Rev. Immanuel Pardeahtan Trujillo meets Father Peyote with longtime friend and teacher, Rev. William Russell, Apache Roadman for the Native American Church. Rev. Russell and Rev. Eugene Yoakum teach Trujillo about the Spirit Walk and instill in him the non-racist nature of the Holy Sacrament Peyote
August 26, 1961
Rev. Trujillo, having served in the offices of the Native American Church as Fireman, Cedar man, Drummer, and assisted the Earth Mother, sits his first meeting as Roadman for a 14-communicant teepee ceremony.
December 21, 1966
Case #56960, Denver. Rev. Trujillo is charged with illegal possession of Peyote.
May 24, 1967
Dr. Omer Stewart testifies for five hours. In his testimony, Dr. Stewart stated that Peyote induces a mood of contemplation. He concluded his testimony by singing one verse in a hymn used in services of the Native American Church, shaking a ceremonial rattle rhythmically as he sang. The song, he said, has only syllables, no words. Such hymns, he conceded, sound peculiar to people raised on Jesus Wants Me for a Moonbeam. (Denver Post)
June 28, 1967
Rev. Trujillo is acquitted. Judge William Conley rules that the U.S. and Colorado constitutions prohibit the state from prosecuting a person who uses Peyote for religious purposes. Judge Conley held that “Pardeahtan used Peyote in honest and good faith in the practice of Peyotism, a bona fide religion.” Judge Conley, in the decision, said Peyotism is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as an intertribal American Indian religion adopting Christian elements to traditional tribal beliefs and practices distinguished by the sacramental use of peyote. The Judge held that without the use of peyote, Peyotism could not be practiced, stating that “Peyotism is the sole means by which the defendant is able to experience his religion.”
Church of Holy Light is established on 160 acres of sacred land in the Aravaipa Wilderness located in Graham County. The Open-Hand Rehabilitation Program of this Church uses the discipline inherent in the cottage Industry of Mana Black-Rim Earthenware to cure alcohol and drug addicts.
Rabbi Matthew S. Kent and Rev. Anne L. Zapf are introduced to the Holy Sacrament Peyote at the Church of Holy Light.
December 19, 1977
Rabbi Kent, Rev. Zapf, and Rev. Trujillo register a Declaration of Intent in the Graham County Recorder’s office stating that they were stewarding, ingesting, distributing and growing the Holy Sacrament Peyote as an essential and inseparable part of the religious beliefs of the Peyote Way Church of God. They also give a live peyote plant to Graham County Arizona Superior Court Judge Ruskin Lines, who advise them to “Document, document, document!” and kept the plant for the sheriff and police departments to examine (the plant was returned within a month).
September 1, 1978
The First Annual Meeting of the Board of Stewards of the Peyote Way Church of God. Bylaws and Points of Order are adopted, and memberships are registered at the Graham County Recorder’s Office.
May 11, 1979
The Peyote Way Church of God becomes an Arizona State Corporation (Non-Profit #0502791-1). The Bylaws of the Church and Sacramental procedure are published in the local paper.
July 11, 1979
First Letter sent to President Jimmy Carter and Justice Powell. “We are not trying to defy the American Government in any way. We are simply asking for a clear interpretation of our Constitutional rights as American citizens. We of the Peyote Way Church of God cannot concede that the sacrament Peyote is just for Indians in the United States. No one race can own a sacrament of God for we are all children of one Holy Mother and Father.”
January 23, 1980
The Articles of Incorporation are published in the Eastern Arizona Courier.
January 29, 1980
Second letter sent to President Jimmy Carter, which states: “The use of Peyote as a sacrament has been restricted for many years to the Native American Church of North America…”
May 18, 1980
Peyote Way Church of God New Mexico Mission, and its Constitutional Law Enforcement Team, is announced in the Eastern Arizona Courier. The Rescue Mission is defined as well as qualifications of Rescue Mission Servants.
June 30, 1980
Declaration of Holy Pilgrimage are filed in Travis County, Texas.
