Copyright© 1996
Vernon Schlief
All Rights Reserved


The year was 1939 and God was again energizing the Great Commission. Bill Deans, a missionary from the United States, had been given a great foothold for the gospel in Africa and as a result, hospitals, printing presses, and local assemblies were springing up all over. The dynamic missionary appealed to his longtime friends to join him in this work. Yet after waiting nearly twenty years for word from the Lord, God closed the door to Africa for Vernon Schlief. But the God who closed the door to Paul the apostle to go to Bithynia only to open one to Philippi, had other things in store for Vernon and his wife, Gladys.

Soon, Vernon resigned as sales promotion manager of Swift & Co. in Milwaukee. They bundled all their belongings and their young son into the car and headed south, with their lifetime motto, “I believe God,” beating warmly in their hearts.

Dark clouds that announced the approach of World War II gathered soon after their arrival in New Orleans. Vernon and Gladys opened a Christian servicemen’s center, giving a touch of hospitality to men and women far from home. People who gravitated to this place of fellowship and Bible study can attest to the value of those days. The in-depth Bible studies often went into the morning hours and many Christian servicemen were given a solid foundation in the Scriptures. Dispensational teaching was set forth in its importance and clarity under Vernon’s capable teaching. Next, the study moved to the New Testament church as Vernon unfolded the value of the local assembly to the Bridegroom Himself.

It is a privilege for me to write this forword to Vernon’s memoirs. In them you will hear him reminisce briefly on a great work of God done over fifty years. I am eternally indebted to the God who opened the door for the Schliefs to come to the South. And I am indebted to Vernon and Gladys themselves for their personal example and faithful exposition of the Scriptures over these many years.

William O. (Bill) Walker

I had been saved for four years when I moved to New Orleans for my two-year hospital residency, but it soon became apparent that the discipleship training that I was receiving from Mr. Schlief was the real reason that the Lord directed me to New Orleans.

My eyes were opened to a whole new level of spiritual existence as I watched the lives of Vernon and Gladys Schlief. I had never seen such wholehearted devotion and trust in the Lord as I saw in this couple. Vernon lived the words I often heard him speak: “Nothing counts but Christ.” This godly example made a tremendous impact on my life.

I am thankful to God for His goodness in directing me to New Orleans and into the life of Vernon Schlief.

Jeff W. Johnson, D.D.S.

As I look back on my life as a believer, many names and faces come to mind—wonderful brothers and sisters who have had a great impact on my Christian life. Many have encouraged, exhorted, taught, and challenged me; but in a little realm all of their own live a simple, shy, unpretentious couple whose lives have so consistently radiated the reality and warmth of Christ that they have introduced me to more wonders of the Person and work of Christ than I would have ever thought possible.

I first met Vernon and Gladys Schlief in January of 1979, when I responded to their Christmas newsletter which solicited young men to come and be discipled by him. I did not fit any of the criteria, but he took me under his wing anyway! Thus began nearly ten years of Tuesday evenings spent together, with the Lord and His Word. Each week we would eat together, pray together, talk about the previous week and how to apply biblical principles to my practical life and local church situations, discuss my list of questions resulting from the week’s study, correct my homework, discuss the next lesson…and talk…and talk…and talk some more! We talked about the Lord. We talked about the Word. We talked about the New Testament Church. We talked about serving the Lord. We talked about living by faith. But mostly, we talked about Him.

Vernon and Gladys Schlief were the tools that God used in my life and in the lives of hundreds of others. Always loving! Always witnessing! Always teaching! Always encouraging! Always building up! Always seeing the best in every person and situation! And always reflecting the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ in their daily lives as they Adventured by Faith!

Robert R Brown