Uncertain of the future, the Packs returned to Buffalo.
Weeks later, on a Friday afternoon in August 1985,
they received a telephone call
that would dramatically alter their lives.
“Dave, are you seated?”, Mr. Tkach began.
The field minister said, “No, but I can sit down.”Mr. Tkach wasted no time: “We’ve heard some complaints. We think there are some lessons you need to learn, so we are sending you to New York City as an associate pastor.”Mr. Pack could not believe the news. Yet another gross injustice, this time a plain demotion, and it had been stated in such a matter-of-fact manner—a terse notice that they would need to leave Buffalo as soon as possible—within a month. Mr. Tkach offered few explanations as to what were the problems, what lessons needed to be learned, or which brethren were upset.“I was more shocked at this moment than at any other in my life to that point. I suppose in a way I feared it was coming, but the actual arrival of such an unbelievable injustice was the single most difficult experience in my life—or that of my wife. I had experienced injustice before, but NOTHING of this order. I knew that I had been the victim of a conspiracy of evil thinking, but would only learn later just how great that evil would be.“What was worse, and what drove the moment indelibly into my mind, was that, while on the call, my 11-year-old son, Robby, ran into the house crying. Both sons had been playing a football game with neighborhood friends in the backyard—and Robby had snapped his collarbone—for the second time! He was simultaneously pleading for my help, while holding his shoulder as the bad news was being received. I did not realize the seriousness of his injury, and told him to go upstairs and I would be with him later.”Mr. Pack hung up and walked upstairs in a daze to check on his son. Seeing his condition, the parents took him to the hospital. It was in the emergency room waiting area that the reality of the life-altering phone call sank in.“I understood that New York City had been selected for my assignment because the goal of this maneuver was an all-out attempt to destroy my life. I would have no understanding of the true level of evil I was dealing with until years later. It was only in the apostasy that I fully understood the devil’s role acting through one of his chief agents in trying to destroy my ministry, in trying to get me to give up. Strangely, I was better able at that later point to more completely forgive the man for simply following the alien spirit that was probably always leading him.”