July 2, 1980
First Church Pilgrimage to South Texas to introduce the Texas State government to the Peyote Way Church of God and procure the Holy Sacrament Peyote from a D.E.A. registered Peyote Dealer.
Rev. Trujillo meets with Lt. Governor, Assistant Attorney General, and the F.B.I.
July 5-7, 1980
Church officers, Rev. Immanuel Trujillo, Rabbi Matthew Kent and Rev. Anne Zapf meet Government Authorized Peyote Distributor, Marcos Muniz, who shows them how to find and harvest Peyote. Church officers are given a Federal Government receipt for the purchase of 25 buttons from Muniz, who also offers to sell land to the Church.
October 19, 1980
“Declaration of Intent” of Church officers to procure Peyote in Mexico is registered at Graham County Courthouse and sent to the Arizona Attorney General, Senator Barry Goldwater, Congressman Morris Udall, and Governor Bruce Babbit.
November 10, 1980
Church President, Rev. Immanuel Trujillo, sends three Church officers, Rabbi Matthew Kent, Deaconess Norah Booth, and Rev. Anne Zapf, to Texas to introduce themselves and the Peyote Way Church of God to the Governor and Attorney General, to procure the Holy Sacrament Peyote and to buy land.
November 13, 1980
Rev. Anne Zapf, Deaconess Norah Booth, and Rabbi Matthew Kent are pulled over by a law enforcement officer in Richardson, Texas. After asking for Rabbi Kent’s license and registration, the officer asked if the Peyote Way Church of God was a member of the Council of Churches. The officer had noticed a large sign on the side of the pickup truck, which read “Peyote Way Church of God, Texas Pilgrimage, 1980,” which was also painted with stylized Peyote buttons and firebirds. Kent replied no. The officer then asked if Church officers had any Peyote in their possession. Church officers produced their Medicine bags and revealed 12 buttons, the recommended quantity (four buttons each) for Church Clergy when traveling in the Temporal World, “…in the event of imminent martyrdom.” (Bylaws, Annotation One, Sacramental Procedure: Reformed Ritual.) Church officers were immediately placed under arrest and the pickup, full of Mana pottery, was searched and impounded.
November 14, 1980
After 24 hours in jail and pleading not guilty to unlawful possession of a dangerous drug and impeding traffic, Church officers Zapf, Booth and Kent were released on $1,000. bond.
November 17, 1980
Church officers give Assistant Attorney General Douglas Becker a copy of Church Bylaws and The Sacred Record. Becker offers the Church no relief from Texas’ racist Peyote laws. To Becker’s glib, “My hands are tied.” Rabbi Kent responded, “Well, ours are cuffed.”
November 26, 1980
Church officers Zapf, Booth and Kent harvest Peyote with Government Authorized Distributor, Marcos Muniz, in South Texas and are given a Federal Government receipt for the purchase of 25 buttons.
November 27, 1980
Rev. Mother Marilyn Lewis, pastor, gives birth at the Mother Church to Yirmeyah Sidqenu, her second son.
Rescue Mission birthing at Mother Church, in Klondyke, Arizona.
New Mexico Mission is closed. Tucson-Texas Mission is opened by Rabbi Kent, Deaconess Booth, and Rev. Zapf, and closed when Rev. Zapf discovers she is pregnant. President Trujillo encourages Kent and Zapf to return to the Mother Church for the duration of her pregnancy.
Rabbi Kent and Rev. Zapf are granted a Stewardship of 5 acres of Church land for homesteading. Kent and Brother Richard Carpenter begin construction on Priory One, a church building to serve as office and living quarters for Rev. Zapf and her family. Funds used for the construction of Priory I were donated by Joyce P. Zapf and Thomas F. Kent, M.D.
February 5, 1981
Sister Carmella Cooper gives birth to Ben Morning Sun at the Mother Church.
April 7, 1981
The Church receives Federal Tax-Exempt status (Tax-Exempt E.I.N.942722621).
Texas American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) notifies Rabbi Matthew Kent that they do not defend criminal cases. In their letter they stated that many churches/religious orders have challenged the Peyote laws in court on religious discrimination grounds, but the only case that was successful was the case for the Native American Church. In other cases the plaintiffs failed to satisfy the factual claims that they were indeed legitimate churches/religions.
