A Brief History of Make Sure Ministries

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 the 1983, 1984 and/or the 1985 Witnesses Now for Jesus Conventions in New Ringgold, PA, hosted by Personal Freedom Outreach under the direction of Bill and Joan Cetnar.

We came away with a profound desire to help former Jehovah’s Winesses with a support group 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 I Thessalonians 5:21. We began to hold regular meetings in the Allentown, PA, area.

In 1987, the Nocks moved to Boca Raton, FL, 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 Minstries.

Tom and Marilyn Zapach still speak occasionally and are available to those who call them 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.  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 Bible studies by phone for those leaving the Watchtower.

In 2011, the group of people who had been so active in the late ’80s 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.

Currently, Make Sure Ministries’ lead location is New Smyrna Beach, FL, with the Ellises.  They focus on teaching those leaving or who have left the Watchtower Organization and who are seeking to understand the truth of Scripture and also followers of Christ, teaching them to share effectively with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Serving Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties is a support group focused on a safe place for those leaving or who have left any of the high demand authoritarian religious groups.

Tom and Marilyn Zapach continue to be of service in the Allentown, Pennsylania, area.

If you would like to reach any of these folks, please fill in the email form in the upper right sidebar or use the contact information below.  May God bless your search for Him and for His truth.

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You are always welcome to contact us at:

  • Make Sure Ministries:  5059 China Sea Drive, Tavares, FL 32778; Todd & Betty: 352.508.6973
  • South Florida Support Group, Dawne: 360.821.1759
  • Email:  [email protected] (or see contact form in upper portion of the right sidebar)
  • Ex-Mormon Christians United for Jesus, Michael & Lynn: 239.565.3224

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

amy aina September 24, 2016 at 4:13 PM

hi betty………..ive moved to atlanta, georgia…..i hope to talk to you soon!

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Dawne October 6, 2016 at 1:06 PM

I have passed this information on to Betty. God bless!

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Pat Thomson October 5, 2016 at 10:05 PM

Hi. I already know that the JWs are wrong. That’s not my difficulty. My problem is that when they come to my door, I am not loving and kind to them. (They never send the same people back after I have talked to them.) I try to control the conversation, pointing out the verses we all know. I end up by reading John 3:1-18. Then I back up to verse 7, and say, “Jesus said you MUST be born again. Not, it would be nice if. Are you?” Everybody gives a different answer. The young couple said hesitantly, “No, no, I don’t believe James and I are.” The older guy, (probably about my age) said, “I like to think I am.” The most recent geezer, (again, about my age) said, “Absolutely not! I wouldn’t want to be!” I gave each of them appropriate replies, telling them they CAN be, and can know it.
The problem is, I believe I am unloving. I never see anybody saved, and I don’t invite them to come back. How do I fix that? What would be appropriate?
My background is that as a new Christian and a new bride, I was fooled by the JWs back in 1970. I never joined, but I believed their lies. It took a long time just reading my Bible to recognize the first chink in their armor. Finally, in 1976, I realized that I needed fellowship, and I found a wonderful, Bible-believing church.
Now, many years later, they come to my door, and I realize I need to tell them who Jesus is. What will communicate with them?
Pat
You may call me if you think it would help.

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Dawne October 6, 2016 at 1:02 PM

Pat…thank you for your comment. I believe you are doing a commendable job–far more than most any follower of Christ that I know. Truly loving them and getting that across can be challenging, but begin by asking the Lord to give you a deep, genuine love–He certainly loves them and wants them to come to the knowledge of the truth. I will give you a call soon and in fact have already emailed you to let you know I will do so. God’s many blessings on you and on willingness to speak to Witnesses as they come to your door.

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