Still not a Christian, I regularly walked to church, often by myself, was baptized, sang in the choir, was involved in the youth group, and was interviewed by the church board to receive scouting’s God and Country Award.My high school years in Newport began in 1954, the year of Brown vs. The family moved to Medford Lakes in central New Jersey before my junior year in high school where I worked summers as a lifeguard. When my weight lifting buddy obtained an appointment to the Military Academy at West Point, I sought to follow suit.Much to my mother’s chagrin and my father’s delight, I abandoned school band and played football. Not getting an appointment, I attended the University of Delaware for a year and was a math major but also failed freshman English.The next year, I received the appointment I sought and entered West Point the summer of 1959. Since my math and physics grades were high, the academy retained me.Finally, in 1974, Erma’s former pastor, Bruce Brawdy, contacted us to see if I might be interested in pastoring the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.Bruce had been in the United Presbyterian Church in Caney, Kansas.
Grandfather, John James Prutow (1885-1970) grew up on the family farm.Descendants of Jennie, an older sister of grandfather John, continue to operate the farm, located on Prutow Road, and now a Michigan Centennial Farm.Grandfather John married Mabel Mc Laughlin and had two sons, James John Prutow (1910-1975), my uncle, and John William Prutow (1918-1978), my father. The Mayberry’s trace their lineage through Massachusetts and Maine back to Ireland.Once back home, we determined to leave the Army and seek the Lord for pastoral ministry. After working at minimum wage in a printing plant for a time, I obtained employment as a safety engineer with Traveler’s Insurance Company. During this period, we began worshipping with a Christian Reformed Mission and became members of First Christian Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa.The ministers of Classis Pella were of immense help and encouragement in our pilgrimage into the Reformed faith.