July 14, 1981
Rev. Anne Zapf gives birth in Priory One, at the Mother Church to Kristin Joy Zapf-Kent, with Rabbi Kent and two church members attending.
December 17, 1981
After hearing the testimony of the arresting police officers, and Attorney Michael Millikan’s defense, a Dallas County Superior Judge dismisses the case against Church officers, Zapf, Booth and Kent, calling the arrest an obvious case of subterfuge. One arresting officer testified to having discussed stopping the truck with the Peyote signs. The other officer said that they did not. The Holy Sacrament Peyote confiscated during the arrest is not returned.
January 3, 1982
Letter sent to Texas Governor William Clements, Jr., describing arrest of Church officers and requesting that he take personal action to change his state’s unconstitutional Peyote Laws.
January 16, 1982
Letter sent to President Ronald Reagan describing the current situation of the Church as a bona fide Peyotist religion, which cannot procure Peyote from its Native Habitat in South Texas because of discriminatory state and federal laws.
March 4, 1982
Church receives letter from Director of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, Gene R. Haislip, of the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. In his response to the Church’s request to be included in the exemption granted to the Native American Church of North America, Haislip quotes from the MEMORANDUM OPINION FOR THE CHIEF COUNSEL, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION:
- “(1) REQUIRE THAT THE PETITIONER BE A MEMBER OF A BONA FIDE PEYOTE-USING RELIGION IN WHICH THE ACTUAL USE OF PEYOTE IS CENTRAL TO ESTABLISHED RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, PRACTICES, DOGMAS, OR RITUALS; AND (2) APPLY A REBUTABLE PRESUMPTION THAT THE EXEMPTION IS NOT AVAILABLE, UNDER THE FOREGOING STANDARD, UNLESS THE PETITIONER CAN ALLEGE AND ESTABLISH A SIGNIFICANT HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS USE OF PEYOTE.† SUCH A PRESUMPTION IS JUSTIFIABLE AS AN OBJECTIVE MEANS OF DETERMINING THAT THE PETITIONER’S BELIEFS ARE BONA FIDE AND RELIGIOUS… until such time as you are able to demonstrate that you qualify for this exemption, you and the members of your group are without legal authority to possess and use peyote.”
March 30, 1982
The Peyote Way Church of God receives a letter from Raymond White, of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, and Feld, Attorneys at Law, In Dallas Texas, in response to a second request to the Dallas Chapter of the A.C.LU. for assistance, this time in setting up a suit against the Texas State and Federal Government.
May 20, 1982
(Case #CA-3-82-0778-71) Suit filed in the Federal Court of the Northern District of Texas, stating that the 1st, 5th, and 14th Constitutional Amendment rights of Church members are being restricted by Federal and Texas statutes. The Attorney General is represented by Douglas Becker.
December 2, 1982
Rev. Immanuel Trujillo, Rabbi Matthew Kent and expert witness Dr. John Northup, of Southwestern University, testify in Dallas at a Preliminary Hearing before Federal District Court Judge William M. Taylor. The Church seeks a temporary injunction against laws prohibiting the Church from procuring its Holy Sacrament peyote. Federal and Texas Attorneys General seek summary judgment against the Church.
August 5, 1983
Judge William Taylor denies Temporary Injunction and grants Summary Judgment upholding the constitutionality of both Federal and State statutes. Church appeals to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Rev. Anne Zapf is called by revelation to serve as Church President by Rev. Trujillo, Apostle, for a nine-year term of office.
March 4, 1984
Deacon Thomas Tookey and Rev Immanuel Trujillo depart Mother Church to establish an Information Mission of the Peyote Way Church of God in New York State.
June 4, 1984
Rev. Trujillo receives aid and shelter from local law enforcement agents John and Maria Pavlak and sets up the Information Mission in Saugerties, New York.
September 10, 1984
Rev. Anne Zapf gives birth to Joseph Immanuel Zapf-Kent at the church and is attended by Rabbi Kent and daughter Joy, sole residents at the Church at this time.
