to continue to work with him. He also met with Williams that evening to
discuss the issues. On October 31, Edwards wrote another letter to
Williams and Drieman offering to continue to work together in some way. On
November3, 2004, Edwards sent an eviction notice to Frankford for a number
of reasons. This was the only eviction letter Edwards sent. Edwards later
sent certified letters to Frankford, Drieman, and Williams, but only Drieman
accepted his letter; the others let them return after 15 days unclaimed.
No written response to any of these letters has been received, though some
of the displaced property mentioned in them was returned a few days later.
The three have not tried to initiate communications in any other way.
There have been no face-to-face conversations between Edwards and other
three since October 29,2004.
- On December 7, 2004,
Frankford and Drieman moved off the Trust property.
- On December 8, 2004,
Edwards found on the Internet—it was never sent to him—an affidavit
stating that Frankford, Drieman, and Williams were ending the Port
Austin Sabbatarian Community
Church, SEE, SEAL
and all of the related programs of these ministries. After verifying with
the signing notary that the document was indeed genuine, and realizing
that these three men were a majority of the members of these now defunct
entities. In accordance with the provisions of the Trust, a new Beneficial
Certificate Holder was named for the Trust, the Port Austin Bible Campus,
formed by William A. Buckman, Anna Emily Delong
Norman Scott Edwards. The goals of
this ministry are compatible with the Trust and largely similar to
concepts expressed in the Servants’ News articles of 2003. this information was recorded in an affidavit on this
day, and mailed to Frankford, Drieman and Williams on December 20, 2004,
along with this explanation.
- Edwards acknowledges
that he did not fast, pray and seek the will of God sufficiently in
agreeing to work with the other men on the project. Nor did any of the men
involved take sufficient time to write down the responsibilities and
authority of each person involved. Edwards prays that the mistake will not
be repeated in the future.
- Edwards is aware, from
the Internet sites and third parties, that Frankford, Drieman, Williams
and Kizer plan to organize a church, ministries,
a school and businesses. Edwards plans to expand the present nucleus of
people on the Trust property to a Christian community teaching young
people via an educational approach similar to the disciples in the New
Testament or Elijah/Elisha’s “School of the
Prophets”. Edwards believes that this can be done with the help of over
100 others who have previously expressed interest in helping with the
project from his previous writings, and through others who will yet hear
about it. Edwards is glad to accept the November 30, 2004 affidavit of
Frankford, Drieman and Williams disavowing any “financial dealings,
covenants or other affiliations” between the two groups (but has reserved
the right to repay Williams for his expenses). Edwards hopes that each
group can now concentrate on their respective ministries, attempting to
excel each other in the service of Jesus Christ.
---Norman Scott Edwards