September 24, 1984
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alvin B. Rubin held that: “(1)Church had standing, and (2) in face of Church’s declaration that it considered Peyote divine, an embodiment of the deity, and use of Peyote as a sacrament record did not show a compelling state interest in denying members right to use Peyote in religious ceremonies or that denial was narrowly drawn to attain an important governmental purpose; therefore, remand was appropriate for further proceedings to determine whether statutes making possession or distribution of Peyote a criminal act denied to members of the Church the right freely to exercise their religion under the First Amendment. Remanded.”
Judge William Taylor dies, and the case is delayed while awaiting Senate approval of Reagan appointed Federal District Court Judge.
Rev. Immanuel Trujillo returns to the Mother Church.
May 21, 1986
While driving through Globe, AZ, Rev. Trujillo is stopped by a Department of Public Safety officer for driving 55 mph in a 45 mph zone. As he is writing the ticket for speeding, the officer notices “Peyote Way Church of God” listed as Rev. Trujillo’s address. During the ensuing conversation, Rev. Trujillo showed the officer a dried Peyote button that he carried in a medicine bag. A piece of the button fell to the ground and Rev. Trujillo put the piece in his mouth. He testified in court that he swallowed the Peyote as an act of prayer. The Gila County Attorney contended that eating Peyote along a highway was not a religious act. Rev. Trujillo was released later that day on his own recognizance, though he was accused of ingesting a dangerous drug.
February 14, 1987
(Case # CR-8953) Rev. Trujillo is found “not guilty” by a jury of nine after hearing the testimonies of the arresting officer for the State and Retired Graham County Sheriff Harold Stevens, Former Graham County District Attorney Irval Mortenson, Church President Rev. Anne Zapf and expert witness Andrew Weil M.D. for the Church. The jury deliberates for three hours before returning the “not guilty” verdict. The Peyote is returned. This was court appointed Public Defender Anna Ortiz’s first case!
Brother Francis Murphy completes the ninety-day Deaconship Training program and is confirmed as Clergy of the Second Degree.
June 16, 1987
The Church’s suit against the Federal and Texas Governments (Case #CA 3-82-0778-T) is brought to trial in Federal District court in Dallas. The case was heard without a jury before Reagan appointee Judge Robert Maloney. (See March 1982) .
Retired New York State police officer John Pavlak, Rabbi Matthew S. Kent, and Rev. Immanuel P. Trujillo testified in person.
The testimonies of former District Attorney Irval Mortensen, and retired Sheriff H.O. Stevens, both of Graham County, Arizona, were entered by deposition in support of the Church.
The witness list for the Government included Rev. Trujillo’s estranged son Serge Veran Wallis, daughter-in-law Beatrice Solyom, Brendan Cunnane, and then Native American Church of North America (NAC) President Emerson Jackson.
The attorneys for the Federal and Texas Government declared that Rev. Trujillo was a “moral reprobate” and that the Church was “a sham and just plain baloney.”
The Church attorneys argued that the Church was a bona fide Peyotist religion and that the exemption granted only to Native American members of Federally recognized tribes who had at least twenty five percent Native American ancestry was unconstitutional.
Officer Pavlak testified that Rev. Trujillo had lived with him and his family during most of 1984 and 85. He said that Immanuel was of high moral character and that he had often entrusted him with his eleven-year-old daughter.
Rabbi Kent was the principle witness for the Church. He testified for two days about the Church’s beliefs, practices and controls over distribution of the Holy Sacrament.
The Government’s request to view the Sacramental disbursement record was allowed only after all names of recipients except Zapf, Kent, and Trujillo were blotted out.
Rabbi Kent, after having testified that the Sacramental Disbursement Record was true and accurate, was presented by the Texas attorney with a page from the original record for the month of October 1980. This document had been removed from the Church files by Veran Wallis his stay at the Church in 1983.
The Government made much of the number of times Rev. Zapf had received the Holy Sacrament nine months before the birth of her first child.
The Church attorneys made much of the fact that Rabbi Kent had reproduced the missing page with great accuracy using other Church records.
Rev. Trujillo began his testimony during the final hours of the third day. Since Judge Maloney had only allotted four days for this trial he adjourned the court to be reconvened for three days in September, 1987.
September 29, 1987
Rev. Trujillo returns to the witness stand. His testimony recounts his long and honorable association with the NAC (1948-1966) and his reasons for wanting to help non-Indian Peyotists form their own church. He explained to the court how, as a Roadman, he and others were granted a charter for an All-Race Group within the NACNA during the mid 1960’s and how this charter was revoked during the LSD craze of the late sixties.
The Government then presented Rev. Trujillo’s son, Veran Wallis, whose testimony included many vindictive, false accusations about Zapf, Kent, Trujillo and other Church members. This witness was dismissed by the court and his testimony stricken from the record. Any testimony by his wife and Mr. Cunnane was disallowed by the Court after Wallis admitted to the Church Attorney that he and his wife and Mr. Cunnane had all, at the prompting of the Texas attorney, read most of the transcript of the previous testimony by Trujillo and Kent, a violation of court rules of procedure.
A much more subdued testimony from a 1985 deposition made by Mr. Wallis and his wife was entered into the court record. Attorneys from both sides selected portions of these depositions favorable to their point of view and a re-enactment of their testimony was then read into the record.
Emerson Jackson, who has repeatedly claimed “that all NAC members are of 25% Native American ancestry” conveniently left Dallas before Church Attorneys could call him to the witness stand.
October 15, 1987
The Board of Stewards grants permission to First Degree Clergy member, William Gajewski to pursue the Deaconship Training Program.
October 23, 1987
After both sides file final briefs, the case is closed. During 1987, the year of the trials, there were more than 200 visitors, 62 Spirit Walks, and 778 units of Holy Sacrament disbursed.
November 5, 1987
First Degree Clergy candidates, Peter McGuire and Susan Churchill are married by Rev. Anne Zapf.
To the surprise of several tax accountants, the Internal Revenue Service in Dallas denies Mana, Inc.™, the cottage industry support organization of the Peyote Way Church of God, tax exemption as a 50 1-c(3) organization. Mana, Inc.™ is held liable for funds it donated to the Church since 1984, and is assessed $13,000 in back taxes.
Mana, Inc.™ hires Ronald Jacobson, a prominent local tax accountant who helps reorganize Mana, Inc.™ as a for-profit business, and intercedes for the Church with the IRS, which waived certain late fees and agreed to a $200 monthly installment of payments plus interest. Church clergy, who had formerly donated all their labor for food and board, were allotted salaries for services rendered in the production of Mana, Inc.™ Black Rim Earthenware, and Mana, Inc.™ began paying rent to the Church for the use of two rooms in the Congregation House.
October 28, 1988
Judge Robert Maloney rules that Government regulations concerning Peyote are political, not racial. Although Judge Maloney found Zapf, Kent and Trujillo to be “sincere in their beliefs and in their desire to practice a form of Peyotism,” he ruled that the Texas and Federal statutes “prohibiting the possession and distribution of Peyote are essential to accomplish the Governmental purpose of regulating the use of substances found to be harmful to the public at large.” He found that the exemption for the religious use of Peyote by the Native American Church of North America was Constitutional as the NACNA is sui generis… that it is the only one of its own kind” and that the exemption was clearly meant to be a “grandfather clause and not a full-scale exemption of religious peyote use.” He also found that Peyote Way’s “right to privacy” argument pertaining to who an individual of 25% Native American ancestry must marry so that their children may practice their Peyote religion, “must fail” since “there is no constitutional right to use a controlled substance.” The Church appeals.
March 30, 1989
Letter sent to Mrs. George Bush, which states: “We believe that the religious use of the herb, Peyote is not drug abuse… We know that our church is and always has been a part of the solution when it comes to substance abuse and control. Self-discipline is an integral part of the message of our church and of the Sacrament. We have never condoned the indiscriminate use of Peyote.”
The final monthly installment is made on the Church land purchase. The Church is recognized by Graham County Assessor, Samuel Player, as a tax-exempt organization, after eighteen years of paying land tax under protest.
June 20, 1989
Appeal (88-7039) is filed in Fifth Circuit Federal Court by Church Attorneys.
July 4, 1989
Deacon William Gajewski and Cooke Marquez are married by Rabbi Matthew S. Kent in the Congregation House.
July 31, 1989
Church President, Rev. Anne Zapf, assisted by Rabbi Kent, gives birth to Tristan Karl Raymer Zapf-Kent in Priory One.
September 10, 1989
At the Annual Meeting of the Board of Stewards, it is unanimously decided to extend the term of Presidency from five years to nine years.
December 21, 1989
Rev. Trujillo, Apostle, leaves on sabbatical to Bronx, New York.
April 18, 1990
The Federal Supreme Court rules 6-3 that the State is justified both in prohibiting religious use of Peyote and in denying unemployment benefits to NAC members Galen Black and Alfred Smith. This ruling gives the government broad power to enforce criminal laws of general applicability that conflict with religious practice because it abandons the “compelling interest” standard. This ruling was later used by the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court in their judgment against the Church.
July 27, 1990
President Zapf and Rabbi Kent are invited to meet Reuben Snake, an officer of the Native American Church of North America, and attorneys Steve Moore, of the Native American Rights Fund, and James Botsford, of the Indian Legal Defense Fund, to discuss the Church’s appeal. The meeting takes place in Church Attorney Irval Mortensen’s office, and later at the Mother Church in Klondyke. The young non-Indian attorneys insisted that they were working on legislation (the Native American Religious Freedom Act) and that the Church’s suit, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision against Smith and Black, was a threat to Native American Peyotism and should be withdrawn. Snake, privately, informed Zapf and Kent, that there were many young “bucks” on the reservation, not under his control, who did not like Alfred Smith or Peyote Way. He offered that in return for dropping the appeal, he would put us in touch with a man in Taos who would see that the Church’s sacramental needs were supplied. After conferring with Attorneys, the Board of Stewards decided to proceed with the appeal, confident that a negative ruling would not affect the NAC or change the Church’s status in Arizona.
August 8, 1990
Oral arguments are presented by Church Attorney Mary O’Connor before the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court.
February 6, 1991
United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Judge Maloney’s ruling that the exemption granted to the NAC is political and not racial. Chief Judge Clark filed the dissenting opinion that the entire exemption was an abridgement of the establishment clause. “I would hold that the exemptions violate the constitutional bar against making laws ‘respecting an establishment of religion.’ In my view, the fact that the impetus for the exemption arose from the federal government’s paternalistic interest in American Indians and the ‘me too’ view of Texas cannot convert this purely religious exemption into a political one. This exemption is nothing more or less than a law respecting an establishment of religion, barred by the plain words of the first phrase of the First Amendment.”
March 1, 1991
Rev. Trujillo receives an invitation to attend the Annual Meeting of the Native American Church in Rocky Boy, Montana, June 13-16.
May 1, 1991
Deaconess Norah Booth is called by President Zapf, to serve as her emissary to the Annual Meeting of the Native American Church of North America.
May 25, 1991
Rough cut lumber is trucked in from Luna, New Mexico for construction of the Peyote House.
June 13, 1991
Deaconess Booth presents her award-winning documentary film about the Peyote Way Church of God at the meeting. New NAC President Douglas Long follows the racist example set by former President Emerson Jackson and the Federal Government against the religious use of Peyote by non-Indians.
July 1, 1991
Patron member Michael Wagner, a carpenter who helped frame the Peyote House, dies after rolling his truck on the Aravaipa-Klondyke road, and is buried in the Church cemetery by Church clergy, friends and loved ones.
July 3, 1991
Peyote plants are confiscated by Graham County Sheriff’s deputies from non-member Peyotist Karen Redwine. Following the advice of Church clergy, she had registered her sworn Declaration of Belief, in the Recorder’s Office, in February of 1991. The Declaration stated that her reasons for possessing the Peyote plants were solely religious.
September 5, 1991
After several letters to the D.A.’s office and weekly visits to the Graham County Sheriff s Department by President Zapf, a letter is received from the Graham County Attorney’s office stating that after reviewing the Declaration of Belief and the Arizona Statute, A.R.S. 13-3402, the District Attorney had decided to instruct the Sheriff’s Department to release the live Peyote plants to Rev. Zapf and Karen Redwine.
September 6, 1991
U.S. District Judge Juan Burciaga rules in favor of Lawrence Boyll, a non-Indian member of the NAC, accused of mailing eight pounds of Peyote from Mexico. “In its war to free our society of the devastating effects of drugs, the government slights its duty to observe the fundamental freedom of individuals to practice the religion of their choice regardless of race.” —Judge Juan Burciaga
The Board of 20 Trustees of the Smithsonian Museum accept the donation of ceremonial pottery pieces made by clergy of the Peyote Way Church of God, to their permanent collection.
Nineteen live Peyote plants are returned to Karen Redwine, who entrusts them to the Church in gratitude for Rev. Zapf’s efforts to get them released. The plants were planted in the Peyote House.
March 4, 1992
Five hundred Peyote plants are transplanted from Priory One into the Peyote House.
March 9, 1992
Arizona Department of Transportation accepts Peyote Way into Adopt-A-Highway program and puts two signs on U.S. Highway 70 at mile marker 327-326.
The Church learns of SB 1100, a bill introduced in the Arizona Senate, proposed by Senator Henderson, a Navajo, which is intended to change the present Constitutional Arizona Statute to permit Peyote only to Native American members of the Native American Church. Deaconess Norah Booth contacts Arizona State Senator Alan Stephens to protest this unconstitutional bill. Other Arizona Church members and Peyote Way Church clergy also call and write to protest SB 1100. Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee finds SB 1100 to be unconstitutional.
The Church receives a letter from Thomas Murphy requesting information to be used in an article discussing Peyote Way Church practice of the Word of Wisdom.
The Church discovers that Church buildings have been assessed and taxed $747. Taxes were paid under protest and a “Petition for Review of Real Property Valuation” was submitted along with support letters written by local friends of the Church to Graham County Assessor Jacque Attaway.
September 4, 1993
Rabbi Matthew S. Kent is named President of the Peyote Way Church of God by revelation to outgoing President, Rev. Anne Zapf.
March 31, 1994
The Graham County Assessor decides to reinstate Peyote Way’s tax-exempt status.
May 20, 1994
Thomas Murphy presents an oral version of his paper, “The Word of Wisdom and Peyote; The diversity of Interpretations,” to the Mormon History Association in Park City, Utah.
August 29-September 24, 1994
The Ritual Labor Products of the Peyote Way Church of God, paintings and ceramics, are exhibited at CU Art Galleries, by the University of Colorado at Boulder.
September 22, 1994
Rev. Trujillo lectures and answers questions for three hours to an informal gathering at the CU Art Galleries. Over three thousand people attended the Exhibition. The Church received a $1700 donation from the University of Colorado. Rev. Trujillo returns to the Mother Church.
November 1, 1994
Brother John Wooldridge is initiated First Degree Clergy.
February 16-19, 1995
Rabbi Matthew S. Kent, Rev. Immanuel Trujillo and Joy Zapf-Kent attend and speak at a conference on Psychoactive Sacraments sponsored by the Chicago Theological Seminary and the Council on Spiritual Practices, in Menlo Park, California. Brother Andrew Dunham stays at the Church several days with Rev. Anne Zapf and sons Joseph and Tristan, during the two weeks Kent, Trujillo and Zapf-Kent were away.
April 2, 1995
Brother Andrew Dunham is initiated First Degree Clergy and receives a blessing from Rabbi Matthew S. Kent.
June 6-11, 1995
Five Peyote inspired paintings produced by Rabbi Kent and Rev. Trujillo are selected for display and sale at the International Transpersonal Association Conference entitled “Spirit in Action,” in Santa Clara, California.
June 6, 1995
Letter and package of documents is sent to Gene Haislip, Director of the D.E.A.’s Office of Compliance, requesting exemption from Federal and Texas Peyote Statutes.
The church has served 80-100 communicants annually with no government intervention.
Kristin Joy earns GED.
Kristin Joy Zapf-Kent is Phi Theta Kappa at Eastern Arizona College.
Joseph Immanuel graduates from High School.
Construction of the Peyote Way Greenhouse and introduction of the Greenhouse Project to educate the public and Native Americans to the need to grow their Holy Sacrament in greenhouses in order to perpetuate the Peyote Way.
NAC Tipi ceremony hosted by the Church with prayer for cooperation among all Peyotists for protection of Peyote.
IPT gets oxygen courtesy of VA and Social Security.
Tristan graduates from High School.
July 24, 2010
Passage of Rev Immanuel Trujillo, who died of congestive heart failure after 8 years on oxygen.
Kristin Joy and Tristan take over Deacon duties.
Luke Heidt approaches Church for Deaconship training. Becomes long term helper and friend.
Akbar Nazary takes first spirit walk.
September 20, 2012
The Return of the Corn Mothers exhibition opened in Colorado, housed at the MSU Center for Visual Art. A two-month series of workshops and lectures took place, culminating in a grand fiesta event for the Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Rabbi Kent and Rev Zapf attended the opening hosted by Corn Mother coordinator Renee Fajardo.
Kristin Joy becomes notary for the Peyote Way Church.
The Return of the Corn Mothers exhibition was displayed at Pima Community college in Tucson as part of a month-long literacy project
Tristan Zapf Kent and Kristin Joy Zapf Kent take Sabbatical to Santa Fe.
Alex Halpern starts Deaconship Training.
December 20, 2014
Luke Heidt sits the Church while Rabbi Kent and Rev Zapf visit first grandson.
Reconstruct Back Room, formerly Immanuel’s decorating and living room.
January 8, 2014
Village Voice article published about the Peyote Way Church and its Spirit Walk.
Amber Lyon interviews Dr. Joe Tafur – Dr. Joe Tafur Explains Peyote and Ayahuasca
Jorge Camara and partner Sophia begins Deaconship program.
On October 5, a new roof was installed on the Congregation House.
David Shepard comes to help with roof and becomes regular weekly groundskeeper helper.
Construction of 20′ X 30′ greenhouse begins.
Joe Tafur’s book Fellowship of River is published. Chapter Four entitled “Peyote Way” describes his Spirit Walk experiences and his decision to stop using Zoloft.
Deacon Luke Heidt and then Deacon trainee Akbar Nazary cleaned approximately forty thousand seeds from all the collected dried seedpods from both greenhouses. At this time we received a phone call from a member who joined the Church in the mid 80’s and is a horticulturalist. He said he wanted to donate LED lights, shelves, his time, and an additional 40,000 seeds that he had procured from Germany.
June 21, 2018
Using Church purchased soil sterilizer, Deacon trainee David Zuch sterilizes planting mix and he and Matthew plant germinate 40,000 seeds.
Church Deacons and clergy plant seeds
The Church also increased the stockpiles of planting medium, transplanted most of the rooted stock into deeper planters containing a new planting mix, and cleaned the cistern.
Two Deacons were trained and ordained: David Zuch and Akbar Nazary.
March to November 2018
We provided 230 Spirit Walks for church members from March until November.
On June 17, in September and on October 29, Church personnel germinated 60,000 Peyote seeds that we gathered and cleaned from the Church’s sacramental plants.
Deaconess Aurelia Figueroa was trained and ordained as Clergy of the Second Degree. She helped with office work as well as setting up many 2019 Spirit Walks. Together we facilitated 249 Spirit Walks for Church members, provided many tours of the Church land for curious nonmembers and hosted a couple large groups of student herbalists.
Last but not least in importance to Annie and me, was the Graham County Sheriff’s invitation to Peyote Way Church to advertise on his Annual calendar for 2018 and 2019.
The Church has been and will continue to steward the Holy Sacrament Peyote and train Deacons.